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15 October 2014
WW2 - People's War

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Some stories of the Home Guard

by archieyg

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Archive List > British Army

Contributed by 
archieyg
Location of story: 
Scotland
Background to story: 
Civilian Force
Article ID: 
A4409426
Contributed on: 
09 July 2005

Many youngsters falsified their ages and joined, I did at age just 15.

I joined the 3rd Battalion Edinburgh Home Guard, Signals Company from the Army Cadet Force, By doing so, I hoped to be a dispatch rider and learn to ride a motor cycle (petrol was strictly rationed so there was none for such frivolous civilian purposes).

Instead, I was made to learn the Morse code and polish the mirrors of the heliograph ! This instrument, a relic of Empire, used the suns rays to flash signals. Useful, no doubt on the North West Frontier but less so on a
cloudy Edinburh February ! Some regular Army quartermaster must have been delighted to get rid of such relics from his store.

We had a delightful member "Daddy" Webster who must have been in his 70's, but with a sharp sense of humour. We were being instructed by a regular Army instructor on unarmed combat whose advice in dealing with a Nazi paratrooper, was to kick him in the area of the 'crown jewels'. Daddy raised his hand and asked, " But sargeant, what if he was a eunuch?"

In an excercise between. the Falkirk and Stirling Home Guards, some of the former had to impersonate 5th column spies (in civvie clothing) and try and infiltrate Stiring Castle). My father-in law suceeded in doing so using a false Indentity Card. Surprising really, for the name on the card was Adolf Hitler

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