British News No.5

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. Mr Churchill Visits Naval Port - The Prime Minister visits the Navy and we witness the refitting of a light cruiser for war.
  2. Anzacs in the West and East - The Australian and New Zealand Army Corps arrive in London and meet the Queen.
  3. The War Begins in the East - British and Italian forces clash in the East.
  4. R.A.F. are Busy in the East - The R.A.F. in Libya prepare for war.
  5. Sale of a Necklace in London - The auction of a diamond necklace at Christies in London, donated to help the war effort.
  6. Our Roving Camera Reports... - Sir Percy Lorraine, ambassador to Rome, returns from Italy; the Queens visits wounded soldiers; the mobilisation of women.
  7. Children Prepare to Go to America - British children are processed in order to be evacuated to America, overseen by Joseph Kennedy Sr.
  8. Improving Britains Pastureland - Agriculture in Britain is improved in an attempt to make the country self-sufficient during wartime.
  9. Spare-Time Armies from the Factories - A factory guard trains the workers to be part of the Home Guard.
  10. Australian Tanks and Anti-Tanks - The Australian army test out their new equipment.
  11. This Land of Ours - A rousingly patriotic reflection on what the British are fighting for.

Did you know?

  • Each of the five newsreels companies involved in the making of these films was asked to submit a special trademark to be used at the start and end of each film. Unfortunately, we do not know which company’s was selected.
  • The Newsreel Association of Great Britain and Ireland also produced a weekly 60-minute special newsreel for the British Council, in addition to their contribution to these British News films.

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