Appeal for memories for Exmouth Home Guard book

AN Exmouth historian is putting the finishing touches to his work on the Home Guard and is launching a last ditch appeal to uncover the last little gems of information.

AN Exmouth historian is putting the finishing touches to his work on the Home Guard and is launching a last ditch appeal to uncover the last little gems of information.

Arthur Cook’s Exmouth at War, released last year, is the most exhaustive work on war-time Exmouth ever written interviewing dozens of people over five years.

Now Arthur, from Henrietta Place, is just months away from publishing his work on the early Local Defence Volunteers and the Home Guard during World War Two.

The book covers the role of their structure, uniforms, weapons and equipment and most of all the people.


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And once again he has interviewed scores of Exmouth and East Devon residents about their experiences which will be combined with a collection of period photographs and studio and location pictures taken by Exmouth photographer John Dyer.

He said: “At the time things were very serious for Britain, with the threat of invasion a real probability in the mid 1940s.

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“This is my final attempt to gather more local information…

“I am looking for photographs of Home Guard units or photographs of men dressed as early L.D.V. members with weapons, shot guns and pick-axe helves…also any individual or portrait shots of Guardsmen in their uniforms or on exercises.”

He added that photographs and information from Woodbury, Lympstone, Clyst St. George, Topsham, Exeter or anywhere else in Devon would be welcome as would details of Home Guard personnel.

He added: “I am also looking for information about the Women’s Home Guard Auxiliary, or “Nominated Women” from the East Devon area. I know some existed in Exmouth, Woodbury and Exeter and these women served in a variety of roles usually as Red Cross trained first aiders or, as radio operators and dispatch riders.

“Any information would be useful as these women’s roles are in danger of becoming completely forgotten in the mists of time.

“Nothing is too small to be considered for use in the book.”

Inset is a photo of an unknown Home Guardsman on Orcombe Point photographed during a shooting competition: “Do you recognise him?” said Arthur. “If you do it would be a real help.”

If you think you can help contact Arthur on:

07773160739.

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