Dig for Victory

Keeping the nation fed and healthy was the greatest priority of the Home Front. Women replaced absent farm workers, while ordinary Britons were exhorted to 'grow their own'.

'Dig for Victory' was perhaps most successful official campaign of the Home Front, with Britons in their millions picking up their trowels and learning the art of the compost heap. Acre after acre of parkland, waste ground - even back gardens - became makeshift vegetable plots. Just as the factories were constantly increasing their productivity, great efforts were made to increase agricultural yields, while the 'land girls' of the Women's Land Army enthusiastically took the place of farmworkers fighting overseas.

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Start a Land ClubStart a Land Club

Government sponsored film19428 mins

The wartime potato shortage is addressed in this marvellous film from 1942 - exhorting workers and school children to lend a hand on local farms by joining Land Clubs.

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Wartime harvestingWartime harvesting

Amateur film19445 minsSilent Location: Otford

World War II's Food Front is seen here in the fields of Kent as farmers labour to get the harvest in on time. By way of entertainment, a barrage balloon sinks majestically to earth.

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Heronsdale Manor HarvestHeronsdale Manor Harvest

Amateur film19423 minsSilent Location: Waldron

The war seems far away in this pastoral film but suddenly there's a reminder when a flight of Hurricanes pass overhead. Then it's back to the work of feeding the nation.

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Oliver's Orchard FarmOliver's Orchard Farm

Amateur film19442 minsSilent Location: Colchester

Women workers were in the majority at Oliver's Orchard during the war but a couple of young men here were some unexpected guests as two German prisoners-of-war joined the force.

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Devonian Farm Life in Wartime HeantonDevonian Farm Life in Wartime Heanton

Amateur film194012 minsSilent Location: Heanton Punchardon

Wartime Farmers aim for self-sufficiency in North Devon's Heanton

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Cotswold ClubCotswold Club

Documentary194411 mins Location: Somerton

How Somerton, Oxfordshire benefits from membership of the Village Produce Association during WWII.

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Salute to FarmersSalute to Farmers

Documentary194114 mins

With feeding the nation a wartime priority, agricultural workers are heralded as soldiers of the plough.

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Beck Collection 2Beck Collection 2

Home movie19422 minsSilent Location: Sheffield

Even at the height of the Second World War, children – not evacuated from bomb hit Sheffield – still enjoy a ride on a carousel and lend a helping hand on the wartime allotment.

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A Year on a Mechanised Farm in NorfolkA Year on a Mechanised Farm in Norfolk

Amateur film194043 minsSilent Location: Sedgeford

Ploughing and sowing, baling and hoeing. Norfolk farmers produce food for a nation at war, aided by the latest farm machinery, but not altogether replacing the horse or labourer.

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Civilian FrontCivilian Front

War194010 mins

It's all action on the home front with civilians on high alert to support the war effort.

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Brighton's Warship Week and Tank WeekBrighton's Warship Week and Tank Week

Amateur film194116 minsSilent Location: Brighton

A fascinating compendium of films from wartime Brighton featuring parades, fire engines, tanks, trolleybuses, Land Girls, pigs and visiting Cabinet Ministers.

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Greenford and Northolt Dig for Victory CampaignGreenford and Northolt Dig for Victory Campaign

19424 mins

An Ealing councillor fervently implores local cinemagoers to Dig for Victory!

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Bampton Shows the WayBampton Shows the Way

Government sponsored film194118 mins Location: Bampton

Patriotic tale of a Devon village winning the war with carrot Christmas cake and granny's favourite recipe.

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The New CropThe New Crop

Government sponsored film194419 mins

Wartime woodland management: we can do it! Women add their labour to the work of axe and saw.

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Compost HeapCompost Heap

Government sponsored film19422 mins

A talking cabbage plant will win you over in this Second World War cartoon trailer, which has a surprising charm.

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Storing Vegetables OutdoorsStoring Vegetables Outdoors

Government sponsored film19419 mins

Building a larder using soil and straw: this age-old method was a boon to home-front gardeners

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VE/VJ Don't Waste BreadVE/VJ Don't Waste Bread

Public Information Filler19450 mins

Crumbs! Victory celebrations give way to postwar austerity as shortages leave countries short of dough in more ways than one

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Wartime Food BoredomWartime Food Boredom

Public Information Filler19460 mins

The Ministry of Information plays the guilt card to keep the home front from grumbling at mealtimes

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The Backyard FrontThe Backyard Front

Public Information Filler194016 mins

Ever wondered how to make a compost heap? If so, you'd do well to ignore the advice of this comedy duo