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now average one in fifteen nights compared with one in six previously.

Our third birthday approaches. We have a long training programme ahead, new tasks, new tactics and new weapons. Parade attendances are still excellent after three difficult years, and the same spirit evident in 1940 is still present. We class ourselves as trained troops and ready to tackle anything.

Our first intimation of impending change comes with a call for volunteers for heavy anti-aircraft. A battery of 3.7's has been set up in the area and the Company is the nearest infantry unit. The appeal meets with little success, only about four men volunteering. Despite the strenuous efforts of the C.O., summary orders are issued from "higher up" that 100 men from the Company (120 strong) will be transferred compulsorily to A.A. immediately, and this wipes out the platoon. The only exceptions to the order are a small cadre for rebuilding the blitzed company and a few odd men whose civil work is inconvenient for meeting the rigid demands of A.A. The Brigadier commanding area A.A. defences attends a parade and addresses the Company on the necessity for the transfer, sugaring the pill with exemplary skill. And so thirty of our excellent infantry regretfully transfer to A.A. with the grace and goodwill expected of good sportsmen.

At that point this story ends. It is very incomplete: how can one in a few hundred words adequately convey even in outline the picture of the tremendous activity, the thought and the effort expended by members of the force during those dark days. It has attempted to put on record brief references to three years' hard work by a typical H.G. platoon. It tells of over 60,000 active hours of spare-time intensive training and operational duty by a platoon of busy men, whose total strength never exceeded forty-two. It gives the lie to the "humourists" who suggest that the Home Guard is a social affair.





Images of the Platoon can be seen on this page
An excellent further description of life in this Platoon, written by a private
, is here.