Films from the Home Front - Website Launch

A new website featuring films of life on the home front in Britain during the Second World War is launching 13 February 2007.

Screen Archive South East, at the University of Brighton, in partnership with six other English Regional Film Archives, is launching the site as part of a £225,000 film archive project which forms part of the Big Lottery Fund’s £10 million Their Past Your Future (TPYF) programme, and was created with funding distributed by the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council.

Over the last year all of these archives (London Screen Study Collection, Media Archive for Central England, Northern Region Film and Television Archive, Screen Archive South East, South West Film & Television Archive, Wessex Film & Sound Archive, Yorkshire Film Archive) have researched and digitised significant World War Two films from their collections for integration into this new online historical resource. The site, ‘Films from the Home Front’, offers free public access to these selected films, the majority of which are being made available to the public for the very first time.

This new lifelong learning resource is dedicated to giving people of all ages the opportunity to discover more about the impact of the Second World War and the immediate post-war period on everyday life. It offers a unique perspective on the lives of ordinary people in Britain on the home front as seen through amateur films and home movies and alongside more ‘official’ sources such as newsreels and government films.

Margaret Cooney Big Lottery Fund Deputy Director Policy and Partnerships said: “This last strand of funding will bring about a new and enhanced dimension to the way in which we view our recent history. The quality and accessibility of the new digitisation project will provide a highly effective tool for learning, both inside and out of the classroom, to help people of all ages to understand and recognise the importance of sacrifices that people made during the Second World War.”

Justin Cavernelis-Frost, MLA’s Head of Archive Development, said: ” This website connects us to our past and to our involvement in the Second World War. The MLA is pleased to have contributed to its creation and that these archives stand strongly alongside traditional educational resources.”

The site is organised into major themes, which explore issues characterising life during the war. These include: Children in War-time, Civil Defence, Community Life, Displaced People, Home and Family Life, Women’s Role on the Home Front and Victory Celebrations in 1945.

They explain how the films reveal many dramatic changes that took place in the country during this period. In addition, each of the archives has its own section on the site highlighting how the films fit into the story of their region during the Second World War.

Films from the Home Front is part of the wider ‘Moving History’ website which presents other films from UK archives on all subjects and aspects of film history across the twentieth century.

‘Films from the Home Front’ can be visited at:


Further information/contacts:
Screen Archive South East: 01273 643213

Big Lottery Fund Press Office: 020 7211 3940

The partner archives involved in the scheme are:
London Screen Study Collection / London’s Screen Archives: the regional network
Media Archive for Central England – 0116 252 5066
Northern Region Film and Television Archive – 0191 277 2250
Screen Archive South East – 01273 643213
South West Film & Television Archive – 01752 202650
Wessex Film & Sound Archive – 01962 847742
Yorkshire Film Archive – 01904 876550

Screen Archive South East
Screen Archive South East is a public sector moving image archive serving the South East of England. Established in 1992 at the University of Brighton as the South East Film & Video Archive, the function of this regional screen archive is to locate, collect, preserve, provide access to and promote screen material related to the South East and of general relevance to screen history.

The Museums, Libraries and Archives Council works with the nine regional agencies in the MLA Partnership to improve people’s lives by building knowledge, supporting learning, inspiring creativity and celebrating identity. The Partnership acts collectively for the benefit of the sector and the public, leading the transformation of museums, libraries and archives for the future. Visit: . Media Enquiries: Anne Marie Todaro, Media Relations Manager, MLA tel: 020 7273 1472. Urgent news media enquiries until 7pm: 07747 564 209.

The Big Lottery Fund
The Big Lottery Fund rolls out close to £2 million in Lottery good cause money every 24 hours, which together with other Lottery distributors means that across the UK most people are within a few miles of a Lottery-funded project. The Big Lottery Fund, the largest of the National Lottery good cause distributors, has been rolling out grants to health, education, environment and charitable causes across the UK since its inception in June 2004. On 1 December 2006 the Big Lottery Fund was officially established by Parliament and at the same time assumed the residual responsibilities of the dissolved National Lottery Charities Board (Community Fund) the New Opportunities Fund, and the Millennium Commission. The Fund is building on the experience and best practice of the merged bodies to simplify funding in those areas where they overlap and to ensure Lottery funding provides the best possible value for money. UK-wide, the Big Lottery Fund will distribute through its new programmes and allocations funding worth over £2.6bn between now and April 2009. Regularly updated information on the Big Lottery Fund’s new programmes is available at

Veterans Reunited / Their Past Your Future
In January 2004 the Big Lottery fund launched its Veterans Reunited programme to provide funding to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the events leading up to the end of the Second World War. The programme comprised three different schemes: Heroes Return, Their Past Your Future, and Home Front Recall. Taken together, these three schemes helped ensure that all generations of UK residents commemorated the 60th anniversary together, both at home and abroad.

Their Past Your Future- £9.6 million was awarded to this UK-wide schools and education scheme to give young people the opportunity to learn first-hand from veterans about their experience of war. The Big Lottery Fund worked closely with the Imperial War Museum, the museums, libraries and archives sector UK-wide, and local education authorities to help young people learn about the personal experiences and roles played by forces personnel and civilians. See for further information.

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