The Birth Of A Service 1940-1945

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    Great charity appeal film for The National Fire Service Benevolent Fund. Excellent fire fighting footage.

    Introductory intertitles read as follows: "A Story of the Firemen & Firewomen of Britain - Produced by Pathe Pictures Ltd with the Co-operation of the National Fire Service."

    Begins with still shots of old fashioned fireman's helmet and wartime fire helmet. Various shots of firemen and firewomen on parade. They march through streets - very impressive turn out. Strident, patriotic music accompanies the shots.

    Montage sequence showing work of firemen and firewomen during the Second World War. Narrator speaks of the birth of the National Fire Service. Demonstrations of fire fighting equipment are shown.

    Teaching - firemen and firewomen are given training in techniques and procedures. Women are trained in "control room work". We see fitness training for men and women - star jumps, health and beauty type routines for the women - gymnastics for the men.

    Pipes being laid to ensure that there is a good water supply for fire fighting purposes. Water tanks are filled. Rubbish is lifted from a tank and firemen visit a school to teach children that these tanks are dangerous and not for playing in.

    Various shots of firemen at work. The stores. Reinforcement vehicles are seen - men arrive to assist firemen when there is an "enemy attack". Meals are prepared - large buckets of food. Engineering shops - men repair fire fighting equipment. Rebuilding and adapting of fire stations.

    In their downtime firemen and women make toys for children in hospitals and day nurseries - various shots of toys being made then men and women in uniform handing out toys to children.

    Munitions factories have been established at many fire stations. Men and women are seen at work - propellors are polished. Men work but are "always available for a fire call". Fire siren rings and we see the men down tools and get ready to attend a fire. Various shots of control room and firemen leaving the station. Narrator states: "In this work under blitz conditions the women have proved their worth."

    Lovely shots of fire engines leaving the fire station. Women in control room. Appliances arriving at the fire and crews at work. Good shots of fireman on extension ladder using hose. Fireboats in use - looks like Liverpool Docks. Various shots of firemen at work on board a boat.

    More nice footage of firemen at work - during the blitz. Antiaircraft gunners try to stop flying bombs being dropped. Bomb damaged buildings. Narrator states: "This film is dedicated to those hundreds who have given their lives and to those who have been injured fighting the battle of the flames." Film ends with a rolling credit. It reads as follows:

    "This is a brief story of the National Fire Service - born in the stress of war. A story of men and women day and night at their posts confident in their ability to protect your home and your property. The National Fire Service Benevolent Fund has been created to assist the orphans & those who, through force of circumstance, have fallen on hard times. A Welfare Fund also exists to provide comforts and recreational equipment. Will you make your contribution to these funds and so show your appreciation of the work of these brave men and women? Britain's fourth arm - the N.F.S. is always ready."

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  • Data

    British Pathé
    Issue Date:
    1940 - 1945
    Media URN:
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Film ID:
    Black & White
    Time in/Out:
    01:00:08:00 / 01:11:33:00
    Sort Number:
  • Appears in...

    Religion & Politics
    Fire Fly Films - Post-war AFS-NFS POST WAR - SERVICES Fire Service Temporary Workspaces: 6.9.2010 20:52 FBU Blitz fire brigade Keep 1940 Dockhead turnout 2 Fire Call 1952 The Birth of a Service Battle of the Atlantic Untitled Workspace essex fire museum
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