The Thundersley Home Guard

Circa 1942

By David Hurrell

The Home Guard was formed in May 1940 as the Local Defence Volunteers, after a speech on the BBC by Anthony Eden, Secretary of State for War. The response was overwhelming, and within 24 hours a quarter of a million men between the ages of 17 and 65 had signed up at their local Police Station. By the close of June over one and a half million had volunteered.

The 1st Essex Battalion Home Guard covered south-east Essex and consisted of five companies: Canvey Island, Southend, Rayleigh, Rochford and Wickford. Rayleigh Company, with sections at Thundersley, Rayleigh and Hockley, was commanded by Major W. T. Wormington.

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'The Thundersley Home Guard' page

From the Marjorie Iredale Collection

This is a picture of the Thundersley Section, with my wife's maternal Grandfather, Fred Horner, standing top left. I'm certain that there must be relatives hereabout of many of the others: it would be a delight to identify as many as possible.

Those men who served for three full years would have been entitled to (at least) the Defence Medal, but this was not awarded automatically.

Anthony Eden's Broadcast 14 May 1940

The formation of the LDV

Transcript for 'Anthony Eden's Broadcast 14 May 1940':

We want large numbers of such men in Great Britain who are British subjects, between the ages of seventeen and sixty-five, to come forward now and offer their services... The name of the new force which is now to be raised will be the Local Defence Volunteers... You will not be paid, but you will receive uniforms and will be armed. In order to volunteer, what you have to do is give your name at your local police station, and then, when we want you, we will let you know...

This page was added by David Hurrell on 18/01/2012.
Comments about this page (Add a comment about this page)

The person third in left top row is my late Father in Law M.Horder

By Ian Hawks
On 19/01/2012

My late father (George, known as Jim) was in the Home Guard, which he always referred to as the Benfleet Home Guard, not the Thundersley H G. He lived in Thundersley at the time and was employed by the Benfleet UDC, based in Thundersley. I showed this photo to my aunt, his sister, who could not recognise any of the faces, not even my father. Since she has lived all her life in Rayleigh, she should have known at least some of the people, had that been the Rayleigh company, therefore I believe that this is probably the Benfleet section. Why she could not see my father in it is a mystery, perhaps he was AWOL on the day.

By Barry Brazier
On 12/03/2013

The officer sitting six in from the left (front row) is my grandfather Major Jeffrey Edward Daniels.

By Carol Watt
On 11/03/2013

Hello, my name is Brian Moyse formerly from Battersea & Canvey Island but now in College Station the home of Texas A&M University. I am retired but doing research into Essex Home Guard in 1942. I found your site & was wondering if anyone you knew was willing to exchange emails with me on this subject? Thank you very much. Brian (the Essex boy in Texas.)

By Brian Moyse
On 04/04/2013

Does anyone have Brian Moyse email address as I would like to contact him?

{Ed - we will send him your e-mail address so that he can get in touch.}


By Bill Ashby
On 14/02/2015

I am researching Marlis House, used by the Home Guard during W11 and would like to get in touch with Carol Watt about her Grandfather Major J E Daniels.   Thanks, hope you can put me in touch Peter Lewsey

By Peter Lewsey
On 15/12/2015