This film is part of Free

Beverley Commemorates the Anniversary of the Battle of Britain

Four years into the war and by now marching in procession, as here, is second nature for the large numbers of civil defence personnel, and much more fascinating to watch as a result.

Non-Fiction 1943 8 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for Yorkshire Film Archive


Quite different from the glossy presentations of wartime newsreels, here we have a close up of those on the ground in a town far from London. The confident and even relaxed demeanour of the marching service personnel seen here in Beverley in 1943 is an indication of the morale of the time.

This is one of many wartime films made by local filmmaker Ernest Symmons. The last major Battle of Britain was on Sunday 15th September, 1940, although it wasn’t until that Tuesday Hitler indefinitely postponed his plans to invade Britain, Operation Sea Lion, having failed to win command of the skies above Britain. Only eight days into the Battle, Churchill famously declared that, “Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.” The prolonged bombing of the blitz followed, although Beverley only suffered one serious air raid on August 3rd 1942. Just down the road Hull was badly hit on 24th June 1943. Altogether, 121 people were killed in bombing raids in the East Riding during the war.