This film is held by the Imperial War Museum (ID: JFU 141).


A 2nd Division mobile concert party sets up in Manipur, India, before staging a show for troops of XXXIII Corps.

The camera, in an open area, looks towards a road with a number of lorries arriving. A 3-ton Chevrolet CMP lorry, towing a long trailer, drives onto the field. Scaffolding under construction. A ladder is unloaded from the trailer. The trailer is manhandled into position and the stage is assembled. Captain Preedy discusses the erection of the stage with Bombardier J Miller (Royal Artillery) of Burnham, Essex. Preedy, Miller and Sergeant F Rolleston (Royal Norfolk Regiment) of Wanstead discuss an adjustment to the stage. Adjustments to the stage. A large sign which reads 'The CROSSKEYS present a revue: Clean, Bright and Slightly Boiled with the CROSSKEYS STAGE BAND' is removed from the back of a lorry. More work on the stage. Tap dance sequence featuring Sergeant Rolleston and Private W Moody (Royal Army Medical Corps) of Dulwich as a female impersonator. Snippet of Sergeant Rolleston's Max Miller act. Behind the scenes; brief view of members of the orchestra drinking tea and smoking. Short clip of a sketch entitled 'Costumier's Window' with Private Moody and Bombardier Miller in drag and Sergeant Rolleston playing the window dresser. Sketch entitled 'Quartermaster's Office' with Captain Preedy as the quartermaster. Gunner J Innolls (Royal Artillery) of Bristol plays an accordion. More of Sergeant Rolleston's Max Miller act. Some young Indian children in the audience looking less than impressed. A man in drag performs a song before stepping back as the curtain sweeps closed. A sketch in which (Captain Preedy?) taps a man on the head who falls backwards over a bench (with a 'woman' seated on it) as the curtains close. More from 'Costumier's Window'. Scene which appears to feature Gunner A Bennett (Royal Welch Fusiliers) and Private W James (Royal Norfolk Regiment) as angels with Bombardier Miller dressed as the Queen of Sheba. The orchestra perform on stage. A performer tap dances in front of the orchestra. Ballroom dancing in front of the orchestra. Whole cast performing the finale. Cast member (Sergeant Rolleston?) performing a song (possibly 'Who Cares') dressed as a tramp. 'Victorian Ladies' scene with Private Moody, Captain Preedy and Bombardier Miller. Moody and Miller dancing in their underwear.


The dopesheet states that this divisional concert party was formed in October 1942 at the request of the divisional commander and names the first producer as Major Jack Hawkins, an actor who had previously appeared in Ealing Studios' 'Next of Kin' (director Thorold Dickinson, 1942) and would later feature in a number of classic titles such as 'Angels One Five', 'The Cruel Sea', 'Bridge on the River Kwai', 'Ben-Hur' and 'Lawrence of Arabia'.

The IWM Sound Archive holds an interview with Sergeant Rolleston which can be found at the reference below. See related items.

The 'Crosskeys' is a reference to the insignia of 2nd Division, which was two crossed keys. 'Clean, bright and slightly boiled' is probably a pun on 'clean, bright, and lightly oiled'; the state in which a soldier was meant to keep his rifle.

Dopesheet names the members of the orchestra as:

Signalman W Perkins (Royal Corps of Signals) of Blackburn: 1st Alto Sax.

Corporal D Boast (Royal Norfolk Regiment) of Bexley Heath: 2nd Alto Sax.

Private J Longden (Royal Army Medical Corps) of Keighley: 1st Tenor Sax.

Sergeant J Lightfoot (Manchester Regiment) of Wath-upon-Dearne: 2nd Tenor Sax.

Sergeant F Tebb (Lancashire Fusiliers) of Rochdale: 1st Trombone and Band Leader.

Private E Webb (Dorsetshire Regiment) of Birmingham: 2nd Trombone.

Gunner K Robinson (Royal Artillery) of Sheffield: 1st Trumpet.

Lance Bombardier H A Brookes (Royal Artillery) of Manchester: 2nd Trumpet.

Fusilier H Cunliffe (Lancashire Fusiliers) of Hoyland, Barnsley: Drums

Private A Rich (Worcestershire Regiment) of Birmingham: Bass.

Private J Elliott (Royal Scots) of Edinburgh: Guitar.

A clarinetist can be seen in one shot, but he is not named on the dopesheet and so may be one of the saxophonists.



  • 2ND DIVISION CONCERT PARTY IN MANIPUR (17/8/1944) (Allocated)
Series Title:

Technical Data

Film Gauge (Format):
495 ft (approx)

Production Credits

Production Countries:
War Office Directorate of Public Relations
Watson, W (Sergeant)
Production company
SEAC Film Unit



Production Organisations