- Title: WAAFs AT WORK AND PLAY IN INDIA [Allocated Title]
- Film Number: ABY 117
- Other titles: ROYAL AIR FORCE OPERATIONS IN SOUTH EAST ASIA DURING THE SECOND WORLD WAR [Allocated Series Title]
- Summary: Women of the Women's Auxiliary Air Force (the 'WAAFs') at work and play at RAF stations in India and Ceylon (Sri Lanka).
- Description: Reel 1: Two airwomen sunbathing in a garden. Two women in civilian clothes sitting on a gate. A woman mounts a horse and goes riding. Airwomen outside their billet. Women sunbathing. Three WAAFs leave their billet and stop to read a noticeboard. A sign advertises a dance on the evening of Friday 6 July 1945. Brief shot of two men riding bicycles. More sunbathing. Interior footage from a dance hall; couples dancing to the music of an RAF band. Close-ups of the drummer and saxophonist. Exterior footage; a woman walks towards a building signposted as 'Dance Hall and Cinema'. A train arrives at Rawalpindi station (now in Pakistan); an airwoman leans from a window. Carriages are marked 'E.I.R' for 'East Indian Railway'. Group of WAAFs walking along the platform. They stop for refreshments from a small stall. They board Chevrolet lorries and are driven along winding mountainous roads. The WAAFs walk to their billets. Poolside scenes of airwomen swimming and chatting. Lorries pass through a village and then along a wooded hillside road. Reel 2: Interior of a dental surgery. A Dental Officer is at work on a patient and his WAAF orderly assists him. In the Operations (Ops) Room at RAF 229 Group HQ in Delhi an airwoman chalks information on the Ops board. Telephone exchange; WAAF telephonists at work. A WAAF operates a teleprinter. Personnel from RAF and WAAF Police. Two airwomen at a fruit stall; they are joined by two WAAF Policewomen who move them along. Two WAAF policewomen talking. A woman wearing an armband marked 'D.A.P.M' (probably 'Deputy Assistant Provost Marshal') checks a woman's papers. Interior shots at a hairdresser's salon. An airwoman chalks informaton on the Ops board. Women doing paperwork. WAAFs leave their billet and board a lorry. They dismount and walk towards a large building where a Military Policeman checks their papers. Interior shots; typists and telephonists at work. A woman writes in a ledger. External shots; women walk into the changing rooms at a swimming pool and emerge in swimming costumes. Some jump into the pool. Another large building with WAAFs arriving. A football match in progress. Reel 3: Footage from Ratmalana Airport at Colombo, Ceylon (Sri Lanka). A WAAF corporal speaks on a radio; she wears the 'Sparks' badge of a Wireless Operator. Another WAAF answers telephones. Dental surgery; a WAAF Dental Orderly at work in the background mixes a paste for the dentist. A female Wireless Operator transmits Morse code. An airwoman operates a petrol pump to refuel a lorry. A sign reads 'Fire Danger - No Smoking', copied below in two other languages. In the Equipment Section a local man piles folded sheets on a table and an airwoman counts them off. Two women count plates stored in racks while another checks tally cards. A large building at Ratmalana Airport, possibly the terminal. WAAFs walk past a parked Avro York transport aircraft. Women playing badminton. WAAFs picnicking; some eat watermelon. Another lights a cigarette. Two WAAF officers having tea outside their billet which is served by a local servant. One is reading 'Tatler' the long-running British magazine of high society. Two women push bicycles.
- Access Conditions: IWM Attribution: © IWM
- Featured Period: 1939-1945
- Production Date: 1945-07
- Production Country: GB
- Production Details: Air Ministry, Directorate of Public Relations (Production sponsor) Royal Air Force Film Production Unit (Production company) Layzell, R G (Production individual) Hughes, H R (Production individual)
- Personalities, Units and Organisations: Royal Air Force, Women's Auxiliary Air Force (regiment/service) Royal Air Force, 229 Group (regiment/service)
- Keywords: Ratmalana, Ceylon (geography) Rawalpindi, Punjab, India (geography) Delhi, North Central India, India (geography) Lower Topa, Punjab, India (geography) Home Front, India, Second World War (event) Welfare and recreational activities and services, Burma 1942-1945, Second World War (event) Royal Air Force 1939-1945 (theme) India 1939-1945 (theme)
- Physical Characteristics: Colour format: B&W Sound format: Silent
- Technical Details: Format: 35mm Number of items/reels/tapes: 3 Footage: 2447 ft; Running time: 28 minutes
- Notes: Location in Reel 1 is No.1 RAF Hill Depot at Lower Topa in the Murree Hills in Punjab (now in Pakistan). Hill stations such as these were popular as resorts away from the oppressive heat of lower-lying areas during Indian summers. Much of the interior scenes in Reel 2 somewhat murky and poorly lit. The experience of WAAFs in south east Asia was also a topic of other films and for RAF photographers. See related items below.
- Link to IWM Collections page:
Related IWM Collections Objects:
ABY 53 (THE FIRST CONTINGENT OF THE WOMEN'S AUXILIARY AIR FORCE ARRIVES IN INDIA [Allocated Title]) ABY 58 (WAAF PERSONNEL ARRIVE BY AIR IN CEYLON [Allocated Title]) ABY 175 (LADY WELSH VISITS CALCUTTA [Allocated Title])