General Collection Information
This collection contains 106 newsreels filmed by the Canadian Army Film Unit. These films were produced between 1942 and 1945 and average 10 minutes in length. Film subjects range from training to front line footage and were a major source of news for civilians back home in Canada. These films are only available in English.
Using this Collection
The collection includes the following:
This collection may be searched by title or by year. Each title will offer a brief description of the film’s content. While World War II-era cinematographers weren’t always able to collect data on the people they filmed, they were able to capture historic experiences. This collection may be able to offer you insight to your ancestors’ experiences.
Collection in Context
At the onset of World War II, Commissioner Frank Badgley of the Canadian Government Motion Picture Bureau recommended the Army form a special film and photographic unit. The material collected would be distributed worldwide to boost morale and further the war effort. As a result, the Army created a public relations unit in 1940 that would become the basis for photographic units formed by all three military branches.
Military camera personnel may have learned their trade at home or while in service to their country; but all were also trained in combat. Wielding a camera as well as a weapon, the service members of the Canadian Army Film Unit would go on to document historic events such as the invasion of Sicily and D-Day. All films in this collection were recorded using 35 mm movie cameras.
Gervais, Dale, “The Canadian Army Newsreels: On the Home Screen.” Canadianfilmandphotunit.ca Last Modified February 24, 2014. https://canadianfilmandphotounit.ca/2014/02/24/the-canadian-army-newsreel-on-the-home-screens/
Library and Archives Canada. “ Faces of the Second World War.” Last Modified September 16, 2020. https://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/military-heritage/second-world-war/faces-second-war/Pages/faces-second-world-war.aspx
Waramps.ca “The Canadian Army Newsreels.” Last Modified 2014. https://www.waramps.ca/pdf/english-site/other/canr/canr-booklet.pdf