I read an interesting article this week talking about the Bristish sitcom ‘Dad’s Army’ and how it was fifty years old this year. I used to enjoy watching these episodes as a child and watching the very picky character Captain Mainwaring and his troop muddle their way through exercises and training in a bid to become an effective home guard unit. It got me thinking about the real home guard and what they would have done. Although they may not have been on the front line during the war or responsible for Tank Driving they played an important role in the second world war. They may of witnessed explosion, helped people out of rubbble or even got up on the roof to fix leeks. luckily these days we can call a Roofer Gloucester company and one option to find details is on links like gloucester-roofer.co.uk/ . Many of those who signed up to the home guard had in fact been soldiers during the first world war and some would have held specialist roles and may have even been responsible for Tank Driving in some of the first tanks that were developed, and some members were unable to join the army for medical reasons. Here are some interesting facts about the home guard that you may not have been aware of.
The British government established the volunteer group and within the first 24 hours over 250,000 people signed up. By the time the second world war was in full swing in August 1940 over 1.5 million men had signed up to the home guard.
The volunteers are often portrayed as older men who were unable to join the army as a result of their age. However, the statistics on the membership of the home guard show a completely different story. It is thought that actually around 50% of the volunteers were between the ages of 28 and 65. With 22% in the 19-27-year-old age bracket and 28% from the ages of 17-18. This goes to show that the television portrayed an image of a ‘Dad’s Army’ style group is actually far from the truth. The element that is accurate is the fact that only men could sign up to the home guard, so women very quickly developed their own volunteer group.
The home guard were taught some rudimentary German just in case an allied invasion occurred. They knew that they would be no match for the German soldiers, so they were taught a few key phrases to help enable them to communicate with the soldiers.
There is so much more to the home guard and if you are interested in finding out more you can take a look here for some further information on these incredible individuals.