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A Bomb Fell

Rare colour footage of rescue and first aid techniques during World War II

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Rescue services/ARP personnel during World War II demonstrate their techniques and first aid methods in a reconstruction of what would happen after an air raid bombing attack. The film depicts bomb damaged buildings and rescue services showing how to bring injured people out of the rubble. Featured are demonstrations of how to treat boken bones/limbs, cuts and burns. Some of the treatments show in gruesome detail how injuries are treated. Medical cards are completed for each injured person. The film ends with a picture of Sir Winston Churchill with the slogan "Nothing to offer you but blood and toil, tears and sweat."
The services who took part in the film were from Knightswood First Aid Post, Knightscliffe First Aid Party Depot, Bellshaugh Rescue Party Depot, Pollokshaws First Aid Post and Elmvale First Aid Party Depot.Please Note: This film contains images of fake injuries and blood.

Questions & Activities


  • What training did you need to be an ARP person?
  • How have those experiences contributed to their success as ARP volunteers?
  • Why is it important to have realistic training films?
  • What particular risks were faced by those people living in tenement buildings?
  • Who were the ARP?
  • What were their responsibilities?
  • What threats were they preparing for?
  • What types of injuries were they expecting to encounter?
  • Why was this form of visualisation important?


Write a narration explaining what type of injuries have been inflicted. Re-edit the clip using your new voice-over.

Research what ARP stood for and what function it held during the war.

Design your own ARP uniform.

Research write and record appropriate narration that provides a context and description of the activities shown in the film.

The level of 'realism' in this film would have probably not passed the censors of the day were it not part of the War Effort. Discuss why it was necessary to show injuries in this graphic way and the different areas in which visualisation is important to learning.

Clip Details

Record Id 007-000-002-165-C
Resource Rights Holder Third Party Copyright Holder licensed by National Library of Scotland
Project Ref 1084
Date 1941
Genre Amateur, Instructional
School Subject History, Social Studies, Art and Design, English, Media Studies
Subject Matter Home Front, World War 2
Who Ben H. Humble (Filmmaker), Glasgow Casualty and Rescue Party Services (Sponsor)
Where Glasgow, Knightswood
Attributes Colour, Silent
Clip Length 7:51
Film Length 07:51