• Short Summary

    Film appealing for funds towards the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund.

  • Description

    A charity appeal film. "H.R.H. The Duke of Kent - Chairman, R.A.F. Benevolent Fund." M/S of the Duke of Kent standing behind a desk speaking directly to the camera. He firstly thanks the cinema management for allowing this film to be screened in their cinema. The Duke, a member of the Royal Air Force himself speaks of the necessity of funds for injured servicemen and the dependents of those who have lost their lives. He speaks of the difficulties the Fund has of meeting the needs of their members.

    The Cinematograph Exhibitors Association of Gt. Britain and Ireland presents "Knights of the Air!" A tribute to the officers and men of the Royal Air Force and an appeal on their behalf for the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund.

    M/S of Winston Churchill standing in front of a group of a group of Royal Airforce servicemen in uniform. Part of Churchill's "Never in the field of human conflict..." speech is repeated by the narrator on the soundtrack. Various shots of aircraft in flight during wartime and C/Us of members of the Air Force. The narrator speaks of their bravery and daring. Scramble. Men run from their seats at an aerodrome camp towards planes. Pilots climb into cockpits, chocks away, aircraft take off and fly through the air. Various shots of Spitfires and Hurricanes. Combat footage during the Battle of Britain. Shots are fired. Planes land at aerodrome and pilots climb out.

    Blitz footage. Various shots of bomb damaged buildings. Upturned bus with all the windows blown out. Men work to clear rubble. King George VI and Queen Elizabeth visit a bomb damaged area - most probably the famous East End visit. Man scratches his head as he looks up at a ruined home. Firemen in silhouette using fire hoses to put out a blaze. Various shots of fires blazing. Man holds a cross in silhouette as smoke floats past him. St Paul's Cathedral - various shots showing bomb damage. (Shots of the damaged Guildhall are missing).

    King and Queen walk through damaged streets. The Queen talks to a mother who holds a child in her arms. Churchill also walks amongst the ruins and speaks to the people.

    Shots of wrecked aircraft, some in water, some German enemy planes. A huge pile of enemy aircraft wreckage - "Goering's Graveyard" is the nickname of this dumping ground.

    Parade ground - high angle shot. M/S of King George VI pinning a medal on an airman's jacket. C/U of his medals. Another decoration ceremony - this time at the Palace. Flight Lieutenant Nicholson, Sergeant Hannah (sp?) and Sergeant Ward of Bomber Command are all commended for their bravery. Sir Cyril Newall (sp?) Chief of the Air Staff is shown, as is Sir Charles Portal (sp?) and Sir Shotall Douglas (sp?) are all mentioned and shown.

    M/S of man climbing into cockpit of a Hurricane. Plane takes off and we see many others in the air. Bombers are seen, Spitfires, Beaufighters (sp?), Defiance, other types of aircraft shown. Coastal Command aircraft - plane flies low over the sea. Various shots of planes over the sea. Sunderland Aircraft are show, including shot inside the cockpit. Hudsons (?) fly above the sea.

    M/S of bomber crews being briefed for raids against occupied territories and Germany. Various shots of aircraft being prepared for flight. Men set out from aerodromes, we see them climbing into cockpits and starting propellors. Aircraft in flight. Bravery of the men is emphasised. Night shots of gunfire in the skies.

    Large number of airmen returning to base. Daytime sweeps, air to air shots of aircraft, bombs being dropped. Good sequence showing people listening to "wireless reports of our mens' gallantry." C/U of a radio set. Woman standing beside a fireplace tuning in her radio.

    Man smoking a pipe tunes in his radio set. C/U of elderly woman sewing whilst listening to the radio. She looks up and puts her sewing down as she hears the words "several of our aircraft are missing." She looks worried. Her husband reacts in a similar way, looking saddened. M/S of a woman holding an open book then handing it to a wounded airman. Group of wounded men sitting around reading and laughing - convalescent home perhaps.

    M/S of group of wounded men, two hang down from climbing equipment in a gym exercising their legs. A physiotherapist directs them. Two men with walking sticks attempt to have a kick about with a football. Men stand in a circle and throw a medicine ball to each other.

    Squadron Leader Pincoken (sp?) makes a speech about how the resources available to the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund cannot meet the demand. "Show your gratitude to the men who helped to win the Battle of Britain." implores the narrator, "to them we owe our very lives. Please give all you can afford, then men who fly will fly with even lighter hearts."

    Note: rousing, patriotic voiceover throughout.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    Media URN:
    British Pathé
    Issue Date:
    1940 - 1942
    hd format:
    HD at Filmfinity
    Black & White
    Time in/Out:
    01:16:50:00 / 01:25:50:00

Comments (2)

  1. Unknown user says

    "Flight Lieutenant Nicholson" should read Nicolson, (Eric Nicolson).

    "Sergeant Hannah (sp?)" - yes, John Hannah.

    "Sergeant Ward" is James Ward.

    "Sir Cyril Newall (sp?)" - yes, that's right.

    "Sir Charles Portal (sp?)" - yes, that's right.

    "Sir Shotall Douglas (sp?)" - no, it's Sholto Douglas.

    "Beaufighters (sp?)" - yes, that's right.

    "Defiance" - no change that to Defiants, or preferably Boulton Paul Defiant fighters.

    "Hudsons (sp?)" - yes, they're Lockheed Hudson bombers.

    "Squadron Leader Pincoken (sp?)" - no, that one's nowhere near, it's Paddy Finucane.......


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  2. Unknown user says

    Seen at 01:44 is Spitfire SH-Q of No. 64 Squadron.

    Seen at 05:26 is Hawker Tempest JX-W of No. 1 Squadron.

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