This film is part of Free

Clandon Home Guard - drills and stand down

Dad's Army, Clandon-style, are at it again in this fascinating film about life in Surrey's Home Guard.

Amateur film 1942 12 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for Screen Archive South East


We start with a pair of Local Defence Volunteers, dressed in their own clothes, patrolling on a dreary, cold day. Next we see the Home Guard, which was the old LDV, now equipped with uniforms and weapons. Numerous drills on a neglected tennis court are followed by rifle and grenade practise, in woods and fields. A platoon is seen stalking the ‘enemy’ before having a relaxing smoke and a chat. Machine gun practise follows before we end with a pair of observers on active duty.

The Local Defence Volunteer force was hastily formed in May 1940 during the Battle of France. Comprised of civilian men between 17 and 65 who wished to defend their country in its darkest hour, it had few resources available. Men patrolled in their own clothes and often trained with broom-handles instead of real rifles. As the LDV became better equipped with proper weapons and uniforms, its name was changed, at Churchill's directive, to the more familiar, Home Guard. This film shows that transition to a more professionally trained and kitted-out army of volunteers who performed all sorts of valuable work throughout the war until they were formally ‘stood down’ in December 1944.