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Wiltshire Home Guard

living history group

“The Home Guard, or the Local Defence Volunteers as they were originally called, came into being when these islands were faced with a disaster which had already overwhelmed much of Europe, and when we were left alone to oppose the victorious enemy. At the hour in May 1940 when the call for a citizen defence force went out, there were some who felt that the response might not be as whole-hearted as the situation demanded. These pessimists were rapidly confounded. The appeal from the very first day met with an enthusiastic response throughout the length and breadth of the country.

 

Nowhere was the response more enthusiastic than in the county of Wiltshire.

 

Recruits poured in from both town and country, and the Home Guard soon proved itself to be the greatest and the most successful volunteer movement in our long history.

 

In the early days the demands on the time and energy of the recruits were very heavy. The necessities of drill, musketry, field operations and even night duties were onerous and mostly fell on men who were already working full time, and often more, in their peace-time occupations.

 

The demands were met with the maximum of enthusiasm and the minimum of grumbling. In consequence the efficiency of the volunteer force soon reached a high level.

 

The age limit forced me to resign from the Home Guard before it was disbanded but I know and shall always be proud to remember, that I handed over to my successor a highly efficient body of men who bore a vital part in the defence schemes of the British Isles.”

 

Wednesday, 23rd January 1946, Foreward by General The Hon. Sir Francis Gathorne-Hardy [1, p3]

Welcome to the website of the Wiltshire Home Guard living history group

 

Our site is split into several sections:

  • History:

The history pages are currently under reconstruction. Currently you will find details of each Battalion. Once the reconstruction is complete, you will find:

  • a chronological history of both the Home Guard from its inception in 1940 until its disbandment in 1945, and the Wiltshire Home Guard;
  • in-depth information on the Wiltshire Home Guard battalions;
  • uniform;
  • weapons;
  • activities;
  • awards and mentioned in dispatches;
  • abbreviations; and
  • list of Wiltshire Home Guardsmen mentioned in this site.

Please note that we are a living history group and consequently do not hold records of ex-Home Guardsmen; however, to aid you in your search of relatives in the Wiltshire Home Guard, we have included an alphabetical list of Wiltshire Home Guardsmen as discovered during our research

  • Living History:
  • aim;
  • where you can see us;
  • group structure;
  • portrayals, activities and exhibits;
  • membership;
  • members,
  • annual James Bowles Cup shooting competition results;
  • application forms; and
  • membership documents
  • Gallery:
  • images of the group at events we have attended over the years
  • Fundraising:
  • our charity of the year;
  • past fundraising totals, and
  • details of how to purchase our unique pictorial fundraising items
  • Useful Information:
  • our next meeting;
  • potential contacts for Home Guard service records; and
  • ourpreferred suppliers
  • Contact Us:
  • link to contact us, including if you can assist with information we are missing, to share information or images with us, if you would like to use one of our images, you would like us to attend your event or you would like us to do a talk or demonstration

 

  • If you were in the Wiltshire Home Guard, or know someone who was, we would love to hear your/their stories and see your images, and with your permission use them on our website. Please contact us via the contact page
  • Images on the website are copyrighted, as detailed on each page. Please contact us via the contact page if you wish to use any of our images
  • All sources used in our research are referenced on each page, as is information received

 

 

Sources

1: The History of the Wiltshire Home Guard 1940 - 1944, Major EA Mackay, TD, DL, JP, published 1946.

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