This film is part of Free

Life at Iwerne Minster in Wartime, August 7th & 8th 1918.

These vignettes of village life during WWI in Iwerne Minster, Dorset, are testament to the industriousness of its inhabitants.

Documentary 1918 18 mins Silent


With WWI in full swing and the local young men of Iwerne Minster in Dorset away fighting, it's up to the locals left behind to keep maintain food production. See them auctioning sheep, beekeeping, churning butter and felling timber, with the help of some German P.O.W.s. Their industriousness is held up as exemplary to the rest of the country by the film's sponsor, the Ministry of Information.

The film is designed to urge the rest of the nation to follow suit: 'We must all pull together and do our best...Long Live Iwerne Minster'. The film offers an authentic portrait of rural life during wartime, not least because, unusually for wartime propaganda films, many of the local characters are named. The film was made three months before WWI ended and is thought to have been distributed in the immediate aftermath of the war to bolster food production. Look out for the notice board that was installed next the village's hub, the water pump, to display newspaper cuttings, telegrams and letters to spread news of the war. It continues to display notices today and is still referred to as the 'War Office' as it was then. Later a war memorial designed by Sir Gilbert Scott, commemorating the residents of Iwerne Minster and neighbouring Sutton Waldron who were killed or missing in the First World War, was erected and some of the surnames included in the memorial listing match the names of some of the people who appear in this film including Bartlett and Hubbard.