Home Guard

Civil Defence Exercise


‘Garmouth Home Guard here. Blue Flash.’ Stan gave the password of the week.
‘Hello, old chap. What’s all this Blue Flash lark then?’
The hair on the back of Stan’s neck prickled. Why didn’t R N Blyth know the passord? The smooth voice at the far end droned on. ‘Blue Flash was last week, old son!’ Password’s ‘Red Sun’ this week. It’s Sunday night you know. Password changes 1800 hours Sunday’.
Robert Westall: The Machine Gunners: p162


Message from Ministry of Information, Northern Region during exercise ‘Tyne’, 1942
Archive Reference: TWAS T15/1417

This was one of a series of messages from an exercise preparing civil defence and home guard units for a German invasion. In 1942 this was still considered a realistic possibility.


transcript of full message
Address To: Controller, Tynemouth
Text of Message: M.O.I. Number 14
TYNE. Enemy airborne troops advancing from North, military authorities ask for maximum civil assistance. Please broadcast immediately follwoing message by every means to all towns North of River:-
“The Regional commissioner makes the following announcement. The enemy is advancing on Tyneside from the North. All civilians not otherwise engaged in defence duties are asked immdiately to assist the Military by blocking all roads into their towns from the North by means of obstacles of any kind, trenches or whatever can be devised. The matter is urgent. Use your initiative. Don’t wait for other people. Every second counts”.
R.W. Bell
Principal Officer

Home Guard message (PDF)