At Wessex Film and Sound Archive you can see and hear history, from late Victorian times to the present day, through moving images and sound recordings. The Archive contains over 36,000 film and sound recordings relating to Hampshire, the Isle of Wight, Berkshire, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire, including film and tapes of local TV and radio.
This film is part of Free
Wartime savings rally, Winchester and Home Guard
Wartime Winchester is the star of this film, which includes military marches, Home Guard exercises and an outdoor boxing match staged by the American Army.
Amateur film 1940 12 mins Silent
From the collection of:
This fascinating Home Front film shows various events in and around Winchester beginning with a savings rally and forces march-past followed by an Auxillary Fire Service display at the Guildhall. Firemen are seen playing their hoses on the roof. Then we see Home Guard members on exercise and using an anti-tank weapon called a Smith Gun. We end with an outdoor boxing match, staged by the American Army, which shows a fight between two African American boxers.
William John Prall was born in Southampton in 1891. He worked in the family business as a watchmaker and jeweller. He fought in Mesopotamia during the Great War and was wounded in 1917 when he lost an eye. Always a keen photographer, Prall progressed to filmmaking and recorded a large number of events in and around Winchester. He joined the Home Guard and was able to film various activities like those seen in this film. The Smith Gun which the Home Guard can be seen using was a hastily contrived anti-tank weapon designed to be used in the event of a Nazi invasion of Great Britain. However, the weapon was difficult to use and sometimes maimed, or even killed those unlucky enough to operate it.
Keep the Wheels Turning
Industry sponsored film 1940 8 mins
An enticing government call for men to retrain as skilled engineers to help with the war effort.
Government sponsored film 1942 12 mins
Wartime news magazine for factory workers, sponsored by the Ministry of Supply. News items often stressed the value of the 'factory front'.
Government sponsored film 1942 11 mins Location: Liverpool
A wartime magazine made to motivate and inform war workers, commissioned by the Ministry of Information in 1942 and exclusively screened in factories.
Documentary 1940 20 mins Silent
A Second World War propaganda film, looking at the industrial might behind Great Britain’s armed forces.
Government sponsored film 1940 10 mins
Shipwrights, plate-fitters and riveters support the war effort as their ships take majestic shape in this tour of British shipyards.
Promotional 1943 25 mins Silent Location: Whitchurch
Meat and wheat, oranges and eggs (dried), salmon and peaches (tinned) arrive in Cardiff from Brazil, America, Canada and New Zealand to keep war-time’s wolf from the allied door.
Promotional 1969 17 mins Location: Bournemouth
Bournemouth. A holiday resort that’s got the lot. Sunshine, sandy beaches, gardens, shops, fine dining and entertainment - with sports stars and a few beauty queens thrown in
A Royal Visit to the Hants & Isle of Wight Constabulary A Royal Visit to the Hants & Isle of Wight Constabulary
Non-Fiction 1966 2 mins Silent Location: Winchester
It's a special day for the Hampshire Constabulary when Princess Margaret arrives to officially open their new Winchester HQ
Amateur film 1935 14 mins Silent Location: Winchester
Winchester puts on its finery for a feast of celebrations, parades and civic ceremonies in this nostalgic film from 1936 - which also includes the lucky winner of a motor car
Amateur film 1947 3 mins Silent Location: Winchester
War veterans from the Old Contemptibles Association march through the streets of Winchester in this poignant 1947 film from W J Prall
Documentary 1973 27 mins Location: London
A portrayal of the NHS which shows off the “marvellous” system to audiences around the world.
Amateur film 1950 1 mins Silent Location: Winchester
Observe these Winchester women working in a local laundry - it's a glimpse into how things were before the Clean Air Act
Documentary 2019 16 mins
Three years after their father passed, a family of four women come together through a series of phone calls spanning over three months.
Animation & Artists Moving Image 2017 4 mins
A comedy-drama animation about two best friends growing up in the same world but experiencing it completely differently.
Drama 2018 8 mins
Samona Olanipekun explores the concepts of home, identity and belonging, from the starting point of the theme of globalisation.
Drama 2017 16 mins
Compelling story of a complex relationship between an imperious father and his son.
Documentary 2020 28 mins
Three African American fathers unravel the incomparable partnership of forgiveness and community.
Music video 2019 8 mins
A conceptual film following musical artist Jords’ quest to serendipity. The Tree of Life’ is the cornerstone of the film as he battles to triumph through grief.
About the archive
Know this place?
Do you recognise a place, building or location in this film?
Help us populate the Britain on Film map by spotting and plotting the street or location you know. This is a BFI project and anyone can help.
Go to our Britain on Film crowdsourcing site and contribute to our mapping mission – to identify locations within our archive films.Add a location