Dig for Victory

Archive: South West Film & Television Archive
ID No.: x4120
Title: Dig for Victory
Date: 1940 or 1941
Film-maker: Mr Parriss
Colour: Colour
Sound: Silent
Duration of complete item: 9 min. 14 sec.
Themes: Children in War-time; Home & Family Life


Amateur spoof film by the Parriss family of the British propaganda 'dig for victory' campaign.


The film clip used here shows family members digging in the ground in their garden. Three children in the family look at them, over the garden fence. An intertitle reads 'what are you digging for?'. The reply reads 'victory!'. The adults are shown using a planting guide entitled 'In Your Garden: Gardening at a Glance'. The children look at the guide and point at different parts of it.

The film then cuts to showing a close-up of hands lighting a match and starting a bonfire. The children help the father to tend to the fire. The father gets smoke in his eyes and sends one of the boys off to get their gas masks. The father and the three children all put on their gas masks and return to tending the fire without being bothered by the smoke. The youngest girl's gas mask is the junior issue red 'mickey mouse' style gas mask. The two boys pretend to have a conversation by the fire whilst wearing their masks.


This is one of the few wartime films from prolific amateur filmmaker Mr Parriss, using his last roll of colour film. This film is the Parriss family's humorous response to the Government's campaign calling for the public to 'dig for victory' by converting their gardens into vegetable patches.

The complete item tells the story of the day, starting with getting out of bed and opening the curtains to assess the weather and ending with the whole family (including Grandparents) gathering at the end of the day. It also shows a government issue planting guide being used.

This is the only film held at SWFTA, which specifically deals with wartime families turning over their gardens to food production for personal use.

The Parriss Collection of films, is the work of a father and son team, both of whom worked for the gas board. Because it is a dual collection it has an unusual span, 1930s to 1970s.


Dig for Victory (1940/1941)

Dig for Victory (1940/1941)

Dig for Victory (1940/1941)

Play Clip


Windows Media Format
Low / Medium / High

Get Windows Media Player

MPEG4 format
Medium / High

Get Quicktime