Southampton - Port of Achievement

This film from the Southern Railway Film Unit, compiled in 1946, documents Southampton Docks during the Second World War.

Although there are only a few instances of the Southern Railway Police shown in the film (itemised below in bold), it is worth a viewing to see the contribution made to the war effort by Southampton Docks and the Southern Railway.



Amended description from the Wessex Film and Sound Archive (Hampshire County Council).

PORT OF ACHIEVEMENT (Series SOUTHAMPTON DOCKS FILMS) Film concerning role of Southampton Docks, under the control of the Southern Railway, during the Second World War. Includes footage of the British Expeditionary Force and its return from Dunkirk, evacuation of Channel Islanders, bomb damage, preparations for D- Day including construction of Mulberry Harbours and troop embarkation, and ferrying of trains to Cherbourg.
00 00: Opening titles.
00 24: Aerial views of Southampton Docks.
0 45: Commentary concerning effect of Second World War on the port, with footage of tanks and supplies being loaded onto ships for the British Expeditionary Force.
1 40: Footage of servicemen arriving at the docks, embarking and departing. Ships shown include the “Maid of Kent” and “Sandown” Southern Railway ship converted for use as minesweeper.
2 19: Southern Railway PC on the right at 4 gate.
03 20: Footage and commentary concerning repair of mine- damaged vessels at Southampton.
3 31: Footage and commentary concerning evacuation of BEF from Dunkirk and arrival of vessels and troops at Southampton.
4 19: Footage and commentary concerning arrival of persons evacuated from the Channel Islands (showing departure by Southern Railway locomotive 826).
04 49: Commentary concerning bombing raids on Southampton in 1941-42, with footage including aerial views, fire at cold storage depot and inspection of ARP Squads by Col More-Brabazon, Minister of Transport.
6 21: Footage and commentary concerning arrival of lease-lend goods from the USA.
7 24: Footage and commentary concerning entry of USA into the war, and handling of equipment (at King George V Graving Dock and elsewhere)
7 44: PC on quayside.
8 48: Footage and commentary concerning American Military Police and Southern Railway force, and replacement Docks Control building.
9 22: Footage and commentary concerning production of vessels for D-Day landings at Southern Railway works in Eastleigh, and construction of Mulberry Harbours in King George V Graving Dock.
9 44: American Military Police doing security stop with Southern Railway Police Constable.
10 21: Southern Railway Police Sergeant crosses the screen with bicycle.
12 24: Footage of the “Invicta” Southern Railway passenger ship, with commentary concerning use as troopship in D- Day landings.
12 53: Footage of the “Isle of Jersey”, “Dinard” and other Southern Railway ships being used as Red Cross ships.
13 40: Commentary concerning “providor” department, with footage of re-victualling of the “Isle of Guernsey”.
14 13: Footage of vessels at Southampton awaiting D-Day expedition, and of troops and equipment, with commentary concerning role of the port.
16 29: Footage of ceremony for embarkation of the one millionth US servicemen, attended by the SR Docks and Marine Manager and the Mayor of Southampton.
16 53: Footage and commentary concerning repair of damaged vessels including the “Dinard”.
17 04: Two Southern Railway PC’s directing traffic whilst lorries containing American troops arrive.
17 55: Senior police officer in the background during ‘The Millionth Yank’ ceremony.
17 59: Footage and commentary concerning reception of invasion casualties at Southampton.
18 54: Footage and commentary concerning arrival of German prisoners.
19 12: Commentary concerning train ferry service to Cherbourg, with footage of locomotive 2255 being embarked and “link-span” bridge enabling trains to run onboard. Commentary refers to continued management by the Southern Railway company of the Southern ships throughout the war.
20 46: Footage of memorial tablet at Dock gates presented by US Army. This was affixed to Dock gate 8.
21 11: Commentary concerning return to peacetime role, with footage of ships including “Durban Castle”, “Uraguay”, “Athlone Castle” and “Queen Elizabeth”.
21 39 End (final seconds missing).

From the Wessex Film and Sound Archive YouTube Channel

Standard YouTube Licence

Thanks to BTPHG Committee Member Ian Oliver for spotting this film.