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There has been a long tradition of amateur military units in the U.K., manned by volunteers. Whilst nothing had ever been seen on the scale represented by the Home Guard in WW2, volunteer units also existed in the Great War which ended on November 11th, 1918. Little more than 21 years later, volunteers were again having to offer themselves for service. Some of them were the same men who had been associated directly or indirectly with the Volunteer units of 1914-1918.

Here is an image of the Knowle and Dorridge Volunteers. One of the men was a soldier serving in an active regiment of the Regular Army - about the only one shown lacking a personal weapon - the reason for whose presence on the picture we shall never know. The others were presumably almost all regular members of the Volunteer unit. Can anyone identify any of the faces? Apart from the young private, did any of them become stalwarts of the Home Guard, in Knowle and Dorridge or elsewhere?

(Higher definition images of individual men are available on request).


(Image © J. Summers - 2006)