This film is part of Free

Citizen's Army

Ordinary men from all trades and professions lead double lives to hone their soldiering skills in Britain during the Second World War.

Documentary 1941 10 mins

From the collection of:

Logo for Imperial War Museums


‘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.