Living History
Home Guard, LDV and Home Front
Home Guard & LDV
Home Guard

"Over four years ago, in May 1940, our country was in mortal danger. The most powerful army the world had ever seen had forced its way to within a few miles of our coast. From day to day we were threatened with invasion.

In those days our Army had been gravely weakened. A call went out for men to enrol themselves in a new citizen army, the Local Defence Volunteers, ready to use whatever weapons could be found and to stand against the invader in every village and every town. Throughout Britain and Northern Ireland the nation answered that summons, as free men will always answer when freedom is in danger. From fields and hills, from factories and mills, from shops and offices, men of every age and every calling came forward to train themselves for battle. Almost overnight, a new force came into being, a force which had little equipment but was mighty in courage and determination.

In July 1940, the Local Defence Volunteers became the Home Guard. During those four years of cotinuing anxiety that civilian army grew in strength; under the competent administration of the Territorial Army Associations, it soon became a well-equipped and capable force, able to take over many duties from regular soldiers preparing to go overseas. I believe it is the voluntary spriit which has always made the Home Guard so splendid and so powerful a comradeship of arms. The hope that this comradeship will long endure was strong in me this afternoon while many thousands of you marched part me in one of the most impressive and memorable parades that I have ever seen.

For most of you - and, I must add, for your wives too, your service in the Home Guard has not been easy. I know what it has meant, especially for older men. Some of you have stood for many hours on the gun sites, in desolate fields, or wind-swept beaches. Many of you, after a long and hard day's work, scarcely had time for food before you changed into uniform for the evening parade. Some of you had to bicycle for long distances to the drill hall or the rifle range.

It was well known to the enemy that if he came to any part of our land he would meet determined opposition, at every point in his advance, from men who had good weapons, and, better still, knew how to use them. In that way the existence of the Home Guard helped much to ward off the dange of invasion. Then, too, our own plans for campaigns in many parts of the world depended on our having a great citizen force to help in the defence of the homeland. As anti-aircraft and coastal gunners, sentries at vulunerable points, units for dealing with unexploded bombs, and in many other ways, the Home Guard have played a full part in the defence of their country. Many will remember with special gratitude the unsparing help given to the Civil Defence Services in days and nights of terror and destruction.

But you have gained something for yourselves. You have discovered in yourselves new capabilities. You have found how men from all kinds of homes and many different occupations can work together in a great cause, and how happy they can be with each other. That is a memory and a knowledge which may help us all in the many peace-time problems that we shall have to tackle before long. 

I am very proud of what the Home Guard has done and I give my heartfelt thanks to you all. Officers, non-commissioned officers, and men, you have served your country with a steadfast devotion. I know that your country will not forget that service."

Monday, 4th December 1944, broadcast to the Home Guard by HRH King George VI [1, p8/9]

1. Aim

We are a living history group whose aim is to provide a realistic impression of the Wiltshire Home Guard and Home Front activities during World War II. 

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2. Where can you see us


Thursday 21 March: Talk to Dinton Historical Social

Saturday 23 March: The Rifles Museum, Salisbury

Saturday 27 April: The Rifles Museum, Salisbury

Saturday 11-Sunday 12 May: REME at War, REME Museum, Lyneham

Saturday 18 May: The Museum of Army Flying, Middle Wallop

Saturday 25 May: The Rifles Museum, Salisbury

Saturday 1 June: Ramsbury RBL D-Day 80th Anniversary Country Fayre

Saturday 8 June: Ramsbury Airfield D-Day 80th Community Fair

Sunday 9 June: Kilmington Home Guard Club

Saturday 15-Sunday 16 June: Wessex Midsummer Show, Greenhill Farm, Southwick

Saturday 22 June: The Rifles Museum, Salisbury

Saturday 29-Sunday 30 June: D-Day 80th Anniversary Convoy, Hungerford

Saturday 27 July: The Rifles Museum, Salisbury

Saturday 24 August: The Rifles Museum, Salisbury

Saturday 28 September: The Rifles Museum, Salisbury

Saturday 5 October: The Museum of Army Flying, Middle Wallop

Please keep an eye on our Facebook pages for details nearer the time.

If you would like us to attend an event or do a talk or demonstration, please get in touch via the contact page.

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3. Portrayals, Activities and Exhibits


Home Guard (HG)

Local Defence Volunteers (LDV)

Womens Home Guard Auxiliary (WHGA)


Grenade Throwing

Weapons Recognition


Talks on the Home Guard, Weapons and the Role of Women during World War II


Conventional & Improvised Weapons of the Home Guard

Kit Display (Self-Supplied and Issued)

The Role of Women during the War

Wartime Rationing

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4. Group Structure

To facilitate the smooth running of the Group, we have a number of key roles. The holders of these roles are selected annually.

Chairman: Maria

Vice-Chairman: Colin

Treasurer: Colin

Signatories: Val & Colin

Media Officers: Rich & Maria

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5. Membership

Benefits of Membership:

  • All members receive a membership card
  • All adult members are entitled to attend and vote at Wiltshire Home Guard living history group meetings and the AGM
  • Members can attend re-enactment events as a re-enactor of Wiltshire Home Guard living history group
  • All members are eligible to join the Group’s Public Liability Scheme, valid for all re-enactment purposes
  • All members may attend out of season meetings which will include training sessions and fun activities

Membership Year and Fees:

Our membership year runs from 1 February to 31 January

The annual membership fee is £5 per year, with all admin through our member facebook page.

If joining part way through the year, the pro-rata rate for the first year is:

  • joining February-July £5
  • joining August-January £3

Public Liability Insurance:

All members must have public liability insurance, which can either be purchased independently or by joining the Group policy.

The Group policy runs from 1 November to 31 October. The Group obtains their PLI from the Shooters Rights Association. 


We're not holding meetings at the moment. Instead we make decisions either at events or by consensus on our members Facebook page.

How to Join:

If you would like to discuss joining the group, please use the Contact Page or speak to us at an event. We meet all potential new members before they join the Group.

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6. Members

7. James Bowles Cup Shooting Competition Results








2019 (2)

Rich K






2018 (2)

John K






2017 (1)



John K




2016 (1)



Maria & Steve W



2015 (1)



Derek B




(1) Colt 1911 (8 shot)

(2) Webley Mark VI (6 shot)

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