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15 October 2014
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Parachuting Nuns and Blitzkreig - Dad's Army in Bedfordshire

by janespeedy

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Location of story: 
Clophill, Bedfordshire
Background to story: 
Civilian Force
Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
12 July 2005

This story was submitted to the People's War site by Jane Cave for Three Counties Action on behalf of Mollie Jenkins and has been added to the site with her permission. Mrs Jenkins fully understands the site's terms and conditions.

My father, in the dark days of l940, volunteered for the Land Defence Volunteers, LDV, the forerunner of the Home Guard. All he had by way of a uniform was an armband with LDV and he had a two hour watch between dawn and dusk. The vantage points were the old church and castle hills on either side of Clophill village. He took with him the rifle he used to pot rabbits and since he had to change his glasses to load the rifle and change them again to take aim - this would have given the Germans a considerable advantage! There were many stories around at that time regarding the different ways the Germans might try and invade and I can particularly remember that it was even considered possible that enemy troops dressed as nuns and wearing wimples might parachute from the skies!

About two years later they were better organised with uniforms and had a HQ in the village. It was thought a good idea for training purposes for the Army to have a mock battle with the Home Guard to see how they got on and a weekend was given over to this. The local WRVS, of which my mother was a member, arranged to get up early on Sunday morning to prepare breakfast for the Home Guard and my sister was sitting at the Red Cross post waiting for "the injured". The Army was situated at Barton Hills and decided to do a blitzkreig and carried out an advance in the middle of the night before dawn. The Commanding Officer of the Home Guard refused to engage in hositilities before having breakfast and the Army routed the Home Guard in the middle of breakfast and the Commanding Officer lost his job.

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