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War Weapons Week 1942 (clip 2)

Wartime Civil Defence inspection

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A short clip presenting the inspection of Civil Defence groups by Sir Steven Bilsland. Sir Steven and his group pace the field inspected the men and women who have gathered there. Amongst these we see members of the Home Guard, a line of nurses and a variety of Civil Defence personnel. Later in the film we see a drill being carried out of the extinguishing of a fire. The film ends on a panned shot of posing Civil Defence members.

Questions & Activities


  • Show the film without the title revealing the date. Ask: when do you think this film dates from?
  • What do you think is happening here?
  • What does the CD in the titles stand for?
  • What does the W on some of the men'€™s helmets stand for?
  • What was War Weapons Week?


History: Research what the Home Guard. Why were they needed? What kinds of activities were they involved in?

Media Studies: This film is from 1942 but is - unusually - in colour. Discuss whether the colour film makes the events seem more real, or does it seem fictional?

Media Studies: Download the film and record a voiceover to make the film work as a wartime newsreel item.

Media Studies: Prepare a research project that compares modern army recruitment adverts with this film.

History: There are several special occupations featured in the film (e.g. nurses and fire service). Investigate why these occupations were important in the home front.

History: Investigate your own town and its involvement in the war. Write a research project or compile an audio visual presentation on how the community dealt with war. You may look to include any remnants or monuments that exist to commemorate the events.

Clip Details

Record Id 007-000-002-383-C
Resource Rights Holder Courtesy of the Conway family
Project Ref 3348
Date 1942
Genre Documentary
School Subject History, Social Studies, Expressive Arts, Media Studies
Who Ewen Jeen (filmmaker)
Attributes Colour, Silent
Clip Length 3:07
Film Length 19:28