Starring Guy Gibson as himself: IWM releases wartime films

The Imperial War Museum has recently announced that it is converting more of its film collection into MP4 format, more suitable for viewing online across various platforms. One of the items which has recently been released is this eight minute compilation, which you can see in full here.

The sequence combines four short pieces of silent film:

  • Off-duty scenes of Gibson, his colleagues and his dog in 106 Squadron at RAF Syerston (probably shot in late 1942)
  • Film taken from Gibson’s aircraft on a 106 Squadron night bomber raid against Turin on 28 November 1942
  • Gibson addressing Boy Scouts at Maidstone about the Dams Raid, 19 June 1943
  • The pièce de résistance: A colour sequence with Gibson talking about the Dams Raid to a few teenage boys, showing them the silver model Lancaster he was given after the raid, close-ups of his gallantry awards and posing in a garden, with his wife Eve and three others. This sequence was probably shot in the house of Thomas Gladstone Bincham, head of a paper manufacturer in Maidstone, and an important figure in the scouting movement. It is likely that he is the other man in the film.

What is striking about the last sequence is how young the colour film makes Gibson look, when we are used to seeing him in black and white. He was in fact only about 24 years and 10 months when it was shot.

Hat tip: Bomber Command History Forum

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7 thoughts on “Starring Guy Gibson as himself: IWM releases wartime films

  1. Maureen Gray April 15, 2018 / 6:21 pm

    I cant say how mucj I admire this young man & what he achieved at such a young age . I have been to the Dams , the crash sites & the cemeteries & it was a humbling experience to think of the price paid not only by the Dambusters but ALL of Bomber command . Giy Gibson is a hero to me & I am reminded of him daily as I look at the picture on my living room wall .

  2. p.rhebergen@kpnmail.nl April 15, 2018 / 6:22 pm

    Good evening, Thank you so much for this most interesting posting! I do have one question to you: Is it maybe possible to post a probably interesting photo which I took from one of the wheels from Gibson`s Mosquito after he crashed near Steenbergen here in The Netherlands? Maybe by your intervention? Greetings, Peter Rhebergen The Netherlands

  3. Priscilla littmoden April 15, 2018 / 6:31 pm

    Thank you so much for this very interesting footage, I’m a great admirer of Guy Gibson and all the Dambusters, it was so nice to see him in colour, yes so young. I do love your blog,

  4. Mike Farrier April 15, 2018 / 10:13 pm

    What a fantastic treat your latest blog is Charles!
    After all these years of studying Guy Gibson and his Dambusting comrades, I’d never seen any of that 106 sqdn raid footage from Gibson’s former Squadron before, let alone the increased length of the colour footage. Well done the Imperial War Museum and well done Charles for bringing it to our eyes!

  5. Ian Arnold May 3, 2018 / 3:23 am

    Hi

    I downloaded this film and it has the file title on top of some of the film. Can you advise how I can get a copy without the filename on the film

    Regards

    Ian Arnold

    • charlesfoster May 3, 2018 / 3:37 pm

      Sorry, I can’t. Above my level of technical expertise!

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