This film is part of Free

Bomb damage and Home Guard in Hythe

After a visit from the Luftwaffe, Hythe's factories and houses inspect the terrible damage done to their town in a film, which also shows the local Home Guard in fighting form.

Amateur film 1940 14 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for Wessex Film and Sound Archive


This remarkable film shows the terrible effects of Luftwaffe bombs on the British Powerboat Company in Hythe, near Southampton. Despite camouflage and barrage balloons, the buildings may be shattered but the cheery workforce still raise a smile. Houses close to the works are also terribly damaged and the clear up is in full swing. We then see the local Home Guard parade for a naval visitor before displaying their fighting skills in a local park.

The Hythe based British Power Boat Company, set up by Hubert Scott-Paine, was one of many likely targets for the Luftwaffe in the Southampton area. At the time of this film, the company was manufacturing fast motor-torpedo boats, often used for rescuing downed pilots in the Channel. The Americans also used the company’s designs to build their own high-performance PT Boats. Other targets included the Supermarine Works at Woolston, where RAF Spitfires were manufactured, and the industrial and shipping facilities that lined the Solent. The damaged aircraft seen in the film was a retired Imperial Airways Sea Eagle flying boat, which had been used on services from Southampton to Guernsey until October 1928.