Ann Driver - Home Guard

In the Summer of 1940 I was at a Domestic School in Eastbourne - for six weeks! The evacuation of the British Army from Dunkirk started in late May and, as the sound of gunfire across the channel could be heard and the fear of invasion became a reality, all Schools on the South Coast were themselves evacuated if suitable property could be found.
Our school closed down for the duration and so I found myself at a loose end. I returned home and joined the Home Guard (LDV) as a messenger in a small town in Sussex. Our Commander, and elderly local landowner, would send me off on my bike with orders for the newly formed groups of Home Guard who were guarding strategic points in the area. When the schools broke his 17 year old son joined the HQ with his motorbike and together we were sent off to the sites of crashed aircraft - the Battle of Britain was raging by then - and to collect any portable ammunition and take it back to HQ. I can remember riding pillion on his motor bike with a sling of machine gun bullets round my neck.
On September 15th, 1940, there was a real fear of German invasion that night. The Commander decided that for the sake of security we should all take home secret Home Guard documents and hide them in our homes. The HQ had just moved 5 miles from the town and I can remember bicycling home at top speed with my Manilla Envelope of secrets. My mother decided that the removable lid of the fridge was the best place to hide them. No invasion happened and the envelope went back to the HQ two days later.
In the late Autumn, when the evenings got dark early, my mother decided that a 5 mile bike ride in the dark was not suitable for her young daughter and I was “retired”!

I joined the WRNS a few months later.