This film is held by the Imperial War Museum (ID: JFU 228).


British soldiers of XV Corps celebrate Christmas 1944 on the Teknaf Peninsula on the Indo-Burma border.

A man leaves a tent; he carries a bugle. Close-up of the bugler playing. A flag blowing in the wind is emblazoned with 'Commando' across the top and 'Primus Inter Pares' ('First among equals') below (the design on the flag is possibly a salamander in flames, the badge of No. 1 Commando). Views of a tented camp. A man dips a small bag into a pot on a stove while another pokes the embers with a long pole. A man wearing a beret with grenade cap badge, pair of shorts and a large kukri on his belt carries a mug and bucket across camp towards camera. He goes into a tent and shouts something; a bald head emerges from behind a mosquito net and the man sticks a cigarette into his mouth before filling the mug from the bucket. A sign reads 'Field Post Office' and the camera pans to an open-sided tent. Interior tent; two men at work with pin-up girls on the walls in the background. One of them takes down a small card calendar and changes the date to Monday 25 December. Outside seated men peel potatoes with close-up on one of them. A sign reads 'No sniping this is your Xmas dinner'. The sign hangs on a wire fence enclosing a team of ducks. A number of men attempt to catch them. A man carrying a duck hands it over to another who, rather ominously, brandishes a machete. Men leaving their tents. A sign reads 'YMCA' (Young Men's Christian Association). Two men look at a blackboard that reads 'Ask here for Monopoly/Totopoly/Chess/Draughts/Dominoes/Cards/Ludo/Darts/Carrom'. Group of men walking through camp; they cross a small wooden bridge over a ditch and walk towards the cookhouse. A sign reads 'Christmas Programme' and lists the various activities for the week from 23 December ('Whist Drive') to 1 January ('Scotch Night') including a carol service, the King's Speech and a concert party. A group of men are entertained by the antics of a small trained monkey. Interior tent; men play darts. Men playing Monopoly. More footage of men watching the monkey; it does cartwheels on command. Sign reads 'The Burma Border Bar'; men stand outside with mugs. Men clink their mugs together. Men pose with a captured Japanese flag. Open-air kitchen; two men prepare a cake mixture while another weighs something on a set of scales. Close-up of an ingredient being added to the mixture and stirred in. Men distributing Christmas post; the men eagerly open their parcels. Close-up shows men opening their parcels; one man's package contains a tin of Harrogate Imperial Toffee. A man beats a dinner gong made from a large shell casing. Men queuing for their Christmas dinner. Sign reads 'Teknaf Tavern'. Men outside. Men emptying sacks of mail and sorting them into piles.


In all a well shot and well directed piece which emphasises the welfare and recreational provision for men in this theatre. This provision had been chronically poor earlier in the campaign but was remedied somewhat from mid-late 1944 after questions in Parliament prompted an effort to improve conditions. For other film showing Christmas festivities in this theatre, see related items.

No dopesheet survives for this film so some details are unclear. However, the film makes it clear that the shooting date is Christmas 1944, and the reference to Teknaf suggests the Teknaf Peninsula on the Indo-Burma border (now in Bangladesh). A variety of cap badges are seen, but the flag of No. 1 Commando supports the identification of XV Corps, as No. 1 Commando was part of 3 Commando Brigade, part of XV Corps. Marshall is identified as cameraman from his slate.



  • CHRISTMAS ON THE INDO-BURMA BORDER (25/12/1944) (Allocated)
Series Title:

Technical Data

Running Time:
9 minutes
Film Gauge (Format):
761 ft

Production Credits

Production Countries:
War Office Directorate of Public Relations
Marshall, L W (Sergeant)
Production company
SEAC Film Unit



Production Organisations