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The Home Guard

Formerly known as the LDV (Local Devence Volunteers)

HOME GUARD

Britain's Home Guard (originally called the Local Defence Volunteers - or LDV) was born on 14th May 1940. It was particularly aimed at those who were too old to fight or were working in a reserved occupation.

The government had wanted to rely on the Army and the Police; however reports began reaching the War Office concerning the appearance up and down the country of 'bands of civilians.….arming themselves with shotguns'. It was launched without any staff, or funds, or premises of its own. By the end of June membership exceeded 1,400,000 – seven times more than anticipated. While the War Office searched for suitable arms, the eager volunteers proceeded to improvise: rolled umbrellas, broom handles and golf clubs were adapted for military service.

Winston Churchill was responsible for the change of name from Local Defence Volunteers to Home Guard. After the start of the Blitz in September 1940, the Home Guard came to be valued more in helping with civil defence - liaising with the police and the fire-fighters, clearing rubble, guarding damaged banks, pubs and shops, assisting in rescue work and generally making itself useful in crisis situations - than as an anti-invasion force.

By the middle of 1943, with the Germans seemingly well on their way to defeat, the Home Guard had lost much of its sense of purpose. In October 1944, the government announced that the Home Guard would be stood down the following month. There would be no gratuities or medals, but, following Churchill's intervention, the men were allowed to keep their battledress and their boots.

 

MEMORIES OF THE LDV from David Marson

"LDV, Look, Duck and Vanish.........

They had an outpost up at the station....it was people who were in a reserved occupation..... They used to go up there, half of them would be asleep and later on they went down into the village hall, that was their depot......Mr Broughton he was the sergeant.....

Mr Broughton was the only man that had a telephone, two of them had to go and sit in the post office at night in case there was any messages come through and Reg Graves went one night and he found a tin of biscuits, now biscuits were rationed and he come back with the tin of biscuits and said ‘do you want a biscuit, nobody’ll never know we’ve had half a dozen."

 

ARP WARDENS

ARP (Air Riad Precaution Wardens) supervised the Blackout

Baileys the butchers had an air raid shelter, but there is no evidence of another one in the village.

Photos
UB Village Site

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