GENERAL INFORMATION ON THE HOME GUARD
WAR OFFICE TELEGRAM - May 15th 1940
is a page of www.staffshomeguard.co.uk.
The day after Eden's
broadcast of the previous evening, the War Office sent
the following message by teleprinter and telegram to the various
Army Home Commands on Wednesday May 15th, 1940:
Ref. 8560 (A.G.1A) 15/5
1. As stated in S. of S.'s broadcast, Government
have decided to form unpaid
Local Defence Volunteer Force for local defence in U.K. excluding
2. Force will be organised by existing
military areas. There will be at H.Q.
Home Forces, a G.S.O.I., at Command H.Q. (excluding A.A. Command
and Aldershot Command) a G.S.O.II, and at Area H.Q. a G.S.O.III.
Each of these H.Q. will select provisionally the officers
for these posts and forward the names in due course to the
Military Secretary, War Office, for confirmation. In addition,
at each Area Headquarters there will be an unpaid Area Organiser.
3. Each military area will be divided into
Zones, and each Zone will contain a number of groups. An unpaid
volunteer organiser will be in charge of each Zone and each
Group. Area Commanders will immediately get in touch with
Regional Commissioners, and with their help will divide the
Area into Zones and Groups.
4. The Area Commander in consultation with
the Lord Lieutenant will appoint
a volunteer area organiser, and volunteer organisers to take
charge of the Zones and Groups.
5. Area Commanders will inform Zone and
Group Organisers of the number of volunteers to be raised
in each Group. The number will depend on:-
(a) The rifles allotted.
(b) Whether it is necessary to allot
more than one man to a rifle.
(c) The number of other suitable weapons
C.-in-C., Home Forces will indicate to Commands the number
of rifles available for their areas. Areas will sub-allot
these rifles to Zones and Groups.
6. Zone and Group Organisers will establish
their H.Q., and the Group Organiser will proceed to select
men, from the list at local Police Stations, in preparation
for enrolment. Details of procedure of enrolment will be forwarded
7. The qualifications of volunteers will
be as follows:-
(a) They must be men between the ages
of I7 and 65.
(b) They must be British subjects.
(c) They must be of reasonable physical
(Unpaid personnel of the Civil Defence Services may register
their names but will not be enrolled unless they have previously
obtained the written permission of their civil leaders.)
8. Group organisers will be responsible
for safeguarding of arms, and ammunition, which may be stored
with the nearest military unit, if one exists in the locality,
or at a T.A. Drill Hall, or local police station.
9. The services of volunteers, including
voluntary Area, Zone and Group Organisers will be unpaid.
The issue of free petrol for necessary official journeys may
be allowed for Area, Zone and Group Organisers in approved
cases. Detailed instructions will be issued later.
Provision will be made for a scale of compensation for volunteers
who are injured while on duty.
No rations will be provided.
Uniform of the denim overall type and field service caps will
be available on loan to personnel while on duty.
10. Addressed to HOFOR, LONDON, ALDERSHOT,
EASTERN, NORTHERN, SOUTHERN and SCOTTISH COMMANDS by teleprinter.
London, East Anglian, Home Counties, Chatham,
Northumbrian, Yorkshire, North Midland, Edinburgh, Glasgow,
Highland, Southern, South Western, Salisbury Plain, Portsmouth,
South Midland, East Lancs, W. Lancs., N. Wales and S. Wales
Areas and Orkney and Shetland Defences by telegram.
Repeated Jersey, Guernsey and Alderney Districts by telegram.
Copies to: -
Ministry of Home Security.
Three days later, more
detailed instructions were issued by the War Office.