This film is part of Free

War-Time Fundraising

Fundraising services and events for Cambridgeshire British Red Cross and St John Ambulance volunteers, captured by filmmaker William King, in 1943.

Amateur film 1943 20 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for East Anglian Film Archive


William King filmed a number of events throughout the Cambridgeshire region including this footage showing the many many Red Cross and St John Ambulance volunteers attending church services which aimed to raise funds for the war effort, including one being held at the University of Cambridge’s Great St Mary’s Church, and Ely Cathedral. Charles Adeane, Lord Lt. of Cambridge hosts an event at home. There is also an event at a Red Cross Convalescent Home for injured soldiers.

Made up entirely of volunteers, the British Red Cross treated anyone caught up in the conflict, Allied or Axis. When war was declared, the British Red Cross and St John Ambulance joined efforts to deliver relief in the most efficient and economic way as they had done in WWI, collectively known as the Joint War Organisation. At the start of the war the British Red Cross only had £2,000 and desperately needed funds; an Appeal was launched immediately. The appeal was aimed largely at wage earners; people were encouraged to donate a penny of their weekly wage (£10 on average).