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15 October 2014
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Dad's Army before joining the Navy

by Market Harborough Royal British Legion

Contributed by 
Market Harborough Royal British Legion
People in story: 
Dick Fulford
Location of story: 
Background to story: 
Civilian Force
Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
25 May 2005

Dick's treasured certificate

This story is submitted to the People’s War site by a member of Market Harborough Branch, Royal British Legion on behalf of Dick Fulford and has been added to the site with his permission. Mr Fulford fully understands the site’s terms and conditions.

War on Germany was declared on 3rd September, 1939. I was too old to be conscripted at that time so, eager to be “in on the fun”, I volunteered to join the Royal Navy the following month. The Navy however, was then fully manned, all reserves having been called up. So I had to wait, and wait I did until August 1940.
For a month or so after the outbreak of the War, little happened; it has since been referred to as the “phoney war”. But the bubble burst in a big way in the Spring of 1940; Denmark, Norway, Holland and Belgium fell to Hitler’s Forces in April and May, and in June France surrendered on the 22nd, followed by the Channel Islands which were occupied on 1st July.
So Britain was alone - our “Finest Hour”! Now that invasion was more than likely extra defence was necessary and on 25th May the L.D.V. was formed - Local Defence Volunteers or rudely referred to later as the “Look, Dive and Vanish Brigade”! I joined immediately - my 23rd birthday.
Armed with a 4/10 shotgun and a home made L. D. V. Armband I was detailed to report to a cart shed on the top of one of the Wiltshire Downs. Lord Essex had been appointed C. O. of our village contingent and I, being the youngest, was nominated his “runner”; as telephones were unheard of at that time. The other volunteers were aggressive World War I veterans, all armed with rifles, shot guns, cutlasses and home made pikes. Look out Hitler, we, the LDV are ready for you!
Then two months later, on 23rd July 1940, the Home Guard was formed and replaced the LDV. One by one we were kitted out with Army uniform but I missed out, for just a month later my uniform issue was Navy blue and my Army career had ended.
I am proud, however, to have been a volunteer in “Dad’s Army” and I treasure the proof of my service; a certificate signed by His Majesty.

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