Photograph of Home Guard helping people injured in V1 bomb attack at Aldwych, London, 1944 (reference AIR 20/6185)

25 April 2013

Last year, The National Archives released around 40,000 digitised Second World War Home Guard personnel records as part of a pilot project. Since then, a further 20,000 records have been identified as ready for opening, meaning that around 75 per cent of the records in WO 409 series are now available online. Search them in Discovery, our catalogue.

The Home Guard, initially known as the 'Local Defence Volunteers', was a defence organisation of the British Army during the Second World War. It consisted of around 4.5 million local volunteers otherwise ineligible for military service, usually owing to age or fitness.

The Home Guard record series (WO 409) contains the enrolment forms for armed service personnel, which were completed when men joined the Home Guard. The records typically contain information such as name, date and place of birth, address, date of enlistment, promotions, previous military service, and date on leaving service.

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