The Home Guard in Dacorum

AFD_Flag21_Day The Home Guard, originally known as the Local Defence Volunteers (LDV), was set up in 1940 as Britain’s last line of defence against the threat of German invasion during WWII.

This group is also sometimes referred to as ‘The Dad’s Army’ due to the average age of members being over 50. Members were usually men who were too young or too old to be ‘called up’ or who were not suitable for frontline military service for medical reasons.

Air Raid Siren

DACHT : 62.18a.12. An air raid siren. These could be heard over a wide local area and gave early warning of an imminent air raid.
Picture: Dacorum Heritage Trust

At its height, The Home Guard had over 1.7 million members who defended everything from Factories to waterways, explosive stores, and coastal areas. They were finally disbanded in 1945, eight months after the end of the war.

The Home Guard in Dacorum

Home Guard Platoons, or military units, were set up throughout Dacorum. There were observer posts at King Langley, Berkhamsted and Markyate. Soldiers kept watch at these posts for enemy aircraft and parachutes.

Mr Kirk, the ARP Controller for the borough of Dacorum, reported that in six years there had been a total of 828 air raid warnings, during which 90 high explosives bombs and 350 incendiary bombs fell on the town.

Looking for Home Guard related activities?

When the air raid warden sounded the alarm, everyone went to a shelter to keep themselves safe from falling bombs. These may have beeen public shelters or anderson shelters built in gardens. Build your own den under a table and pretend this is your anderson shelter. What will you need to put in it? Remember you might be there all night or all day.

Think about what you might need to to protect other people during an air raid. Write a set of instructions for your family and friends to follow if hte air raid siren sounds.


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The Dacorum Heritage Trust Ltd.

The Museum Store, Clarence Road, Berkhamsted, Herts HP4 3YL

Telephone/Fax 01442 879525   Email

Registered in England No. 2851313 | Registered Charity No. 1026161 | Accredited Museum No. 1594 | Status: Fully accredited museum.