The IWM Film Archive is the oldest film archive in the UK, holding over 20,000 hours of film, video and digital material and covering the two World Wars and all conflicts involving British or Commonwealth Forces since the start of the Twentieth Century to the present. Our collection also reflects aspects of civilian life in wartime, military life in peacetime, military exercises and operations.
This film is part of Free
Royal Observer Corps
Watching over the skies, a volunteer force helps identify enemy aircraft for RAF fighters to intercept over Britain’s home front.
From the collection of:
Founded in 1925, the Royal Observer Corps were a volunteer organisation, trained to monitor the sky from observation posts around Britain. Their great value to the home front’s defence is clearly outlined in this film, which also outlines the various steps involved in aircraft identification and reporting.
Established between the wars, the Royal Observer Corp was able to supplement Britain’s early warning radar system, by providing extra detail about sighted enemy aircraft and V-weapons. Their observer posts had direct contact with the Group Centres, who would in turn inform the RAF fighter stations of aircraft types, numbers and positions. They worked well in conjunction with radar, which was not always efficient at detecting low flying aircraft.