This film is part of Free

Somewhere in England

A potpourri of intriguing scenes of soldiers around Kirkby Malzeard taken during WWII: exercising, marching, eating, playing croquet and generally mixing in with the locals.

Amateur film 1939 5 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for Yorkshire Film Archive


This is a wonderfully curious mixture of scenes taken over several years in WWII, mostly of soldiers barracked at Kirkby Malzeard. The soldiers go for a cross country run, exercise, march in combat gear, play games and are out on motorbikes, mainly in the grounds of Mowbray House, owned by the filmmaker, Sir Fred Moore. Local children also make an appearance in an impressive fancy dress parade. Even Sir Fred’s dog gets in on the act, playing in the deep snow of the 1941 winter.

Sir Fred Moore acquired Mowbray House, along with adjoining properties and extensive grounds, around 1921. He made several other films of family and events in Kirkby Malzeard, North Yorkshire, in the 1930s. Apparently soldiers from the Derbyshire Yeomanry arrived at a military camp on the south east side of the village in July 1939. These were joined by soldiers from the Royal Corps of Signals in October 1939. The Moordale Youth Hostel, where soldiers are seen billeted, was in the first cluster of hostels to open in 1931. It closed in 1953, the year after Sir Fred Moore sold up and left. The children in the fancy dress competition may well have been evacuees from Leeds or Brighton who stayed in Kirkby Malzeard.