The Thundersley Home Guard

Circa 1942

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.

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.

From the Marjorie Iredale Collection

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  • I think the person second from the left, top row is my grandfather, Stanley Petchey of Church Road, Hadleigh.

    By Julie Hall (04/08/2019)
  • 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 (15/12/2015)
  • 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 (14/02/2015)
  • 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 (02/04/2013)
  • The officer sitting six in from the left (front row) is my grandfather Major Jeffrey Edward Daniels.

    By Carol Watt (11/03/2013)
  • 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 (10/03/2013)
  • The person third in left top row is my late Father in Law M.Horder

    By Ian Hawks (19/01/2012)

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