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ARP A Reminder for Peacetime

Amateur film about a Glasgow family preparing for the black-out

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Commended at the 7th Scottish Amateur Film Festival in 1940, Frank Marshall's amateur educational documentary shows a household preparing for the black-out, using petrol coupons and building an air-raid shelter. This film provides a unique record of family life at this time and also shows the children's reactions to the forced privations of the war. Significant images in the film include images of Civil Defence Leaflets, taping windows, sealing doors, listening to radio news and reacting to air raids.

Questions & Activities


  • Who made this film and why?
  • How well off are the family - how can you tell?
  • How many different activities do the family do to prepare for an air raid?
  • What techniques are used to create a sense of duty and responsibility in families during war time?
  • What would you say is the tone of the film and why?
  • Make a list of the top ten items you would keep in an air raid shelter.


Compare this amateur film with later civil defence campaigns such as 'Duck and Cover', 'Protect and Survive' and discuss what it does better and worse. Download the footage and re-edit your own punchier wartime civil defence public information film.

Find out exactly what advice was given to civilians during World War Two.

Ask older people you know who lived through this period about their memories. You may also want to film interviews with them for posterity and to use in your own historical documentary project about World War II.

In the clip we see the family growing their own vegetables. Why did they do that? What reasons do people have for growing vegetables now? How would you go about starting your own vegetable patch?

Clip Details

Record Id 007-000-000-315-C
Resource Rights Holder National Library of Scotland
Project Ref 2769
Date 1939-40
Genre Amateur, Drama Doc
School Subject History, Media Studies, English
Subject Matter Home Front, Journalism
Who Frank Marshall (filmmaker)
Where Glasgow
Event World War II, Home life
Attributes Black and White, Silent
Clip Length 22:37
Film Length 22.37