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15 October 2014
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MY STINT IN THE HOME GUARD

by derbycsv

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Contributed by 
derbycsv
People in story: 
PATRICK HUCK
Location of story: 
EDINBURGH
Background to story: 
Civilian
Article ID: 
A5023306
Contributed on: 
12 August 2005

This story was submitted to the People's War site by Lin Freeman of Radio Derby CSV on behalf of Mr Patrick Huck and has been added to the site with his permission. The author fully understands the site's terms and conditions.

Perhaps the BBC was a bit hard over 'Dad's Army' but they weren't all old chaps. Indeed I was in my twenties and a medical student during my last stages when the call to duty came.

As a matter no doubt of National Urgency on all fronts, we were drafted into our 'Dad's Army' to watch for air raids and attend to casualties - which never happened in Edinburgh, as a matter of fact - in spite of the huge pill box built in Prince's Street and decorated with a painting of a flower pot complete with exotic blooms.

The drill we suffered was a mild spell of square bashing but with a light fantastic toe rather than a heavy boot slap and was followed by a march in the country. That completed our training. As a more significant part of the march we had to throw ourselves down to the ground in answer to a whistle by our corporal warning of approaching aircraft. This we did of course but chose the dry side and bank of the road to ensure our uniforms remained unsullied. The corporal did not see eye to eye with our manoeuvre, I may say. We were then let loose to wander the streets in the uniforms issued to us.

So far so good, except that we did not know how to salute an officer and were always impressed by the clash of boots and rigid stance given by junior uniform to oncoming officers. But what about us when such a situation might arise? Perhaps we could be court marshalled or tried for treason and carted off in chains. So it was always a hazardous sally into the busy street on the way to the drill hall or whatever. So, a careful watch had to be kept for any approaching flotilla of officers and when one was espied a hurried dash across to the other side of the road as though we were non Samaritans, was required of us. We succeeded all through our term to keep a successful watch and were never in such peril!

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