Movies – Ken Cameron

Ken Cameron – BSound Engineer for Crown Film Unit & Director

Ken Cameron was born 1st December 1915 in Wendover, Buckinghamshire where he spent his early childhood. But his mother died when he was nine, and the family broke up.

His father moved to Dundee, home of the Sunday Post, to which he contributed serial stories. His brother James (who was to become celebrated as a journalist and broadcaster) was sent to work as an office boy at the Sunday Post’s Manchester offices.

Ken Cameron was brought up by a devoted aunt at Helensburgh. From there she sent him to Glasgow Academy and Glasgow University, where he took a degree in electrical engineering.

He had early decided that film was his passion, reviewing every new release he could for the university magazine. In the university vacation of 1936 he gained some practical experience with the GPO film unit as a trainee at Blackheath.

As sound engineer of the Crown Film Unit from 1940 to 1951, Ken Cameron was responsible for the soundtracks of some of the most memorable documentary films of the Second World War. The films — which showed Britain in defiance in the first year of the war and then fighting back through the aircraft of Bomber and Coastal Commands — are not only some of the finest in the genre, but were also of immeasurable propaganda value in demonstrating to potential allies that Britain intended to fight it out to a finish with Nazi Germany.

He was appointed OBE in 1950 for his services to documentary film-making, but the days of the unit were numbered. In 1952, with three other former CFU men — Richard Warren, Ralph May and Ken Scrivener — he co-founded the production company Anvil films, of which he was to remain a director until 1975, the year in which he married his wife, Bessie.

Ken died on August 18th 2000

Other Heroes