“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]
You'll find details of each of the Wiltshire Home Guard Battalions on the history pages. We will be revamping these pages so that information will be easier to find. Once the revamp is complete we hope to provide you with:
1: The History of the Wiltshire Home Guard 1940 - 1944, Major EA Mackay, TD, DL, JP, published 1946.