Do you have ancestors’ from the county of Durham who served in the Home Guard? Explore this collection of Durham Home Guard records from 1939 to 1945. The records will confirm the battalion your ancestor served in. Findmypast has published this index from The National Archives.
Each record includes a transcript of the original record. The amount of information you will see will vary. You may be able to find a combination of the following:
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Findmypast has published the index from The National Archives in Kew, the records are from the WO 409 series.
The Durham Home Guard 1939-1945 has records of over 80,000 individuals who served in the Home Guard in the county of Durham between 1939 and 1945. The records consist of the enrolment forms that were completed when men joined the Durham Home Guard.
Set up in May 1940, the Home Guard was set up as Britain’s last line of defence against an invasion by Germany.
Members of the Home Guard were men usually above or below the age of conscription, the Home Guard would also include those unfit or ineligible for front line military service.
The Secretary of State for War Anthony Eden made a broadcast on the 14 May 1940, in his broadcast he called for men between the ages of 17 and 65 to enrol in a new force called the Local Defence Volunteers. By July of 1940, nearly 1.5 million men had enrolled and the name of the volunteer force was changed to the Home Guard.
With scarce and often make-do weaponry the Home Guard was at first rag-tag militia. Over time the Home Guard evolved into a well-equipped and well-trained army of 1.7 million men. The Home Guard was not only readied for invasion they would also perform other roles during the war effort including bomb disposal and manning anti-aircraft and coastal artillery.
Throughout the Second World War, 1,206 men from the Home Gard were killed on duty or died as a result of wounds they sustained. On the 3 December 1944, the Home Guard was eventually stood down, the Allied armies were advancing towards Germany and the threat of invasion or raids was over.
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