MEMORIES AND INFORMATION relating to Home Guard units in
ALL OTHER COUNTIES
and REGIONS
(A-E)

This is a page within the www.staffshomeguard.co.uk website. To see full contents, go to SITE MAP.
The most recent addition was on 14th September 2014.

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This page includes memories of and miscellaneous information about Home Guard units in all U.K. counties and regions under the initial A-E.

See also F-L, M-S and T-Z and the separate, dedicated pages for The 32nd (Aldridge) Battalion
and other units in Staffordshire , Shropshire , Warwickshire and Worcestershire.

The information is listed below by 1940s county, in alphabetical order. For convenience please use the following shortcuts.

ABERDEENSHIRE - ARGYLLSHIRE -  AYRSHIRE - BEDFORDSHIRE - BERKSHIRE - BRECONSHIRE - BUCKINGHAMSHIRE - CAITHNESS - CAMBRIDGESHIRE - CARMARTHENSHIRE - CHESHIRE - CORNWALL - COUNTY DURHAM - CUMBERLAND - DENBIGHSHIRE - DERBYSHIRE - DEVONSHIRE - DORSET - DUMFRIESSHIRE -EAST LOTHIAN - ESSEX -

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ABERDEENSHIRE, ABERDEEN
Pte. Hector Cameron is remembered:

"My father Pte. Hector RCameron represented Aberdeen at the Home Guard Stand Down Parade in London on the 3rd of December 1944. He was also the Aberdeen Representative at the Lord Mayor's Dinner which took place the day before at the Mansion House."

© Jean Fraser Cameron 2005       To read this memoir in its original setting, the BBC's excellent People's War Archive, please click here.    (You will leave this site.  WW2 People's War is an online archive of wartime memories contributed by members of the public and gathered by the BBC. The complete archive can be found at www.bbc.co.uk/ww2peopleswar.)

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ARGYLLSHIRE, KINTYRE
Home Guardsman 'Curly' Gow Takes on 'Dicke' Goering is the story of 'a feisty old Scotsman', Mr. James Gow.(
You will leave this site).

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AYRSHIRE, LARGS
Mr. William Murdoch in Night Watch reacts to a German invasion.
(You will leave this site).

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BEDFORDSHIRE, BEDFORD

The fascinating memories of Mr. Donald R. Church, in 1940 the fifteen-year-old member of a Bedford unit, can be read by clicking the above title.

And a brief further memory of service in the Bedford Home Guard can be read by clicking here. (You will leave this site).

Mr. Thomas Eats remembers air raids in Bedford and his service in the 1st Bedfordshire Battalion. (You will leave this site).

Within a detailed memoir, 'Home Front' in Queen's Park, Mr. Ronald Sharman remembers his Home Guard service. (You will leave this site).

Mr. Richard Hughes remembers the Home Guard service of his father, a skilled machinist at Allens. (You will leave this site)..

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BEDFORDSHIRE, CLOPHILL
In Parachuting Nuns and Blitzkreig - Dad's Army in Bedfordshire Mrs. Mollie Jenkins recalls her father's Home Guard service in Clophill. (
You will leave this site).

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BEDFORDSHIRE, DUNSTABLE
Mr. Morris Cook remembers his experiences in the Dunstable Home Guard.
(You will leave this site).

An appropriate and illustrated tribute to Private Andrew Cameron DCM, MM (Ex Durham Light Infantry), in 1941 a factory guard at A.C. Sphinx, Dunstable and member of the factory Home Guard unit ('H' Company, 3rd Battalion, Bedfordshire Home Guard, later 'B' Company, 6th Battalion). (You will leave this site).

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BEDFORDSHIRE, GRAVENHURST and BIGGLESWADE
Lt. Michael Foster remembers. (
You will leave this site).

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BEDFORDSHIRE, KEMPSTON
Mr. Joe Denton is interviewed and relates his memories of Home Guard places and activities. (
You will leave this site).

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BEDFORDSHIRE, KING'S WALDEN
Mr. David Stedman remembers his Home Guard service which included the rescue of a downed Luftwaffe airman. (
You will leave this site).

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BERKSHIRE

BERKSHIRE RECORD OFFICE holds a number of Home Guard documents, as listed below:

Berkshire: Berkshire Territorial and Auxiliary Forces Association minutes 1936-1949 (P/TA1/1/2) and scrapbook 1922-1952
(P/TA1/4/1).
Lord Glyn’s Home Guard papers including material relating to the Upper Thames Patrol 1940-1960 (D/EGL/O149-174).

Bracknell: A History of the 6th (Bracknell) Battalion Berkshire Home Guard 1945 (D/EX1458/4).

Compton: Photograph of the Home Guard c.1940s (CPC41/18/26).

Newbury: Local Defence Volunteer Corps number 2 platoon register of personnel c.1940s (D/EX656/15).

Pangbourne: Papers of the 4th (Pangbourne) Battalion Berkshire Home Guard, including Battalion orders 1940-1942 (D/P132B/28/6).

Reading: Records of the 7th (Huntley & Palmers Branch) Berkshire Home Guard Association 1941-1970 (D/EX1615/1-5).
Photographs, probably of Home Guard unit at Samuel Elliott and Sons, Ltd c.1940s (D/EX1263/12/11).
Photographs of Women’s Army Corps parade (n.d.) (D/EX831/1).

Sandhurst: Copy of the ‘B’ (Sandhurst) Company 11th Berkshire Battalion Home Guard history [1940-1945] 2005 (T/A156/2).

Sonning: Photographs of Sonning Home Guard, including Woodley Platoon 1940-1944 (D/EX1458/1-3).

Theale: Register and accounts of Theale Home Guard 1940-1941
(D/P132B/28/5).

This guide is correct as of January 2006. Please contact the Berkshire Record Office to request a copy of the most up-to-date version. Contact details are as follows:

Berkshire Record Office
9 Coley Avenue
Reading
RG1 6AF

Tel 0118 901 5132
Fax 0118 901 5131
Email arch@reading.gov.uk
www.berkshirerecordoffice.org.uk

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BERKSHIRE, READING
A thirteen-year-old Boy Scout, Mr. Alan Sandall, joins the L.D.V. at the moment of its inception. (
You will leave this site).

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BERKSHIRE, WINDSOR
A memoir about the Windsor Home Guard can be reached by clicking here
(You will leave this site).

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BRECONSHIRE, LLANDEW
A memory of the activities of the local unit.
(You will leave this site).

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BUCKINGHAMSHIRE
A useful summary of the Buckinghamshire Home Guard including Order of Battle, by Stanley C. Jenkins, M.A.

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BUCKINGHAMSHIRE, AMERSHAM
The town is "attacked" on 24th November 1940 by members of outlying Home Guard units in a major exercise which includes dive-bombing by Lysander aircraft.

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BUCKINGHAMSHIRE, BEACONSFIELD
Mr Bob Sutton
from New Zealand has written this delightful memoir containing
his childhood memories of the Beaconsfield Home Guard in which his father served.

I am now 80, six years old when Hitler decided he wanted to rule the world. When hostilities began the Local Defence Volunteer force was formed and my father, Donald Theodore Sutton, volunteered. Then no uniforms - civvies only. Each man was supplied with gas mask, arm band with, I think, LDV on it ...and a stick or staff, for the use of! How this was to be used or indeed how effective they would have been, was anybody’s guess! Again, in the beginning, one rifle only per platoon. Later uniforms were provided along with WW1 303s. BUX Home Guard units were issued with Brown leather belts and leather gaiters, unlike the Regular Army which used webbing and blanco.

We lived at Beaconsfield, 25 miles north-west of London. The shoulder flash carried the battalion name BUX. As far as I can remember, every Sunday morning the Home Guard would assemble at a given point - very often a pub! The Red Lion at Knotty Green was a great meeting place although I must mention here that NO drinking ever took place. The town, as with others, saw 'exercises' by the HG in the streets every weekend. Coming out of church on mid-morning Sundays, one would often be confronted by elderly gentlemen replete with rifle, throwing firecrackers and smoke bombs at an imaginary enemy. They were terrible days for grown ups but for a kid of six......exciting times!

I have been trying to remember names in my father’s HG unit but, in all honesty, I can’t remember a single one. At the tender age of seven or eight knowing the names of these ‘very old gentlemen’ wasn’t important.

My father worked in Lloyds Bank, Beaconsfield branch which included staffing a Wednesday afternoon session at their Penn branch, Dad cycling up with a wooden box with money and bank papers! The thought of doing that today fills me with horror. The only person who comes to mind and I am not sure whether he was in fact in the HG, was a Mr. Mace, bank manager of Lloyds, a man not weighed down with any sense of humour!

What does come to mind is towards the end of the war and prior to D-Day, there were two big exercises/manoeuvres involving all Home Guard units and the Regular Army, all no doubt designed to extend the military mind. The local unit HG unit was to defend Beaconsfield against the enemy, namely the Black Watch.

It was emphasised to all civilians we were NOT to assist in any way the Home Guard, they had to use their own initiative. So there we were on a hot summer’s day, watching elderly men scamper, run, and lie down with rifles at the ready. About six of us started up a conversation with a Home Guard ‘sniper', who, against orders, asked us to go up to the end of Maxwell Road railway bridge and, when we got there, to wave IF we could spot the enemy.

Great fun we thought. So off we walked; arriving at the railway bridge, we saw a few Regular Army units scrambling over the railway, so we dutifully stood out in the middle of the road and waved. THE ENEMY WERE HERE!


Who won this contest, I don’t know; what was learned? Who would know that one?

Exercise number two was even MORE important. It was to take place in and around Hogback Wood, a moderately sized beech forest. The importance of this little jaunt was that there was a strict light curfew. Absolutely NO LIGHTS were to be used or SEEN of any kind....not even a fag! The exercise lasted all night until about nine or ten o’clock the following morning. We later learned that my father nearly departed this life: in pitch darkness and feeling nothing solid under his right foot, he held back. He was one step away from falling off the top of the Hogback Wood railway/road bridge from a height of some 20/30 feet.

So, the war continued - which, by the way, we won, culminating in victory, peace, and no more killing.

My mother Joan Elizabeth Sutton had also been doing her ‘bit’ for the war by working in the Rotax aeroplane magneto factory (Maxwell Road, Beaconsfield) canteen as well as painting miles and miles of camouflage nets, arriving home every day covered in green and brown paint! 

Time eventually for the VE march past of the Home Guard and I suppose its eventual demise. The victory parade march-past was arranged to be held in the Old Town of Beaconsfield. Some bright spark in the Regular Army thought that dad’s unit needed ‘smartening up’ drill-wise. A drill sergeant from a Guard’s unit came down from Windsor. When I say ‘drill’, I mean DRILL! And so there was this very fit young man screaming his head off at 60-something old men who never had to squarebash like the Guards.

Bloody hell - this was Dad’s Army, NOT the Guards regiment!!!

February 2014

                                                                                                                      Recent Addition!

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BUCKINGHAMSHIRE, BUCKINGHAM
Mr. Roy Norris remembers the Buckingham Home Guard.
(You will leave this site).

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BUCKINGHAMSHIRE, WESTON TURVILLE
Mr. Ken Rawlinson gives an interesting description of life in the local unit from the earliest days.
(You will leave this site).

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CAITHNESS
An interesting website page provides details of surviving, secret locations of Auxiliary Unit hides in Caithness ("201 Battalion"). (
You will leave this site).

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CAMBRIDGESHIRE
Further reading:
"We Also Served - The Story of the Home Guard in Cambridgeshire and the Isle of Ely 1940 - 1943"
Hardback: 107 pages - 1946

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CAMBRIDGESHIRE, CAMBRIDGE
The family of Lt. Surgeon C.J. Stevenson, R.N. briefly recall the latter's Home Guard service:

"My grandfather was a junior surgeon in the middle of his training when the war started. He was based at Portsmouth caring for submarine personnel when they returned to base. He then went up to Cambridge to do further training at Addenbrokes Hospital where he enlisted in the Home Guard and took part in firewatching and patrols around Cherry Hinton Reservoir, sleeping in a farmer's barn, the 'coldest nights I have ever spent' he tells me! He stayed in the Navy after the war for a time...... "

© The Malleson Family 2003      To read the whole of this memoir in its original setting, the BBC's excellent People's War Archive, please click here.    (You will leave this site.  WW2 People's War is an online archive of wartime memories contributed by members of the public and gathered by the BBC. The complete archive can be found at www.bbc.co.uk/ww2peopleswar.)

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CAMBRIDGESHIRE, GIRTON
A Home Guard's story told by his great-grandson.
(You will leave this site).

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CAMBRIDGESHIRE, ISLEHAM
Mr. Arthur Houghton remembers his Home Guard service and the dangers of training.
(You will leave this site).

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CAMBRIDGESHIRE, WOOD DITTON
To read a reminiscence about this unit by the last survivor amongst the early volunteers, click here.(You will leave this site).

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CARMARTHENSHIRE
Sqn. Ldr. Tony Jukes, RAF (Retd.) writes (July 2013) as follows:

I am carrying out a survey of military defences and activities in West Wales & West Glamorgan.  I am particularly interested in the HG units and their activity in my area.  I would like to contact CRM 6 and PEM 2 group/individuals.

Please see GUESTBOOK for contact details.

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CHESHIRE
Further reading:
History of the Cheshire Home Guard from L D V formation to stand-down, 1940-1944
158 pages - Publisher: Gale & Polden (1950) - ASIN: B0000CHLSZ

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CHESHIRE, CHESTER
Chester was the responsibility of of the 6th Cheshire (Chester) Battalion commanded initially by Col. Paul Hemelryk and later by Lt. Col. F.C. Saxon, M.C.

A centenarian, Mr. Thomas Jolly, remembers. (You will leave this site).

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CHESHIRE, CONGLETON
An image of the Congleton Home Guard.   (You will leave this site).

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CHESHIRE, COOLE PILATE nr. Nantwich
In a fascinating and detailed memoir mentioning many people and places Mr. Frank Goodwin recalls Coole Pilate Platoon 1, Home Guard, "D" company. (
You will leave this site).

The unit referred to in the above memoir was very probably part of the 7th Cheshire (Crewe) Battalion commanded initially by Capt. C.M. McHale and later by Lt. Col. T. Foster, D.S.O.  Due to the size and range of responsibilities of this Battalion it was split on 1st April 1942 and the 24th Battn. was formed under the command of Lt. Col. J.W. Emberton to cover the Nantwich area.

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CHESHIRE, HARTFORD and the RIVER WEAVER
Mr. Ronald Ashbrook recalls his days patrolling the river bank.
(You will leave this site).

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CHESHIRE, HEATON MOOR
Mr. Joe Carley's memories of the local Home Guard, No 4 Platoon, "A" Company, 38th Cheshire (Stockport) Battalion based at Heaton Moor Golf Club .
(You will leave this site).

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CHESHIRE, STOCKPORT
Amongst many other Cheshire war memorial images there is a picture here of a memorial to officers of "B" Company, 38th Cheshire (Stockport) Battalion.
(Click the link to leave this site, then navigate: Memorials, WW1 andWW2 Towns, Stockport Home Guard).

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CHESHIRE, WALLASEY
Mr. Gerry Chester's experiences .
(You will leave this site).

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CORNWALL, CALLINGTON
Click here to see an almost fully captioned picture of the local unit.
(You will leave this site)..

Callington Home Guard on their vehicles shows a further captioned picture of the unit, together with their vehicle. (You will leave this site).

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CORNWALL, CRANTOCK
Brief conversation overheard between two members of Home Guard (or LDV) in the summer of 1940 at Crantock in Cornwall:

          A: He distinctly said that if the enemy was to come in here, we was supposed to                   attack.
          B: Not until we're armed.

© Unknown author and Winchester Museum 2005.   To read this memoir in its original setting, the BBC's excellent People's War Archive, please click here.   (You will leave this site.  WW2 People's War is an online archive of wartime memories contributed by members of the public and gathered by the BBC. The complete archive can be found at www.bbc.co.uk/ww2peopleswar.)

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  Sergeant Bluett,
      Cornwall Home Guard
         by Eric Kennington, 1943

CORNWALL, ST. COLUMB
Mr. John Parkin remembers names and places from his Home Guard service.
(You will leave this site).

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CORNWALL, ST. ERTH
A captioned image of the St. Erth unit in 1941
. (You will leave this site).

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CORNWALL, ST. JUST and GOSS MOOR
Mr. Kenneth Rickard remembers the local unit.
(You will leave this site).

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CORNWALL, SOUTH ZEAL
Mr. Peter Foweraker provides his amusing and admiring view of a local rural unit.
(You will leave this site).

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CORNWALL, TRURO
An image of No. 7 Platoon, 10th Battalion Home Guard, Truro (1940 - 1944) can be seen on this BBC People's War Archive page.(
You will leave this site).

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COUNTY DURHAM, MIDDLETON ST. GEORGE
Click the title above to read of the Home Guard's efforts to defend the village of Middleton St. George one night in September 1940.

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COUNTY DURHAM, ROWLANDS GILL (AND THE WIDER NORTH EAST)
Click here to visit a fascinating site giving much information about Home Guard activities and personalities in this village and its surroundings, just south of the Tyne, and also elsewhere in the North East.
(You will leave this site.
The Rowlands Gill site is well worth further exploration. It provides a wealth of other useful information about the overall impact of WW2 on that area and on the North East as a whole - click the Introduction link in the top left-hand corner of the HG page to see the Index.)   

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COUNTY DURHAM, SOUTH MOOR
Click here to read the reminiscences of Mr. Jack Taylor about his service in the local Home Guard unit.  (You will leave this site).

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COUNTY DURHAM, STOCKTON ON TEES
In an illustrated memoir, Mr. Frank Mees recalls the supporting role played by his Army Cadet unit. (
You will leave this site).

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COUNTY DURHAM, USHER MOOR
An image of the local unit.
(You will leave this site).

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CUMBERLAND
Some general information concerning the nine Cumberland Home Guard Battalions, affiliated to the Border Regiment, can be seen here.
(You will leave this site).

A list of the twelve Home Guard Battalions which covered the counties of Cumberland and Westmorland and a map showing their area of responsilbilty, on a page within the Workington site mentioned below, can be seen by clicking here. (You will leave this site).

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CUMBERLAND, BARROW-IN-FURNESS
Mr. Alexander McKenzie observes Home Guard exercises in the town.
(You will leave this site).

In an extensive and interesting memoir which includes many names and places, as well as a captioned photograph of a local unit, Mr. Geoff Cain remembers his Home Guard service. (You will leave this site).

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CUMBERLAND, BURNESIDE and SELSIDE
In The Bombing of Cooper House, Selside Margaret Harper witnesses the Home Guard in pursuit of a German parachutist and later within this detailed and interesting memoir of a wartime childhood records a family tragedy.
(You will leave this site).

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CUMBERLAND, CARK in CARTMEL
An eleven-year-old Margaret Taylor accidentally eavesdrops on secret military plans.
(You will leave this site).

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CUMBERLAND, GRASMERE
Within a fascinating memoir about Grasmere during WW2 Mr. David Scott relates his Home Guard experiences. (
You will leave this site).

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CUMBERLAND, KENDAL
This interesting colour footage of Kendal's Home Guard has appeared on the Youtube website. (
You will leave this site).

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CUMBERLAND, SCILLY BANKS and MORESBY PARKS
Within this memoir, Pit Village Life in Scilly Banks and Moresby Parks, there are descriptions of some less usual Home Guard activities, such as the defending of St. Bees lighthouse.  (You will leave this site).

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CUMBERLAND, WARWICK BRIDGE
Encounters with the local Home Guard remembered.
(You will leave this site).

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CUMBERLAND, WHITEHAVEN
Several members of the William Pit Home Guard lost their lives in the Whitehaven mine disaster of June 3rd, 1941. They are remembered here. (
You will leave this site).

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CUMBERLAND, WORKINGTON
Much information on the Workington Home Guard, the 5th Battalion, is available here. This linked website, created by Russell W. Barnes, is highly recommended. It contains details of the organisation of the Home Guard in the area, its functions, defensive points and weaponry; and also many images and names of people and places.  (You will leave this site).

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DENBIGHSHIRE, GRESFORD, CAERGWRIE and BRYNEEGLWYS
Mr. Geoffrey Lea remembers the toil of those years.
(You will leave this site).

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DERBYSHIRE, DERBY
Mr. Harold Richardson describes in Britain in Danger: The Home Guard in Derby why the good people of Derby could sleep easily in their beds. (You will leave this site).

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DERBYSHIRE, HATTON
An image of the local unit can be seen on this BBC People's War Archive page.
(You will leave this site).

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DERBYSHIRE, MORTON
In Morton - At War, Mr. A. Southey witnesses a joint Army/Home Guard exercise. (
You will leave this site).

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DERBYSHIRE, NEW WHITTINGTON
Two amusing anecdotes from the Stephenson family.
(You will leave this site).site).

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DERBYSHIRE, SHIRLAND
Bessie Glasby remembers Nursing the Home Guard.
(You will leave this site).

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DEVONSHIRE, AXE VALLEY (Axmouth, Beer, Colyford etc.)
The Axe Valley Auxiliary Unit operated from 1940 to 1944. This was a secret resistance organisation acting wholly separately from the Home Guard even though members all wore Home Guard uniforms. A member of this unit,
Mr. Walter Denslow, was interviewed in 2007 when he was 92. Read a transcript of this fascinating conversation. Recent addition!

Much further information about this secret organisation, which operated  not only in the West Country but also in many eastern and southern coastal areas of the country, can be found within an excellent specialised website.  Access it by clicking on the banner below.


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DEVONSHIRE, BOVEY TRACEY
Illustrations of how to set up a road block and of a portable net screen received by the late Mr. Alder Harris as part of his Home Guard training.
(You will leave this site).

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DEVONSHIRE, BRIXHAM
The coastal defences at Brixham were manned by a total of about one hundred officers and soliders The original complement was men from the Royal Artillery, but following the receding threat of invasion the Battery was later manned by 378 Battery, of which almost all were members of the Home Guard. These defencess are the subject of an illustrated article by Adrian Chan-Wyles which is reproduced elsewhere within this website.

A further article by the same author shows the Home Guard memorial at Corbyn Head. This memorial commemorates all the men and women who served in the Home Guard nationally between 1940 and 1944 and especially the 1206 Home Guards who died during their service. The latter include a number of local H.G. men who lost their lives during a bombing raid on Torquay in 1942 and as a result of an explosion in the Battery during a 1944 training exercise: all of these men are named.

These coastal defences at Brixham are now themselves being defended. The Brixham Battery Heritage Centre Group was founded in 1999. It is a group of volunteers helping to restore the Brixham Battery - one of the few survivors of the many emergency batteries which protected the coast of the British Isles in WW2 - and provide on-site information to the general public. The Heritage Centre Group's interesting website provides detailed information about the battery and the work being carried out to preserve it.
(
You will leave this site).

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DEVONSHIRE, CLAYHIDON
Click here for a captioned image of the Clayhidon unit. (
You will leave this site).

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DEVONSHIRE, DARTMOOR and UMBERLEIGH
Mr. Geoffrey Tucker witnesses, as a schoolboy, the activities of the local units. (
You will leave this site).

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DEVONSHIRE, DEVONPORT
Mr. James Bartlett remembers his service in 16th Devon Plymouth Home Guard from February 1941.
(You will leave this site).

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DEVONSHIRE, EXMOUTH
Mr. Dennis Davey provides an interesting account of the activities of the local Home Guard and details of its weaponry.
(You will leave this site).

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DEVONSHIRE, ILFRACOMBE
Within an interesting memoir, G.W.B. recalls his experience of the Ilfracombe Home Guard for the BBC WW2 People's War Archive:
".......No memory would be complete without reference to the Home Guard which consisted of old sweats from the 1914-18 war, some of whom were remarkable shots, and also lads like me at 16. Unusually the unit was designated as mobile which meant we had allocated duties, one of which was a nightly patrol from Mullacott Cross to Lynton Cross. An amusing incident occurred one night when footsteps approached the patrol and were challenged three times. A shot was fired in the air then at a distant object – result – one dead cow! All members were issued with ammunition to keep at home. My mother went quite pale when I came in with a rifle, 200 rounds of ammunition and 2 hand grenades!....."© G.W.B. 2005        To read the rest of this article, entitled Reminiscences of Ilfracombe at War 1939 to 1945, please click here.  (You will leave this site.  WW2 People's War is an online archive of wartime memories contributed by members of the public and gathered by the BBC. The complete archive can be found at www.bbc.co.uk/ww2peopleswar.)

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DEVONSHIRE, LUPPIT
Honiton Railway Tunnel Guard is an illustrated story from No. 4 (Luppitt) Platoon, 'D' Coy, 19th (Seaton) Bn., Devonshire Home Guard. (
You will leave this site).

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DEVONSHIRE, TORQUAY
The Home Guard memorial on Corbyn Head described in an illustrated article by Adrian Chan-Wyles.

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DEVONSHIRE, PLYMOUTH
Within an interesting article on WW2 Plymouth, Mr. John Finch remembers his Home Guard service.
(You will leave this site).
And in another similarly interesting memoir, Mr. Desmond Taylor recalls his membership of the 17th Battalion, Devonshire Home Guard one of whose functions was to guard the Dockyard. (You will leave this site).

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DEVONSHIRE, WITHERIDGE
Information and images concerning the Witheridge HG unit can be seen here.
  (You will leave this site. The destination site also contains other interesting information about the impact of both World Wars on this village).

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DORSET
The Keep Military Museum at Dorchester lists on its website the seven Battalions, the six AA Troops and the Transport Column which comprised the Dorset Home Guard. It also displays images of Home Guard units including that of a Bridport unit. (You will leave this site).

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DORSET, BRIDPORT
Mr Mick Norman
was interviewed by Bridport Museum and provided the following description of Home Guard ammunition storage arrangements in Bridport.

.........Home Guard squaddies used to have to keep their rifle with them whether they were on duty or not., and they would carry their rifle on leave, going home on the train. Right? Now, the Home Guard (gets map of Bridport) There’s Coneygar Road. Now Watton Hill, which would have been on this map up here, now I told you an uncle of mine lived there (points) and the Home Guard, of course the various troops in Bridport would have had their own storage of ammunition, and at the top of that field they built a little brick base with galvanised iron, shed, to keep their ammunition. And I know this well, because it’s quite steep, Watton Hill, going up to the top, and if you go up there now - I went up there about three years ago - and the bricks are still there, of this little shed. And I was involved because the builders wanted to lug the machinery up there and you know how steep it is. Well my uncle had a horse and trap, and I took the horse with the trap for them to get the material up there. And we were always interested as kids to see what they were doing, and they’d built this little (hut), with wooden shelves, and the ammunition was stacked there on wooden shelves. The .303s, rounds of machine gun. It was just an ordinary key like that (points to mortice lock in door) and the key was kept in the gutter at the top and as kids we used to go up there and look in! This is as true as I’m telling you! You can see the bricks up there. I mean the poor Home Guard had to dash up to the top of that hill to get their ammo!.....

© Mick Norman and Bridport Museum 2003        To read the rest of Mr. Norman's wartime memories, entitled Evacuees, Pullthroughs and Flax which appears on the BBC People's War site, please click here. (You will leave this site. WW2 People's War is an online archive of wartime memories contributed by members of the public and gathered by the BBC. The complete archive can be found at www.bbc.co.uk/ww2peopleswar.)

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DORSET, CATTISTOCK and SYDDING ST. NICHOLAS
Mr. Bob Giblett remembers defending the Dorchester to Yeovilton road.
(You will leave this site).

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DORSET, MANSFIELD
The capture of three Luftwaffe aircrew by the local unit.
(You will leave this site).

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DORSET, WEYMOUTH
Mr. Maurice Naerger remembers his late brother's Home Guard service - and his own responsibilities - for the BBC People's War Archive:

"It was 1940/41, builders scaffolding had been erected along the sea shore to stop the invasion. I was aged 9 my brother Bob aged 16. He had joined the local defense volunteers, forerunner to the Home Guard. No uniform just an LDV armband, although in short supply Bob had been issued with a 303 rifle and 5 cartridges. He explained to me how to load and fire it and he told me Mr Churchill said we must shoot one German soldier before we are shot ourselves. I was to wait until my brother was shot before firing myself. Had I attempted it, for certain the recoil would have broken my shoulder! Fortunately the Germans never came at least not by sea, but they sure gave us a pasting from the air."

© Maurice Naerger 2005    To read the memoir in its original setting, the BBC's excellent People's War Archive, please click here.    (You will leave this site.  WW2 People's War is an online archive of wartime memories contributed by members of the public and gathered by the BBC. The complete archive can be found at www.bbc.co.uk/ww2peopleswar.)


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DUMFRIESSHIRE, DUMFRIES
Mr. Andrew McCormick recalls:

"There was one night during the war when I was walking home from school that I will never forget. Because of the blackouts even when you were walking home in late afternoon or early evening it was always quite dark. I was seven or eight at the time.I was passing a road barricade, the type that were put up every night all over the town. It was being staffed by a member of the Home Guard. Just as I was passing him, he turned round, jammed his gun into my ribs, and shouted "who goes there!?".He thought this was hilarious. I got the fright of my life."

© Andrew McCormick 2005     To read this memoir in its original setting, the BBC's excellent People's War Archive, please click here.    (You will leave this site.  WW2 People's War is an online archive of wartime memories contributed by members of the public and gathered by the BBC. The complete archive can be found at www.bbc.co.uk/ww2peopleswar.)

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EAST LOTHIAN
Click here for an image of the Saltoun unit. (You will leave this site).

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ESSEX
Mr. Harold Porter's experiences as a Home Guard lorry driver.
(You will leave this site).

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Mr. Roger Chown writes:

I am researching the life of a man called Richard Grey Delamere Lafferty. After leaving school in Essex he moved to 'Strathmore' Hillfield Road in Selsey and aged 18 was recruited at the Brighton Recruitment Centre on June 4th 1941.
If anybody has any additional information, I would be so grateful. At present I can find no link between his 'home' in London (Maida Vale) and his Sussex army beginnings.  From his Army Record (his number was 6216003) he seems to have been in the Home Guard for 323 days until joining the Indian Army on 8th May 1942.

(For contact details please see the entry for 8th September 2014 in the Guestbook/Visitors' Messages page).          (Recent addition)

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ESSEX, BARKING/ILFORD
Mr. Alex Dickson recalls in Arrested as an Irish Spy the occasion when he found himself in the hands of the local Home Guard.
(You will leave this site).

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ESSEX, BILLERICAY
Mr. Jim Jolly recalls his Home Guard service in Believe Me, ‘Dad’s Army’ Was Not Much Of An Exaggeration! (
You will leave this site).

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ESSEX, BRAINTREE
In his excellent local history, The Book of Braintree and Bocking
(Baron Buckingham, 2000; ISBN 0 86023 662 5) Michael Baker states that the local Home Guard
comprised some 200 men, presumably an entire Company of the 11th Essex Battalion whose HQ was the Drill Hall in Victoria Street. Part of this Company was a Post Office Signals unit made up of GPO employees from Braintree, Halstead and Sudbury. Together they were ready to defend the area to the last man against enemy invasion but, as the author relates, the local population could not always be certain of where the greater danger lay - as when the Signals men accidentally blasted a hole in Hicks's bus garage in Fairfield Road.

Another drama involving the P.O. Signals unit occurred in the summer of 1944 when one of the first V1 Doodlebug missiles cut out over Braintree and fell in Notley Road, near to Notley Place. Men  were fire-watching at the time on a platform on the top of the Fairfield Road Post Office and they were lucky not to be dislodged from their perch by the blast.
(Recent addition)

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ESSEX, BRENTWOOD
A fifteen-year-old Bill Miles copes with various Home Guard weapons.  (You will leave this site).

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ESSEX, CHELMSFORD
Here is the interesting memoir of Mr. Peter Helsdon which concentrates on and provides useful information about the Anti-Aircraft (rocket battery) activities of the local units after April 1943.  (You will leave this site).

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ESSEX, GREAT SALING
The German Pilot and the Home Guard: an incident at the White Hart.
(You will leave this site).

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ESSEX, HARWICH
Memories of the local unit.
(You will leave this site).

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ESSEX, TILBURY
The memories of Mr. Frederick Busshell can be read here.
(You will leave this site).

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ESSEX, TOLLESBURY
The defence of the Essex coast as related in Weapon Issue - Pitchforks.
(You will leave this site).

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Grateful acknowledgement for badge images to Stanley C. Jenkins.

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