|GENERAL INFORMATION ON THE HOME GUARD
KING'S ADDRESS AND BROADCAST
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GENERAL INFORMATION ON THE HOME GUARD
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In December 1944 when after a period of uncertainty the Home Guard was finally stood down, the King, His Majesty King George VIth, issued the following Special Army Order and also broadcast an address on the BBC to all members of the service.
The occasion was also marked by formal parades in the area of every battalion in the country including the main one,
a huge procession through Central London consisting of representatives of every single battalion. These took place on Sunday 3rd December 1944.
These are the King's words, subsequently published in The Times.
In his message the King exhorts all Home Guard members to seek out new outlets for patriotic service with the arrival of peace. This theme was taken up by others; here is the final message of the Commanding Officer of the 32nd Staffordshire (Aldridge) Battalion and it may well have been typical:
Of the past, all I can say is we who served in the H.G. did no more than our duty. It meant the sacrifice of our leisure, the acceptance of a certain degree of discomfort and hardship, and at times a strain on our physical and mental resources. But it was all very little when weighed against the evils that threatened us. Does the future mean an end to the need for such things, or is it not rather that the dangers which will beset this country after the War will be of a more intangible kind and, therefore, their impact on us will not be so compelling?
Be that as it may, I am convinced a reasonable solution of some of our most urgent national problems will never come about until many more men and women, men like you and I, take an active share in the attempt to solve them. Many of us have enjoyed taking an active part in running the Home Guard. Cannot we say to ourselves we will take up this task or that when the War is over so that the village, the district, or the nation itself will benefit? If only a small percentage of the men who have done so much for the H.G. and C.D. during the war gave a quarter of the time they have given to these services to some worthwhile object outside their own job, England would be a transformed country. This is the finest memorial we can raise to the H.G. or, indeed, to those who have fallen on active service. It is my hope that such a memorial will be raised by many members of the 32nd.
Grateful acknowledgement is made to Alan Britton of Warkworth, N.Z. for providing the above "Times" transcript which his late father, a member of the De Havilland Platoon, Witney Coy., 3rd Oxfordshire Battalion, Home Guard, had retained within his papers.