???? Kitty Louie
It is a little known story that in 1940 when Anthony Eden called for "volunteers of men between the ages of 17 and 65", women also attempted to volunteer and join various Home
Guard units. Many Company Commanders allowed women to unofficially join their ranks,
thereby ignoring the specific orders from The War Office that they were not allowed to do
so. Women were taught unarmed combat, weapon training, fieldcraft, aircraft recognition,
drill and undertook defensive duties as well as clerical work, telephony, signals, driving and
many other roles.
The War Office were finally compelled to allow women to officially join the Home Guard in
1942 with the scheme being implemented in April 1943. They were not to be issued with a
uniform, but a round plastic badge with the initials H.G. Women Home Guard Auxiliaries
were to be nominated by recognised organisations such as the Women’s Voluntary
Service; they were to be aged between 18 and 65, preferably over 45.
Their job was ‘to perform non-combatant duties such as clerical work, cooking and driving’.
They were not to be full members of the Home Guard and they were emphatically not to
defend their homes with hand grenades and revolvers. This role was to be exclusively male.
Women's Home Guard Auxiliary
Certificate of Service for Miss Jean Tyler
Women's Home Guard Auxiliary.
Thanks to Chris Reynolds for permission to use his photograph
Tin helmet previously belonging to WHGA Mrs G.P Wallace.'B' Coy. 50th Bn Birmingham (Perry Barr) Home Guard.