This film is part of Free

The District Nurse

An indefatigable district nurse crisscrosses her rural patch to tend to the sick at home and on the farm.

Government sponsored film 1942 12 mins


Idyllic rural vistas and soothing classical music provide the backdrop to scenes of injury, illness and imminent childbirth in this attractive and inspiring film. Structured as the diary of a typical working day, it shows the non-stop work of a wartime district nurse. Our indefatigable heroine takes all in her stride, with a home visit before breakfast, then whisked off to a farming accident and a queue of patients from then on, with just the occasional cup of tea to keep her going.

Director John Page made several films about women on the home front, notably The Countrywomen (1941), about the Women's Institute. Scriptwriter Arthur Calder-Marshall was a well-known novelist (and a card-carrying communist). District nurses, at this time, were usually unmarried women whose accommodation was often provided by local nursing associations. In rural areas this would often be houses or cottages such as the one seen in this film, where several nurses lived together. This government film is a public record, preserved and presented by the BFI National Archive on behalf of The National Archives, home to more than 1,000 years of British history.