The Home Guard started off as an entirely voluntary organisation but conscription was introduced in January 1942. At that time all men and women between the ages of 18 and 60 were obliged to undertake some form of national service and all available and eligible men between the ages of 18 and 51 were liable to military service of one sort or another including the Home Guard. Service in the latter now precluded the option of resignation which had previously existed when it was wholly voluntary. 98% of the serving volunteers elected to accept these more stringent regulations and over the next two-and-a-half years were joined by a stream of conscripts who no doubt demonstrated varying degrees of enthusiasm for their new role. (See Timeline Nov. 1941 - Feb. 1942).
In order to assess the availability of potential new members who were in reserved occupations an approach was made to the employers of the individual. The intention was to ensure that the employee would be in a position to perform his Home Guard responsibilities adequately and that his work responsibilities would not preclude that.
Fellows & Darby Ltd. of Slaney Street, Snow Hill employed a man named A. Carter who lived at 182 Gt. Francis Street, Ashted. The official approach to his employer survives and is reproduced below.
Regrettably that is where the story ends. The response of the employer is unkown and we have no way of establishing whether Mr. A Carter spent the next two-and-half years, and some 48 unpaid hours a month, in the service of King and Country.