British News - No.1 - (Only Available in the Colonial Empire)

Opening Title of 'British News' - Taken from 'Films of Britain 1941'
'This newsreel, entitled ‘British News’, is made up each week and is specially edited from material published in the ten weekly issues of the five British newsreel companies. It contains news of Great Britain, the Dominons, India and the Colonial Empire, particularly in relation to the war and the part played in it by all Empire countries, and is the only newsreel in the world dealing entirely with British news items.
Each of the five newsreel companies, working in rotation, undertakes production of ‘British News’, which is considerably longer than any other newsreel, and in its compilation all available material is viewed. With the technical advice of the company handling the film each week an official editorial committee decides which items of news from the ten commercial reels should be included in the composite reel.
The visual news service was originally started for showing in the cinema of the British Pavilion at the New York World’s Fair, where it achieved great popular success in both 1939 and 1940. It is now being despatched weekly by the most rapid available means to all British Colonies.' [1]

Date: 1940 (mid)
Duration: 16:26

Director: Various
Production Company: Newsreel Association of Gt. Britain and Ireland Ltd., British Movietone News, Gaumont British News, British Paramount News, Pathe Gazette, Universal News, and British News
Producer: Various
Cinematographer: Various
Composer: Various
Narration: -
Editor: Various
Sound Recording: Various

Length: 35mm: -ft. 16mm:-ft.



Opening Titles:
'British News

Presented to the New York World’s Fair

by the Newsreel Association of Gt. Britain and Ireland Ltd.

Compiled by
British Movietone News
Gaumont British News
British Paramount News
Pathe Gazette
Universal News'

[Inter-title] King Sees Sunday Arms Speed-up

Announcement of a seven-day working week in order to speed up munitions manufacturing.
King George VI visits the factories.

King George VI visits the munitions factories.

Herbert Morrison, Minister of Supply, features.
Queen Elizabeth (the Queen Mother) visits the Women’s Auxiliary Territorial Service, and addresses its members.

Queen Elizabeth (the Queen Mother) inspects volunteers.

[Inter-title] River Plate Heroes in South Africa

Shots of sailors recovered from wounds received when Admiral Harwood defeated the Admiral Graf Spee at the Battle of the River Plate in South Africa (13/12/1939).
Attention given to the crewmen of the HMS Exeter.[2]

Compiled shots of the injured crewmen of HMS Exeter.

Focus on three petty officers: Newman of the HMS Exeter [NEWMAN Harold E, Chief Petty Officer Tel ¤ Mentioned in Despatches], Nemo of the HMNZS Achilles, Green of the Exeter [GREEN J, Petty Officer - Chief Quartermaster]

"Newman of the Exeter, Nemo of the Achilles, and Green of the Exeter"

Focus on specific crewmen, namely:
Sub-Lieutenant Causton, who has a broken leg. [CAUSTON J, Pay Sub Lieutenant, Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve]
Stoker Lewis, who has a broken neck. [LEWIS D S G, Stoker 1]

J. Causton
D.S.G. Lewis

Civic reception at the Town Hall in Cape Town, South Africa.

Compiled shots of injured crewmen at a civic reception at Cape Town Town Hall.

[inter-title] Comforts for Our Men in Germany

The Duke & (Princess Alice) Duchess Gloucester at St James's Palace inspect the department of the Red Cross sending parcels to English prisoners of wars in Germany.

Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester, greets members of the Red Cross.

[inter-title] Paris Succours Stricken Refugees

Coverage of France’s clearing stations for refugees in Paris, with emphasis on the suffering of children at the hands of Germany.


[inter-title] B.E.F. Evacuation Amazes World

The Dunkirk Evacuation of the British Expeditionary Force.
Footage of the homecoming of 335,000 British & French soldiers.


Footage of the beaches at the Battle of Dunkirk, promoting the Royal Navy and the "Little Ships".

  1. ^ Films of Britain - British Council Film Department Catalogue - 1941
  2. ^ Further information in square brackets regarding the crewmen of the HMS Exeter has been taken from