This book chronicles the story of the Home Guard (initially the Local Defence Volunteers) in Worcestershire from its formation in May 1940 to its disbandment in December 1945, as well as its re-creation in the 1950s. It tells of the gradual equipping of the force, its initial and subsequent roles, its increasing professionalism (and associated burgeoning administration), the move from an ethos of volunteering to one of enforced participation backed up by fines for non-attendance, the structure and organization, the characters of some of the officers and men, the establishment of the Auxiliary Units, the increasing role played by women, the training and exercises that its members had to undergo, and of false alarms, incidents and accidents.
It is the result of years of work, involving both interviewing former Home Guards and trawling through mounds of Home Guard paperwork, including some records no longer available for inspection.
This is the fourth book that Mick Wilks has written about Worcestershire and the Second World War. The first, The Mercian Maquis, co-authored with Bernard Lowry, dealt with the secret Auxiliary Units established to operate behind German lines should an advance be made from the Severn Estuary towards the centre of UK manufacturing in the Midlands. This book includes some additional information on those units. The second, The Defence of Worcestershire and the southern approaches to Birmingham in World War II, covered the defence plans for the county in preparation for an expected invasion. The third, 20th Century Defences in Britain; the West Midlands, co-authored with Colin Jones and Bernard Lowry, included many details concerning Worcestershire, notably the development of radar.
Paperback | 368 pages | 242 x 171 mm | 2014
Over 140 b&w photographs, maps and drawings