This film is part of Free

Homeguard 3

A fascinating glimpse into the training of the Home Guard –learning how to hide from enemy invaders – showing that they were far from being the farcical shambles of Dad’s Army.

Training film/TV programme 1942 10 mins Silent

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This training film reveals that, rather than being a bumbling ‘Dad’s Army’, the Home Guard were fully prepared in the eventuality of any invading German army. Here, hidden in a wood in the East Riding of Yorkshire in the summer of 1942, members of the Home Guard show their various, somewhat comical, skills in the art of camouflage.

This is one of three films showing the full scope of Home Guard training in the East Riding of Yorkshire. The Home Guard – formerly the Local Defence Volunteers (LDV, appropriately nicknamed ‘Look, Duck and Vanish’) – were formed in mid May 1940, when the government were concerned that citizens were arming themselves. At first there was no training, and it fell to Grimsby born Tom Wintringham to kick-start this in June 1940, applying what he learnt from fighting for the Republic in the Spanish Civil War. There was also an unofficial Women's Home Defence League established illegally by Edith Summerskill MP in 1940, which trained 20,000 women to use arms. At its peak the HG numbered 1,793,000.