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Oh What a Lovely War

by an Ex L.D.V. Member

How many older readers remember a civilian front line of defence, during the last war? I refer to the Local Defence Volunteers, L.D.V. for short. Just after the outbreak of hostilities in 1939, I joined the illustrious brigade and become a member of 'G' company, 5th Battalion Loyal North Lancs. Being on Daubhill, our company headquarters where at Haynes Street Mission, off St Helens Road. The officer and N.C.O's in charge were all who had served in the First World War. Drill night was once a week and sometimes on Sunday Morning. As we had no weapons at first, drilling was done with pieces of wood representing rifles.

One night a week was taken up by patrol duty, which lasted from 7pm until 6am in the morning. We would go out and patrol the areas around Plodder Lane, Salford Road, and Watergate Lane and around Daubhill itself. Now the best part of it is that we had no uniform, only an armband with the letters L.D.V., and when on patrol a pocket full of stones, a catapult and a stick, if a parachutist had landed we would have probably have stuck to our nickname the Look, Duck and Vanish brigade (L.D.V.)

Eventually we did get uniforms and arms, 1914-18 American 300 rifles, etc, and the Home Guard, as it was then called, became a home fighting force. I kept with them till joining the R.A.F.V.R. in 1941. Incidentally 'G' company had one of the best Military Bands in Bolton, composed of old Rechabites, Daubhill Temperance and some, believe it or not the Salvation Army bands.