Baddow & Galleywood

06 family history - June 2017

Mike Brown - 'The Real Dads Army - the Home Guard'

If you couldn’t make the meeting on Friday you missed a treat. Mike Brown talked about ‘The real dads’ army – the Home Guard’. His talk was informative but amusing as well! I had heard the talk before, but he talks without notes and tailors the talk to his audience, and most of it was new. So many people said how good he was and asked if he could come back, so he is booked for next year and we can decide on the talk at the planning meeting in December. I have heard from Mike who said ‘Thanks to you all for a wonderful welcome.’

Here are two facts that were new to most of us –

• The Home Guard did not, initially, admit women to its ranks. Some women formed their own groups. In December 1941, a more organised but still unofficial Women's Home Defence (WHD) was formed under the direction of Dr Edith Summerskill. WHD members were taught weapons training and basic military training. Limited female involvement was permitted later on the understanding that these would be in traditional female support roles and not in any way seen as combatants.

• Not long after the Home Guard had been disbanded, suggestions began to be made that it be revived in the face of a new threat from the Soviet Union and the Home Guard was back from 1952 to 1957.