The Home Guard Training School was established at Osterley Park in July 1940.
Far from the image of the 'Dad's Army' TV series, Osterley provided up to date training in guerrilla warfare, sabotage, camouflage and street fighting.
The schoool was founded by the former CO of the British battalion of the International Brigade. Because of the left wing leanings of the instructors (who included Spanish and Welsh miners) it was viewed with suspicion by the War Office and was closed down in September 1940. It had, however, provided a huge morale boost and delivered innovative training at a critical time during the invasion scare of 1940 training.
Even officers of the Brigade of Guards sneaked in to take part in the training!
Civil Defenders (Suffolk Home Guard)
Discover History (Worcestershire Home Guard)
La Columna (International Brigade instructors at Osterley Home Guard Training School)