The Home Guard was formed in 1940 when there was a real danger of invasion. They were needed to delay the enemy for long enough for the regular army to come and take over. Volunteers for the Home Guard were those men who were either too old or too young to enlist or those in 'reserved' occupations (jobs vital to the war effort). To begin with their weapons were anything they could lay their hands on, but later they were issued with more conventional rifles. By the end of June1940 over one million men had volunteered for the Home Guard.
In Spratton it was the task of the Home Guard to patrol the village and to guard important spots from Creaton to Brixworth. Among those who volunteered were veterans of the 1914-18 war (Archibald and Ebenezer Copson), shopkeepers (Percy Richardson) and landlords (Ernest Bryant of the Fir Tree). Major Flint (formerly of 20th Lancashire Fusiliers) was in command with the landlord of the Fir Tree as his Second in Command. Apparently Major Flint stored bombs in the outbuildings of his headquarters and home 'Rathgar' (now the Old White Horse Inn). Despite his assurance that the detonators were missing, his neighbours were not amused! The Home Guard was disbanded in December 1945.
Back row: Harold Manning (Timmy), George Billingham, Davis (Blagdens shippers & exporters, Broomhill), Biggar (Blagdens shippers & exporters, Broomhill), Don Pateman, Micky Cook, Lewis Dickens ('Nigger')
2nd row from back: Bard Leeson, Cyril Perkins, Ron Broughton, Frank Butcher, Pop Dickens, Jim Griffin, Ron Bell, Freddy Chapman
2nd row from front: Lance Corporal Alf (Mac) Macaness, Corporal Percy Richardson (kept the Post Office/Grocer), Sergeant Ebenezer Copson, Arch Copson, Major Flint (Commanding Officer), 1st Lieutenant Ernie Bryant (second in Command, landlord of Fir Tree), Sergeant Walter Wykes, Lance Corporal Bill Adams, Alf Smith
Front row: Ron Pateman, Bobby Manning, George Hayter , Charlie Manning, Len Wykes