Life on the Home Front

East Anglian Film Archive

A short compilation of scenes of the Second World War home-front filmed by amateur films makers around the Eastern region.

A silent compilation of archive film from the collections at the East Anglian Film Archive to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day in May 2020.

Drawing on films shot by several film makers across the region, this compilation includes scenes of a family holiday in August 1939 contrasted with preparations for war the following month, evacuees arriving by train, village fundraising for War Weapons Week, ARP training, Norwich scenes and VE day celebrations in May 1945.

The compilation uses content from the following EAFA titles:

– Cat 536: ‘Town And Family Scenes’, Clacton-on-Sea, Essex (1939-40)
– Cat 1292: [Captain Rowsell’s Norwich], Norwich, Norfolk (1945)
– Cat 1698: ‘VE Day Party’, Aspley Guise, Bedfordshire (1945)
– Cat 1702: ‘Aspley Guise and Woburn Sands War Weapons Week’, Aspley Guise, Bedfordshire (1941)
– Cat 8551: [Dixon / Spittle Collection. Reel 11] (1939)
– Cat 8626: [Dixon / Spittle Collection. Reel 12] (1940s)

Background Information:

On VE Day the East Anglian Film Archive (EAFA) presents a snapshot of life on the home front in this ten-minute compilation film.

With scenes from Aspley Guise and Woburn Sands War Weapons Week, Norwich city centre after the Baedeker raids, and street parties celebrating VE Day, we hope that the film will offer a look back in time at some familiar places whilst rekindling memories of the region’s tenacity, resilience and positivity – something which no doubt many will be calling on once again at this time.

The footage was produced by some important amateur filmmakers whose collections are held by EAFA: Aspley Guise resident A.R. Sinfield, USAAF radar and communications officer Captain Charles Rowsell, Cambridge University don Trevor Spittle, and East Essex Gazette photographer Herbert Smerdon all documented their lives during wartime. More information about the filmmakers and their films can be found by searching our website.

This compilation was originally due to be shared on the 75th anniversary of VE Day in 2020, but the pandemic meant this was not possible, so we are very pleased to be able to share it in 2021.




This page was added on 05/05/2021.

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