Discussion in 'United Kingdom' started by Tullybrone, Dec 7, 2018.

  1. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member


    I’ve just started reading the published wartime diaries of a retired Indian Army officer who lived in Hythe, Kent and was a Captain in the Home Guard there.

    The Real 'Dad's Army': The War Diaries of Col. Rodney Foster: Amazon.co.uk: Rodney Foster: 9780670919802: Books

    In an entry from October 1940 he speaks of touring the area distributing pay. I’ve never heard of Home Guard being a paid “occupation” before but suppose it would be similar to TA with payment for duties performed.

    On a similar note was there any remuneration for ARP?

  2. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery

    We used to get paid for doing the Home Guard, 1/6 for a night shift and 1/- for a day duty. We had to go for 3 days on Home Guard duty. One bloke had to go to court for not attending duty. The Judge said £25 or one month in Armley Prison. He chose prison but he was only in one day and didn’t like it so telephone his mother to pay.
    BBC - WW2 People's War - I was in the Home Guard

    Members of the Home Guard still did their regular jobs and then drilled and patrolled around their work. They were not paid. This Ministry of Information photograph was taken in 1942 and shows factory worker Richard Sainsbury having tea with his family before going on Home Guard duty. Factories were a priority for defence and many had their own Home Guard units.
    The Real 'Dad's Army'
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  3. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery

    I will deal, very briefly, with the subject of finance. In future the cost of accommodation—for training and so on—of transport—mileage allowances and so on—and of subsistence allowances will all be dealt with separately; and the capitation grant will be of a generous character, to cover postage, telephones, clerical assistance and other minor charges. I am conscious that there are many difficulties in organising the Home Guard. I am conscious of the immense amount of time being given throughout the Force by thousands of patriotic men in the most disinterested manner. Where these difficulties can be put right, the new Director-General will do his best to see that they are put right. He will go into the whole subject, and I hope that the new instructions, which should be issued shortly, will meet the needs of the
    HOME GUARD. (Hansard, 19 November 1940)
  4. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery

    not very clear Steve sorry but the Hansard link is very interesting

    It is perfectly true that one of the reasons why the invasion did not take place in the summer was because of the existence of the Home Guard HOME GUARD. (Hansard, 19 November 1940)

  5. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery

    Mr. Norman Bower

    asked the Prime Minister if he is aware of the dissatisfaction existing among full-time air-raid wardens owing to the inadequacy of their present wage of £3 18s. 6d. per week; and if he will take advantage of the forthcoming discussions on service pay and allowances in order to consider the position of the Civil Defence services with a view to bringing them within the scope of any decisions which may be taken.
    AIR-RAID WARDENS (WAGES) (Hansard, 15 March 1944)
  6. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery

    Some of them handing the money back

    Major-General Sir Alfred Knox

    asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what sums he has received since the beginning of the war from the air-raid precautions wardens of the Virginia Water group of the Egham Urban District Council, being refund of their pay as air-raid precautions wardens, voluntarily offered by wardens of this group for expenditure on some other national purpose?
    AIR RAID WARDENS (REFUND OF PAY). (Hansard, 18 April 1940)
  7. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member

    Thanks very much for taking the time to look into my queries Clive.

    Thus far I’d thought Home Guard & ARP were unpaid volunteers (no mention of pay on Dad’s Army!).

    I can understand how men “guarding” their place of employment (LDV or ARP) may have been unpaid as mentioned in your first post but perhaps they were given time off in lieu after “working” through the night.

    Thanks again for shining a light on a previously dark corner (to me) of the Home Front.

  8. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member

    I’m still making my way through this book and diary entries from the late spring of 1942 mention Home Guard Conscription (125 in all required for Kent Home Guard) and the local Labour Exchange sending a number of recruits to Hythe in June/July 1942.

    Never heard mention of this before. Wonder if it was just a requirement to bring south of England “front line” HG up to strength?


    ARPCDHG Member

    No - national HG conscription was introduced in February 1942.
  10. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member


    Do you know anything about HG conscription selection criteria?


    ARPCDHG Member

    Despite the entry of the USA on the Allies side, the war was going far from well for Britain. The Afrika Korps had reversed British successes and were gradually rolling eastwards through North Africa. The Germans had also reached Moscow and were expected to finally conquer Russia and then return their attentions to Britain. In the Far East, British and Commonwealth forces were retreating in the face of the advancing Japanese army and Singapore was about to fall. The resultant heavy fighting had caused high British casualties and the ensuing conscription of young men into the services to make up numbers had drastically taken its toll on the Home Guard. This depletion could not be allowed to continue, as by late 1941 the Home Guard were providing the main defence of the country.

    To check this absenteeism and the ebbing numbers in the Home Front services, the government introduced the National Service (No.2) Act in December 1941, making it compulsory for all adults to perform some kind of national service in support of the country’s war effort. All men aged between 18-51 not already engaged on national service, were now liable to be called up - or ‘directed’ as it was officially called - for service in the Home Guard, where they were expected to perform a maximum of 48 hours duty per month, (although Home Guard commanders were advised to take the men’s professions into consideration). If they failed to carry out their duty, they could be fined £10 [£400] or spend a month in jail. Serving Home Guards were given the option of resignation from the force before the Act was implemented on Monday 16th February 1942, but ironically under the terms of the Act, they could be redirected back into the Home Guard if they were aged under 51. After this date, the right to resign from the force was rescinded and the Home Guard would have to serve until the war ended or they reached the age of 65. It was hoped that the new Act would bring some of the more heavily depleted battalions back up to full strength.

    However, by 1942, for much of the population, enthusiasm for national service was beginning to wear thin, taking up what little spare time the volunteers had. The nation’s workforce was now working very long hours with compulsory overtime, and the last thing many wanted to do was crawl through wet fields on night exercise, stand out in the cold on sentry duty or be shouted at whilst square-bashing.

    The introduction of compulsory direction into the Home Guard meant that the conscripts did not have the same volunteer spirit as the original pre-1942 volunteers, and technically, the Home Guard now became a militia. The title ‘Volunteer’ disappeared to be replaced by ‘Private’.

    But direction was not without benefits to the force as a whole. In a time of total war, the flood of new manpower tremendously boosted numbers, gaining 263,000 in the space of three months, bringing the Home Guard’s total strength to 1,793,000 in March 1942.

    From: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Last-Round...5597/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1321659586&sr=8-4
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