Video Women in wartime, 1940

TLF ID M011959

This is a film about British women's contributions to the war effort in the first year of World War II. It shows women serving in the military services, the Land Army, the nursing services, civil defence, and munitions and aircraft factories. The work of women in the Women's Voluntary Services is detailed as they are seen nursing, sewing, knitting, caring for evacuated children and running canteens. Queen Elizabeth (the Queen Mother) pays tribute to the women's efforts. The film is in black-and-white and runs for 9 mins 24 secs. Background information about the film is also included.

Educational details

Educational value
  • This is a valuable primary source for the World War II depth study in the year 10 history curriculum. It is particularly relevant for the content description about the impact of World War II, including the changing roles of women and use of wartime government controls. The film applauds the rapid and profound social change of 1939-40 as women undertake paid roles in the military, civil defence, factories and on farms, and engage in war-related voluntary service.
  • The film gives a revealing insight into government controls in England in the first years of the War, not least into the control of the film industry. The film's morale-boosting commentary and scenes of happy evacuated children and women of all classes cheerfully involved in the war effort follow the rules for the entertainment media made by the Ministry of Information. The makers of the film, the British Council, were embargoed from mentioning the war explicitly in any of their films until 1942.
  • 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 resultant patterns of change, analyse the causes and effects of developments, identify their relative importance, and explain the context for people's actions in the past.
Year level


Learning area
  • History

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