Empire at War

The two defining global conflicts of the 20th century were not only fought for Britain’s Empire but by Britain’s Empire. From Indian troops on the front line in the Great War to West African troops serving in the jungles of Burma, these films document the often unseen contribution of imperial subjects to Britain’s war efforts. During World War Two, official film propaganda became an increasingly important means of disseminating information about the war to both British and colonial audiences. Armed Forces film units were established to gather film footage from the theatres of conflict, and unedited material shot by these army cameramen provides an intimate record of the Empire at war.  

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DEFENDERS OF INDIA (1941) enhanced entry

A tribute to the Indian troops who had fought in the Libyan campaign.

Over film of Indian troops marching ...


FAR EAST WAR MAGAZINE NUMBER 1 (1945) enhanced entry

Two items on the logistic aspects of the campaign in Burma: the "bloodless battle" of the latter stages ...


FATHER AND SON (1945)has video enhanced entry

A film which contrasts the old and the new outlooks in Kenya. An elder of a coastal village has a ...


FIJI RETURN (1945) enhanced entry

Incomplete version (the beginning is missing) of a film about the return home of Fijian soldiers who took ...


FOOD FROM THE EMPIRE (1940)has video enhanced entry

Film showing the food contributions supplied to Britain by various colonies and dominions.

Although more land has been given ...


FORTRESS CEYLON (1945) enhanced entry

A view of Ceylon towards the end of the war, looking back over the period of defensive war, ...


GENERAL ALLENBY'S ENTRY INTO JERUSALEM (1918)has video enhanced entry

I. Newsreel item on the entry of General Allenby into Jerusalem and the reading of his proclamation, Palestine, ...


HE'S IN THE NAVY (1940) enhanced entry

Film showing what happens when a boy joins the Royal Indian Navy.

Footage of India's coastline is used as ...


HILLMEN GO TO WAR (1944)has video enhanced entry

PROPAGANDA. The way in which Indian hill tribes make contributions to the War effort.

An annual religious festival accompanied by music ...


HISTORY OF THE WAR: EMPIRE TROOPS (1917) enhanced entry

A history of the Great War, focussing on troops from the Empire.

An opening title outlines the scenes depicted within the ...


IN RURAL MAHARASHTRA (1945)has video enhanced entry

Scenes of the life of a farmer and his family in Maharashtra during the changing seasons of the year.


INDIA MARCHES (1941)has video enhanced entry

A brief look at an Indian Army Regiment (15th Punjab).

Material includes reveill; arms drill; bayonet practice; signals training ...