South West Film & Television Archive


Second World War Collection

SWFTA serves the South West of England (Isles of Scilly up to and including Gloucestershire and Wiltshire) and has acquired ( and continues to acquire) a wide range of materials reflecting life in the South West during the Second World War.

The films featured on this site were chosen from the collection to represent the common experience of those living in the South West and concentrate on domestic life. Amateur films show families and communities during war-time attempting to 'carry on as normal' or deal with the changes taking place around them; Home Guard film shows training activities in Truro; film of the Exeter Blitz shows the devastation caused by the bombings in April 1942; and footage of VE day celebrations mark the end of the war. The selection also includes film that shows rebuilding after the Second World War, as this helps to illustrate the wave of post-war reconstruction that took place in the South West in the 1940s and 1950s.

The majority of the material represented here, was shot by amateurs, who (with one exception) were making films before war broke out. All were affected by the scarcity of film stock and the few films they were able to make were influenced by filming prohibition orders.

The films available here are a very small part of SWFTA Second World War collection – please contact the archive if you want to know more.

Click on the links to see and read about war-time films from the South West.

Contact the archive to find out more.