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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 Northern Ireland.

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 available locally.
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 later.

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 fitness.
(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.


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: -
Air Ministry.
Ministry of Home Security.
Home Office.


Three days later, more detailed instructions were issued by the War Office.