Extracts from the Documentary Film Solihull in Wartime [1]


Events in Solihull during the Second World War including Home Guard and civil defence exercises taking place in Solihull and a competition in Kenilworth. Filmed by H. T. Lavender.





Film type:

Colour / Silent


Amateur Film

Master format:



We see a civil defence exercise in Solihull which includes a demonstration of a rescue from an underground shelter and a decontamination unit in action (wearing gas masks). The next sequence shows a Warwickshire civil defence competition held in Kenilworth on 16 October 1943 including the rescue from an upstairs window in a bomb damaged building and the fire brigade tackling a blaze in a ruined house. Competition cups are presented by the Home Secretary, Herbert Morrison MP. We then see members of the Women's Voluntary Service (WVS) providing refreshments. The Kenilworth section is filmed from a high angle opposite the demonstration. Finally we see a parade of soldiers and an exercise to mark the third anniversary of the 5th Battalion of the Warwickshire Home Guard. This takes place in Solihull and we see the soldiers passing the Council House followed by scenes in Malvern Park where the troops tackle an obstacle course. The Commanding Officer Lieut Col. Blennerhassett is also present.


H.T. Lavender, Dorridge, Warwickshire.