- Title: 'AIRMEN'S DAY OFF' - SIGHTSEEING IN SHWEBO, BURMA [Allocated Title]
- Film Number: ABY 75
- Other titles: ROYAL AIR FORCE OPERATIONS IN SOUTH EAST ASIA DURING THE SECOND WORLD WAR [Allocated Series Title]
- Summary: Off-duty RAF ground crew from a nearby forward airstrip spend a few hours visiting the ancient Burmese capital of Shwebo, in Sagaing, north-west of Mandalay, Burma.
- Description: Airmen armed with Sten submachine guns walk along a dusty road with bullock carts passing in the opposite direction. Second angle of the above. Temple spires with RAF Bristol Beaufighter passing low in the background. The airmen arrive at the pagoda gates and pause to take off their shoes 'as Buddhist rites demand the removal of footwear'. Close-ups on shoes. Airmen enter the temple compound and admire a large statue of a chinthe (a mythical lion-like creature) guarding the gate. Men walking around a pagoda. Temple spires with an RAF Douglas Dakota transport aircraft flying in the background. Airmen pass a second chinthe statue. The men remove their bush hats and forage caps before entering the tomb of King Alaungpaya, who led the Burmese against the Mon people of Pegu and the Siamese from 1752-1760 before dieing of wounds sustained after a cannon burst. Men looking at a plaque marking the resting place of Alaungpaya. Men leaving the tomb. Close-up on the men as they leave. Brief shot of airmen among the wreckage of a destroyed building. A local Burmese man lights a Burmese cigar and offers it to one of the airmen who smokes it as his amused companions look on. Men entering the Gul Hamid Tea Shop, set up by an 'enterprising Indian'. Men being served tea, seated at a table with a vase of flowers. Men undressing for a swim in the Mu Canal. Airmen swimming in the water while two more dive in.
- Access Conditions: IWM Attribution: © IWM
- Featured Period: 1939-1945
- Production Date: 1945-02-07
- Production Country: GB
- Production Details: Air Ministry, Directorate of Public Relations (Production sponsor) Royal Air Force Film Production Unit (Production company) Woodcock, Sidney Leslie1945-05-02Flight Lieutenant Sidney Leslie Woodcock, service number 175562, cameraman with No.3 Royal Air Force Film Production Unit. Killed in action 2 May 1945 while filming from a Mosquito of 110 Squadron RAF over Rangoon, Burma. Buried in Rangoon War Cemetery alongside his pilot, Flight Lieutenant John George Buchanan (415744) see [http://www.cwgc.org/search/casualty_details.aspx?casualty=2261432 accessed 24 February 2011] (Production individual) Goozee, S (Production individual)
- Personalities, Units and Organisations: Royal Air Force (regiment/service)
- Keywords: Shwebo, Burma (geography) Welfare and recreational activities and services, Burma 1942-1945, Second World War (event) Royal Air Force 1939-1945 (theme) Far East 1939-1945 (theme) Burma 1942-1945 (theme)
- Physical Characteristics: Colour format: B&W Sound format: Silent
- Technical Details: Format: 35mm Number of items/reels/tapes: 1 Footage: 197 ft; Running time: 3 mins
- Notes: Airmen named on the dopesheet include: Aircraftman (AC) W Page, of Russeltown Avenue, Bristol. Leading Aircraftman (LAC) V Rook, of Hednesford Road, Cannock, Staffordshire. LAC F J Burton, of Brookhill Street, Nottinghamshire. AC H J Jones, of Westheath Road, Birmingham. LAC J P Simpson, of Warwick Street, Rugby. LAC W J Langton, of Alfred Road, Essex. This occasion also covered by RAF photographer. See related items. No slates. Dates on dopesheets conflict, one stating 7/2/1945, the other 7/3/1945. Probable that this is a clerical error and the earlier date is correct. One of the cameramen of this piece, Flight Lieutenant Sidney Woodcock, was killed in action. He and his pilot, Flight Lieutenant J G Buchanan of RAF 110 Squadron, failed to return after a Mosquito sortie over Rangoon on 2 May 1945. They are buried in adjacent plots in the Commonwealth War Graves Commission's Rangoon War Cemetery. Sergeant Stanley Goozee survived the war.
- Link to IWM Collections page:
Related IWM Collections Objects:
JFU 253 (OUR TROOPS VISIT SHWEDAGON PAGODA [Allocated Title])