Film: 8489

War + Military | 1940 | Sound | B/W


A history of Southampton docks (owned and managed by the Southern Railway) from 1939 to 1945, including the embarkation of the British Expeditionary Force to France in 1939, The Dunkirk evacuation, the Blitz and D-day.
There are brief glimpses of SR 'S15' 4-6-0 No 826, SR 'Lord Nelson' 4-6-0 No 853 Sir Richard Grenviille and USA WD 'S160' No 2822 as well as unique scenes of a wide collection of Southern Railway ships including Maid of Kent, Invicta, Isle of Jersey, Dinard, Isle of Guernsey, Maid of Orleans, Canterbury and the paddle steamer Sandown.

Southampton 1938: Port from air. Then 1939: tanks loading into ships. British Expeditionary Force (B.E.F.) marching through Southampton, World War Two. Kitbags, drinking tea. Boarding ships. Ship sailing. 2, 3, and 4 tunnel liners. Paddle steamer "Sandown". Damaged ships. Port crowded with smaller boats, the little ships of Dunkirk, in the harbour and the troops that were rescued from Dunkirk, looking very dejected.

Refugees from the Channel Islands disembark (gangplank says Southampton') given tea, read newspapers. Train departs. Southampton bombed. Firemen. Bombed flour mills and cold storage plants. Crane unloading boxes and barrels. Cranes unloading U.S. trucks and armour. U.S. military police construction landing craft, and Mulberry harbour in dry dock. Motor launch. The "Invicta" carried 6 landing craft. "The Maid of Orleans", "The Isle of Guernsey", ""Biarritz", "The Canterbury " ships. "Diamond". Southampton dock roads crammed with vehicles. Driving armoured car into ship. (Ro-Ro style). D-Day. Hoisting lorries on board. Fork-lift trucks. Lorries full of troops. Dry-dock full of ships being repaired. Hospital ship "Dinard" damaged (major hole below waterline).

Lines of ambulances being loaded with U.S. stretcher cases (Black American G.I. troops used as hospital orderlies and fork-lift truck drivers, black soldiers - reference to 'coloured American orderlies' and the 'cat-like tread'). German prisoners of war (P.O.W 's) arriving at Southampton. French railway's replacements. Heavy cranes and train engines and goods wagons. Trains driving straight into boats.

To request more details on this film, please contact us quoting Film number 8489.