Salute the Soldier Week

Archive: Yorkshire Film Archive
ID No.: 2296
Title: Salute the Soldier Week
Date: 1944
Film-maker: Mr Thorne
Colour: Black & White
Sound: Silent
Duration of complete item: 15 min.
Themes: Community Life; Parades & Campaigning


An amateur film that documents fundraising events for the ‘Salute the Soldier Week’ held at Chapeltown, a village on the outskirts of Sheffield, South Yorkshire, during the Second World War.


The film opens in the centre of Chapeltown where a target board shows that the ‘Salute the Soldier Week’ aims to raise £30,000. A parade which includes nurses, policemen, the ATS (Womens Auxiliary Territorial Service) and American troops marches through the village, led by a brass band. The parade ends in Chapeltown Park where a Major gives a speech from the bandstand.

At Newton Chambers, the huge steel and chemical factory based just outside the village, children are given rides on the factory's train, which has ‘Salute the Soldier’ banners attached to the side of it. A cartoon on a board encourages people to throw sponges at the faces of Hitler, Franco and Mussolini. On the station platform a group of American GI’s walk to the camera, one of them then smiles and salutes. More American GI’s hold a basketball game for the crowd and a small dog joins in the fun as they play.

An ARP (Air Raid Precaution) Unit performs fire drills on a field. They light a huge bonfire then work together to put it out as quickly as possible.

Home Guard officers use the centre of the Chapeltown village to carry out mock fights using smoke bombs and dummy guns, and pretending to shoot one another across the village streets. A large crowd gathers to watch. Some first aid exercises are also carried out. The film closes at the village pub where there are some final Home Guard exercises. A number of the Guard get pulled into the first floor window by ropes, one sits on the window sill and smiles to the camera.


Mr Thorne was a local dentist who filmed in Chapeltown and the surrounding area throughout the Second World War. He captured community activities and the Home Guard in training, as well as a unique record of the American troops who were based near the village.

This film of Salute the Soldier Week reflects many of the morale boosting and money raising events that took place across Britain during the war. Communities and towns around the country were encouraged to hold local campaigns to raise money for the war effort through events such as 'War Weapons Week', 'Warship Week', 'Wings for Victory' or 'Salute the Soldier'.

Salute the Soldier Week (1944)

Salute the Soldier Week (1944)

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