This film is held by the Imperial War Museum (ID: MGH 2087).


Reel One: The film opens with the title "WOMEN + WAR" with an illustration of St George and the Dragon, and credits the photography to Mahatta Ltd. Caption "An amateur production arranged by Daphne Goldney Cast The Women War Workers Rawalpindi and Murree". Caption "Our Men are being drawn in ever decreasing numbers to the War. Women must and can help. But how?" Shots of the exterior of "Lintott's" restaurant in Murree with several British women seated at tables on the verandah and inside the wooden building. Caption "This film shows you the various types of war work for which women are urgently needed". Lady Hartley walks in to "Lintott's" and shows a younger woman a copy of a hardback book entitled "Women + War" (with the same design and illustration of St George and the Dragon as the opening titles). The ladies drink tea and talk and then pay the Indian waiter and leave the building. The same younger woman is seen in her home and sits down on her settee to look at the book, turning the pages for the camera. The book lists various money-raising programmes which are then illustrated by film. A fete - shots of women manning a "White Elephant" stall in a garden. A dance - poster advertising a dance at "Brightlands" Saturday 6th September "cash and cheerfullness [sic] essential". The collection of unwanted bottles and cans - shots of a women selling bottles and cans to a turbaned scrap merchant (Kabaris). Children's theatrical shows - black and white footage of the selling of tickets and hands playing a piano followed by very brief colour shots of various children dancing: a young girl doing a short routine around a hat box, a younger girl wearing a net fairylike outfit, a young girl doing a Scottish dance, a younger girl wearing a cap and apron and carrying a bowl and an older girl dressed in a sailor style outfit with an anchor design on her vest dancing with a mop and then dancing a hornpipe. The colour section concludes with two small children in fancy dress holding a banner "'The Young Companions' watch for the best performance". Caption "By the sale of their ten puppies, this proud pair sent Rs 400 to the Rawalpindi Bomber Fund". A brief shot of sliding doors opening to reveal two Dalmatian dogs. Caption "Another source of income is the shop": exterior view of "Victory Shop", interior shots of women volunteers sewing, painting, displaying goods in the shop, baking cakes, weighing and packaging a portion of toffee or fudge, various cakes for sale and a woman taking money and entering a sale in a book. Title "PINDREAM TOILETTE REQUISITES", poster "Pindream, produced and sold by the WVS Rawalpindi for the Benefit of the Forces". Shots of money, both coins and notes, being counted and a woman depositing money in a bank.

Reel Two: Another page of the same book is opened to reveal the title "St JOHN'S AMBULANCE BRIGADE (OVERSEAS) lectures 6 MH Thursday 10am". Shots of St John Ambulance Brigade nurses seated in a classroom listening to a lecture given by a young female doctor (?). The doctor uses a long cane to point out parts of the body on a large hanging diagram of the human skeleton. Shots of medical equipment including bottles, bandages, a kidney bowl and a small leather medical case. Portrait shot of the young woman doctor. Panning shot across the classroom showing the nurses listening to the lecture. Two women lying on the ground in a garden surrounded by rubble as part of a first aid practice exercise. The two prone women are attended by several women in civilian dress. One "casualty" is carried away in a blanket after having a splint bandaged to her leg, her head bandaged and been given a drink (tea?). The other "casualty", with her arm in a sling, is assisted to walk away. A shot of a car driving towards the camera is followed by an acted scene of a young man being hit by the car. A woman uses a public telephone to call the St John Ambulance Brigade and nurses arrive to treat the "casualty" who, according to a caption, is suffering from a broken right femur. The "casualty" has a splint applied to his leg and is lifted on to a stretcher by the nurses and then transported by ambulance to hospital. Interior shots of an x-ray room showing equipment. The "casualty" is then moved in to the x-ray department and the x-ray equipment set in position. A doctor examines an x-ray film showing a broken femur. Shots of the sterilisation of equipment. Title "Brigade members help in the theatre". Shots inside of an operating theatre. Sterilised equipment is laid out ready for surgery. The "casualty" is wheeled in by several St John's nurses and anaesthetic in administered. Medical personnel put on masks and scrub their hands. The "casualty" has his leg bandaged (plastered?). Title "Post-operative treatment". The "casualty" in a hospital bed with a cradle over his injured leg. Man, presumably the "casualty", walking with the aid of crutches assisted by a St John Ambulance nurse. Title "1. Occupational Therapy 2. Hospital Library": male patients in a hospital ward, writing, working on tapestry, drawing and sewing. Women loading books from library shelves on to a small wooden trolley. Women with the book trolley at the side of hospital bed talking with the male patient. Indian soldiers queuing on a verandah to collect material and sewing thread from some British women. Brief shot of embroidery work done by the soldiers, very brief shot of soldier knitting and of three seated Indian men sewing. Title "Local hospitals are very short staffed as they have to send personnel to forward areas". Title "NOYES FREE TEA CANTEEN": train pulling in to a railway station, various Indian soldiers drinking tea in the canteen, dark interior shots of British women serving behind the counter in the canteen.

Reel Three: Another page of the same book is opened to reveal the title "WAR WORK DEPOT" listing hospital comforts and woollen comforts produced by the volunteers (ie 100 bed socks). Title "Articles made by this depot are for men at the Front. We need workers to help supply them." Shots of women walking towards the War Work Depot (Murree). A woman retrieves mail from a locked postbox on the wall and the letters are opened by a woman seated at a desk. Title "To: War Work Depot Murree. From: Simla. Owing to increasing demands for overseas forces only small proportion requirements available. Please encourage workers to double output. Red Cross Commissioner". A sheet is typed and then run though a duplicating machine. Glue is applied to the reverse of a poster; the poster for "warm woollen knitted comforts" is stuck on a wall. A Sikh man measures a striped fabric for a British woman and fabric pieces are then sorted on a table. Women at work in the work room, the striped material being cut (probably to be made in to pyjamas), women sewing by hand and using foot-treadle sewing machines, a bandage being wound and pillows being stuffed. Title "Indian ladies have their own Machine Party and many also work in Purdah": small groups of Indian women walk through a garden towards the camera. The Indian women hand over bags to a British woman seated on a verandah. Interior of a room with many Indian women seated sewing, Lady Hartley (wearing a sari over her western clothes), enters with an Indian woman and walks through the room. More shot of the Indian women at their work. Lady Hartley and an Indian woman looking at goods on a table in a garden. British women seated around a large table sewing. Title "Dhurzis will do the heavy work if funds are available from donations and private collections". View of four British women seated around a small, square card table, playing bridge (?). Money is then put in a small collection tin. Turbanned Indian tailor (Dhurzi) seated on the ground working his hand-operated sewing machine. Shot of a man cutting cloth. Title "All garments are laundered before despatch". Completed items being ironed, sorted and tied up in bundles.

Reel Four: Woman unpacking a box and walking through a door past a box marked "Wool Controller". Title "Knitting group leaders call for wool and instructions": a woman collects balls of wool (with written instructions wrapped around each ball?). Title "Work is done in many homes". Lady Hartley (?) accompanied by a younger woman walks down a slight slope and peers through an open window of a house. Inside the house two women are seen seated in a drawing room knitting; one waves towards the window. The two women enter the drawing room, Lady Hartley (?) sits down on the settee and holds a skein of wool between her hands whilst another women winds the wool into a ball. Brief shot of a small table laid for tea. Knitted garments (scarves?) being weighed on scales and packed into a wooden crate. Title "Our Forces overseas rely almost entirely on India for their reading matter and amusements. Have you sent them any?" Man drops magazines in to a box marked "Troops overseas". A woman collects the box, opens it and removes the contents - magazines and playing cards. Two women sort donations on a table - books, magazines, a chess set and records. Wooden crates being loaded in to a railway carriage of a "Frontier Mail" train. Views of the BB&CI "Frontier Mail" train in the station. View of the locomotive as it pulls out of the station. Three British soldiers outside a tent open, inspect and try on the contents of a wooden crate, including knitted jumpers, scarf, balaclava and gloves. View of several soldiers seated outside of the tent playing chess, reading magazines and playing records. An Indian soldier tries on a knitted jumper, balaclava and gloves for the camera. Another Indian soldier puts on a knitted jumper and balaclava and parades for the camera. The film then returns to the young woman reading the "WOMEN + WAR" book as seen in reel one, the book is closed and the young woman gets up from her settee and greets Lady Hartley; both sit on the settee and talk. Title "Unlike women in many other countries we can choose our work. Please register and help to shorten the war and save lives". Three women enter a WVS office and register for war work. Title "In our National effort there is need for all kinds of activity, and there is room, or room must be found, for all - men and women, old and young - to serve in one way or another ...........Let's go forward together in all parts of the Empire, in all parts of this island. There is not a week, nor a day, nor an hour to lose". The film concludes with brief shots of Indian troops on the march and on a training exercise.

Predominately black and white amateur footage showing the voluntary activities of women in Rawalpindi and Murree, India, Second World War, compiled to encourage more women to assist in these activities in support of the war effort. The film was shot at request of Mrs Daphne Goldney, wife of Lieutenant-Colonel James Goldney of 2nd/4th Gurkha Rifles, Indian Army, by local Indian photographic company Mahatta Limited.


Summary: Rawalpindi (often referred to as "Pindi") and Murree are now in Pakistan.

Summary: Lady Hartley was the wife of General Sir Alan Hartley.

Summary (Reel Four): BB&CI - Bombay Baroda and Central India Railway. The Frontier Mail train route ran from Bombay (Mumbai) to Peshawar.

Remarks: an interesting record of the variety of work undertaken by civilian women in India during the Second World War, which records the work of Indian as well as British women.

Remarks: (Reel One) the scenes inside "Lintott's" are rather dark. "Brightlands" on the dance poster refers to Brightlands Hotel, Murree. The shots of the children dancing are in colour and are filmed through a wooden fan-like device. Notes acquired with the film identify Joan Dinwiddle as one of the volunteers producing goods for the Victory Shop. Throughout reel one there are repeated shots of money being collected in a tin box.

Remarks (Reel Two): the scenes dealing with the male "casualty" are well executed and provide interesting shots of hospital equipment. Notes acquired with the film identify Mrs Barstow as in charge of the work room.



  • WOMEN AND WAR (Alternative)

Technical Data

Running Time:
60 minutes
Film Gauge (Format):
1470 ft

Production Credits

Production Countries:
Production company
Mahatta Limited