British News No.1

About the film

A British Newsreel compilation from various news sources.

This film is not available to download


  • Release year - 1940
  • Production company - Newsreel Association of Gt. Britain and Ireland Ltd., British Movietone News, Gaumont British News, British Paramount News, Pathe Gazette, Universal News, British News
  • Running time (minutes) - 16 mins 30 secs

Original description

'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 Dominions, 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.'

(Films of Britain - British Council Film Department Catalogue - 1941)

Featured news reports:

  1. King Sees Sunday Arms Speed-Up - King George VI visits an arms factory, whilst Queen Elizabeth (the Queen Mother) visits the Womens Auxiliary Territorial Service.
  2. River Plate Heroes in South Africa - Sailors from the HMS Exeter, recovering from wounds received at the Battle of the River Plate, are given heroes welcome in Cape Town.
  3. Comforts for Our Men in Germany - The Red Cross packages and sends comforts to British POWs in Germany.
  4. Paris Succours Stricken Refugees - Streams of refugees escaping the Nazis arrive in Paris.
  5. B.E.F. Evacuation Amazes World - Soldiers recovering after being rescued from the beaches of Dunkirk.

Did you know?

  • These ‘British News’ films were created specifically for the New York World’s Fair in 1939.
  • The five British newsreels companies took it in turns to produce the newsreels - on a five-week rotation, in alphabetical order.

All films are subject to the Creative Commons licence guidelines.

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