ARP/ Malton Evacuees

Archive: Yorkshire Film Archive
ID No.: 1982
Title: ARP/ Malton Evacuees
Date: 1939
Film-maker: Mr Folliott-Ward
Colour: Colour
Sound: Silent
Duration of complete item: 7 min.
Themes: Civil Defence - Civilian Services; Children in War-time; Displaced People;


An amateur film showing aspects of life in the town of Malton, North Yorkshire, during the Second World War. The film shows an air raid precautions drill in the town centre, and the arrival of evacuees from Hull and Middlesbrough. The film uses intertitles throughout, describing who is being filmed and where the activities take place.


The first intertitle, ‘Decontamination Squad, Malton May 1939’, introduces the ARP unit in Malton Market Square practicing for a gas attack. The ARP unit wear rubber suits, boots and gas masks and work together to hose down the street and sweep away any dangerous matter from an attack. A crowd gather around to watch the proceedings.

The second intertitle reads ‘Government Evacuation Scheme, First Arrivals in Malton from Hull, 1st September 1939’. Scenes at Malton railway station show crowds of children as they wait to meet their host families. The evacuees who are staying with the Folliott-Ward family are then shown at the family’s garden, playing with the film-makers children.

The next intertitle reads ‘Malton Vs St Mary’s Convent School, Middlesbrough’. A netball match takes place in a school field, between some of the girls seen at the station and Malton’s Grammar School. There are then scenes at Castle Howard in winter. A large group of the girls including the film-makers daughters stand on a frozen lake together; they giggle as they slip and slide about on the ice.

A further intertitle ‘Newland’s Convent School, August 1940’ precedes scenes of some of the evacuees putting on a physical education display for a crowd of spectators at Malton Grammar School. We then see a parade of the Royal Fusiliers pass by St Michael’s Church in Malton Market Square, led by the 6th West Yorkshire regiment brass band.

The film then moves onto Christmas time where the intertitle ‘Home for Christmas! Newlands Convent School 20 Dec 1939’ precedes scenes at Malton Railway Station. A large group of girls, all in school uniform, are gathered on the platform ready to go home. They all turn and look at camera. Another intertitle reads ‘Home for Christmas Hull Commercial College 22 Dec 1939’ more girls stand in a group and pose.

A final intertitle reads ‘Christmas Party for Evacuees 26 Dec 1939’. There are interior scenes of both boys and girls at tables eating festive food, laughing and wearing party hats. There is then an exterior sequence showing a group of girls including the Folliott-Ward’s playing on a frozen pond, each runs up and skates towards the camera. The film ends with short sequences showing the filmmaker's friends.


In the months running up to the Second World War the government anticipated that, in the event of conflict, heavy aerial bombing raids would be likely to focus on the nation's chief urban and industrial centres. In September 1939, with the outbreak of war imminent, evacuations of children from large cities such as Hull began to take place. As a result a great many children were moved to more rural areas such as Malton, as witnessed in this film.

As the war progressed Hull was to receive devastating air raids, particularly during the 'Blitz' attacks of 1941, second only to the destruction faced by London.

The Folliott-Ward’s family films span from 1936-1942. Mr Folliott-Ward was a local solicitor, keen filmmaker and an active member of the community. He helped to organise homes for the evacuees who came to Malton, and opened his home to several of the children who had been sent to there. His films we donated to the Yorkshire Film Archive by his daughter, Heather, who has shared some of her memories of the friendships with the children who came to stay with them as evacuees during the Second World War.

ARP/ Malton Evacuees (1939)

ARP/ Malton Evacuees (1939)

ARP/ Malton Evacuees (1939)

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