Past Image Photography

Home Guard


Civil Defenders (Suffolk Home Guard)

Discover History (Worcestershire Home Guard)

La Columna (International Brigade instructors at Osterley Home Guard Training School)

The TV series 'Dad's Army' was a comedy series - not a documentary!  There was a lot of humour in the Home Guard -  much of it born from the fact that in 1940 these men thought they had only a few weeks to live.  Their task was self-sacrificial, to delay the advance of the Nazis for as long as possible to give the regular army time to regroup.  Hitler broadcast on the radio that they would not be taken prisoner.


They comprised men too young or too old to join the services, or those in reserved occupations.  Many worked a full day in a factory or mine before  coming on duty.


The 'broomstick army' was only a temporary stage - due mainly to the fact that the government were overwhemed by the number of volunteers and soon rifles began to arrive from the USA.  By 1942, over 40% were armed with sten guns.