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ID number F01831
Title Father Christmas under shell fire
Collection Film
Object type Actuality footage
Maker Hurley, James Francis (Frank) (Cinematographer)
Place made North Africa: Western Desert, Western Desert (Egypt), El Alamein Area, El Alamein
Date made December 1942
Physical description 35mm/b&w/silent
Measurement 4 min 47 sec
Video Download video 21.11 MB
Note Open


This film taken less than 2000 yards from the German lines shows how the gifts were secured from the Father Christmas store. The shopping innovation was conceived by NX12629 Lieutenant-Colonel E MacArthur-Onslow DSO ED for his Machine Gun Regiment. Other units caught up the idea and the excitement of Christmas shopping was intensified by the falling of Jerry shells. This travelling emporium concealed beneath camouflage a few hundred yards behind the front line posts was a veritable treasure chest of knick-knacks from glittering hair combs to dainty slippers and all that is worn between - dear to a woman's fancy.

Please note: The film and sound collections of the Australian War Memorial includes items which may contain: historically or culturally sensitive images and terms, confronting depictions of the consequences of warfare, and/or, human suffering or death. This material does not reflect the viewpoint of the Memorial, but rather is representative of the social attitudes and circumstances of the period or place in which it was created and also the reality and human cost of warfare.

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