History of Woodford Home Guard

Welcome to the Woodford & Bramhall branch of The Royal British Legion 2022

The History of The Woodford Home Guard from May 1940 to 1945

Within 10 days approximately 50 men had joined the new force, their ages ranging from 17 to 70. Their duties were to patrol Woodford from the boundaries of Bramhall- Poynton-Wilmslow and report any suspected landings from aeroplanes to the Military or Police.

Within a few days groups were allotted to man the road blocks erected in Woodford Road, Moor Lane and Church Lane. These blocks were manned from dusk to dawn, all traffic was stopped and persons who could not produce their National Identity Cards were held for further enquiry.

At this date the only arms provided were two riffles and a total of 20 rounds of ammunition but this was supplemented at an early date by Shot Guns, Pikes, Sticks, Golf Clubs, etc.

During the night the volunteers did a period of duty of 2 hours on and 4 hours rest and the hours of rest period were spent sleeping in a barn at the Davenport Arms or in cars near the roadblocks. No uniforms were provided, but an arm band was worn the letters L.D.V.

Training was gradually introduced on a Infantry Basis, together with denim uniforms forage caps and at a later date boots and further equipment  including webbing and anklets. As time went on the L.D.V was altered to the Home Guard and came under the command of the war office and under immediate command of  Western  Command at Chester.

It was then provided with normal Infantry Uniforms and equipment and every man had either a Riffle, Sten-Gun or Automatic rifle with his own allocation of ammunition and the Platoon Headquarters also had a large reserve of riffle ammunition, bombs, etc.  As the call-up for the Army, Navy and Air force became greater the Woodford Home Guard was reduced to less than 20 men, most of these were over 40/50 years of age, and to enable the Platoon to carry out its duties, a draft of some 20 men was sent from Wilmslow and had to be transported to Woodford every evening and returned the next morning.

As the position throughout the country was becoming more serious owing to the continual drainage of the Home Guard to the services of the Government made service in the Home Guard compulsory and some further 20/30 men were compulsory enlisted in Woodford. At this time the Home Guard became subject to Military Law & discipline and Commissions and Ranks were granted.

The No. 7 Platoon had altered its first role of being just spotters to report to the Military and Police, it was now a force in spite of its high average age that could assist in delaying any enemy troops that might be dropped in the neighbourhood.  At the conclusion of its service the Woodford Home Guard was approximately 45 strong, many of the members having served from the very first days.

Taken from Woodford Village Scrapbook compiled by members of the Women’s Institute 1950-1953

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