Letter from Britain

About the film

Three Canadian soldiers visiting London discuss the experiences of Britain that they have been writing home to loved ones about.

Download this video


  • Release year - 1945
  • Director - Robert Lapresle
  • Production company - Merton Park
  • Screenplay - Mary Benedetta
  • Cinematographer - Robert Lapresle
  • Composer - Hubert Clifford
  • Editor - Cath Miller
  • Sound recording - Edgar Law
  • Musical director - Hubert Clifford
  • Performers - Lieut. W.T. O’Conner, R.C.N.V.R. (Bill), Capt. J.A. Manahan, Canadian Seaforth Highlanders (Bob), Squadron Ldr. Gilles Duhamel, R.C.A.F. (Pierre)
  • Music Played by - London Symphony Orchestra
  • Made in association with - Film Producers Guild
  • Running time (minutes) - 17 mins 21 secs

Original description

Britain through Canadian eyes

'This film brings to life some of the things and places Canadians have been writing home about. The story is set mainly in London, Sussex, Scotland and Northern Island, though other parts of Britain come into it as well.'

(Films of Britain - British Council Film Department Catalogue - 1946)

Did you know?

  • This film was specifically produced for Canadian audiences, in order to boost the relationship between the two countries, although it did receive distribution in other countries as well.
  • Letter from Britain and Ulster are the only two films in the British Council Film Collection to feature Northern Ireland. It is also unusual in that it features real servicemen, rather than mere actors.
  • The poster seen on the Underground train at 06:00 was part of the government-sponsored ‘Billy Brown of London Town’ series.
  • Letter from Britain was filmed no earlier than March 1945, as this is when the ‘Merchant Navy’ class steam train ‘Elders Fyffes’ - seen at 04:40 - was built.
  • Several ships are seen around Londonderry in Letter from Britain. These include the HMCS Glace Bay, HMS Launceston Castle, HMS Loch Katrine, HMCS Penetang, and HMCS Petrolia. By comparing convoy listings, it can be deduced that these scenes were filmed around the 15th March 1945.
  • The song sung by ‘Paddy’ at 13:05 is entitled ‘If You Ever Go To Ireland’, written by Art Noel. The song sung by the solider around 14:45 is an Irish ballad called ‘The Rose of Tralee’. The piece sung in the pub around 15:40 is ‘My Gal’s a Corker’.

All films are subject to the Creative Commons licence guidelines.

Learn more about how to use to the film archive.

You might also be interested in:

About the film archive

Learn about the history behind our documentary film archive from the 1940s.

Sign up to our newsletter

Get the latest updates and advice on applications, scholarships, visas and events.