1939 and All That!

Accession Number F04905
Collection type Film
Measurement 14 min 56 sec
Object type Home movie
Physical description 8mm standard/b&w/silent
Maker Poppleton, James
Place made Australia: Victoria, Melbourne
Date made 1939-1948
Access Open
Conflict Second World War, 1939-1945
Copyright Item copyright: © Australian War Memorial
Creative Commons License This item is licensed under CC BY-NC
Source credit to This item has been digitised with funding provided by Commonwealth Government.

An amateur filmmaker's perspective of WW2 from the home front, incorporating newspaper headlines from 1939 to war's end; shots of Melbourne neighbourhoods and communities engaged war time activities such as air raid drills, marching, sandbagging and trench digging. Locations shown include Collins, Bourke, Swanston, William and Goodwin Streets. The film concludes with scenes of Victory Day celebrations, welcome home parades and return of prisoners of war.
Jim Poppleton and son Bruce at the front gate of 2 Goodwin Street Glen Iris, Victoria. Jim Poppleton reads newspaper headlines " We are at war". Headline from the Daily Telegraph "We are at war with Germany". Headline Daily Telegraph "Germany invades Poland". Close up of Daily Telegraph September 3 1939. Soldiers marching west down Bourke Street with Parliament House and St Patricks in the distance. Newspaper headline "Denmark and Norway invaded" April 9, 1940. Headline "Germans begin full invasion" May 10, 1940. Headline : "Belgium Army lays down arms" May 28, 1940. Headline from the Sun newspaper "BEF stands in grave danger" June 4 1940. Headline "Italy declares war on Allies". Headline "Marshal Petain seeks armistice - We must give up the fight" June 22 1940. Headline Britain will not give up" - readers hand is that of Mrs Edith Poppleton. Troops marching down Collins Street into Swanston Street. Headline Sun "German bombs shake Oxford" 27 August, 1940. Tracer bullets (in colour) probably taken in 1946-47 at Mt Martha display of fire power from the army camp at Balcombe). Headline Sun, "Bombs pierce Westminister, May 11, 1941. Headline "Germany at war with Russia" June 30 1941. Headline Sun " Japan declares war on US and UK: Shoots first" 8 December 1941. Troops marching down Collins Street turning into Swanston Street. Title - Air Raid Precaution - from ARP manual cover. Trench digging - thought to be in vacant land in the vicinity east of Ferndale Park - Ferndale Road runs in front of the house in the background. Close up of trench digging. Jim Poppleton and three undentified individuals filling sandbags. Gathering in Mr Cooling's side garden corner of Goodwin Street and Howie Street Glen Iris. [to date the individuals can not be identified]. Close up of Wardens - Mr Cooling and Mr Cox of 20 Goodwin Street. Abandoning LOT in Howie Street. Last in Line Mr Geoffrey John Williams, father of John and Collin. Mr Cox second last. Escorting LOT down Howie street, round the corner and east up Goodwin Street. Adults not identified. Possibly Colin David Williams and Bruce Poppleton on extreme right. Warden probably Mr Cooling. Mr Cooling and unidentified individual. Assignment of roles for upcoming incident - John Cordner Williams and Colin David Williams and others. Lighting the phosphorous incendiary bomb. Incendiary explodes. Casualties John Williams and unknown. Conferring outside the Methodist Church hall in Malverston St Burwood. Action to attend victims. Blocking off the street. Administration - time and motion study. Life saving - top individual Ian Furzer of 3 Lincoln Street and lower unknown. Repairs to John C. Williams. Keeping the patient warm. Action down on Goodwin Street - individual unknown. More views of church hall scene - Bruce Poppleton in front wearing jumper. Lifting casualty. Carring stretcher - Bruce Poppleton wearing suit. Casualty loaded into makeshift ambulance, a removalist van - boy moving backwards is Colin D. Williams. Moving off with bicycle escort into Summerhill Road. Canteen - baby's bassinette. Canteen ladies. More workers. Ladies brigade - again unidentified corner of Denman Avenue and Summerhill corner. Newspaper headline Sun, "Singapore falls AIF may be.." February 15 1942. Headline Sun "Darwin bombed by Japanese". Headline Sun - "Jap invasion fleet repulsed: temporary lull in battle" April 28 1942. Headline "Submarine hit-run Sydney Newcastle" May 31, 1942. Mr Cooling and others - Bruce Poppleton bottom right, Bryan Williams (lived corner of Howie and Renwick Street) is the very young boy (no relation to the other Williams family). Water extinguishers - note pumer at rear - used for spraying fruit trees after the war. More paper work even to fill a bucket. Water "explodes" burning phosphorous/magnesium. More paper work. Oil fire in metal tray location Back Creek easement. Ladies at work with sand. Jim Poppleton carrying paper work at "smoko". Bruce Poppleton lighting gum-nut pipe with safety matches- a relaxing pufff - subsequently a life long non smoker! Potential danger - note genuine 6 digit registration number - bomb explodes near car. Fire/smoke/gas bomb. Rushing with LOT down Goodwin Street and entourage of small boys with dog. Gas warning - the clacker. Standing around. Gas warning wearing gas mask (plus spectators)- a triangle advised of "gas clear". Closing off street. Headline "Russia peril now greater". War effort advertising then pan to enrolment booth The Old in Shed. Rations - sold out quotas - Ration books - kitchen at No. 2. Cutting out coupn for tea. Cutting out coupon for chocolate. Store front - Myers Bourke Street. Headline "Americans are soon masters". Headline "Mussolini out, reported arrested with cabinet" September 1943. Headline Sun "Big armies enter Italy". Headline Sun "Allies invade Europe" June 6 1944. Headline "Hitler is dead". Headline "Germans proclaim surrender" May 7 1945. Headline "It's all over in Europe" May 13 1945. Headline "Japan agrees to surrender" August 15 1945. Various scenes of street celebrations. Flags - Shell building corner of Bourke Street and William Street. Crowds Swanston Street. Various shots of crowds. Crowded tram - "VP" chalked on tram. Gun salute in Domain. Bonfire at bottom of Goodwin Street - Edith Poppelton in silhouette - Back Creek. Peace. Thanksgiving service notice "Cessation of Hostilities". Shrine slow pan. Various shots of dignitaries and crowd at Shrine. Welcome home parade. Bourke street towards Parliament and St Patricks. Crowds toops - returned POWs. Various shots of march. Various shots of cars. Port Melbourne Station pier. Flags - ensign HMS Implacable. March past by Marines. March looking north up Market Street.

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