Australian Screen

Australia’s audiovisual heritage online

Dyer, Frederick Simpson: Milkshakes and Bomb Shelter (c.1940)

play Please note: this clip is silent
Email a link to this page
To:
CC:
Subject:
Body:
clip Bomb shelter education content clip 3

Original classification rating: not rated. This clip chosen to be G

Clip description

This clip from a black-and-white home movie shows two young girls and a boy entering a bomb shelter in their backyard. The boy wears a military cap and waves from the top of the shelter before the children make their exits.

Curator’s notes

This clip illustrates how some Australians responded to the threat of invasion by the Japanese during the Second World War by building their own air raid shelters. A number of different shots filmed from different angles are edited together into a short sequence. Dyer was an enthusiastic chronicler of family activities and this footage also demonstrates his interest in the technical capabilities of making home movies.

Teacher’s notes

provided by The Le@rning FederationEducation Services Australia

This black-and-white silent clip from an Australian home movie shows three small children entering and leaving a suburban backyard bomb shelter. They enter the shelter down some steps, look through an opening in the top and come back out. The shelter appears to be made of timber, hessian bags and corrugated iron, with earth piled over the top of the main chamber. The boy wears an officer’s hat and is dressed formally in what is possibly his school uniform with shorts and long socks. The girls wear overcoats.

Educational value points

  • While Australia did not appear to be under any direct threat of attack in 1940, awareness of the dangers of aerial bombing increased in Australia after German bombing of British cities from September 1940. Australian troops left for the Middle East in early 1940 in the belief that Australia was under little threat from Japan, but this was not a view shared in all quarters and general preparations for war conditions included the construction of bomb shelters.
  • The shelter shown here has a central opening that reduces its effectiveness and suggests that the owners may not have actually feared attack. The shelter is similar to the British Anderson shelter, which was made from curved corrugated iron covered by earth with one entrance at the front, but without the central hatch that is shown here. While the shelter would provide protection from flying debris, the hole in the roof lessens its effectiveness.
  • The backyard shelter was one of a number of civil defence strategies that were planned in Australia from 1939. Most officially planned air raid shelters were dug in public spaces and parks. Air Raid Precaution (ARP) organisations were established in each state. Sirens were installed, public shelters dug and volunteers were appointed as wardens and trained in first aid, firefighting and air raid precautions.
  • Casualties to children in the London Blitz during late 1940 were taken seriously in Australia, and in 1941 school children were issued identity tags in case of hasty evacuation to safer locations. After the Japanese bombing of northern Australia in 1942, some children were moved from capital cities to country locations but no official evacuation plan was enacted.
  • The threat of aerial attack on mainland Australia did become a reality when the Japanese advanced into South-East Asia and bombs were dropped on Darwin in February 1942, shortly after Singapore was taken. These attacks continued until November 1943, with the Japanese bombing Darwin 64 times. Other towns across northern Australia were also bombed. Some Sydney shelters were used on 31 May 1942 when Japanese midget submarines attacked the Harbour.
  • This amateur movie of domestic life in early wartime Australia shows the efforts of one family preparing for the reality of a war that was then being fought thousands of kilometres away. Australian home moviemakers in the 1940s generally used 16-mm black-and-white format film as in this clip. However the equipment was expensive and its use was not widespread.

Thanks to the generosity of the rights holders, we are able to offer Bomb shelter from the home movie Dyer, Frederick Simpson: Milkshakes and Bomb Shelter as a high quality video download.

To play the downloadable video, you need QuickTime 7.0, VLC, or similar.

You must read and agree to the following terms and conditions before downloading the clip:

australianscreen is produced by the National Film and Sound Archive. By using the website you agree to comply with the terms and conditions described elsewhere on this site. The NFSA may amend the 'Conditions of Use’ from time to time without notice.

All materials on the site, including but not limited to text, video clips, audio clips, designs, logos, illustrations and still images, are protected by the Copyright Laws of Australia and international conventions.

When you access australianscreen you agree that:

  • You may retrieve materials for information only.
  • You may download materials for your personal use or for non-commercial educational purposes, but you must not publish them elsewhere or redistribute clips in any way.
  • You may embed the clip for non-commercial educational purposes including for use on a school intranet site or a school resource catalogue.
  • The National Film and Sound Archive’s permission must be sought to amend any information in the materials, unless otherwise stated in notices throughout the Site.

All other rights reserved.

ANY UNAUTHORISED USE OF MATERIAL ON THIS SITE MAY RESULT IN CIVIL AND CRIMINAL LIABILITY.

This clip is available in the following configurations:

File nameSizeQualitySuitability
milkshak3_pr.mp4 Large: 4.2MB High Optimised for full-screen display on a fast computer.
milkshak3_bb.mp4 Medium: 2.0MB Medium Can be displayed full screen. Also suitable for video iPods.

Right-click on the links above to download video files to your computer.

Thanks to the generosity of the rights holders, we are able to offer this clip in an embeddable format for personal or non-commercial educational use in full form on your own website or your own blog.

You must read and agree to the following terms and conditions before embedding the clip:

australianscreen is produced by the National Film and Sound Archive. By using the website you agree to comply with the terms and conditions described elsewhere on this site. The NFSA may amend the 'Conditions of Use’ from time to time without notice.

All materials on the site, including but not limited to text, video clips, audio clips, designs, logos, illustrations and still images, are protected by the Copyright Laws of Australia and international conventions.

When you access australianscreen you agree that:

  • You may retrieve materials for information only.
  • You may download materials for your personal use or for non-commercial educational purposes, but you must not publish them elsewhere or redistribute clips in any way.
  • You may embed the clip for non-commercial educational purposes including for use on a school intranet site or a school resource catalogue.
  • The National Film and Sound Archive’s permission must be sought to amend any information in the materials, unless otherwise stated in notices throughout the Site.

All other rights reserved.

ANY UNAUTHORISED USE OF MATERIAL ON THIS SITE MAY RESULT IN CIVIL AND CRIMINAL LIABILITY.

Copy and paste the following code into your own web page to embed this clip: