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15 October 2014
WW2 - People's War

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Defending England with broomsticks

by Thanet_Libraries

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Contributed by 
Thanet_Libraries
People in story: 
John Side
Location of story: 
Ramsgate
Background to story: 
Civilian Force
Article ID: 
A4391688
Contributed on: 
07 July 2005

When I was 17 at the start of the war it was announced by Anthony Eden (Foreign Minister) in a wireless broadcast that all men between 17 and 65 were to report to their local police station — the intention being to form in every town and village a local force of volunteers to protect and defend Britain from a possible German invasion. That same evening I made my way to the police station in Cavendish Street Ramsgate to join the queue that already numbered several hundred. At last I reached the front of the queue and was given a hastily prepared card saying I was a member of the LDV (Local Defence Volunteer). My parents were quite unaware of my actions.

Some days later while I was at work, someone called at home to say that I was to report to the Granville Hotel on the East Cliff at 8pm that evening and to bring a broomstick with me.

This I duly did and at 10pm that night I mounted guard at the toppermost turret of that hotel for 2 hours to defend England with a 5 foot broomstick.

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