Then came D-Day and continued night duty by each Platoon on a rota system. The expected enemy reactions did not mature, however, and our operational duties terminated after the establishment of the large bridgehead in Normandy. It was obvious to all concerned that the Stand-down of the Home Guard could not be long delayed, although when it did come it brought a sense of frustration and anti-climax which was felt by all ranks. Now came the nightmare of calling-in the equipment of men who had ceased to parade and it is difficult to know what would have been done without the help of Captain Vick, whose car was placed at our disposal at all hours of the day or night. All the arms were soon collected and, up to the time of writing, all the equipment is in with the exception of a few articles which it is hoped will be written off. Coy. H.Q.1 has been dismantled and we now await our final disbandment with mixed feelings.
Looking back on our activities of the last four years, I have arrived at the following conclusions:-
(a) In the event of invasion the Home Guard would have fought well. Its casualties would have been heavy, probably as high as 50%, but with the fire power at its disposal it could, and would, have done its duty pending arrival of Regular troops.
(b) Did the authorities make a mistake in introducing conscription for the Home Guard in 1942? Although most of the “directed” men made good and played their part admirably, there was a small minority in each Coy.2 which caused a lot of trouble to Officers already driven to distraction by the amount of administrative work thrown at them after a heavy day’s work in their civil occupations.
- Company Headquarters