Home Guard Remembrance Day Service, London Road Cemetery
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|Date Photo Taken||10th November 1957|
|Notes / History||After the Remembrance Day Service in 1957 the Mayor of Mitcham, Councillor T. J. Higgs, and other officials visit the Home Guard graves at the London Road cemetery.
The Home Guard, popularly known as Dad’s Army, was set up in May 1940. Men were usually either above or below the age of conscription or those who were not eligible for front line military service. Initially called the Local Defence Volunteers, nearly 1.5 million men had enrolled by July 1940 when the LDV became the Home Guard.
The Mitcham Home Guard was one of twelve Surrey battalions attached to the East Surrey Regiment during the second world war. The East Surrey Regiment’s battalions worked closely with their Home Guard: officers and N.C.O.s gave lectures, and platoons gave training demonstrations and helped with the Home Guard exercises. Army units often participated in the same exercises, sometimes adopting the role of an enemy attack force. No fewer than 568 men of the East Surrey Home Guard Battalions became casualties, a number of them killed (History of the East Surrey Regiment Vol 4 by David Scott Daniell)
On 16th April 1941 15 members of “B” company 57th Surrey (Mitcham) were killed when a bomb hit the site of the Tower Creameries on Mitcham Common, where the men were doing night watch.