This film is part of Free

Homeguard 2

Doubtless civilians would have been re-assured in 1942 had they seen this training film for the Home Guard, learning fieldcraft, positioning and close quarters combat.

Training film/TV programme 1942 15 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for Yorkshire Film Archive


The Home Guard may have become the butt of good hearted humour, but this training film shows that they were fully rehearsed for any possible invasion. Giving detailed dos and don’ts of combat skills, such as learning how to lay an ambush, this film allows a fascinating behind the scenes glimpse into wartime preparations at home; although inadvertent humour is not absent, as with the failure to cut the barbed wire.

This is one of a series of Home Guard training films made somewhere in the East Riding of Yorkshire. Between them they cover a wide range of combat skills designed to deal with an enemy invading force. The Local Defence Volunteers (LDV) was set up in May 1940, with a plan, under General Ironside, for a war of attrition, chiefly in the south of England. Yet after the abandonment of Operation Sealion in September 1940, with the failure to cripple the RAF, there were no German plans to invade Britain. By the beginning of the 1942 Germany was fully committed in North Africa and Russia, and the forces stationed in Northern France were defensive only. The best they could muster were the retaliatory Baedeker raids of April.