Public Information Films: British Home Front, First World War

SKU: SF1501


2 hrs. 28 mins.

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Totally unique! Discover how Britain first used the newly-invented cinema in wartime with hours of precious film gems, encouraging the British public to volunteer, buy War Bonds, grow their own food and much more. This set includes the complete film ‘The Woman’s Portion’ encouraging women to accept their husbands being at war and the rarely-seen cartoon ‘Britain’s Effort’.

This is the first ever DVD compilation of First World War Public Information trailers and short films. They were made for David Lloyd George’s late wartime coalition Government to encourage the ‘Civilian Army’ of Britain’s Home Front to greater resolve and patriotism in the support of their men on the Western Front and onto British Victory. His Majesty’s British subjects were asked variously to join voluntary Home Front labour organisations, to save soap and other fats, to grow their own vegetables, to save bones to aid the manufacture of munitions, to eat at the National Kitchens and to buy War Bonds and National Savings Certificates to help pay for the manufacture of wartime weapons and machinery.

More than 25 official cartoons, trailers and short films are included in this comprehensive overview of wartime home-front propaganda – many films using parodies of then famous poems, rhymes and historic figures such as John Bull and Britannia; many using famous illustrators of the time like Lancelot Speed.

Included and worthy of special mention are:

THE WOMAN’S PORTION (1918, 17 mins) – A fictionalised propaganda drama on the need for women to accept separation from, and loss of, their husbands. The protagonist in this film would rather her husband were killed than be a deserter.

BRITAIN’S EFFORT (1917, 10 mins) – A longform cartoon / animation including caricatures of John Bull and the Kaiser that outlines the enormity of the British Empire’s contribution to the Western Front in terms of troops, munitions production, shipbuilding and finance.

LIFE AT IWERNE MINSTER IN WAR-TIME (1918, 18 mins) An inspirational propaganda film showing the adaptation of a rural village community in Dorset to the requirements of the War effort! The film’s message is that "we must all pull together and everyone must do their best, then happiness and prosperity will come to our homes”.

EVERY LITTLE HELPS (1918, 10 mins) – A film that illustrates the diversity of food saving, food production and part-time labour activities needed to help win the war as carried out in Ilford, Essex enjoining all to help in their own locality; "Seek out your local Part-Time committee and find a job.”

The original silent films have been given a soundtrack constructed from period archive music.


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Weight 1 lbs



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