Digging for Victory in 1940
Six months into World War 2 Britain launches a new scheme to plough up farming grassland to grow much needed food “for man and beast”, as the newsreel put it. Three men – the Minister of Agriculture, a farmer and a farming broadcaster – look on as members of the Women’s Land Army take over the tractors. The campaign also saw public parks become allotments and even lawns at Windsor Castle and Buckingham Palace were turned over to vegetables.
Spotlight on the Army
With the RAF and the Navy mostly engaged in the early combat of the War, the newsreel says “Don’t forget the Army” and shows troops of the British Expeditionary Force in France helping to prepare for an expected invasion.
Deep snow – but helpfully it’s abroad
The newsreel commentator jokes that Britain “hasn’t had any weather since the War started” but here are dramatic scenes of snow-jammed streets and railways in Japan (so far not in the War) following extreme record-breaking blizzards.
University Boat Race in new water
Oxford and Cambridge crews moved up the Thames to Henley for their annual boat race away from the usual Putney to Mortlake course in London. It’s straighter, much shorter and sees an easy five-lengths victory by the winners.