Photograph of home guard helping injured in V1 bomb attack at Aldwych, London, 1944 (Catalogue reference: AIR 20/6185)

This is a brief guide to researching British army and government records for a person who served in the Home Guard, also known as the Local Defence Volunteers. The vast majority are available from the Army Personnel Centre

This guide will help you to find out if the information you are looking for exists, and if it does where to find it or more information about it.

  • What do I need to know before I start?

    • Try to find out:

      • the name of the person
      • the unit
  • What records can I find in other archives and organisations?

    • Home Guard personnel records and enrolment forms (1940-1945)

      Contact the Army Personnel Centre for Home Guard personnel records and enrolment forms. Details can be found on the GOV.UK website.

      These records may be supplied to next of kin and other members of the public after the Home Guard member's death.

    • Durham Light Infantry records (1940s and 1950s)

      Search the online catalogue of Durham County Archives to find records of the Durham Light Infantry. These include regulations, orders and instructions for the Durham Home Guard.

  • What other resources will help me find information?

    • Books

      Search The National Archives' bookshop to see whether any of the publications below may be available to buy. Alternatively, look in The National Archives' library catalogue to see what is available to consult at Kew.

      William Spencer, Army records (The National Archives, 2008)

      Consult published Home Guard lists from 1940 to 1945 to trace an officer in the Home Guard. These are arranged by area and include name indexes.

Did you know?

The Home Guard was originally formed as the Local Defence Volunteers in 1940 and was responsible for guarding coastal areas and factories from invasion. It was disbanded in 1945.

Most Home Guard records are still with the Ministry of Defence.