“Who do you think you are kidding Mr Hitler” is the first line of the theme of the British sitcom Dad’s Army. A truly hilarious show. I remember one episode where Capt Mainwaring is telling a story how he met an Australian soldier. He had asked him “Did you come here to die?” whereupon the Australian soldier replied”No I came here Yesterday”
Dad’s Army was based on the British Homeguard.
The Home Guard (initially “Local Defence Volunteers” or LDV) was a defence organisation of the British Army during the Second World War. Operational from 1940 until 1944, the Home Guard was composed of 1.5 million local volunteers otherwise ineligible for military service, such as those too young or too old to join the services, or those in reserved occupations–hence the nickname “Dad’s Army”. Their role was to act as a secondary defence force, in case of invasion by the forces of Nazi Germany and their allies.They were to try to slow down the advance of the enemy, even by a few hours in order to give the regular troops time to regroup. The Home Guard continued to guard the coastal areas of the United Kingdom and other important places such as airfields, factories and explosives stores until late 1944 when they were stood down, and finally disbanded on 31st December 1945, eight months after Germany’s surrender. Men aged 17 to 65 could join. it was unpaid but gave a chance for older or inexperienced soldiers to support the war effort.
Below are some pictures of the real ‘Dad’s Army’
Home Guard training during the War would occasionally descend into farce, according to the recently discovered diary
Home Guard post at Admiralty Arch in central London, 21 June 1940.
Merthyr Tydfil Home Guard
Bunwell Home Guard
The cast of Dad’s Army
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