A Home Guard exercise on Mitcham Common
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|Partial / Incomplete Date||c.1940|
|Notes / History||Members of the Mitcham Home Guard carried out regular exercises on Mitcham Common. These exercises were an important part of training, helping units to work as a team, develop their weaponry skills and plan defensive strategies.
The Mitcham Home Guard was one of twelve Surrey battalions attached to the East Surrey Regiment during the WW2. 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.
Many of the younger members of the Home Guard - the lowest age limit was 16 - went into the Army when they were old enough, with valuable training behind them. The Home Guard was exposed to enemy action on many of their duties, and 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).