Video British News No 4

TLF ID M011958

This is a British News newsreel showing scenes of war and war-related activities in June and July 1940 during World War II, immediately after the French capitulation of late June left Britain standing alone against Germany. It contains four segments: All British Forces Evacuate France as Petain Signs; Royal Navy Faces Increased Tasks Unflinchingly; New Zealanders and Australians in British Ports; and Patriots Fall in for Defence of Britain Against Hazards. The newsreel is in black-and-white, runs for 13 mins 44 secs and is accompanied by background information.

Educational details

Educational value
  • This newsreel is a valuable primary source for the World War II (1939-45) depth study in the year 10 history curriculum. It is especially relevant for the content description about the course of the war. All four newsreel segments deal with the aftermath of the fall of France and the increased responsibility for the defence of Britain against German invasion to be shouldered by the navy, air force and the newly formed Local Defence Volunteers (the Home Guard).
  • The whole newsreel is of considerable value for the content description in the depth study that refers to the impact of World War II, including the use of wartime government controls such as censorship. Newsreels were controlled under the censorship rules of the Ministry of Information and one of the rules was that they must boost civilian morale. The commentary reassuringly highlights the capacity of the Royal Air Force and the Royal Navy to defend the British Isles and the Home Guard to deal with German parachutists.
  • The third segment about the arrival of Australian and New Zealand army units may be of use in relation to the content description in the depth study about the experiences of Australians during World War II. The segment probably shows the troops at Greenoch in Scotland around 16 June 1940. Almost all of the men seen in the segment went straight on to the Middle East.
  • The resource may make some contribution to students attaining the year 10 history achievement standard. It provides a multimedia source from World War II that may help students explain the context for people's actions in the past. It could also be used by teachers to provide students with an opportunity to sequence events and developments within a chronological framework, and identify relationships between events in different places in June and July 1940.
Year level


Other details

  • Contributor
  • Name: Education Services Australia
  • Organization: Education Services Australia
  • Description: Data manager
  • Address: VIC, AUSTRALIA
  • URL:
  • Copyright Holder
  • Name: British Council
  • Organization: British Council
  • URL:
  • Publisher
  • Name: British Council
  • Organization: British Council
  • Description: Publisher
  • URL:
  • Resource metadata contributed by
  • Name: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Organisation: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Address: AUSTRALIA
  • URL:
Access profile
  • Unknown
Learning Resource Type
  • Video
  • © British Council, except where indicated otherwise. This material is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC 3.0) licence