[Procedures in the Event of an Enemy Attack]

Archive: Screen Archive South East
ID No.: 3238
Title: [Procedures in the Event of an Enemy Attack]
Date: 1941?
Film-maker: Unknown
Colour: Black & White
Sound: sound
Duration of complete item: 15 min. 42 sec.
Themes: Civil Defence - Home Guard


A film depicting the defence procedures of the West Sussex Home Guard. The narrative is centred around the fictional town of Onebridge and uses commentary to introduce the staged scenes.


The local Home Guard Battalion Commander chairs an emergency meeting in the fictional town of Onebridge. Representatives from local civil defence groups and public service bodies, including the food executive, the medical officer of health, the town surveyor and the district transport officer, all acknowledge their roles in the event of an enemy invasion. The 10th Battalion of the Wessex Home Guard call for volunteers - a posted letter reads, "those with expert knowledge of building and construction are needed to assist in the making of field works and defences."

Members of the Home Guard battalion are filmed in various outdoor training exercises - they practice on the firing range, handle numerous weapons including a Browning machine gun, a Browning automatic and bayonets, and learn about map reading. Platoon commanders plan the network of defence in the countryside around Onebridge. Later, these lines of defence are tested by a visiting General who upsets expectations by walking rather than driving to the roadblocks. The Home Guard respond positively to the General's surprise tactics - an animated map details their response. The General joins Colonel Gundar (?) on a tour of inspection, visiting the camouflaged gun positions, roadblocks and trip wires which populate the countryside surrounding the arterial roads. A mobile reserve receives its orders before the film ends abruptly - the end of the film appears to be missing.


This film provides an interesting record of the Home Guard, offering positive images of the weaponry, the troops and the activities of the civil defence body in West Sussex.

The production context of this film is unknown but it is highly probable that it was a training film made and/or commissioned by the West Sussex Home Guard. Screen Archive South East holds three other training films which are in the same vein. One of these films is known to have been produced by a commander of the West Sussex Home Guard - commanders were responsible for the training of new recruits and films were one of the inventive methods employed by some to do this.



[Procedures in the Event of an Enemy Attack] (1941)

[Procedures in the Event of an Enemy Attack] (1941)

[Procedures in the Event of an Enemy Attack] (1941)

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