British Universities Film & Video Council

moving image and sound, knowledge and access

Filming History: The Memoirs of John Turner, Newsreel Cameraman

Filming History book coverBetween 1910 and 1979 the newsreels, released twice a week in British cinemas, gave millions their picture of national and world events. They have now preserved an invaluable record of life and news in the twentieth century. This is the first biographical account of someone who worked for the British newsreels to be published in over twenty years.

John Turner worked as a cameraman for Gaumont-British News between 1937 and 1952. As a war correspondent he was attached to the Royal Navy and filmed in the UK, North Sea, Mediterranean, Italy, North Africa, north west Europe and the Far East. In peace time he filmed many classic news stories, and was in India at the time of independence and Gandhi’s assassination. In 1952 he became the royal rota cameraman for the Newsreel Association, filming the royal Commonwealth tours and numerous exclusive royal events. Between 1962 and 1970 he became production manager and then news editor for Pathe News.

Filming History will be of importance to social, cultural and political historians, university courses on media and communication studies, and anyone interested in the history of British Film and the important part played in that history by the newsreels.

Published December 2001, pbk, 256 pages, ISBN 0 901299 72 3
Price per copy: £35.00, including UK p&p. BUFVC member’s rate: £29.00 plus £2.50 postage and packing within the UK, £6 elsewhere.