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London 1942

About the film

Chronicling London during the midst of World War II, 'London 1942' illustrates the changes in daily life brought about by the pressures of war.


Release year
Ken Annakin
Production company
Greenpark, in association with Verity Films
Ralph Keene
A. T. Dinsdale, John Havinden
David Moule Evans
Robert Speaight
Peter Tanner
Sound recording
Al Rhind
Musical director
Muir Mathieson
Running time (minutes)
13 mins 46 secs
Music Played by
London Symphony Orchestra

Original Description

A Picture of Wartime London
‘A picture of London in 1942 showing a cheerful though bomb-scarred city. The streets are full of British and Allied servicemen. In the parks there are allotments; tomatoes grow on roof tops. The film shows Londoners in the Home Guard and Civil Defence. It ends with scenes of London after dark.’
(Films of Britain - British Council Film Department Catalogue - 1942-1943)


  • A uncredited young Bill Owen, most famous known for his portrayal of the character 'Compo' in ‘The Last of the Summer Wine, can be seen at 08:45, performing a cabaret act that he toured music halls with in order to pay for acting classes. This is the second-oldest known footage of him, following a Ministry of Information short. After the war, he would go on to find roles in feature films.
  • The Ministry of Information censored a shot of  Auxiliary Territorial Service (A.T.S.) personnel manning an anti-aircraft gun, as the predictor shown on the gun was still on the ‘secret list’.