British News No.4

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) - 13 mins 44 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. All British Forces Evacuate France as Petain Signs - The B.E.F, R.A.F., and the Anglo-French Ambulance Association return from France following her surrender.
  2. Royal Navy Faces Increased Tasks Unflinchingly - The British Royal Navy protects Britain from invasion.
  3. New Zealanders and Australians in British Ports - The Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) arrive in Britain to support the war effort.
  4. Patriots Fall in for Defence of Britain Against Hazards - The training of civilians to become the Local Defence Volunteers - or Home Guard.

Did you know?

  • The fanfare used at the start and end of each newsreel is ‘Fanfare of Trumpets’ by Major Hector Adkins, performed by the Kneller Hall Coronation Trumpets. He provided the music royalty-free.
  • These newsreel were so popular that despite being made for the New York World’s Fair, they were eventually distributed across the world.

All films are subject to the Creative Commons licence guidelines.

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