History Video: Letter from Britain – 1945 – Three Canadian Soldiers Write Home From War

In this historical video, three Canadian soldiers visiting London discuss the experiences of Britain that they have been writing home to loved ones about.

Britain Through Canadian Eyes ‘This film brings to life some of the things and places Canadians have been writing home about. The story is set mainly in London, Sussex, Scotland and Northern Island, though other parts of Britain come into it as well.’

Trivia About the Film:

  • This film was specifically produced for Canadian audiences, in order to boost the relationship between the two countries, although it did receive distribution in other countries as well.
  • Letter from Britain and Ulster are the only two films in the British Council Film Collection to feature Northern Ireland. It is also unusual in that it features real servicemen, rather than mere actors.
  • The poster seen on the Underground train at 06:00 was part of the government-sponsored ‘Billy Brown of London Town’ series.
  • Letter from Britain was filmed no earlier than March 1945, as this is when the ‘Merchant Navy’ class steam train ‘Elders Fyffes’ – seen at 04:40 – was built.
  • Several ships are seen around Londonderry in Letter from Britain. These include the HMCS Glace Bay, HMS Launceston Castle, HMS Loch Katrine, HMCS Penetang, and HMCS Petrolia. By comparing convoy listings, it can be deduced that these scenes were filmed around the 15th March 1945.
  • The song sung by ‘Paddy’ at 13:05 is entitled ‘If You Ever Go To Ireland’, written by Art Noel. The song sung by the solider around 14:45 is an Irish ballad called ‘The Rose of Tralee’. The piece sung in the pub around 15:40 is ‘My Gal’s a Corker’.

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