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The Home Guard Stand-Down Parade on Plymouth Hoe

The Home Guard 'Stand Down' on Plymouth Hoe

Amateur film 1944 4 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for South West Film and Television Archive


This film shows Plymouth’s Local Defence Volunteers at the ‘Stand Down Parade’ on Plymouth Hoe on 3 December 1944. Dignitaries including Mayoress Nancy Astor, Lord Mayor H.G. Mason are present. The ‘Dismiss’ is given by Colonel G. Thomson, Commander of the Plymouth Garrison. Formed in May 1940, the LDV gained the nickname ‘Look , Duck and Vanish’. Soon known as the Home Guard, it was operational from 1940 to 1944 and made up of men ineligible for military service.

Winston Churchill called for a force of 500,000 men over 40 to be formed at the outbreak of WWII. They were to serve at home, and would guard the coastal areas of Britain, vital airfields and factories. “We shall defend our island whatever the cost may be.” Parades took place across the country, in London 29 contingents and 11 Home Guards’ Bands marched past the Palace to the tune of ‘Colenel Bogey’. At 9pm on 3 December King George VI made a public broadcast in tribute the Home Guard. Perry and Croft’s famous sitcom ‘Dad’s Army’ takes a comic look at the British Home Guard depicting them as a bungling ragtag of young and old and did much to change society’s perception. The Home Guard was disbanded on 31 December 1945.