Home Guard - Walmington on Sea. 147mm x 50mm Fridge Magnet
Acrylic fridge magnet / free standing desk sign
The Home Guard (initially Local Defence Volunteers or LDV) was an armed citizen militia supporting the British Army during the Second World War. Operational from 1940 until 1944, the Home Guard was composed of 1.5 million local volunteers otherwise ineligible for military service, such as those too young or too old to join the regular armed services (regular military service was restricted to those aged 18 to 41) or those in reserved occupations. Excluding those already in the armed services, the civilian police or civil defence, approximately one in five men were volunteers. Their role was to act as a secondary defence force, in case of invasion by the forces of Nazi Germany and their allies.
The Home Guard were to try to slow down the advance of the enemy, even by a few hours, in order to give the regular troops time to regroup, and also to defend key communications points and factories in rear areas against possible capture by paratroops or fifth columnists. A key purpose was to maintain control of the civilian population in the event of an invasion, forestalling panic and preventing communication routes from being blocked by refugees, thereby freeing the regular forces to fight the Germans. The Home Guard continued to man roadblocks and guard the coastal areas of the United Kingdom and other important places such as airfields, factories and explosives stores until late 1944 when they were stood down. They were finally disbanded on 31 December 1945, eight months after Germany's surrender. Men aged 17 to 65 could join, although the upper age limit was not strictly enforced. Service was unpaid but gave a chance for older or inexperienced soldiers to support the war effort.