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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AFRICA'S FIGHTING MEN

AFRICA'S FIGHTING MEN (1943)has video enhanced entry

An illustration of the role of African servicemen in the Second World War. The King's African Rifles and the Royal ...

 

AIR FORCE AND JAPS DOWNED, BURMA, 30 JANUARY 1942 (1942) enhanced entry

Burma, 30 January 1942. American Volunteer Group (AVG), Two Curtiss P-40 Tomahawk fighter aircraft warming up for take-off on a ...

ALERT IN THE EAST

ALERT IN THE EAST (1941)has video enhanced entry

A survey of the strategic situation of the British Empire in the Far East in the face of ...

 

ARMS FROM INDIA (1941) enhanced entry

A survey of the involvement of India's Home Front in the war effort.

An opening sequence of blackout, ARP ...

 

BASUTO TROOPS ON ACTIVE SERVICE (1945) enhanced entry

A film made for African audiences showing how Basuto troops are occupied in the Allied cause.

A title reads 'Middle East: ...

 

BATTLES OF CORONEL AND FALKLAND ISLANDS (1927) enhanced entry

DRAMA. Historical/Documentary. The reconstruction of two sea engagements of the First World War - the Battles of the Coronel of ...

BELMONT SCHOOL GOES TO NASSAU BAHAMAS

BELMONT SCHOOL GOES TO NASSAU BAHAMAS (1941)has video enhanced entry

Amateur film shot by a local Bahamian cameraman records the life in the Bahamas of the twenty English evacuee schoolboys ...

 

BLACK TENT (1956) enhanced entry

An army captain wanders, wounded, into a Bedouin tent, and is nursed by the Sheik's daughter, whom he marries.He returns ...

 

BRITISH AND INDIAN TROOPS LIBERATE RAMREE TOWN (1945) enhanced entry

On Ramree Island off the Arakan coast of Burma, local civilians welcome British troops, who go sightseeing with ...

 

BRITISH PARAMOUNT NEWS ISSUE 1173 (1942) enhanced entry

British newsreel covering the British retreat through Burma, an exclusive report by British Paramount cameraman Maurice Ford.

Opening titles ...

 

BURMA VICTORY (1945) enhanced entry

Film about the Allied victory in Burma.

Introduction briefly outlines the geography and climate of Burma, and the extent ...

 

CYPRUS GOES TO WAR (1941) enhanced entry

Mules on Mount Olympus. Scottish soldiers eating at Othello's Tower at Famagusta, Cyprus. Soldiers cheering. Local farmers employing traditional farming ...

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 ...

 

INDIAN NEWS PARADE NO 67 (23/6/1944) (1944) enhanced entry

I. "NATIONAL DEFENCE COUNCIL MEMBERS WITH INDIAN TROOPS IN THE MIDDLE EAST" Touring members of the National Defence Council meet ...

INDIAN NEWS PARADE NO 70 (14/7/1944)

INDIAN NEWS PARADE NO 70 (14/7/1944) (1944)has video enhanced entry

I. "WEST AFRICAN'S ROLE IN INDIA'S DEFENCE" West African troops, "toughened by the toughest climate in the world", arrive in ...

 

LIBERATION OF YENANGYAUNG (1945) enhanced entry

Indian troops of 4th Battalion, 15th Punjab Regiment (33rd Brigade, 7th Indian Division) reoccupy the oil town of ...

LIFE IN AIR COMMAND SOUTH EAST ASIA

LIFE IN AIR COMMAND SOUTH EAST ASIA (1945)has video enhanced entry

Reel 1: Model of India, filmed at low angle with crawl of text; RAF Film Production Unit presents Life in ...

 

LT. GEN. STONE PRESENTS B.E.M. TO EAST AFRICAN (1944) enhanced entry

Private Valentino Owori of the East African Pioneer Corps receives the British Empire Medal from Lieutenant General R.G.W.H. ...

MALTA GC

MALTA GC (1943)has video enhanced entry

Film about the Axis air offensive against Malta.

British supply effort, upon which the island is dependent, is rendered ...

 

MANDALAY - RANGOON (1947) enhanced entry

Scenes of post-war Burma. The funeral procession is most likely that of Bogyoke Aung San (leader of the ...

 

MARCH OF TIME 8TH YEAR NO. 2 (1942) enhanced entry

The Indian contribution to the war effort.

Titles. Long lines of Indian troops advancing towards camera. A busy Indian street, ...

 

NEWFOUNDLANDERS AT WAR (1941) enhanced entry

A picture of the contribution made to Britain's war effort by people from Newfoundland.

The film, which has throughout ...

OPERATIONS OF THE BRITISH EXPEDITIONARY FORCES IN EAST AFRICA

OPERATIONS OF THE BRITISH EXPEDITIONARY FORCES IN EAST... (1916)has video enhanced entry

The British campaign in German East Africa, late 1915 to early 1916.

Soldiers of the King's African Rifles patrolling ...

 

OUR EMPIRE'S FIGHT FOR FREEDOM - PART 2 (1918) enhanced entry

Semi-contemporary material of the first British forces in France and the creation of the massed armies in Britain ...

 

PLANES OF HINDUSTAN (1940) enhanced entry

Documentary on life in the Indian Air Force (IAF) culminates with a plea to Indian audience for more ...

 

REOCCUPATION OF THE ANDAMAN ISLANDS (7/10/1945) (1945) enhanced entry

Shot on 7 October 1945: footage from a landing craft approaching the shore showing two Landing Craft Assaults (LCAs) and ...

 

REPORT FROM BURMA (1945) enhanced entry

An interim report on the progress of the Fourteenth Army offensive in Burma.

Description of the logistic problems of ...

 

SUEZ IN PERSPECTIVE (1957) enhanced entry

A justification of the Anglo-French 'intervention' in Suez.

Introduction sketches background: Britain's "thankless and difficult" task in Palestine mandate; ...

 

the ANGLO-FRENCH AGGRESSION AGAINST EGYPT (1956) enhanced entry

Egyptian film of the Suez Incident.

Port Said - tourists, government building programme, increased prosperity following upon Suez Canal ...

 

the BATTLE FOR FREEDOM (1942) enhanced entry

The world in the 3rd year of war - a mixture of caution ("Today our world faces its ...

the EMPIRE MARCHES

the EMPIRE MARCHES (1941)has video enhanced entry

A picture, early in the war, of the armed solidarity of the British Empire.

The film serves to illustrate ...

 

the GEN NO 12 (1945) enhanced entry

I. "S.E.A.C." a. WAAFs arrive (by ship) in India and, as well as starting new duties, do some sightseeing. b. ...

 

the HANDYMEN (1941) enhanced entry

The work and training of the (Royal Bombay) Sappers and Miners; film stresses the military importance of their ...

 

the STILWELL ROAD (1945) enhanced entry

The construction of a supply route through Burma's jungles and mountains by US troops under General Joseph Stilwell ...

 

UNIVERSAL NEWS (1942) enhanced entry

I. "News from Ceylon." Admiral Sir Geoffrey Layton, Commander-in-Chief of Ceylon, and Sir Henry Turnbull, Officer in Command, are escorted ...

 

VICTORY PARADE (1946) enhanced entry

Colonial troops in England for the Victory Parade on 8 June 1946.

Colonial troops arrive in Britain for the Victory Parade. ...

WAR CAME TO KENYA

WAR CAME TO KENYA (1941)has video enhanced entry

Kenya's first two years of war.

Opens with establishing shots - Mount Kenya, wild-life, black schoolchildren, white settlers; maps ...