Wessex Film & Sound Archive


Second World War Collection

Wessex Film and Sound Archive (WFSA) covers Central Southern England, the core being Hampshire, and which included Bournemouth and Christchurch until 1974. Within this area, well over 15 hours of deposited original film footage, either complete in one reel or forming parts of others, relates to the Home Front and post War reconstruction period.

A wide range of topics is covered, filmed by both amateur and professional cameramen and women, including Civil Defence, evacuation, domestic life, school activities, supporting the War Effort through salvage, National Savings scheme, ‘Dig for Victory’, ‘Make Do and Mend’, ‘Wings for Victory’, the Blitz and its aftermath, War industries, aircraft production, Women War Workers, wartime weddings, shipping, ‘Lease Lend’, rationing, the preparations for D-Day, military training, Victory celebrations, commemorations, return to civil life, and the reconstruction of cities.

The highlights of this collection include ‘Calling Blighty’ – cinematic letters home from troops in India (AV7/10, AV1068/1); J Evans & Son engineering works -relocates during the War, but returns to Portsmouth afterwards(AV40/1,6); Sheppard family films of domestic life (AV237); Charminster Mixed and Alresford Schools during and after the War (AV567, AV916); ‘Port of Destiny’ – Southampton Docks through and beyond the War (AV45/8); St Mary’s Church, Southampton and Portsmouth Guildhall – devastated by the Blitz, but rebuilt by 1957 (AV544/3, AV638/1, AV40/3); Don Reynolds films of the rebuilding of Portsmouth (AV241,3).

For more information visit the archive's website and view the online catalogue.