IWM Film website upgrade: self-selection and authorised download of HD clips. More info
By continuing to use this site without changing your cookie settings,
and for us to access our cookies on your device.
Summary: British soldiers celebrate Christmas with Dutch civilians just behind 53rd (Welsh) Division's frontline in the Netherlands.
Description: START 00:00:00 Unedited footage filmed in the village of Baexem nine kilometres north-west of Roermond showing infantrymen serving in the 1st/5th Battalion Welch Regiment entertaining some young Dutch children, their mothers and other female relatives. They gather around an open fire by singing popular songs close to a working windmill. The words 'A Merry Xmas' are chalked by a soldier on the windmill.
00:01:35 There is one man in charge of cooking Christmas lunch in two steaming dixies whilst other comrades gather up large bottles of beer and open up tins of food. The Lieutenant in charge of the platoon comes over to taste the cooking and is satisfied by the results. One of his Corporals shouts to his men to come and get it. The men rush to sit down on both sides of a long table and have their mess tins filled with hot food and beer by their officer and NCOs. A fair-haired Dutch boy has his hair rubbed dry by a soldier who has accidentally poured beer over him. The Lieutenant in charge of the platoon attaches two sprigs of holly to the Christmas pudding and one of his NCO's serves up slices of the pudding with a big knife. The fair-haired boy and another Dutch child eat some pudding. The soldiers and several Dutch children sitting with them sing 'For he's a jolly good Fellow' in the lee of the windmill and its revolving sails.
Production Country: GB
Production Details: War Office (Production sponsor)
Army Film and Photographic Unit (Production company)
Johnson, Norman (Production individual)
Personalities, Units and Organisations: British Army, 53rd Division (regiment/service)
British Army, Welch Regiment, 1st/5th Battalion (regiment/service)
Keywords: Baexem, Limburg, Netherlands (geography)
Christmas Celebrations, Celebrations (event)
Liberation of the Netherlands 1944-1945, North West Europe, Second World War (event)
Home Front, Netherlands, Second World War (event)
British Army 1939-1945 (theme)
North West Europe 1944-1945 (theme)
Technical Details: Format: 35mm
Number of items/reels/tapes: 1
Footage: 450 ft; Running time: 5 mins
Notes: Remarks: Good quality coverage with establishing shots, close-ups and cutaways mostly in focus, except the shot of the 'A Merry Xmas' sign. Filmed (presumably) as a human interest story as well as for its propaganda potential.