Wartime in the South East

Dir: Various

United Kingdom (UK)


6 mins


To commemorate this years’ Poppy Appeal, Film Hub South East is delighted to make this archive compilation programme available to venues between 25 October – 31 March 2022. Perfect for playing before main features, this short film encompasses footage from across the region during the wartime period and features a newly commissioned score by silent film musician, Stephen Horne.

The programme captures the diverse range of experiences of everyday lives on the home front, including the Herne Bay A.R.P. service undergoing training during the early years of the Second World War, while the Special Police Force at Welwyn Garden City take a somewhat more happy-go-lucky approach to their training; in Ottershaw, Surrey, a family work to construct their own air raid shelter as school children in Hove get accustomed to gas masks in the classroom; and in the small village of Aspley Guise in Bedfordshire the community turn out to celebrate the official end to the War.

All footage courtesy of the East Anglian Film Archive at the University of East Anglia, and Screen Archive South East at the University of Brighton.

Booking Information

0207 636 7120


Available Formats

DVD or DCP download link


Independent Cinema Office (ICO)


Free to book

Films in the programme

Film still from Ottershaw


Ottershaw, Surrey | 1939 | Courtesy of Screen Archive South East

The Riley family start their wartime Air Raid Precautions with the installation of a Wilmot’s (Anderson) Air Raid Shelter in their garden.

Film still from A.R.P (Air Raid Precautions)

A.R.P (Air Raid Precautions)

Herne Bay, Kent | 1940 | Courtesy of Screen Archive South East

Herne Bay ARP Members train for bomb and gas-attacks; practising extinguishing incendiary devices and simulating the treatment of casualties.

Film still from Town and Family Scenes

Town And Family Scenes

Clacton-on-Sea, Essex | 1939-40 | Courtesy of East Anglian Film Archive

Evacuees arrive at Clacton station before settling in at their new homes, while shops in the town the centre are shown boarded up in preparation for potential air raids.

Film still from Salute the Soldier Week

Salute The Soldier Week

Aspley Guise, Bedfordshire | 1944 | Courtesy of East Anglian Film Archive

Villagers take part in ‘Salute the Soldier’ week, a national fundraising effort to encourage civilians to place their money in government accounts, as Britain prepares for a final assault on Nazi Germany.

Film still from Captain Rowsell's Norwich

Captain Rowsell's Norwich

Norwich, Norfolk | 1942-45 | Courtesy of East Anglian Film Archive

Rare footage of a bomb-damaged Norwich following Baedeker Raids of April 1942, filmed by an American USAAF pilot, Captain Rowsell.

Film still from Girl Guides at Gog Magog Hills

Girl Guides at Gog Magog Hills

Cambridgeshire | 1943 | Courtesy of East Anglian Film Archive

Footage from “The Gogs” of local Girl Guides, who made a vital contribution to the war effort – from becoming electricians and mechanics to painting curbs white for people to find their way in a black out.

Film still from VE Day Party

VE Day Party

Aspley Guise, Bedfordshire | 1945 | Courtesy of East Anglian Film Archive

As the sky darkens in Aspley Guise, villagers dance and light street lamps for the first time in five and a half years as Britain celebrates long into the night.

Film still from VJ Days

VJ Days

Aspley Guise, Bedfordshire | 1945 | Courtesy of East Anglian Film Archive T

Three months after celebrating victory in Europe, the Bedfordshire village of Aspley Guise return to the streets to celebrate the as Japan surrender to the Allied Forces.

Air Raid Practice - Knoll School Hove

Hove, East Sussex | c. 1940 | Courtesy of Screen Archive South East

Made by the Borough of Hove with Hove’s Air Raid Precautions (ARP) ‘M’ Group, this film illustrates various classroom activities and air raid drills undertaken at Knoll Primary School, Hove.

About the Archives

The East Anglian Film Archive

The East Anglian Film Archive (EAFA) is the regional film archive for the East of England. Established in 1976, EAFA was awarded National Archives Accreditation Status in 2017. EAFA’s holdings of film, video and digital moving images are rich and varied and include unique collections from ITV Anglia, BBC East, and the Institute of Amateur Cinematographers (IAC). The East Anglian Film Archive (EAFA) is owned and operated by the University of East Anglia and has been an accredited archive under the National Archives Accreditation Scheme since 2017. The collection comprises about 12,000 hours of film and up to 30,000 hours of videotape. The content mainly relates to the East of England region (Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Norfolk and Suffolk).  It also includes collections of national and international content.  EAFA’s mission statement:  ‘The East Anglian Film Archive will strive to be a sector leading moving image archive inspiring new and diverse audiences through technological innovation.’

Screen Archive South East

Screen Archive South East (SASE) is a public sector moving image archive serving the South East of England. SASE is part of the School of Media at the University of Brighton. Its function is to collect, preserve, research and provide access to screen material related to this region and of general relevance to the study of screen history. Our screen collection consists of magic lantern slides, film, videotape, digital files and associated hardware and documentation. It includes material made by individuals, families, cine-clubs, public services, communities, and companies. These records capture many varied aspects of life, work and creativity, from the 19th to the 21st centuries and serve as a rich and invaluable historical resource.

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