‘Citizen’s Army’ is an insight into the training of the Home Guard; a volunteer force established to help defend Britain against a much feared Nazi invasion. Many of these men would have been kept back from the armed forces due to their age, and instead of going to the front, volunteered in large numbers to receive military training in anticipation of one day being called to action.
This propaganda film shows how new recruits were drilled in skills such as grenade throwing and enemy evasion, often by men with experience of fighting in previous conflicts. The Home Guard also undertook guard and observation duties, helping to relieve some of the burden from the British Army, who were stretched by their commitments overseas.
The IWM Film Archive is the oldest film archive in the UK, holding over 20,000 hours of film, video and digital material and covering the two World Wars and all conflicts involving British or Commonwealth Forces since the start of the Twentieth Century to the present. Our collection also reflects aspects of civilian life in wartime, military life in peacetime, military exercises and operations.