MEMORIES AND INFORMATION relating to Home Guard units in
ALL OTHER COUNTIES
and REGIONS
(F-L)
(incl. Glam.-Cardiff, Gloucs.-Bristol and London)

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 15th January 2016
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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 F-L.

See also A-E, 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.

GLAMORGAN - GLOUCESTERSHIRE - HAMPSHIRE - HEREFORDSHIRE - HERTFORDSHIRE - HUNTINGDONSHIREINVERNESSSHIRE - ISLE OF MAN - ISLE OF WIGHT - KENT (incl. Walmington-on-Sea) - KIRKCUDBRIGHTSHIRE - LANCASHIRE - LEICESTERSHIRE - LINCOLNSHIRE - LONDON -
(for NEWFOUNDLAND see INVERNESSSHIRE)


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GLAMORGAN
- There's an interesting new website here which deals with Home Guard matters in Glamorgan, with particular reference to re-enactment activities
.

- Some enthusiasts in Glamorgan still take the study of the Home Guard VERY seriously: see this youtube video (July 2008).

- This page of the website provides information about 21st century Home Guard reenactment groups in Glamorgan and other counties.

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GLAMORGAN, BRIDGEND
There is information, including images, here dealing with the Bridgend unit and their responsibility for the nearby Royal Ordnance Factory. (You will leave this site).

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GLAMORGAN, CARDIFF
In Anti aircraft guns and sticky bombs in the Home Guard in Cardiff  Mr. Stanley Hayward remembers. (You will leave this site).

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GLAMORGAN, GOWERTON
Within an extensive memoir entitled As I Travel Along Life's Sometimes Stony Path - Part 1, Mr. Stanley Ogilvie remembers his year of Home Guard service up to July 1941. (You will leave this site).

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GLAMORGAN, LLANDAFF and WHITCHURCH
An image of the local HG unit (No. 3 Platoon, Llandaff North) can be seen here.  (You will leave this site).

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GLAMORGAN, LLANGRANOG
Mr. Eddie Budd recalls his enthusiastic participation as a six-year-old in Home Guard manoeuvres. (You will leave this site).

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GLAMORGAN, LLANSAMLET
Click here for an image of the Birchgrove unit. (You will leave this site).

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GLAMORGAN, MERTHYR TYDFIL
Mr. Terence Sands describes his service as a runner in the local unit. (You will leave this site).

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GLAMORGAN, PONTNEWYDD
In this memoir, a canine member of the local unit tries to assert his rights. (You will leave this site).

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GLOUCESTERSHIRE
To see a complete listing of all 19 of the Gloucestershire Home Guard Battalions, their component Companies and their associated Anti-Aircraft Batteries, as well as their locations, click here. (You will leave this site).

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GLOUCESTERSHIRE, ARLE
A memory of the local LDV.
(You will leave this site).

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GLOUCESTERSHIRE, BRISTOL

An excellent detailed memoir of the 11th Gloucester Battalion by Mr. Jack Yeatman. (You will leave this site).

The interesting reminiscences of a fifteen-year-old plotter, Mr. Norman Tilling, in a rocket anti-aircraft battery defending the city.  (You will leave this site).

An unusual and informative description - in poetic form - of Mr. William Fox's Home Guard experiences in Knowle, Hengrove and elsewhere. (You will leave this site).

Mr. Alan Hawkings, then an aircraft designer, gives an interesting description of life again on a Home Guard anti-aircraft missile battery defending a not always grateful city. (You will leave this site).

Mr. Daniel Cuffe records one of his grandfather's experiences in Bristol............

'...........My grandfather joined the Home Guard in 1944. He was on guard at some place or other (I think it was the gas works) with his mate when they heard some rustling. "Declare yourself!"- no answer. "Declare yourself!"- no answer. " Declare yourself or I shoot!"- no answer. They fired, and before the sounds of the shots had died away, there was a long "moooh!" and then a terrific thump. They ran faster than they ever ran in their lives!'

© Daniel Cuffe 2004   (This memory originally appeared in the BBC WW2 People's War Archive.  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. You will leave this site).

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GLOUCESTERSHIRE, CHELTENHAM
A childhood memory of the Home Guard in Fairview by Jean Holtham (nee Trevett) . (You will leave this site).

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GLOUCESTERSHIRE, FILTON

Audrey Hawes records a somewhat irreverent view of early attempts by the local unit to achieve parade ground proficiency. (You will leave this site).

In a wonderfully detailed and interesting memoir written in 1999, the late Mr. David Pepperell remembers life in the local units, first the 13th Bristol Home Guard Battalion and later the 18th. It is divided into three parts: Chapter 1, Chapter 2 and Chapter 3. (You will leave this site).

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GLOUCESTERSHIRE, GREAT and LITTLE RISSINGTON
Mr. James Court relates My Home Guard Incident involving a Wellington bomber. (You will leave this site).

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GLOUCESTERSHIRE, LOWER SLAUGHTER
John Oliver, a Sussex Home Guard, sent his wife and two small sons to the "safety" of rural Gloucestershire.
Mrs. Oliver's letters home reveal that even there she was subject to the close attentions of the Luftwaffe. Read her remarkable record of those events.

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GLOUCESTERSHIRE, WOOTTON-UNDER-EDGE and SYNWELL
Click here for information about these units.
(You will leave this site).

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HAMPSHIRE

Hampshire Record Office in Winchester holds records of a number of Home Guard units (originally Local Defence Volunteers) from around the county. The records include:

Log book, book of orders, photograph and equipment book for Binsted Local Defence Volunteer Force, later Home Guard, ref 268M87/1-5. The Platoon Commander, H V Morton, is better known for his travel books such as In Search of England; the records demonstrate his active involvement in Home Guard affairs, including drawing up a training scheme relating to the threat from army parachutists

Typed notes by Major A G Wade MC, Officer Commanding 'B' Company, 24th Battalion Hampshire Home Guard, comprising platoons in Bentley, Froyle, Binsted and Worldham, ref 49M98W/A2/25

Company orders for 'D' Company (Thornycroft), 3rd Basingstoke Battalion Home Guard, ref 93M93/2-3

Details of manoeuvres of Basingstoke Borough Home Guard, No. 1 Company, No. 1 Platoon, ref 93M93/5

Weekly orders for the Warnford Platoon of the Droxford East Company Home, ref 6M64/30. These provide a graphic demonstration of the need to save paper, as they were typed on the back of pig breeding records kept by R P Chester, the Platoon commander

Attendance register of 11th Hampshire Home Guard, 'D' Company, at Eastleigh, 89M90/1

Photographs of Home Guard units at Alresford, Basingstoke, Binsted, Colden Commmon, Droxford, East Meon, Hartley Wintney, Kings Somborne, Longparish, Ringwood, Southampton Docks, Wickham and Winchester

"We are always pleased to additional records relating to Hampshire in the Second World War. We are conscious that there are many Home Guard/LDV units for which we hold very few records, and that Home Guard records often survive in the keeping of individuals who were involved, or their families; if you have any records that you would be prepared to place in our keeping either as a gift or a long-term loan, or to allow us to borrow for copying, please contact us."

© Hampshire Record Office 2005     This information is taken from a page within the BBC WW2 People's Archive site. To see the original submission, which includes an image of the East Meon unit, please click here. 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. You will leave this site).

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HAMPSHIRE, BEECH and ALTON
Within an interesting illustrated memoir about the district during the war, amongst his earliest memories, Mr. Roy Montgomery recalls the Home Guard service of his father, Mr. Scott Montgomery:

".......Following the start of Word War II my Father joined the local Home Guard unit, believed to have been 'A' Company 24th Hants Home Guard. It would appear that Alton was served by three platoons, HQ for the centre of the town, No.1 for East Alton and No.2 for West Alton. It appears that by early 1941 Father was described as O.C. with Jim MAY as second in command, presumably this was in Beech which would have been part of No.2 Company. My Father was actually a sergeant and as far as I know either Colonel BIRD, who lived at the "Old Farm House" in Wellhouse Road or Major TWINING was the commander.

Another sergeant was Andrew, a brother of Jim MAY. A notebook from around this period exists which lists a number of names, including LEA WILSON, A. RISBRIDGER, D. EMERY, A.S. and J. BUTLER, HODGSON and CHURCHILL. A lot of the details involve range practice, wearing armbands and in one case the Beech Section being on duty at the Waterworks OP, unfortunately although there are a couple of vague dates there is nothing to indicate the month or year. Apart from one photograph, which shows him in uniform wearing sergeants stripes and holding me, very little information survives from this period and all that I can remember is seeing him in uniform on odd occasions.............
The other memory regarding the end of the conflict was being taken by my Mother to watch my Father in his Home Guard uniform marching in a victory parade through Alton shortly after the war finished. My Mother and I were standing on the raised pavement on Crown Hill and had a superb view."

© Roy Montgomery 2005      To read the rest 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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HAMPSHIRE, BISHOPS WALTHAM and SWANMORE
With the Bishop's Waltham and Swanmore Home Guard by Mr. Ronald Crook M.B.E. is an interesting memoir of Home Guard activities from 1940 to 1944 mentioning people and places.  (You will leave this site).

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HAMPSHIRE, BOURNEMOUTH
An affectionate and moving memory of Mr. Alec Kernahan, a Great War veteran and Home Guard Bomb Instructor. (You will leave this site).

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HAMPSHIRE, CHANDLERS FORD
Mr. Eric Glasspool remembers his father's Home Guard service. (You will leave this site).

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HAMPSHIRE, CHRISTCHURCH and FRIAR'S CLIFFE
Mr. Ewen Hentall remembers both the little ships of Dunkirk and the armada of June 6th 1944. (You will leave this site).

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HAMPSHIRE, DENMEAD Area
A very extensive and interesting memoir entitled Reminiscences of a Hampshire Home Guard by Mr. Leonard Piper telling of his experiences from May 1940 onwards, mainly in the Denmead area but also for a period in West Sussex. It is split into two parts, Part 1 and Part 2.  (You will leave this site).

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HAMPSHIRE, ENHAM (between Andover and Newbury)
A visitor to this site is seeking details of the Enham unit, assuming that one existed. The Enham Alamein Community Heritage Project holds a photograph of a local unit which is unidentified
(see right - click on image to see an expanded version).

The group may be the Enham unit, or possibly one based in Andover. Further information would be most welcome. Please respond via FEEDBACK .

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HAMPSHIRE, FROXFIELD
Mr. Kenneth Webb recalls the day his Home Guard father captures and then entertains for tea in the farmhouse kitchen two German airmen. (You will leave this site).

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HAMPSHIRE, NEW MILTON
Mary Smith remembers her late father, Mr. Ted Ayriss. (You will leave this site).

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HAMPSHIRE, PORTSMOUTH
Mr. George Legg's experiences as an AA rocket gunner at Alexander Park. (You will leave this site).

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HAMPSHIRE, PORTSMOUTH and SOUTHSEA
Mr. P.J. McIntyre gives an interesting view of an AA rocket battery. (You will leave this site).

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HAMPSHIRE, SOUTHAMPTON
In The End of the Supermarine Works (Wooston): Home of the Spitfire L/Cpl. H.R. (Bob) Wood witnesses and survives the destruction of the factory. (You will leave this site).

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HEREFORDSHIRE, BROMYARD
A story from the local Home Guard.
(You will leave this site).

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HEREFORDSHIRE, HEREFORD
In One Morning on the Milk Round Mr. Frank Evans records a brief memory from his Home Guard service:

"I was in the Home Guard in the second world war. I was in a reserved occupation as I was a farmer with a milk round.

One morning I remember seeing a German bomber coming low over the cemetery in Hereford. I think he was looking for the Ordinance Depot at Rotherwas. I used to carry a loaded Royal Enfield rifle on my rounds, but the plane was too fast to shoot and I wouldn’t have wanted the bombs to go off over my head".

© Frank Evans 2005      (This memory originally appeared in the BBC WW2 People's War Archive.  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. You will leave this site).

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HERTFORDSHIRE, BERKHAMSTED
In A Rare Bird: Service with the 7th Battalion Hertfordshire Home Guard Elizabeth Johnston writes an interesting illustrated memoir of her service as a signaller in the local battalion. (You will leave this site).

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HERTFORDSHIRE, CHESHUNT
Walter Dear (b. ca. 1899 and in the King's Royal Rifles during the Great War), served in the Cheshunt Home Guard.
Please also see the entry under Hertfordshire, Wormley below.

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HERTFORDSHIRE, GARSTON
Anecdotes from the experiences of Mr. Bob Tarling in this Hertfordshire HG unit.  (You will leave this site).

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HERTFORDSHIRE, LEVERSTOCK GREEN
The story of a Hertfordshire unit can be read here.  (You will leave this site).

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HERTFORDSHIRE, NEWGATE STREET and CUFFLEY
In an extensive and interesting memoir entiltled Remembering the 40s - before and during the war Mr. Colin Paine recalls his Home Guard service and his role as an "EY rifleman" in the platoon.
(You will leave this site).

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HERTFORDSHIRE, PIRTON and HOLWELL
Click here to see an almost fully captioned picture of the local unit.
(You will leave this site).

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HERTFORDSHIRE, PRESTON, near HITCHIN
Within an interesting memoir about the district during the war, Mrs. Rebecca Cooke gives a young girl's view of the Home Guard:

".......My father was in the Home Guard. They were all given the tin hats and their uniform and had drill, I suppose it was in the Playing Field. We used to play Home Guard, I know my little brother had a tin helmet and I know we used to play at being the Home Guard. Then they would have turns in fire watching, all the older men in the village who weren’t called up, they would go and watch for incendiary bombs being dropped all over the place and they had sand bags with which to put them out. Yes and they used to have, what do you call them, a sort of crossed barriers. They were put across the road so if anybody was coming along they would say, ‘Who goes there?’ and stop them at the dead of night and see who they were. ‘Halt, who goes there?’ they would say. Every single sign post was removed. It seems so childish now.....".

© Rebecca Cooke 2005      To read the rest of this detailed 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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HERTFORDSHIRE, WELWYN GARDEN CITY
An amusing incident involving the late Mr. David Jones.
(You will leave this site).

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HERTFORDSHIRE, WORMLEY
William Frederick Dear and and his youngest son Percy Dear (b. 1922) were both members of the Wormley Home Guard. William (seen right) had served in the Great War where he was badly injured, losing a leg. (Note his campaign ribbons).
His eldest son, Walter Dear (b. ca. 1899 and in the King's Royal Rifles during the Great War), served in the Cheshunt Home Guard.
William Dear's great-grandson is seeking a group photograph or any other information about the Wormley unit. If you can help, please go to Guestbook for contact information or use Feedback.

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HUNTINGDONSHIRE
A nephew of William Hufford is seeking further information about him and his Huntingdonshire HG unit. Please see the site Guestbook for contact details.

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HUNTINGDONSHIRE, EASTON
A relative of William (Bill) Clarke is seeking further information about this unit, in which this great-uncle served. Please see the site Guestbook for contact details.

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HUNTINGDONSHIRE, St. IVES
The experiences of female auxiliary members of the Home Guard undertaking intelligence and communication duties in St. Ives.  (You will leave this site).

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INVERNESSSHIRE, INVERNESS and surrounding areas
One of the more unusual Home Guard stories is that of the creation of this Highlands unit, the 3rd Inverness (Newfoundland) Battalion Home Guard from members of the Newfoundland Overseas Forestry Unit (NOFU). Here are the introductory lines of this story:

"...Immediately after the German breakthrough on the western front in May, 1940, the British Government issued a call for volunteers from the civilian population to form a Home Guard to assist in the defense of the British Isles if and when the German forces attempted an invasion from the captured ports along the European coast. By this time, thirty-five Forestry camps were operating in Scotland and Northern England. Large numbers of men from the Unit immediately volunteered fro the Home Guard, and they were posted to the nearest local commands. They continued to serve until they were transferred to the highlands at the close of logging operations in the south. By the middle of 1942 the Unit was concentrated in the larger forests of the Scottish Highlands, in camps of between sixty and one hundred men.
The military authorities felt that owing to the potential danger of an enemy landing on the less well defended areas of Northeast Scotland, and the time required to mobilize local defense forces, there was a need for a mobile force that could be assembled and moved to any threatened area on very short notice. Discussions took place with officers of the Forestry Unit and a decision was reached to ask for volunteers to form a battalion consisting entirely of officers and men of the Unit. The response was tremendous, with large numbers enlisting, and within a fortnight, the 3rd Inverness (Newfoundland) Battalion Home Guard, had a compliment of over seven hundred men. This Battalion had the distinction of being the only Home Guard unit composed entirely of men from overseas who were serving in Britain on specialized war work........".

To read the full and interesting story which includes mention of many people and places, please click here. You will go to the Home Guard section of a site which commemorates the approx. 3680 members of the Newfoundland Overseas Forestry Unit who came to the UK early in the war and worked in the North of England and Scotland until 1946. The site is worth further exploration as it lists many of the men and locations involved and because it casts light on a little known aspect of the Home Front during WW2. Its Home Page can be accessed here. Another part of the site recalls the London Victory Parade of 8th June 1946 and other celebrations in which members of the unit participated. (You will leave the staffshomeguard site).

Staffshomeguard is particularly pleased to have received a visit to this site from several people with family connections to NOFU and the associated HG unit:

A great-niece of one of these men, Mr. Cornelius Bennett, originally of Doyles, was kind enough to leave interesting information about her relative. Please go to Guestbook to read it.

 

The son of another member also left a note in the Guestbook about his father, Mr. Louis Walsh of St. John's; and has generously provided further information, not only about his father but also about his mother, formerly Rosalind Elder, who was a "Lumberjill" (a member of the Women's Timber Corps of the Women's Land Army operating in the Scottish Highlands). This fascinating information and the accompanying Home Guard photographs are shown on a separate page of this website. Please click here to read it.

 

We have been contacted by the daughter of another NOFU member, Mr. Thomas Snook of St. Albans. Her husband is the son of Mr. Francis Bouzane of St. Patrick's who also served in NOFU. Both Thomas and Francis were members of the Home Guard during their time in Scotland. Further information on these two men, including a unit photograph, NOFU Engagement Contract and King George VI Home Guard Certificate, may be seen on a separate page of this website.

The service to a national cause by Thomas and Francis was reflected 60 years later by that of their grandson, Stephen Bouzane. Cpl. Stephen Bouzane, of the 3rd Battalion Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, died on 20th June 2007 together with two of his comrades near Kandahar, Afghanistan. He was 26 years of age. May his sacrifice be remembered by every visitor to this website.

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ISLE OF MAN
An anecdote from Mr. Ernest Copley. (You will leave this site).

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ISLE OF WIGHT, COWES
The detailed memories of Mr. Ronald Williams, an employeee of Saunders Roe. (You will leave this site).

The memories of Mr. Keith Whiiting. (You will leave this site).

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KENT
Further reading:
Kent Home Guard: A History by K R Gulvin
Board book: 92 pages - Publisher: North Kent Bks (May 1980) - ISBN: 0950573337

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KENT, BENENDEN
A daughter remembers Mr. Reginald Wood's Home Guard service:

"....Dad had joined the Home Guard. Mum said his uniform was far too big for him. At least he was given a rifle, since the Kent coast was quite a likely site for invasion. In some areas all the Home Guard had were pitchforks. His particular detachment of Home Guard were told that if there were an invasion they were to make their way somehow to Pluck’s Gutter, which would be the first line of defence. Their families would have to fend for themselves. One night he was on clifftop looking out to sea when he saw numbers of landing craft emerging from the sea. Horrified, he went straight to his CO, who turned to Dad and asked: “What should we do?” Fortunately, the moon came out at that point and they saw that the “landing craft” were, in fact, huge banks of seaweed....."

© Pamela Wood 2004       To read the rest 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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KENT, CHATHAM
Mr. Joe Carley, a Manchester Home Guard AA gunner, is moved south in 1944 to help defend Chatham. (You will leave this site).

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KENT, CHISELHURST
Within the General Information section of this website there are interesting examples of the documentation produced in "C" Coy. of the 54th Kent Battalion commanded by Major Howard Roberts, M.C.

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KENT, FOLKESTONE
Click the following title to read an interesting memoir, Home Guard Memories from Sandgate, describing life in a unit in the very front line of Home Guard operations. (You will leave this site).

In an interesting and sometimes moving memoir, Wartime Folkestone - Childhood Memories, Mr. Don McHutchison recalls home life at the time and especially the experience of living in a house full of lethal Home Guard weaponry. (You will leave this site).

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KENT, GOUDHURST
An image of the local HG unit can be seen here.  (You will leave this site).

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KENT, GREENWICH
In an interesting memoir One Schoolboy's War Against Hitler! Mr John Greener remembers amongst much else his Home Guard service in the Telcon factory unit. (You will leave this site).

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KENT, HUNTON
The memories of Mr. Frederick Guess are recorded. (You will leave this site).

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KENT, MEDWAY
In Living Life During World War Two Mr. Frank Smail provides a fascinating and informative description of the duties of the local Home Guard in the overnight manning of an anti-aircraft rocket battery protecting the area. There were two of these batteries, on each side of the river, and each was manned by about 100 men. (You will leave this site).

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KENT, NONINGTON and GOODNESTONE
Mr. John Marsh remembers incidents from his Home Guard service in "Hellfire Corner". You will leave this site).

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KENT, RAMSGATE
A memory of the earliest days - Defending England with Broomsticks.
(You will leave this site).

- Mr. John Side remembers his Home Guard service in the town and especially an aerial attack one Saturday morning in August 1940. (You will leave this site).
- In a memoir entitled Air Raids Over East Kent Mr. John Side has recorded further interesting memories of his time in the Ramsgate unit. (You will leave this site).
- Mr. Side is trying to trace (Jan. 2008) an old comrade in the Ramsgate unit, Alfred Wood, who later joined the Royal Marines - please see
GUEST BOOK for further details.

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KENT, SEVENOAKS
In Some Snapshots from the Memory, Mr. John Martin remembers aspects of his father's Home Guard service and in particular a strange U.S. rifle, remembered as an "Eddistone". (You will leave this site).

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KENT, SIDCUP
A son remembers his father's method of disposing of surplus ammunition after stand-down.   (You will leave this site).

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KENT, TUNBRIDGE WELLS (Skinner's School)
Mr. Anthony Eldridge remembers:

"While still at school the headmaster Major W G Bye was made C.O. of the local home guard. He had many world war veterans volunteered to join. In order to get them trained he made the school OTC corporals and lance corporals to undertake the retraining of these old soldiers. So there was I still at school training World War One veterans how to fight a war!!! A unique and strange situation."

© Anthony Eldridge 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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KENT, ULCOMBE
The capture of a "Nazi" pilot. (You will leave this site).

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KENT, WALMINGTON-ON-SEA (Da
's Army)
The activities of this unit are probably better documented than are those of any other platoon in the British Isles. In addition to the frequent (repeated) TV reports, much additional information is available online. One excellent site can be reached by clicking here. (You will leave this site).

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Cpl. Jones's butcher's van (right) was reported recently (June 2006) as being illegally parked at Kidderminster Station.

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An old training manual, prepared, published and used by members of the Walmington platoon has recently (late 2011) come into the possession of staffshomeguard. This little tome, comprising 127 pages of useful Home Guard information, is entitled "The Walmington-on-Sea Home Guard Training Manual" by Captain George Mainwaring and Members of his Platoon.

The copy in our possession was issued to Pte. Frank Pike and contains many annotations in his own handwriting. It also appears to contain type-written comments from Sgt. Arthur Wilson. (It is not unfair to say that both of these sets of comment, whilst expressed in widely differing styles, tend to indicate a degree of disagreement with the assertions made within the manual, especially those emanating from the Platoon Commander).

The various sections of the manual - please see the Contents page below - were written by members of the Platoon, all names and faces which seem strangely familiar. The pages are fully illustrated. Also contained are advertisements for local services: Hodges the Grocer, Jack Jones the Butcher and James Fraser, Undertaker (& Philatelist). If you wish to avail yourself of any of these, it may be best to telephone first before travelling any distance.

The staffshomeguard webmaster would like to think that he is the owner of a unique and immensely valuable item of memorabilia relating to the best-known (and best loved) Home Guard platoon in the land. But honesty compels him to share a sneaking suspicion: namely that duplicate copies of this instructive and entertaining Manual may exist elsewhere and that an enquiry to The Orion Publishing Group Ltd., Orion House, 5 Upper St. Martin's lane, London WC2H 9EA could well bring them to light, especially if the title and ISBN reference 978 1 4091 41204 are quoted.

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KENT, WHITSTABLE
The detailed and interesting memories of Mr. Ken Palmer, a member of ‘B’ Company, 4th (St Augustine’s) Battalion. Kent Home Guard, and later in an AA unit in Slough. (You will leave this site).

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KIRKCUDBRIGHTSHIRE
Mr. Bill Murray remembers his Home Guard service as a seventeen-year-old schoolboy. (You will leave this site).

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LANCASHIRE
Here is a summary of the Home Guard information held in the Record Office of Lancashire County Council. (Acknowledgement to "Wills", WW2Talk website).   

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LANCASHIRE, ATHERTON
Memories of Mr. Jack Millington's service. (You will leave this site).

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LANCASHIRE, BRINDLE (and Whittle-le-Woods)
Information about the platoon defending these villages, part of the 12th County of Lancashire (Leyland) Battalion. (You will leave this site).
(Acknowledgement to "
Smudger Jr", WW2Talk website).  

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LANCASHIRE, BURNLEY
Mr. James Pickering provides an excellent overview of the Home Front as a whole as well as memories of his childhood in a Lancashire Home Guard family.
This well-written and attractively presented website, recently reintroduced, contains sections on air raid precautions and civil defence, air raids, the invasion threat and Nazi propaganda, rationing and shortages, travel, popular culture and entertainment and of course the Home Guard. Mr. Pickering's father, Corporal Joseph (Joe) Pickering (1900-1963) - perhaps later a sergeant - was a member of Summit Company of the Burnley Home Guard, the 29th County of Lancaster (Burnley) Battalion, commanded by Lt.-Col. H. Parkinson. The Company was headquartered at the Leeds & Liverpool Canal yard on Manchester Road and less officially at the Rose & Crown, also in Manchester Road. There are several reminiscences of this unit in the Home Guard section. (You will leave this site).

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LANCASHIRE, CLAYTON
Home Guard Days in Clayton tells the story of Mr. Dan McFarlane in the Clayton unit, commanded by Jack Redditt, V.C.
(You will leave this site).

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LANCASHIRE, CRUMPSALL and SALFORD
Mr. Peter Barnford recalls his father's Home Guard service and his own contribution. (You will leave this site).

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LANCASHIRE, DARWEN
Sally Whittaker recalls the local Home Guard:

"I was born in 1933, so I don't remember too much about the war. However, I do remember the black-outs. We lived in a small cottage on Bog Height Road at the Blackburn - Darwen boundary. There was an empty cottage across the road from us and a comapny of Home Guard used it as their base.

They used to do drills at the front of the cottage and I remember watching them from my window."

© Sally Whittaker 2005    (This memory originally appeared in the BBC WW2 People's War Archive.  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. You will leave this site).

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LANCASHIRE, DAUBHILL
Mr. Barry Ainsworth's memory of service with the L.D.V/Home Guard, part of the 5th Battalion, Loyal North Lancs.
(You will leave this site).

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LANCASHIRE, ECCLESTON
In The Home Guard in a small village in Lancashire Mr. Arthur Rutter wins a Christmas raffle in the Farmers Arms. (You will leave this site).

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LANCASHIRE, HIGH NEWTON and GREENODD
Mr. Harry Park remembers the Newton unit whose HQ was at The Crown. (You will leave this site).

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  Company Sergeant-Major Waters,
      Lancashire Home Guard
         by Eric Kennington, 1943

LANCASHIRE, HULME
The story of how Sgt. Fred McEwan of "C" (Hulme) Company of the 46th Battalion Home Guard, together with a comrade saved the caretaker's family in Hulme Town Hall after an air raid involving a parachute mine.
(You will leave this site).

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LANCASHIRE, INCE IN MAKERFIELD
An early recollection of Mr. Joe Martlew:

"......My next recollection is of the Home Guard, again I would be about three years old, I remember them drilling and training in our street and a man who lived in our street that all the kids called Father Roberts - no, he wasn't a clergyman - and he made me a wooden rifle so that I could march up and down the street with the Home Guard. ...."

© Bill Martlew 2005

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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LANCASHIRE, KIRKBY and LIVERPOOL
In Anfield Cemetery an eight-year-old John Sweeney shares a Home Guard duty with his father and walks through a bombed city. (You will leave this site).

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LANCASHIRE, LEVENSHULME
Mr. Joe Carley's detailed and fascinating story of his service with particular emphasis on AA gunnery procedures and experiences. (You will leave this site).

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LANCASHIRE, MANCHESTER

Debdale Reservoir, Mawson Hall: a visitor to this website is seeking information about the Home Guard unit which guarded this area. Please go to GUESTBOOK and look at the message dated 29th January 2009.

In a further memoir entitled The Home Guard Stand-down Parade in Manchester Mr. Joe Carley describes the day of the stand-down parade when the Manchester Home Guard, finally and a little sadly, faded into history. (You will leave this site).

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LANCASHIRE, MORECAMBE
Images of the Morecambe unit can be seen here. (You will leave this site).

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LANCASHIRE, NEW MOSTON
Within an extensive memoir Mr. Bryan Shaw remembers watching the local Home Guard activities. (You will leave this site).

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LANCASHIRE, PENDLETON, SALFORD
Within an interesting memoir entitled Bombed Out in Salford, Joan Smith (nee Anderson) witnesses a Home Guard unit doing its bit to defend the area:

"...After finishing work at Metro Vics I had taken my usual bus ride back to Salford and was making my way home to Romney St. As I walked through the maze of terraced streets that made up the area of Salford known as Pendleton the Air Raid Siren started wailing.
As I rounded Saint George's Church on the corner of Frederic Road and Whit St close to the ARP shelter, I heard the crack of rifle fire, not something you would normally hear on your way home from work even in wartime Salford. At seventeen years of age I was more inquisitive, some would say stupid, than frightened, so I decided to go and find out what was going on.
At the opposite end of the street there was a group of home guard, one of them had his Rifle pointing skyward, as I followed the general direction his rifle was pointing, there, what seemed miles away, was a parachute with what appeared to be a large cigar hanging from it.
The leader of the Home Guard was known to me so I asked him what he was doing, “He`s trying and get it before it lands” he said. I was taken aback, what will happen if you hit it? I asked him, What makes you think we will hit it? Harry couldn`t hit a cow's arse with a shovel” he said,” that thing's so bloody far away he can hardly see it”. Sure enough he was right, the cigar disappeared from view behind the skyline and later was followed by the crump we had all come to recognise as the sound a bomb made when it exploded. I guessed that it had fallen safely on nearby Kearsal Moor and after getting the all clear continued on my way home......
"

© Andy Smith 2005      To read the rest 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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LANCASHIRE, PILLING, near FLEETWOOD
The Times reports on 9th January 1941 that Mr. Andrew Parr is thought to be the oldest Home Guard at the age of 82.

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LANCASHIRE, POULTON LE FYLDE
A grandson relates Mr. Thomas Hardisty's first ecounter with a Sten Gun. (You will leave this site).

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LANCASHIRE, STOCKPORT
Within an interesting memoir, Mrs. Elizabeth Chapman remembers her encounters with the Home Guard for the BBC WW2 People's War Archive:

".......Half-way up the hill, the Home Guard Headquarters were located in a big old house. This was 74, Brinnington Road, only very recently demolished to make way for the Manchester Outer Ring Road motorway. Saturday and Sunday mornings saw them holding regular drill parades and they were an enthusiastic and keen bunch of men. Since our semi-rural areas was located on the edge of Stockport, the Home Guard had instituted a security black-out, you would hear, somewhat unnervingly, a deep masculine voice issuing a challenge:- "Halt, who goes there? Friend or foe?" In the light of your downward-pointing torch you would be aware of two hefty-looking Home Guards with rifles at the ready. The answer you were supposed to give was "Friend"! Then came the next summons:-" Advance friend and be recognised!" You advanced nervously, identity card in hand. Your card carefully inspected and approved, you were allowed on your way with the words: "Pass, friend!" and you went on your way into the darkness!

I wonder whether they ever did catch any spies! All about us on the hoardings were slogans: "Careless talk costs lives". You did not talk of the whereabouts or movements of your soldier or sailor brother or boyfriend or husband. That was all, as the saying went, very "Hush-hush"!, - and another slogan ran: "Keep Mum, - like Dad!" You had to be very, very careful!....."

© Mrs. Elizabeth Chapman 2004     To read the rest of Mrs. Chapman's Home Front memories, entitled One Child's War Part 3 Blitzes and Bombshells, 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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LANCASHIRE, TARLETON and HESKETH BANK
Captioned pictures of the Tarleton and Hesketh Bank units can be seen here and here, respectively.
(You will leave this site. The destination site also includes a transcription of the fascinating series of newsletters written weekly between 1940 and 1946 by the Rector of Tarleton to parishioners serving away from home).

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LEICESTERSHIRE
-  For further reading:

"To The Last Round: The Leicestershire and Rutland Home Guard 1940-1945"
by Austin J. Ruddy
Publisher: Breedon Books May 2007
HB 224pp - 240 x 170mm - 200 illus.
ISBN 978 1 85983 559 3

A reunion of HG veterans in July 2007 to mark the launch of this book was reported by the Leicester Mercury. Click here to read. (You will leave this site).

-  This page of the website provides information about 21st century Home Guard reenactment groups in Leicestershire and other counties.

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LEICESTERSHIRE, BLABY
Mr. Ronald Cass recalls his father's Home Guard service. (You will leave this site).

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LEICESTERSHIRE, LEICESTER

In No Lights: The Home Guard in Leicester Mr. George Scattergood's service is remembered. (You will leave this site).

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Jill Woodman relates an early impression of her father's Home Guard service in Leicester:

"Daddy and uncle George were in the “Home Guard” and when daddy had to go away in the air-force, I asked mummy if daddy had to go in the air-force because he and uncle George couldn’t catch Hitler! I thought they were running around fields looking for Hitler. I was only about 4 years old......."

© Jill Woodman 2004    To read the remainder 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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LEICESTERSHIRE, LOUGHBOROUGH
Within an interesting article on wartime work at Brush Electrical Engineering Ltd. there is an illustrated description of Mr. John Corey's factory H.G. unit. (You will leave this site).

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LEICESTERSHIRE, NEWBOLD, COLEORTON
Mr. David Buckley describes the tank traps constructed and manned by the local Home Guard on the road between Newbold and Lount.

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LEICESTERSHIRE, WORTHINGTON (and Bredon)
Memories of the Worthington platoon. (
Grateful acknowledgement to DB of Shropshire. You will leave this site).

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LINCOLNSHIRE, BOURNE and STAMFORD
A detailed record of the 4th Bourne and Stamford Battalion can be viewed by clicking here.
(You will leave this site).

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LINCOLNSHIRE, GRANTHAM
In an interesting article, Dads’ Army’s Minders! Patricia Brown recalls her service in a Home Guard Intelligence unit and regrets some aspects of the treatment of women Home Guards. (You will leave this site).

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LINCOLNSHIRE, LINCOLN
A memory of Mr. Sydney Robinson's service. (You will leave this site).Mr. Ronald Sargent briefly remembers his L.D.V. and Home Guard service.
(You will leave this site).

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LINCOLNSHIRE, SALTFLEETBY
A detailed, fully captioned picture of the local HG platoon, and other information about the unit, can be seen here.
(You will leave this site).

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LINCOLNSHIRE, STAMFORD
In Memories of the Home Guard which includes a photograph of the unit, Cpl. V.H. Bettinson remembers service in the 4th Kesteven Battalion Home Guard. (You will leave this site).

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LINCOLNSHIRE, WINTERINGHAM
Click here to see an image of the Winteringham Home Guard unit and close-ups of its members. (You will leave this site).

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LONDON
A daughter recalls her father's contribution to Home Guard music:

"In 1943, in spite of working 12 hour shifts as a tool maker 6 days a week, Arthur Pasoce, my father, joined the Home Guard. Ever since the Great War, when he learned to play the fife and clarinet, he had played in a Territorial Army band or the GWR band where he was an excellent clarinet player. Now the Home Guard had their own Military Band, the Director of Music was Captain Campbell the music master of Harrow School.Every Sunday morning they met for band practice and during the summer they played in a London park. One Sunday a bandsman dropped a cigarette end through the slats in the floor of the bandstand and set fire to the salvage stored below. They led the parades for War Weapons Weeks and Wings of Victory Days to raise money for the war effort.After D-Day they had to do military duties, but it was not long before they were back to their musical role. When the Home Guard was stood down they led the parade through London and the nation said goodbye to these old men who did what they could for their country in its time of trouble."

© KathHGband 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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1st American Motorised Squadron: this Home Guard unit, first formed in September 1940 and comprising U.S. nationals resident in London can be seen in this YouTube newsreel film clip being inspected by Winston Churchill on February 9th, 1941. (You will leave this site).

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LONDON, CANNING TOWN
A memory of Mr. George Lawkess, a Home Guard living in Nelson Street.

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LONDON, CENTRAL

Mr. Alan Page remembers his experiences as a Home Guard messenger boy. (You will leave this site).

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Cpl. Gilbert Phillips (Phil) served in the Home Guard in Central London from 1942 at the age of 17 or 18 until stand-down in December 1944. He was initially involved in traditional Home Guard infantry activities in the defence of an important central area of the city as member of a battalion affiliated to the King's Royal Rifle Corps, almost certainly the County of London Battalion. Eventually, like many of his young comrades, he was transferred, after thorough training, to an anti-aircraft rocket battery located on Hampstead Heath where his unit was part of the Middlesex Regiment.

He wrote a remarkably detailed memoir of his experiences and with the kind permission of his family it appears in its entirety on a separate page within this website.

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Harold Wybrow also served in the defence of Central London. In 1942 and 1943 he was a member of the unit whose duty it was to man the "Z"-Battery of anti-aircraft rockets located in Hyde Park. His story, including mention of his later service in Normandy and Antwerp in the R.A.S.C., is told on this page of the website. (Recent addition)

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LONDON, CITY OF
Mr. Raymond Akary remembers a frightening experience:
"......When I was 16 I got a job as an office boy in the City and I lived with my father, in Birchin Lane, near Bank tube station. I joined the Home Guard, and I was stationed at the Honourable Artillery Company (H.A.C) in City Road. The only time I remember being frightened during the whole war, was one night when I was on duty at the H.A.C. I was supposed to tug on a rope attached to a bell, when a flying bomb was close by, to warn all the military personnel stationed in the barracks. One this particular night I saw a doodlebug flying towards us, I could clearly see the flames billowing out of the tail. It was heading straight for the spot where I was standing, and instead of ringing the bell, I ran like the clappers to the playing field nearby. I rammed my tin hat on my head and threw myself on the ground. As soon as I heard the big bang just up the road I picked myself up and made my way sheepishly back to the guard post. A Scottish Sergeant who was in the Army saw me coming back and said “Yee didna ring the bell, laddie!” and then he went off and brought me back a mug of tea with rum in it!After several years of being in the Home Guard and also being a firewatcher in the City, I joined the Army right at the end of the war. I’ve lots of experiences since then but I’ve never been as frightened as I was that night....".

© Raymond Akary 2005       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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LONDON, CROFTON PARK and CATFORD
In
June 1944 five Home Guards lost their lives when a V1 Flying Bomb hit their HQ in Brockley Road School. They were: Corporal F. C. Lucas, Lieut. C. C. Pacey, Lieut. W. W. Ray, M.M., Lieut. A. E. Smith and Sgt. E. A. Tarr. Follow the above link for more information. (Updated January 2016)

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LONDON, EAST HAM
In Blitz 1940 an eighteen-year-old Mr.Norman Henney encounters a landmine. (You will leave this site).

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LONDON, HACKNEY
In an interesting memoir, Sqn. Ldr. A.Garretts MBE retd. describes his enrolment and instant appointment as an 18-year-old sergeant in his local unit and episodes from his service. (You will leave this site).

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LONDON, HENDON and HACKNEY
Mr Reg Pobjoy, later Berthold, remembers his Home Guard service before call-up, including service on a Hampstead AA battery.
(You will leave this site).

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LONDON, HYDE PARK
Detailed information about a Hyde Park AA battery, manned by the Home Guard, is provided in "Z"Battery, Rocket AA in Hyde Park" by Gunner Lionel Francis.
(You will leave this site).Another memory of the Hyde Park AA rocket battery, this from the experiences of Mr. Harold Wybrow. (You will leave this site).

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LONDON, ISLINGTON and HOLLOWAY
Mr. Sydney Steers remembers his service in a railway detachment of the Home Guard based at the Holloway Cattle Dock. (You will leave this site).

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LONDON, KENTISH TOWN
Mr. Bill Davies recalls:
"The railway home guard were so bad at 'abaht turninn' that the drill sargeant marched them onto the turntable in the engine sheds at Kentish Town and turned them to face the other way!!"

© Bill Davies 2005     (This memory originally appeared in the BBC WW2 People's War Archive.  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. You will leave this site).

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LONDON, NORTH
Mr. David Pearce's evocative memories of 1939, when he is six, and the years to until VJ Day, including his father's Home Guard service:
1940
........ By now my father has joined the Home Guard or Local Defence Volunteers, as they were then known. He eventually brings home a Lee Enfield rifle and a clip of five bullets. I am allowed to clean the rifle by tugging on the pull-through with its piece of oily rag on the end. The only time when the rifle is near to being used is when a German aircraft flies low up and down our street. It eventually drops a bomb on the local railway station and machine guns the area. My father wants to go to an upstairs window and shoot back, but my mother vetoes the idea......
1941
.....The Home Guard is becoming more visible. My father goes off to parades in full uniform with his rifle. They hold exercises in the street that attract crowds of interested children as onlookers. My father goes off to guard the local gas works agianst Fith Columnists. These are Nazi sympathisers who are waiting to create havoc when the invasion comes.....
1942-1944
.....
This was a period where nothing seemed to change. As small children we were shielded from the horrors of war as much as possible. On one occasion the Home Guard gave a party for the local children. This was held in a church hall. The entertainers were a group dressed as cowboys, singing cowboy songs. During their performance we were dimly aware of explosions outside, but the performers just sang louder. Afterwards, we found that there had been a major air raid on the district, but we children knew nothing of it. The Home Guard keeps my father busy. They are called out to search for anti-personnel bombs that have been dropped. these are small bombs that, on landing, extend wings. If these are disturbed the bomb explodes. The main concern is that we children might find them......

© David Pearce 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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LONDON, PORT OF LONDON AUTHORITY
In an interesting article
Florence Toft recalls the position of women in the Home Guard generally and her own experience as a member of the P.L.A. Home Guard.(You will leave this site).

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LONDON, St. JOHN'S WOOD
This "Letter to the Editor" appeared in the press in August 2005:

On leaving school I served in the local Home Guard company which was based in St John's Wood, London. We were a polyglot collection with a high proportion of members coming from the higher management of Marks & Spencer.
One of the sergeants was the manager of the M&S flagship store in the West End and the other was Eric Blair, better known as George Orwell. The company motto was "We may not be brave but my goodness we are intelligent".

G.P., Essex.......19th August 2005        (with acknowledgement to the author)

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LONDON, SYDENHAM, BATTERSEA and FORREST HILL
The story of Mr. Horace Wilkinson, a Home Guard dispatch rider, with a pike but without a motor cycle. (You will leave this site).

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Grateful acknowledgement for badge images to Stanley C. Jenkins.

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