Home Guard.

Discussion in 'United Kingdom' started by wizz123, Jan 17, 2007.

  1. wizz123

    wizz123 Junior Member

    I have just joine the group,and was just looking through,when l came across this forum.
    Yesterday while chatting to a 93 year old relative that served during the second world war,he decided to show me a few things he still had.
    One of these being a home guard hand book,on what to do ect,if an invasion occured,cannot remember the author,but it made me chuckle at some of the advice given,
    Sorry if l seem to go on,but thought ld share this with you all.

  2. sapper

    sapper WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Very serious at the time as I know having served in Southampton and Poole HG.
  3. Gerry Chester

    Gerry Chester WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Hi Wizz,

    As Sapper states, for those of us who served with the Local Defence Volunteers, later renamed the Home Guard, it was a very serious business.
    The North Irish Horse - By Gerry Chester

    Cheers, Gerry
  4. wizz123

    wizz123 Junior Member

    l can understand,the seriousness behind the book and what the Home Guard did at the time.l was in noway trying to be demeening in what l wrote in my orignal thread.

  5. sapper

    sapper WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Don't worry, a sense of humour takes care of everything. As Gerry started we ..started off as the LDV Local Defence Volunteers.

    That was humorously described as LDV that stood for: Look, Duck, and Vanish.
    But it was serious, the Home Guard trained and released the regular army from guarding important areas, as well as preparing to take on the enemy. Having seen a lot of action from Sword to the German border. I realise now... Fat chance they would have had!
  6. Kitty

    Kitty Very Senior Member

    Ah yes, the HG. Congleton battle simulation.

    Captain: Okay chaps, who's for another go?
    Private: I've been shot twice and killed once, but I'm game.

    Bayonet practice. Private puts his bayonet through foot, prompting a drive in the Commanders Rolls to the hospital. Also official troop transport.

    Laying dinner plates upside down on the road to simulate mines. Disguising pill boxes as haystacks. They were good blokes.
  7. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    Anyone know if there's a decent dedicated LDV/Home Guard museum? Lots have a section devoted to them but I was just wondering if there's anything more substantial out there.
    Excellent Home Guard Website here, including clear copies of many manuals and such, still seems to be a little construction underway though..

    Edit: Just adding the direct Url of the history pages as the front page may imply just the reenactment site that now shares it:
    History of the Home Guard
  8. Kiwiwriter

    Kiwiwriter Very Senior Member

    Today, it's remembered for the TV show, "Dad's Army," but they played an important role, even if they didn't go further than Pevensey or Leeds.

    They were important during the Blitz, they did a lot of patrol and security work, reported planes, assisted in recovering shot-down or crashed airmen, and thus released a lot of other troops for battlefields across the world.

    But I think the most important thing the Home Guard did was that it helped unite the British nation and people behind the war effort at a time when things were absolutely desperate. Sapper can testify to this better than I, but in the summer of 1940, the situation was worse than grim. Hitler was expected at any time, and he had conquered everything in his path. Britain was the last defense, and the British people were in the front line. The Home Guard helped end the "Phoney War" attitudes and made everybody part of the fight. It built morale, and I think that morale does win wars.
  9. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    Don't forget that a number died in service for their country.I know of a Home Guard Volunteer who lies in a local cemetery who was killed on duty during a river patrol at a time when the invasion was said to be imminent.I think he saw service in the First World War.

    Four years later,his only child, a son was killed in RAF air operations over Germany and has no known grave.A holder of the DFC he was barely 21 years old and had been in the ATC from its inception to entering RAF service.He survived the Nuremburg raid in March 1944 only to lose his life,6 months later.
  10. ChrisM

    ChrisM Member

    what to do etc, if an invasion occured


    If you would like to see a contemporary description of the sort of things which were done in a typical Home Guard platoon to meet the threat - which as Sapper and Gerry have pointed out was regarded as very real indeed - this is quite an interesting article:

  11. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    Pottering through the always interesting Argghhh! The Home Of Two Of Jonah's Military Guys.. I noticed this:
    And it occurs to me that I know next to nothing about American Civil defence during the war, not much joy on the internet either.

    It seems many National Guard formations were absorbed into the 'mainstream' army, were those left behind envisioned in a similar role as the Home guard? Did the militia system kick off? Nationally or locally organised? 'Citizens service corps' mentioned on the poster but this appears to be more of a 'dig for victory' type of organisation?

    Any tips appreciated.
  12. sapper

    sapper WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    The Home Guard.
    I don't think anyone here that has not experienced it can ever realise just what great danger this Land was in, we had been driven out of Europe and had left everything behind.

    One Division was re-armed. Just one, and that was "Monty's Ironsides" all the arms that could be found where used to equip this one div.

    There was nothing else. had Hitler come by Paras? I dont think we could have stopped him..Why? Plain and simple, we had nothing to stop him with....Nothing

    Those days were days when Great Britain could have vanished for ever. It was a dire time, and we knew it. dads army may be good for a laugh now (I loved the show) But at that time it was deadly serious.
    Never in the countries history, have the Nation pulled together like they did at that time. They worked every moment they could to produce the planes and arms we needed.
    My life was a constant round of long hours, and a quick dash back to change into uniform before the Night Blitz started. then out half the night,

    Waterloo road club, opened up so the lads out at night could get a drink. When I look back I wonder how we managed it.
  13. Kitty

    Kitty Very Senior Member

    You were young and fighting for your existence Brian. My grandmother worke 12 hour shifts in the RO Factory, then spent at least another 2 hours on the train and walking through fields to get there and back. That's of course if there wasn't an air raid which lengthened the time considerably. I know she did this 7 days a week without a break, then helped to keep house at home as well.
    I couldn't do it, but then again I don't have the threat of invasion hanging over me.

    Thank you.
  14. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Poet and radio broadcaster Z A Bokhari attends bayonet drill with the rest of his colleagues in the BBC Home Guard, Bedford College. He has been granted special permission to wear a turban, rather than a forage cap.


    Poet and radio broadcaster, Fusilier Z A Bokhari, is trained in the use of the Tommy gun along with his colleagues in the BBC Home Guard, Bedford College. Bokhari has been given special permission to wear a turban instead of a forage cap.

    Didn't know the BBC had their own Home Guard unit.
    Obviously part of the Royal Fusiliers.

    Who was ZA Bokhari?
    Bit confused with my Googling.
    Did he go on to be Head of Pakistan radio?
  15. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    Some Home Guard reenactors at the very appropriate location of Osterley park a couple of weekends ago:

  16. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Call me dim (or anything else for that matter) but why

    appropriate location of Osterley Park

    What was appropiate about it?
    What happened there in WW2?

    EDIT OK worked it out myself.
    Licensed to Kill
  17. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    Aside from the 'specialist' stuff mentioned in that webpage it was a major training ground for the home guard as a whole.
  18. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Great picture of a Home Guard unit with their home made armoured car.
    Vicar sat on the running board.
    South Staffs Home Guard Memories Warks

    Warwick Home Guard's armoured car, which belonged to a unit commanded by the vicar of Marton, the Rev. A. Wilbraham and was apparently bult by Councillor Sam Myers,

  19. Kyt

    Kyt Very Senior Member

    I get the feeling that it's a posed propaganda photograph rather than a 'news' photograph. The car maybe real but I doubt if the unit would have all been issued SMLEs (even Mk 1s) so early on, especially before their uniforms.
  20. spidge


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