This film is held by the Imperial War Museum (ID: MGH 3574).


(Reel 1) Hurricane Mk Is of 111 Squadron at Northolt, 1939-1940. Fighter pilots practise air to air wireless communication by riding bicycles, fitted with radio sets in front of handle bars, across tarmac at Northolt. Experiment/training is watched by Station Commander Orlebar and visiting VIPs, including Leigh-Mallory (?). Cyclists later practise pursuit of "enemy", escaping on bicycles (without radios). Peter Powell and his dog. Morris car in use as (mobile) radio control centre. De Havilland Albatross taxies. Wellington I. Full Squadron of nine Hurricanes fly in different formations for visiting VIPs. Fairey Battles demonstrate bombing. Broadhurst's daughter in garden. Station Sports Day at Northolt.

(Reel 2) Farewell scene outside house in leafless English country. 15 June 1941: on board destroyer in convoy sailing through Dover Straits (Bomb Alley) towards Southampton (not seen), after volunteering to experience air power from naval perspective. COLOUR - Broadhurst playing with daughter, with daffodils in flower (Spring 1941 ?). Visit by AOC 11 Group Leigh-Mallory and Air Marshal Portal to RAF Hornchurch, which Broadhurst commands (23 December 1940 - 13 October 1941, 1 December 1941 - 14 May 1942). Cuthbert Orde holds up his portrait of Broadhurst in flying kit, part of officially commissioned series on Battle of Britain aces. Broadhurst washing spaniel with daughter. Churchill visits Hornchurch, also filmed by newsreel cameraman. October 1941: on board French liner to Halifax, Nova Scotia, with fighter pilots Wing Commanders Tuck and Malan, bomber pilot Hughie Edwards VC (105 Squadron) and senior bomber (bare-headed), for visit to USA to test fly US fighters, meet counterparts in USAAF and lecture on RAF battle experience. B&W - 25 October 1941: statue of Edward Cornwallis, founder of Halifax, and exterior of Nova Scotian Hotel. 28 October: flying in Liberator from Washington to New York, aerial views of Manhattan. COLOUR - Malan and USAAF pilot on airfield. Brilliant night shots of Broadway, including cinema showing John Ford's "How Green was My Valley" and advertisements for Chevrolet, Coca Cola, Planters Peanuts and Wrigleys Spearmint. B&W - 1 November: Broadhurst steps out of P-38 at Wright Field; Malan in P-43. Broadhurst, Tuck and Malan pose with USAAF hosts. General Spaatz in plane, then with Spaatz kingfishing off Tampa. 9 November 1941: at Spartansburg for USAAF manoeuvres; Martin bomber; P-43s with enemy markings; Lockheed Expediter; P-38s. 13 November 1941: at West Palm Beach. COLOUR - Tuck relaxing in waves with American family and at USAAF camp taking sun. B&W - Tuck and Malan inside B-25. 20 November 1941: Ottawa airfield (before return to Prestwick on 29 November 1941). Back at RAF Hornchurch: schoolgirl sits in Douglas Bader's Spitfire. 28 April 1942: President Benes presents Czechoslovak decorations to members of 313 Squadron based at Hornchurch. COLOUR - Oil paintings of Bader and Beamish by Cuthbert Orde. Daughter with spaniel and pig. MONOCHROME - Pigs in compound in station commander's garden at Hornchurch include piglet (consumed at Christmas 1941) presented to Broadhurst by de Havillands for test flying done on variable pitch propeller.

(Reel 3) B&W - Farewell photograph to mark Broadhurst's posting (May 1942) from Hornchurch to 11 Group as Deputy SASO (his centre seat unoccupied). COLOUR - Officers on lawn outside mess at RAF Hornchurch include Broadhurst's successor Group Captain George Lott, Comptroller and ex-actor Ronnie Adams, Duncan Smith (author of "Spitfire into Battle") and Army ack-ack commander beside window. Formation of Spitfire Mk Vbs of 64 Squadron (based Hornchurch, April-September 1942) in flight above clouds include one marked PP flown by Wing Commander Peter Powell. Caravan in garden of 11 Group HQ at Uxbridge, with batman cleaning Broadhurst's car. Free French of 340 Squadron (? - based Hornchurch, July-September 1942), including naval ratings as ground crew, receive decorations. B&W - 18 May 1942: welcoming party for Broadhurst at 11 Group with AOC Leigh-Mallory and members of his staff, including ASO Harcourt Smith. Daughter at St Catherine's School, near Guildford. 23 October 1942: farewell party with Leigh-Mallory on posting of Broadhurst from 11 Group as SASO to AOC Desert Air Force. COLOUR - daughter and two boys cycling in garden. 11 Group farewell party (brief). In B-25 over Gibraltar en route to Egypt. In desert, with driver Dai Rhys in jeep. AOA in forage cap is Elmhirst (later Air Marshal Sir Thomas). Wing Commander John Whitford, Chief Radar officer. Aerial view of Roman remains at Leptis Magna in Libya. Picnic on beach near Desert Air Force HQ. George Beamish (Broadhurst's successor) stands at entrance to Broadhurst's caravan. Air Marshal Coningham and his staff outside his own caravan. Sunset over desert. Broadhurst swimming in sea. New Years Eve party (December 1942) at Marble Arch in Libya, with station commander Jackie Darwin in full hunting pink, and Fred Rosier (who survived being shot down in flames over France in May 1940). Broadhurst at entrance to caravan. B&W - Germans in POW camp following Battle of El Alamein. Coningham with staff in desert. Beamish runs to desert latrine. Farewell picture with Coningham and Broadhurst in middle of staff by caravan. Coningham gets into his captured Fieseler Storch (shortly to become Broadhurst's), takes off and lands.

(Reel 4) COLOUR - 4 February 1943: 51st Highland Division at victory parade in Tripoli. USAAF B-17 named Mudhen stands with engines turning; Tedder in foreground. Churchill reviews troops from motorcade (tracking shot). Churchill sits with Montgomery outside, then inspects men of Broadhurst's Desert Air Force, before departing by car. (Broadhurst's adjutant pans rapidly.) Aerial view of sunset.

(Reel 5) Broadhurst gets into same Storch, takes off, lands on beach and gets out. Man on beach shielding his privates with towel. US gun firing at horizontal elevation across desert, with fighter flying low in strafing attack. Visit of Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands (dark glasses) to Broadhurst in desert. B&W - Eisenhower on visit to desert examines Broadhurst's Storch, which both then enter. In flight over Mareth Line at high altitude during Battle (March 1943). ACM Tedder when Commander at Tunis visits Desert Air Force and addresses RAF officers (also filmed by RAF cameraman). Aerial views of coast near Tripoli on flight to UK for pre-Invasion of Sicily conference, over Atlas Mountains to Gibraltar. Man dives into clear water. Boat off Tripoli. 22 June 1943: King George VI knights Air Marshal Francis Linnell (?) (Deputy C-in-C, HQ, RAF, ME) in desert and meets USAAF bomber and fighter crews introduced by Broadhurst as their Desert Air Force commander, with Montgomery in background. Broadhurst in same car as King while inspecting fighters in desert, still in Tripoli area. Air Commodore Whitney Straight water skis on long range fuel tank from behind Italian speedboat captured during invasion of Sicily (July 1943). Italian fishermen catch fish by dropping hand-grenades (captured from their own Army) into sea. At HQ in Sicily, with Air Commodore Kenneth Cross on left and commander of Tactical Light Bomber Force in North Africa and Italy Laurence Sinclair (tall officer). COLOUR - Speedboat with RAF roundel. Amphitheatre in mountains. During Battle of Sangro River (late November 1943) Sherman tank races down mountainside road and bombs drop in Sangro Valley. Sunset over coast. Aerial views over snow-covered mountains in Italy on Broadhurst's return to UK. Farewell party from his HQ staff. AOA John Whitford makes speech. COLOUR - Leigh-Mallory stands with Coningham, Montgomery and de Guingand in summer country in France (Mid-1944). Typhoons on airfield. Eisenhower with Broadhurst in Normandy. B&W, then COLOUR - Air Minister Sir Archibald Sinclair and 2nd TAF commander Coningham talk to airmen. B&W - Typhoons fly low. Churchill talks to troops in Normandy. COLOUR - Female song and dance ENSA performance for RAF. B&W - Typhoons demonstrate their destructive power firing rockets at captured Tiger tank on Normandy beachhead. (Photograph Archive CL 619 shows Broadhurst filming this scene.) Montgomery and Dempsey at beachhead. Back in UK schoolgirls visit Dunsfold air base to see Typhoons employed at bridgehead. 15 October 1944: King George VI dubs two Generals (Dempsey, Crocker ?) at open air investiture in Holland; Broadhurst receives CB and Bar to DFC; Montgomery leads Three Cheers for His Majesty. Broadhurst with General Dempsey.

(Reel 6) COLOUR - Unidentified country house (Philips of Eindhoven residence ?), with RAF officers posing outside. B&W - Aerial views of wintry snow-covered landscape. Coningham in winter of 1944 with Canadians in Holland. Miles Master plane. Broadhurst joins group relaxing in winter sunshine, skating and riding. Broadhurst with Army and RAF officers, including Group Captain Gordon. B&W, then COLOUR - Airborne fleet passes overhead for landings during Rhine Crossing (March 1945). Dempsey accompanies Speaker of House of Commons on visit to the Front in NW Europe. Graves of German soldiers. Highland Division pipes play at end of war in Europe (8 May 1945) at Lneburg Heath and perform sword dance, watched by visiting Red Army officers. B&W - Russians then take their leave of Dempsey. Fighter bombers attack German shipping attempting to escape from Schleswig in May 1945. MONOCHROME - Spitfire loops the loop (symbolising Allied Victory in Europe).

(Reel 7) (VHS tape only) Pre-war, B&W only. Cricket match. Three Gloster Gauntlets, with chequer markings of 19 Squadron, perform aerobatics; pilots and groundcrew pose for camera in front of planes. Albion bowser refuels Gauntlets, now fitted with spats; red flag flies as ammunition is checked on ground. Pan across unidentified airfield (Duxford?). Trophies for Sir Philip Sassoon Map Reading Test (1 May 1935) and Flight Attack Competition (5 May 1935); Eagle on plinth as prize. Humorous inscription marked up on side of airfield hut: Air Firin Instructors Carse. Rugger match in small stadium. Three Gauntlets, now minus spats, are refuelled by bowser; airscrew turning. Officers relax in deck chairs on lawn outside mess. K3891. Eating on airfield. Broadhurst in shot. Handley Page Heyford in background, Vickers Virginia in foreground, and overhead. Flare fired. Avro Anson on ground. Civilian spectators at air show watch three Gauntlets, tied together, perform aerobatics. Broadhurst's daughter seated on bonnet of black saloon (BXU 377) driven across field. Display of Sopwith triplane and earlier aircraft: Antoinette, Wright, Caudron. Large balloon descends in flames (presumably part of WWI recreation at air show). Heyford emits coloured smoke trails during aerobatic manoeuvres; Fairey Battle turning. Cricket match at airfield (Duxford?); aerials visible in background. Cricket team. Broadhurst visible at air station, with Hawker Harts in view. Board indicates names in 19 Squadron, including Broadhurst's. Prize cups. Squadron poses in front of fighters.

Amateur film shot by ACM Sir Harry Broadhurst, and occasionally by aides, of pre-Battle of Britain RAF activity, scenes during his wartime postings as commander of Hornchurch, visit to USA in November 1941, Deputy SASO to Leigh-Mallory at 11 Group, SASO to Coningham in Western Desert, AOC Allied Air Forces Western Desert and as 83 Group Commander Allied Expeditionary Air Force.




Technical Data

Running Time:
89 minutes
Film Gauge (Format):
B&W (part Colour)
1625 ft

Production Credits

Production Countries: