Professor Ian Beckett retired as Professor of Military History from the University of Kent in 2015. He has been secretary to the trustees of the Buckinghamshire Military Museum since its inception in 1985, and is also a long-serving member of the Executive Council of the Bucks Record Society. The Society published his edition of the county papers of the 3rd Duke of Buckingham and Chandos in 2016.
In his podcast, Dad’s Army in Bucks; The Local Defence Volunteers and the Home Guard, Ian talks us through the inception on 14th May 1940 of the Local Defence Volunteers, which later renamed Home Guard but will be familiar to most as ‘Dad’s Army.’ It’s this perception of the Home Guard, deeply entrenched thanks to the long-running sitcom to which it owes its renown, which Ian addresses first. Despite a lack of surviving records, a detailed and fascinating account follows, charting the formation of 13 Home Guard battalions across Buckinghamshire, and how the units were an integral part of the county’s defence plans – despite a lack of weapons, ammunition and uniform faced by the volunteers. Sure to delight fans of military history in Buckinghamshire, and further afield.
Our thanks for this podcast go to the Buckinghamshire Military Museum Trust.