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"Home Guard Battalions" Topic

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Timbo W16 Oct 2012 4:58 p.m. PST

In the spirit of Tango, I found this on the internet and thought some might find it interesting.

An interactive map showing all the Home Guard units raised in WW2. There were over 1000 battalions altogether.


Crossposted to Interwar in case the VBCW-ers find it useful

epturner Inactive Member16 Oct 2012 5:14 p.m. PST

Right. So, where's Walmington-on-Sea?

Or, in my case, The Duke of Glendon's Own… the 10th Battalion…


Timbo W16 Oct 2012 5:37 p.m. PST

Well we know its somewhere on the Southern coast of Kent, so maybe…

6th Kent (Thanet) Bn
7th Kent (Lyminge) Bn
8th Kent (Cinque Ports) Bn (Folkestone)

But it must have a pier too, so Deal or Folkestone perhaps??

wargamer617 Oct 2012 10:17 a.m. PST

At least 5 Cornish battalions had unit symbols, a bit like the regular troops divisional shoulder patches, I remember one had a picture of a Cornish Chough. Does anyone else know of any other unit patches that were used.

Jemima Fawr Inactive Member17 Oct 2012 11:08 a.m. PST

The Walmington-on-Sea Home Guard had 'CP 1' as their identifier. Perhaps a fictitious designation for 'Cinque Ports'?

At least one of the two Llanelli battalions (Carmarthenshire) wore the 'Scarlet Sospan' badge that was traditionally worn by the 4th (TA) Battalion of the Welch Regt (then with 53rd (Welsh) Division), which was also raised in the town. The badge commemorates the town's tinplate works, the Llanelli 'Scarlets' rugby team and the popular rugby song 'Sospan Fach'.

My grandfather and great-grandfather were in one of the two Haverfordwest battalions (Pembrokeshire).

Timbo W17 Oct 2012 11:21 a.m. PST

Hi R Mark,

I expect you might be the chap to ask. I have my Grandfather's Defence Medal, which I guess means he was in the Home Guard in WW2, probably 20th Glamorgan (Port Talbot) Bn. Any tips on finding out if this is right and accessing any records?

He was also in WWI at the Somme, but I've found those records,



Jemima Fawr Inactive Member17 Oct 2012 11:52 a.m. PST

I don't know for certain and it's not something I've researched, but it seems that county archives hold most Home Guard records it certainly seems to be the case in the Pembrokeshire county archive, as I saw boxes and boxes of Home Guard records held there when I was looking for information on the 1790s equivalent. The West Glamorgan Archive (which is the archive for the old county of West Glamorgan, as well as the modern county of Swansea and the county of Neath & Port Talbot) might therefore be your first port of call:


What's curious is that neither my grandfather or my great-grandfather had medals from WW2, despite them being L/Cpl and CSM respectively in the Home Guard. I've got my great-grandfather's medals from WW1 though. Sadly, it wasn't unusual for people to be overlooked when the medals were dished out and it's been my enormous honour to organise medal presentations for a few old gents whose medals finally caught up with them:


Timbo W17 Oct 2012 12:37 p.m. PST

Cheers R Mark,

I have a vague memory of reading that the Defence Medal had to be applied for, it wasn't just issued.

Great to see the RAF veteran picking up his gong after so many years!!

Martin Rapier17 Oct 2012 2:10 p.m. PST

"Well we know its somewhere on the Southern coast of Kent, so maybe…"

Although it was mostly filmed in Norfolk, which was why it looks like Norfolk and not Kent….

Jemima Fawr Inactive Member17 Oct 2012 2:37 p.m. PST


Interesting. Not heard that before.


Yes the 'exercise' scenes (as seen in the end credits and in other scenes) were filmed in Stanford Training Area, north of Thetford. It's very familiar to anyone who has trained there.

Etranger Inactive Member17 Oct 2012 5:49 p.m. PST

My grandfather would have been in one of the 25 Glamorgan Battalions, probably either the Taffs Well or Aberdare one.

A strength of over 1000 battalions shows just how big the Home Guard actually was. Didn't it have a peak strength of around 250,000?

Personal logo Bobgnar Supporting Member of TMP17 Oct 2012 9:16 p.m. PST

Nice map of counties of UK.

Jemima Fawr Inactive Member18 Oct 2012 6:03 a.m. PST


Yes, it was collossal and the most surprising thing is that after the initial supply problems, their small-unit firepower was astonishingly good, thanks to Lend-Lease.

An inventory I found for one of the Pembrokeshire Battalions in 1941 showed rifle sections each equipped with 1x Lewis, 2x BAR, 2-3x Thompsons and 5x Sprngfields! Added to this was a platoon of water-coolled Browning .30s at battalion level, plus US-supplied 60mm and 81mm mortars.

Timbo W18 Oct 2012 10:30 a.m. PST

Nope, not 250,000 Etranger, but over 1 million!

Captain DEwell Inactive Member18 Oct 2012 1:47 p.m. PST

Very interesting and of use to me. Thanks.

(Anything on Bovington?) evil grin

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