Canadian Army Newsreels

The Newsreels filmed by the Canadian Army during the Second World War were produced to inspirit the ordinary rank Canadian soldier wherever he may have been stationed, including Tweedsmuir Camp. Interestingly there is little, if any, mention of Canadian female army personnel in the newsreels, even though they did exist. Each film carries three to five brief news items.

The first film is a short introductory piece to this superb collection of 106 newsreels. You may like to view all the films by linking to them from here.

Alternatively you may be interested in just the newsreels containing clips that best fit the contents of this website.

Selected Newsreels

Examples of stories associated with the contents of this website.

Newsreel 4

Includes a brief piece about the presentation of an engraved brass plaque at St Michael & All Angels Church, Thursley on 10 January 1943 by the Lorne Scots. The plaque marks the occasions the Canadian unit worshipped at the church during their stay at Tweedsmuir Camp during the Second World War.

Newsreel 8

Queen Elizabeth, wife of King George VI, presenting colours to Canadian army corps at Witley Camp on 7 May 1943.

Newsreel 10

Precision drill of French Canadian RCE on parade at Witley Camp.

Newsreel 15

Queen Elizabeth and King George VI present colours to Dieppe Veterans at Witley Camp.

Newsreel 17

Preparations for D-Day. Newsreels 19 and 22 also show preparations for D-Day.

Newsreel 25

Arrival of General Andrew McNaughton with the 1 Canadian Army. McNaughton and other senior officers visited Tweedsmuir Camp on 21 June 1941 to see the progress of the camp's build. The party moved to "... the high spot in the camp ... where all work in progress could be seen." The "high spot" referred to is located immediately in front of the water tower in Beansides Wood and from where the photograph to the left was taken in April 2001; 60 years after McNaughton's visit.

Newsreel 33

Operation Overlord: D-Day.

Newsreel 41

Canadian and Polish combined army seal the Falaise Pocket (Falaise Gap). The First Polish Armoured Division, commanded by General Stanisław Maczek, however, is not mentioned in the film. Maczek was probably the most apolitical Polish commander and soldier during the Second World War.

Newsreel 61

General Walford, Adjutant General MDHQ inspects a Non-Effective Transit Depot in southern England. The piece is titled: Personalities in the News. Although unclear from the film, the location appears to be that of Tweedsmuir Camp. The rustic fences in the film bear a remarkable resemblance to those completed on 21 December 1942 at the camp by fatigue parties under the supervision of Sgt. Pritchard (see photograph to the left). Additionally, behind Walford on the horizon in the film is a building that appears to be the brick-built guardhouse completed in the summer of 1943, and, behind it, the firs of Houndown along the Thursley Road.

Newsreel 72

Once Germany had surrendered, signalling the end of the Second World War, there was jubilation at Tweedsmuir Camp. The end of hostilities saw a spate of thefts in the camp and in the surrounding area. For example, a leather 'Chesterfield' coat went missing from the camp as did tools from a local garage, which police intercepted when they were offered for sale on the Black Market.

Newsreel 73

Three and half minutes into this film is an interesting piece from Haren, Germany where a concentration camp was established during the Second World War by the German National Socialists. When the war ended the camp was used for housing women of the Polish army. Two interesting factors emerge from this film. The first is the commentator's belief the women would repatriate to help rebuild Poland (many thousands did, of course, as did Polish men). The second is a remarkable staged act of retribution against German civilians, some of whom were labelled "Nazi sympathisers" by the Allies, at the point of rifles held by the Polish women. Between 1945 and 1948 Haren was christened Maczków (after General Stanisław Maczek) by the Polish encamped there. (There is more on "rounding up" German civilians in Newsreel 96.)

Newsreel 75

Further retributions, this time against German women. There is a kind of perverse smugness evident in this piece: an attitude that was at the centre of Allied relations with the German refugees. Later these civilians were dubbed as "bad displaced civilians" by the Allied forces. Also in this film is a piece about the last Canadian army personnel leaving for Canada through the Depots of the Aldershot Area, which included Tweedsmuir Camp.

Newsreel 79

Dominion Day: celbrations of the Dominion's 78th Anniversery, fimed at Saint Mary Church, Bramshott, Hampshire, Brookwood Cemetery and London.

Newsreel 85

Prime Minister Clement Attlee announces from 10 Doning Street the surrender of Japan and Victory in the East. Celebrations follow in Europe and Canada.

Newsreel 90

At Number 9 Repatriation Depot, Petworth Camp, the 100,000th Canadian soldier and his compatriots from Canadian 1 Division prepare for reparitation. At the time of filming, 9 Repatriation Depot comprised 5 Wings. 1-3 Wings - Petworth Camp HQ, 4 Wing - Barkfold Camp, 5 Wing - Brownings Camp, Kirdford. All of these camps were in West Sussex. Incoming drafts for repatriation to Canada arrived at Haslemere Station from where they were transported to their designated camp by road.

Newsreel 91

Freedom of the borough of Aldershot is given to the Canadian Army Overseas at Aldershot Football Stadium. Presiding is General P.J. Montague who receives a silver casket and script from the Mayor of Aldershot.

Newsreel 95

A fun and games horse show at No.8 Repatriation Depot, Blenheim Barracks, Farnborough with General Daniel Charles Spry, Officer i/c Repatriation, presiding. The events include wrestling on horseback; open jumping competition; a helicopter demonstration; Chittingfold Farmers Hunt dogs and musical chairs on heavy horses.

Newsreel 97

Members of the Canadian Branch of the British Legion hold a remembrance service for fallen Canadian soldiers at All Saints Parish Church, Headley, Surrey. A detachment of the Canadian Women's Army Corps lay a wreath on a WWI Cenotaph at the church.

Newsreel 101

Mary, Princess Royal and Countess of Harewood inspects the 1 Battalion of the Canadian Scottish Regiment of British Columbia in Aldershot, England. This was the start of a number of events to celebrate the return of the company mascot, 'Wallace' the St. Bernard, from the Royal Scots.

Also included in this newsreel is an interview with Chinese Canadian soldiers at No. 1 Repatriation Depot, Tweedsmuir Camp. Click the image to the right to find out more.

Newsreel 102

Under a big top erected in the grounds of an ex-Canadian Army Camp at or near Guildford, England, the Canadian Army Show put on a wild west circus. Organised by Colonel Kit Carson, it was a fun event: cowboys and indians routine, lasso girls, a skating routine and people dressed as horses in a comedy sketch. The finale comprises a stagecoach hold up.