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Common Ground

About the film

As the war rages in Europe, allies of Britain keep their cultures alive in their National Houses.


Release year
Production company
Merton Park
Mary Benedetta
Cath Miller
Running time (minutes)
17 mins 57 secs
Recording by
Cecil Mason

Original Description

Allied Centres in Britain
'At the National Houses set up, owing to the war, in the United Kingdom through the co-operation of the Allied European Governments and the British Council, Allied nations kept alive their own culture and traditions, and studied the British way of life. The film shows glimpses of the Czecho-slovak, Yugoslav, Belgian, Norwegian, Netherlands, Greek and Polish Houses.'
(Films of Britain - British Council Film Department Catalogue - 1944-45)



  • The Sokol movement was founded in Prague in 1862 and became very popular across eastern Europe, serving as a precursor to the Scouting movement.
  • Both Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia — whose National Houses are the first we see — no longer exist.
  • This is not the first film to feature Polish airmen in the Collection; The Royal Mile, Edinburgh, also shows Overseas servicemen and the Polish publication ‘Skrzydła’ — the periodical of the Polish Air Force until the end of 1946.