British News No.2

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 00 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. Made in Australia - Australia contributes to the war effort with men and gun manufacture.
  2. Indian Troops in Britain - A troop of Indian soldiers are inspected.
  3. The Queen Visits the Wounded - Queen Elizabeth (the Queen Mother) visits a hospital of wounded soldiers.
  4. Royal Investiture - King George VI presents awards to soldiers at Buckingham Palace.
  5. More Tanks - British tanks are produced and tested for the war effort.
  6. The Courage of France - British troops and tanks return to France to support her armies at the front line of invasion.
  7. Dunkirk's Navy Comes Home - The 'Little Ships' return to the Thames after the evacuation of Dunkirk.
  8. Another Nazi Bomber Crashed in England - The wreckage of a Nazi bomber, and the damage it caused to the rectory it landed on.
  9. Italy Joins In - Mussolini enters Italy into the war on Hitlers side.
  10. Actual Aerial Combat in France - Incredible aerial photography of a dogfight from the perspective of a Spitfire.

Did you know?

  • Each of the five British newsreel companies that were responsible for making the British News films were allowed access to each other’s libraries. Their editors also worked co-operatively.
  • The films were so popular that although initially twenty were ordered - for the duration of the Council’s exhibit at the New York World’s Fair - they continued to produce them throughout the war.

All films are subject to the Creative Commons licence guidelines.

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