New Sussex World War II film released ahead of VE Day anniversary

War and Peace: Knoll School, Hove (Screen Archive South East)

A film archive covering Sussex and the South East has released a free movie ahead of the 75th VE Day anniversary that its staff believe let us share “the grim and the joyous events of seventy-five years ago”.

The original footage in ‘War And Peace’ was made mostly in colour by amateur film-makers, and shot between 1939 and 1945.

Screen Archive South East’s seven-minute production includes moving pictures of children in Hove’s Knoll School wearing their gas-masks, Spitfires at Tangmere, Land Girls working on the South Downs in Sussex, and footage of part of Brighton in ruins during the Blitz.

Brighton: the Blitz (Screen Archive South East)

It continues with images of soldiers driving tanks through the city, and ends with the Peace Proclamation at Brighton Town Hall and film of trolley-buses in the Old Steine, brightly-decorated to celebrate victory.

Archivists said nearly all the films have never been seen before in public.

Brighton: trolleybus in 1945 (Screen Archive South East)

The footage edited together for “War And Peace” was from the archives of the University of Brighton, and it was made in partnership with the Record Offices of Kent, Surrey and West Sussex.

It also includes a newly-composed soundtrack by ex-Brighton College student Nina Humphreys.

Screen Archive South East has thanked all of the donors and depositors who made the film possible.

Watch the whole film by clicking here.

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