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Title:VERA LYNN CHATS WITH TROOPS [Allocated Title]
Film Number:MWY 33
Other titles:INDIAN INTER-SERVICE PUBLIC RELATIONS DIRECTORATE COLLECTION - INDIAN HOME FRONT AND MILITARY OPERATIONS, AND ALLIED OPERATIONS IN ITALY AND THE PACIFIC DURING THE SECOND WORLD WAR [Allocated Series Title]
Summary: Vera Lynn, the popular female vocalist known as 'The Forces Sweetheart', visits units of the 14th Army at Sylhet, a short distance from the Indian-Burmese border.
Description: START 00:00:00 Close-up of the cameraman's cue card 'Eyemo B - Blakey'. Shots showing Vera Lynn, wearing a WAAF cap, khaki officer's tunic and shorts and sitting on the running board of a Chevrolet 30-cwt truck, in conversation with about a dozen British and Karen soldiers seated on an embankment nearby. The officer seated on her right on the running board is Flying Officer Leslie George Whitworth, a reconnaissance pilot based in India and Burma who was given the job of driving Vera Lynn and her musical director, pianist Len Edwards, to various sites near the front line. A shot of Vera leaning on the bonnet of a jeep (on the passenger side) chatting to three men including F/O Whitworth and on the far left, the pianist Len Edwards.
00:00:32 Shots showing Vera Lynn chatting to four anti-tank gunners and looking through the gun sights of their Ordnance QF 2-pounder 40mm anti-tank gun. Afterwards, British riflemen pose for the camera in the foreground whilst Vera signs autographs in the background. She scribbles her signature on the brims of slouch hats proffered by a ring of her military admirers.
00:01:24 Shots showing Vera and a group of soldiers watching a three-inch mortar team in action during a firing demonstration and smoke produced by a mortar round landing several hundred yards away. Visible in the background are several Ordnance QF 2-pounder gun detachments, including the one she was seen inspecting earlier.
Technical Details: Format: 35mm
Number of items/reels/tapes: 1
Footage: 162 ft; Running time: 1 min 44 secs
Notes: Remarks: rare wartime footage of Vera Lynn.
Series note: The MWY series of films is believed to be part of a ‘pool’ of film received by the Government of India from various sources, including South East Asia Command, the Indian Inter-Service Public Relations Directorate, the Ministry of Information, and from Allied governments. This footage would have been considered for editing and release through the Indian Newsreel Parade; see INR series.
The soldier who stands on Vera Lynn's left at a slight distance (at 00:49 to 00:55) has been identified by a family member as Private Humphrey Silkman of the 2nd Battalion, Dorsetshire Regiment.