Meeting - November 2014

Friday, 28 November 2014 - 7:30pm
The Real "Dad's Army"
Malcolm Atkin

A PowerPoint presentation


Malcolm Atkins PowerPoint presentation entitled “The Real Dad’s Army” attracted a large and very interested audience to our November meeting, many of whom had been young people during WW2 and had memories of older men in their street working during the day but being in uniform in the evenings and weekends. We all of course have watched the “Dad’s Army” series on television which always portrays The Home Guard, as they were officially named, as something of a joke whereas Mr Atkins presentation showed that they were formed as a serious resistance organisation  should Britain suffer invasion by the Germans.
We learned that in October 1939 Winston Churchill called for some form of home Defence force to be set up and that in May 1940 it was announced that a Local Defence Volunteer (LDV) force comprising of men who were too old or too young to be conscripted for the regular army would be set up around the country. They would be volunteers from men who were too young or too old for the regular army. In fact in the early days 40% were elderly ex servicemen and 26% were teenagers.
Initially these groups merely wore armbands and the term LDV prompted members of the public to jokingly say LDV stood for LOOK, Duck & Vanish! Churchill eventually exerted pressure to change their title to HOME GUARD.
Malcolm Atkins’ talk dealt with the subject in much more detail and I would recommend anyone who would like to investigate THE HOME GUARD in a little more depth to visit the Wikipedia internet site on the subject where there is a fully detailed history.

Brian Sadler