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“The Home Guard”

Brigadier F G R Brittoreous inspecting members of the Manchester Regiment Home Guard 1942-3c. (MRP/7/A)We know them as Dad’s Army - the Captain Mainwarings and Private Pikes who held parades in the local church hall.

However, the Home Guard had a very serious side. It was established (as the Local Defence Volunteers) on May 14, 1940, when the Blitzkrieg was sweeping all before it in France and there was a genuine fear that Britain would be invaded.

During the Second World War, 1.5 million men aged 17 to 65 served in the Home Guard’s ranks. They were ineligible for military service, largely for being too young or too old, and they guarded coastal areas and other important sites such as airfields, factories and explosives stores.

It is the Home Guard units cap-badged to the Manchester Regiment who provide the theme for latest free exhibition at the award-winning Museum of the Manchester Regiment, at Ashton-under-Lyne Town Hall. “The Home Guard”, which opened on Wednesday, January 2, 2013 highlights some of these men, who they were, where they came from, what they did and why.

The museum tells their story through photographs – many on public display for the first time – and the objects they left behind. The Museum is interested in hearing from anyone who served with the Manchester Regiment and especially if they have memories of their service days in the Home Guard or recollections of a close family member’s involvement.

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