top of page

Living History Group

Army Film & Photographic Unit

afpu pic

The Army Film & Photographic Unit Living History Group was established by Gary Hughes & Jeff Ball to:


  •  Portray members of the Army Film & Photographic Unit within the context of living history events.


  • Promote the work of the Army Film & Photographic Unit during World War 2.


  • Research the work of and collect and maintain the equipment used by the AFPU.


  • Participate in public displays for the benefit and education of younger generations.


  • Forge links with and become actively involved in the activities of other World War 2 living history groups.


  • Provide a vehicle for the creation of an archive of primarily British World War 2 living history photography.


  • Actively record major World War 2 commemorative living history events.


  • Make available the output from those activities.


  This site is a record of the efforts over the years to raise the profile & increase peoples awareness of the AFPU; whilst working with some of the finest WW2 re-enactment groups. We continue to participate in a few events and add to our stock of pictures and equipment.

The structure of the AFPU has been tucked away behind a series of pseudonyms such as War Correspondent, Official War Office Photos, Imperial War Museum material or just plain Newsreel Sources. This tends to give the impression that both stills and cine material were entirely the end product of Official War Correspondents (who did contribute some excellent material with superior equipment). However, due to limitations on access there is no way that they could have covered every theatre of war during World War 2 as thoroughly, or as well as, the Army Film & Photographic Unit.


The film and photo section began the war as part of the Public Relations Service – it was not to become the AFPU until the Western Desert. Following pressure from the British Ministry of Information the War Office formed an expanded version of the Army Film Unit, the Army Film & Photographic Unit (AFPU), in October 1941.


In those early days it vied for position with the Fleet Street boys and the likes of Pathe News etc. It was not until later that the AFPU would be granted unprecedented access to all parts of the front-line.

History of the AFPU....


Background to the group....

All pictures copyright of Gary Hughes & Jeff Ball unless otherwise stated

bottom of page