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Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Home Guard records released - More 'Lad's Army' than 'Dad's Army'


Home Guard service records for County Durham 1939-1945 have just been released online by The National Archives. According to the press release, a majority of the men who served were much younger than is popularly thought:
'The defence volunteers organisation the Home Guard was commonly thought to have consisted mostly of men who were too old for military service, yet this project has revealed that 50% of the records selected were of men under the age of 27, with 28% of the men aged 18 or younger in 1940, the year the Home  Guard was formed.'
Only the County Durham records are held by The National Archives, and have been released as a pilot project. Records for all other counties are still held by the Ministry of Defence, and there is more information about them at VeteransUK

All of the records can be searched by key word, using the online catalogue, Discovery, but only about half can be downloaded; the records for men born less than 100 years ago are closed. There is more information on a new Research Guide Durham Home Guard records 1939-1945.

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