Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Home Guard records for Durham released

The National Archives has released some 80,000 2 page long enrolment records (and some additional material) relating to Home Guard participation in the Second World War in Durham. Surprisingly the project to present the records online has discovered that some 50% of those who served were under 27 years old, with some 28% in 1940 being under 18 - not quite the Dad's Army generally presumed. Located within WO409 at the archive the records were selected as a sample of what still exists, but there is no news as yet as to whether any further records will be so digitised. The National Archives only holds the Durham records, with the Veterans Agency holding the rest.

For more information on the project visit http://nationalarchives.gov.uk/news/755.htm. Note that if a person's date of birth is less than one hundred years ago, the record is still closed to access and you will need to make a Freedom of Information request to access it. Full details at http://nationalarchives.gov.uk/records/durham-home-guard.htm.


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  1. Slight surprise on my part about the need to complete FoI requests. I thought the whole point of this digitisation was to test the view that the data recorded was not confidential and that therefore the risk of release was minimal.

    Maybe that decision (about minimal risk) has not been taken yet, especially as I think Durham was a pilot for the Home Guard, which was itself effectively a pilot for release of the full WW2 stuff?

    Can anyone remember the objectives?


  2. I'm guessing that the information on those still alive is protected by the Data Protection Act, but I'm sure TNA can advise on all the gory details! :)


  3. My late father served in the Home Guard 1940 till 1945. I have been told that there is a medal available that I can claim for his service. Is this true? and can anyone give me details.