Title ID 7063Collection ID985
TitleThe Lonely Ones
CollectionOckenden Venture
Genre/TypeProfessionalTelevision companyInstitutionalNon-fictionReportage
ThemeWartime and Military
KeywordsSocial Problems Children Food Schools Houses Workers Family Travel
NationalEngland United Kingdom
ProductionAssociated Television Ltd.
ProducerMichael Redington
WriterR.S. Thomas
NarratorCarol Stubbings
FormatBlack & White Sound
Duration20 min. 51 sec.
Copyright & AccessCopyright restrictions apply, contact Screen Archive South East for details


A documentary following the lives of young refugees in Europe, the Middle East and Hong Kong produced during World Refugee Year (1959-1960) by Associated Television Ltd. Narrative commentary is provided by a young girl, thankful for international aid and kindness.


This film has been made available for Wold Refugee Year by Associated Television Ltd. The Film was made for inter-church and Refugee Service and was originally shown in the programme "About Religion" Sunday, March 1st, 1959. Refugees seen in this film are from Europe, The Middle East, and Hong Kong. These are some of the people the United Kingdom Committee is pledged to help in World Refugee Year. The Lonely Ones. Music and commentary (written from the point of view of a young girl) throughout. "Jesus said, take care that you offend not one of these little ones. I am one of these little ones" is repeated throughout.

Refugees walk through a forest in the snow, escaping from Hungary. A family with to young children are seen, carrying their belongings. A couple distributing supplies from a van greet the family. Panning shot across a camp follows. Inside, newly arrived refugee families are given medical care by a doctor and nurse. A child, put to sleep by her parents while they were traveling, is "woken up" by the doctor. Families cook and children play in one large room. Children play with toys. Men discuss over a map. World Council of Churches - woman types while man consults with a couple. Refugees board a plane. Further refugees walk through the wooded landscape. "the ones left behind".

In the Middle East, a man pulls a donkey behind him and greets his wife and child outside a cave. A woman makes a fire to cook on. Armed troops patrol a barbed wire fence, separating Bethlehem from the settlement, "why can't we be together?" A young boy waters plants on a small plot. The family cooks a meal and the children are fed. Women and children gather at a stone-built building, where they are given food. Children eat sitting on the floor after "kind people" distribute hot food at their school. At a distribution centre, bundles of supplies are given out. Blind men make baskets and women are seen sewing with machines and by hand. "It made them happy again to be able to work." Two men make a chair, others weld using tools and masks.

In Hong Kong, rain runs through the streets. A shanty town is seen from a roof in a panning shot. Children eat from bowls with older family members. Three children set off along a street, "to go out begging". Huts are built up steep hills because of a shortage of space. Water is carried in buckets. A man waters a plot. Food is distributed by a nurse at a Church World Service centre. Clothes, shoes and blankets are given out in bundles to the families. A group of children arrive at Hong Jae Orphanage. Many more children are inside, sitting on the floor. The new arrivals join the others on the floor before three women bring out rice and bowls for the children. Further supplies are given out and the recipients carry them on their backs.

Adults and children walk in the grounds and practice using prosthetic limbs at the Church World Service Korean Amputee Rehabilitation Vocational Training Centre. At Faith Hope Nursery, children play in a large sand pit and wash their hands and faces in sinks. They sit at tables and eat soup. Babies are cared for by a nurse at the Children Relief Hospital. One is fed from a bottle. Young children in iron beds together, one is shown to be very malnourished. "Will you help us wherever we are? Will you help us, please?" The children are filmed in close-up.

Contextual information

Initiated by the UK and approved by the General Assembly, World Refugee Year (1959-1960) aimed to address the lives of refugees that lay outside the High Commissioners mandate, restricted by legal criteria. Each country could help whatever group of refugees it desired, including those in unofficial DP camps and shanty towns. Around seventy countries announced participation in W.R.Y., aiming to “clear the camps.” Since 1959, the UN has designated years to humanitarian causes in order to encourage international action.

The surrender of Germany in 194 left millions homeless after their deportation and forced labour, and the destruction of their homes. Unable or unwilling to return to their country of origin after their homes and communities had been destroyed and displaced, refugees remained in camps or lived as “freelivers” for nearly two decades years after the war had ended. Publicity surrounding WRY was needed to raise funds, heighten awareness of international efforts and resettle refugees still living in camps, official and unofficial, for nearly 15 years. The campaign films present an international response to the refugee crisis, and signaled a move away from temporary and local solutions to international effort.