Serving in the Home Guard WW2

The latest release of documents on-line at The National Archives comprises some at least of the enrolment forms for the Durham County Home Guard during the Second World War, 1939-45. Undoubtedly many of the men who had served in 11 DLI during WW1 will have signed up and these records will be yet another resource to discover something of the post-WW1 lives of DLI men. Searching the records will not be easy, as it is only possible by the person’s name, but you get a reasonable opportunity to check whether you have the right man before committing yourself to paying for a download of the documents.

One who certainly appears is Richard Laurence Stapylton Pemberton, a highly decorated officer who appears in the Roll of Honour under P. I have now updated his details to show how, after unsuccessfully trying to serve in Anti-Aircraft batteries 1940-41, he remained undaunted and signed on with the Durham Home Guard at the rank of Major and served for more than four years. When the war ended he was even given the honorary rank of Lieutenant Colonel.

How complete are the records I cannot be sure, and certainly there is no sign of Hugh Lavelle, who may have served in the Home Guard at Stillington. Nor do the records include other allied home defence forces such as the Auxiliary Fire Service, in which my maternal grandfather, Fred Martin, served. But another resource well worth exploring.


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