Verwood UK - Heritage Centre
 
Dad's Army

Verwood Museum Trust - Dorset UK. (Registered Charity No. 1067952)

 

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   'Dad's Army ' 
  (the Local Defence Volunteers or 'Home Guard')
   

(A selection of stories, paraphrased from 'Verwood at War' presented by members of the Verwood Evening Womens' Institute in 1984.)

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Wandering Pilots

One local man tells the story of when the Home Guard were called out to arrest a German pilot who had baled out when his plane came down, to crash at Gotham. In the early hours, in darkness, the Guard made their way up the road and met someone walking. The usual "Good morning!" was exchanged and the search continued. Luckily the police later met the early morning wanderer, took him into custody and escorted him to the nearest POW camp!

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Defence

The LDV drilled with broomsticks, hay-forks or shot- guns. One lady remembers the rubber tube her husband was given into which he was to insert an iron bar with which to fight off the Germans. At Eastworth, a wagon was positioned near the railway bridge, to be pulled across the road if invasion came. The signpost at the Crossroads was removed.

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The Cows Attack

Eventually each platoon of the Home Guard had a rifle and five bullets. One night a young volunteer was on guard near the railway and heard rustling. He called out "Halt, who goes there?" but there was no reply and the rustling got nearer. He threw down the gun and ran. It was later thought to have been a cow.

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Bonfire Attacked

Soon the Home Guard were issued with battle- dress and more sophisticated weapons with which they were sometimes less than professional! Here, in Verwood, they were given an anti-tank gun which, it was felt, should be demonstrated on the recreation ground. A large bonfire was built, with a lump of steel in the middle to represent an oncoming German tank. Great excitement was generated for the Sunday afternoon demonstration. The gun was set up and the order given to fire. It missed. So the gun was moved closer. A second order was given, but again, it missed. It was moved even closer....and finally the 'tank' was hit to great cheering and much relief!

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Parade

When over 7000 of 'Dad's Army', from all parts of Britain , marched in the final parade before the King (in 1944), the following proudly represented Verwood (according to the Dorset County Chronicle):

L/Cpl E F Shearing, Privates V A Bailey and A F Lockyer

 

   

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