This film is held by the Imperial War Museum (ID: MGH 3582).


Amateur film shot by Guy Wickenden shows the public life and celebrations of the British in pre-1940 Cairo, voyage home to UK in 1937, arrival of the 2nd New Zealand Division in 1941 and Wickenden's young family evacuated to South Africa in 1943.

REEL 1 - English School Old Boys' football match. Inside Kasr el Nil Barracks, Armistice Day service ? (brief shot). Cairo troop of Boy Scouts at camp. Sports Day. "King George V Jubilee Celebrations" (1935): Military parade by units including Royal Horse Artillery, armoured cars, camouflage-painted trucks, motorbikes and marchpast by Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders (?) and Welsh (?) Guards, plus flypast, is watched by British Ambassador to Egypt Sir Miles Lampson and Lady Jacqueline Lampson, seen arriving. Members of the British Boy Scouts and Girl Guides parade in the afternoon. A decorated chariot, marked Silver Jubilee 1910-1935 and adorned with girls representing the colonies of the British Empire, passes by; Wickenden's future wife Dorothy symbolises Tanganyika. Street scenes in the Musty brass and copper bazaar. Scouts play around at a swimming pool in Cairo. Boys from the English School in Cairo spend Easter camping at Maadi. Sports Day of the English School at Willcocks Ground beside the Gezira Club. "King George VI Coronation Celebrations, Cairo, 12 May 1937": Early in the morning at Gezira Club Polo Field Sir Miles Lampson and the mounted GOC Egypt attend a military display: Valentias and Gladiators fly overhead, Vickers Mark II tanks and armoured cars drive past. Cameraman with tripod covers event professionally. Flypast. In afternoon mounted knight (Hugo Holmes, son of Judge Holmes of the Mixed Courts) in armour leads parade by Boy Scouts. A chariot, topped by a crown and representing the colonies of the British Empire, passes by; Dorothy again participates in the pageant. "Laying the foundation stone of the English School, Heliopolis, 12 March 1938": bespectacled Sir Robert Greg (Commissioner for the Public Debt in Egypt, 1930-1940) greets Sir Miles and Lady Lampson upon their arrival for the ceremony; Lord Lloyd is identifiable by black topper. Egyptian guests include bespectacled Copt Sesostris Sidarous Pasha, pro-Axis future Prime Minister Ali Maher Pasha (August 1938-June 1940), King Farouk's uncle and heir dapper, white-bearded pro-British Prince Mohammed Ali and corpulent Ziwar Pasha. Archdeacon Johnson (later Bishop of Egypt) and Headmaster of the English School C.B. Owen are also present. Consecration of Cathedral of All Saints, Cairo. REEL 2 - COLOUR - Dorothy (daughter of manager of Egyptian Delta Land and Development Company) in the Maadi Club gardens outside Cairo; walking to play tennis, followed by Egyptian ballboy. Swimming pool scenes. Bougainvillea and oleander in Maadi village. House of Princess Fawzieh, Farouk's eldest sister. Trooping the Colour Parade 1938 or 1939: GOC rides back towards his residence at Willcocks Ground; Irish Guards marching back after ceremony. Public gardens on Gezira Island, with canna lilies. Guy Wickenden with Dorothy and pet dog. February 1940: arrival in late afternoon of New Zealand 2nd Division by train at Maadi, where band plays ceremonial welcome. 1943: Wickenden family on beach in East London after evacuation of Dorothy and babies John and Peter to South Africa. Train journey to Capetown, and on Muizenberg beach. Back in UK, in Dorset and Palmeira Square, Hove. REEL 3 - B&W - June 1937: voyage home to UK, on board P&O vessel Moldavia off Gibraltar; dolphins, Europa Point. German pocket battleship (one of three forming part of Non-Intervention Control during Spanish Civil War) at anchor off Tangier. Arab vendors in boats alongside Wickenden's ship. Back in UK: country at Friston, Sussex; Windsor Castle, Long Walk in Windsor Great Park. Back in Egypt: Wickendens playing with terriers in Dorothy's garden at Maadi; excavation work at Saqqara; street scenes at time of King Farouk's wedding (January 1938).



  • BRITISH COMMUNITY IN CAIRO, 1935-40 (Allocated)

Technical Data

Running Time:
20 minutes
Film Gauge (Format):
B&W (part Colour)
797 ft

Production Credits

Production Countries:
Wickenden, Guy