This film is held by the Imperial War Museum (ID: MGH 4570).


START 00:00:00 Colour footage of animals at Durban Zoo, South Africa: a lion and lioness in their enclosure. Seals by a pool. A rhinoceros in its enclosure. Ostriches in their enclosure.

00:00:34. Colour footage of birds at Colombo Zoo, Sri Lanka (Ceylon): Blundell identifies them as an Australian cockatoo, a cassowary (a flightless bird with a crest on its head and bright red-coloured throat markings), a secretary bird, a jungle cock, a parakeet, a golden pheasant, under-exposed shots of unidentified birds, a pelican, seen here stretching its wings, a spoonbill, a Lawrence pheasant, a bird of paradise, more under-exposed shots of an unidentifiable bird and a roseate-headed parakeet.

00:04:05 Scenes filmed at Scapa Flow in either 1941 or 1942 with two crewmates from HMS Nelson, 'Doc' Houghton and Rickie Richards, cuddling a lamb on Hoy.

00:04:28 Scenes filmed in Ceylon, circa March 1940: a young Buddhist priest in saffron robes, holding an umbrella and porcupines and zebras at a zoo. A Sri Lankan elephant handler with his tame female elephant who performs various tricks with him that would normally lead to severe injury or death as well as doing some stunts herself. Two lion cubs who are introduced by their zoo keeper (?) to a tiger cub - they are indifferent to each other's presence. A brief glimpse at a marmoset, a black bear, a crane and a heron.

00:08:46 Scenes featuring trees and plants in bright shades of red - those identified by Blundell are a flame tree, frangipani, bougainvillea - and yellow jasmine.

00:11:18 A view of the Colombo Municipal Council building. Yellow acacias. Bird life and plants in the garden of G K Pippet, a senior Ceylon police commander, filmed on 14 April 1940: as identified by Blundell, they are a mynah bird, a robin, a seven sisters plant, and a bulbul, a species of song bird. A chameleon.

00:14:10 Two snake charmers with their cobras. The Danish merchant ship SS Danmark in Colombo after the vessel had been intercepted by the Royal Navy following the occupation of Denmark by Nazi Germany on 9 April 1940; note the national colours painted on her hull fore and aft and her name in large white lettering.

00:15:11 Scenes during a visit by HMS Kent to Saloman Islands, part of the Chagos group of islands in the Indian Ocean that includes Diego Garcia, circa 27 May 1940: two pretty young local women with several naval officers, a young officer (identified by Blundell as the young Prince Philip) astride the trunk of a coconut tree, a view of the tropical shore, a jetty and a crucifix (?) in the foreground, and a large variety of colourful tropical fish caught by fishermen in the nearly lagoon.

END 00:17:24

A compilation of silent 8mm colour shots of colourful and exotic flora and fauna filmed by Lieutenant-Commander George C Blundell whilst serving in the Indian Ocean and at Scapa Flow in 1940 and 1941.


Summary: with the rank of Lieutenant-Commander, George Blundell (1904-1997) served on board HMS Kent as a torpedo and electrical specialist from December 1937 to January 1941. As HMS Kent was not armed with torpedoes, Blundell was put in charge of the depth charge party and the ship's anchors as well as serving as the China Station's fleet torpedo officer until the end of 1939. Following HMS Kent's return to the UK for repairs and a refit in December 1940, he was posted to HMS Nelson in the following February and served on the battleship until November 1943, by which time he had been promoted to the rank of Commander.

Remarks: yet more evidence of Blundell's interest in plants and birds, a preoccupation he shared with many amateur cine-photographers with access to colour film stock at this time.




Technical Data

Running Time:
17 minutes
Film Gauge (Format):
208 ft (ca)

Production Credits

Production Countries:
Blundell, G C (Captain)