The Letchworth Home Guard
During the 2nd World War
By Charlotte Jordan
The Letchworth Home Guard was formed in June 1940, to protect Letchworth during World War II. However, none of the Home Guards formed were ever needed as Britain was not invaded by the Germans. They eventually stood down in November 1944.
Who were the Home Guard?
The Home Guard was made of the men who could not go to war, (for example if they were too old to fight.) In the top picture within this article we know who the people are; In the back row: Sapsed, Huckle, Collins, Dolan, Miller and Carter. In the middle row: George, Hartley, Dent, Ireland, Chakley, Crouch and Kornbluth. Finally, in the front row: Whitmore, Mitchell, Ralp V.Kellet, Isaac, H Steward and P Steward.
What did they have?
As all the weapons had gone with the British army to fight in the War, the home guard were left with nothing. So the public were invited to give their own shotguns and pistols for the Home Guard. Soon, over 20,000 weapons were handed in for them, but this was still not enough. Therefore, some had to use items like crowbars and pickaxes.
What training and uniform did they get?
Training of the Home Guard was mainly down to the individual commanders of the area, but many war veterans were given the task of training. At first the Home Guard had very varying uniforms from khaki serge battledress to just LDV armbands. However, later on men were given steel helmets, greatcoats and waterproof capes.