This film is part of Free

Todmorden 'Salute the Soldier,' Youth Pageant

There is much to marvel at in this film of wartime fund raising events, including a cheerful Lady Mountbatten, just prior to her breakup with “Bunny” Phillips.

Non-Fiction 1944 15 mins Silent

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Logo for Yorkshire Film Archive


In May 1944 there was still a way to go, but victory seems to be in the air judging by the quiet confidence evinced by the service personnel marching through Todmorden in this film; including the nurses in their rubber gloves, as if about to go into the operating theatre. Among the re-assuring speakers is Lady Mountbatten, looking very relaxed, while the locals treat us to a typical English historical pageant of that period, with the usual stereotypes mixing fact and fiction.

There had already been fundraising weeks for war weapons (1941), warships (1942) and bombers (1943); now it was the turn to raise money for the army, encouraging people to use government savings accounts like war bonds. They took place in every village and town throughout May, June and July. June 6th 1944 was D-Day, when an allied invasion force of 156,000 landed on Normandy beaches as part of Operation Overlord. The events in the film take place in Centre Vale Park, Todmorden, with the large Mons Mill in the background (demolished in 2000). Lady Edwina Mountbatten apparently “partied, frolicked and fornicated with abandon” in the 1930s, but threw herself into work with St John Ambulance Brigade in the war.