Welwyn Garden's Home Guard

The real Dad's Army

By Roger Filler

WGC Home Guard, taken on The Campus
Wendy Rathbone

This photograph is kindly leant by Wendy Rathbone, whose father Stanley Hunt is featured in the picture.

It shows the WGC Home Guard photographed on the Campus, by the seats just after the outbreak of war, she believes sometime in 1940. I have no idea whether the town had one or more Home Guard platoons or where they were based.

Perhaps you had a father or grandfather who served in the Home Guard here in WGC or you may have memories of the war years. Why not share them with other Garden Citizens

This page was added on 04/09/2009.

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  • My mother worked at Norton’s as a formula writer. She was born in 1921. She was a Fire Guard in WGC. She lived to be 95 and all my life she told stories of the war. The last couple of years of her life I showed her you tube videos of WGC and it always prompted her memory and up until the last week of her life she told her stories, which I loved. I am busy trying to write them from memory or transcribe from tape. She was a Canadian War Bride in 1945.

    By France Hunter Land (08/11/2020)
  • To Tony Gallagher
    I grew up in that house on Knella Road, The one on the end. I remember the air raid shelter well and the gun posts that went around the front.
    I remember lots of stories my parents told me about filling it in and what they found and the roles my grandad and nan played in the war.
    Was a great house with lots of history

    By Charlotte Lewis (20/06/2020)
  • My dad, Harry Heap was in the home guard. He worked for Murphy Radio and ICI. I was born in 1944 so obviously can’t recollect. Dad also was in the Welwyn Thalians as their lead singer.

    By marion Titt (02/12/2017)
  • My father Herbert Renshaw was a member of the Home Guard.  one of his duties was to defend the entry to the railway tunnels north of Digswell viaduct. He also used to talk about a spigot mortar that they were trained to use. The Home Guard were originally named Local Defence volunteers or LDV. To us children LDV was interpreted as look, duck & vanish.  

    By Basil Renshaw (17/06/2015)
  • yes there were more than one platoon of the Home Guard in W.G.C.  I was in one of them and can e-mail you a photo if you give me an address. I now live in Canada and am 89 years old. Worked at Brookside Engineering on bridge Road East during the WW II

    By Eugene Strauss (06/07/2014)
  • My father worked for Roche Products and was in their Home Guard

    By Valerie Thayre (09/01/2014)
  • My granddad Dave Aylott was also in the Home Guard, I remember finding a number of gas masks in a cupboard, well after the war, I took one to school to show everyone.

    By Denise Driver (nee Aylott) (22/10/2013)
  • My Grandad, Charles Chapman, was in the Home Guards at Welwyn Garden City. We think he is sitting on the far right hand side of the front row. He was a manager at Brickwall Farm on the Great North Road during the war.

    By Jenny Earnshaw (08/05/2013)
  • My house is on the site where the Home guard stood. There is an air raid shelter and a gun enplacement in the garden. Knella Road.

    By Tony Gallagher (11/09/2012)
  • my grandad was in the home guard in welwyn garden city and was on the viaduct

    By Andrew Rogers (10/03/2011)