Northamptonshire Regiment Cap Badge

Northamptonshire Home Guard
Living History Unit

 Portraying the 9th (Brixworth) Battalion

Northamptonshire Home Guard Living History Unit, formerly Pitsford Home Guard, was formed in September 2005 and is a tribute to 9th (Brixworth) Battalion and members of Northamptonshire Home Guard who answered Anthony Eden's call in May 1940.

The Unit  supports the Northampton & Lamport Railway at their 1940s events just as railway workers during WWII would have volunteered for the Home Guard. The 9th (Brixworth) Battalion would have been guarding Vital Points on the Northampton to Market Harborough Railway line in the Chapel Brampton and Brixworth areas whilst E Company of the 12th (Northampton) Battalion was formed from railway workers guarding the LMS railway in Northampton.

The Northamptonshire Home Guard researches the history of the Home Guard in Northamptonshire and takes part in Home Guard re-enactments and events. We also take part in exercises covering drill and weapons training which helps us better portray life in wartime Britain.

NN9

Members of 9th (Brixworth) Battalion on Parade
at Pitsford & Brampton station, September 2013

With petrol on ration, the bicycle was the most common form of transport during WW2

We have attended School visits at the Northampton & Lamport Railway where local school children have experienced a little of what life was like during the dark days of the second world war.

Our talks to local history societies and living history displays have already gained us recognition from Renaissance East Midlands in 2007 when, as Pitsford Home Guard, we were shortlisted for the Renaissance Heritage Inspiration Award.

The Platoon has also been invited to local museums where we have provided living history displays and demonstrations for wartime themed events. These include the Canal Museum at Stoke Bruerne, the Cowper & Newton Museum at Olney, the Kettering Manor Museum, the Milton Keynes Museum, the Sywell Aviation Museum and the Towcester Museum.

 

Off duty at the Gloucester & Warwick Railway

Apart from supporting the Northampton & Lamport Railway at their 1940s events, we also provide displays and demonstrations at living history events and venues throughout Northamptonshire and beyond.

We have been invited to attend events around the County including the Sywell Air Show and Rushden Historical Transport Society 1940s weekend. Our display consists of our Home Guard Field HQ tent together with period equipment and demonstrations of arms/marching drill as required.

Initially the Local Defence Volunteers as they were originally known had little more than armbands and field service caps. Our members can demonstrate all periods of the Home Guard's history, from early LDV civilian dress of May 1940, through the Denim Days up to the full Battle Dress which was in use until the stand down in 1944.

Towards the end of the war at the time of the D-Day invasion, Home Guards from inland areas were assigned to coastal defence re-enforcement duties on anti-aircraft guns to allow the regular soldiers to take part in D-Day.

Members of the platoon on coastal defence
re-enforcement duty with regular troops at
Nothe Fort, Weymouth on 26th May 2019.

The Platoon on Parade at
Sywell Aviation Museum on 31st March 2018

We have built up a good working relationship with our friends at the Sywell Aviation Museum and have helped to provide a Home Guard display in the museum for the 2008 season. This was extended for the 2009 season and now, over ten years later, forms the basis of a permanent display.

The Platoon parades once a month on a Friday evening from October to May. The programme consists of an hour of arms/marching drill followed by an hour of lectures, presentations and films from the wartime period.

If you would like to find out more about becoming a member of Northamptonshire Home Guard, please email us at the address below for further details.

A Home Guard signaller keeps
in contact with Battalion Headquarters

One of our Northamptonshire Regiment Great War section helps to keep the army marching.

Many members of the original Home Guard would have been veterans of the Great War and members of our unit also portray the Northamptonshire Regiment of the Great War in their honour.

Our Northamptonshire Regiment Great War section has taken part in a number of events including the International Living History Fair at Cressing Temple Barns, Essex.

We also had a Great War display at Weedon Barracks and were also honoured to represent soldiers of the Great War at the Northampton Remembrance Parade in November 2018.

 

Soldiers of the Great War
at Cressing Temple Barns 15th April 2018

The ladies of the Home Guard
knitting "Comforts for the Troops"

 

Northamptonshire Home Guard is supported by a team of ladies whose authentic domestic skills are an invaluable resource.

They competently demonstrate the contributions women of WW2 would have made to their local Home Guard, including knitting 'comforts for the troops'. We also have a specialist in baking on the ration and a jam maker who spoil us with their wonderful creations.

 

Our ladies join the troops for our platoon
photograph at Sywell on 31st March 2018

A very important part of our activities is the research into the history of the Northamptonshire Home Guard. Although we are based in an area that would have been guarded by the 9th Battalion, we are interested in information from any part of Northamptonshire.

If you have any information about Northamptonshire Home Guard we would like to hear from you. You may have some old documents, books or even photographs which could be scanned and sent via email. We are also interested in any items of Home Guard equipment.

The photograph on the right is of members of the original No. 5 Pitsford Platoon of D Company, 9th (Brixworth) Battalion Northamptonshire Home Guard.

If you can help us or if you live in the Northampton area and are interested in joining Northamptonshire Home Guard please contact us. Our email address is enquiries@northamptonshirehomeguard.org.uk

No. 5 (Pitsford) Platoon

The original Pitsford Home Guard
(Photograph by kind permission of Pitsford Parish Council)

Pitsford Home Guard Photographs

History of Northamptonshire Home Guard

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