The museum has received some documents about Major Marston of Chenies Manor who commanded the 11th Bucks Battalion of the Home Guard. They were donated by Colonel Marston’s grandson Charles Macleod Matthews who lives at Chenies Manor with his wife Boo.

Here are some of the most interesting items. 

 

During WWII, Home Guard units were created in most towns up and down the country, their purpose to support the army and to delay enemy advance in the event of an invasion, they were also used to defend strategic sites and provided logistical back-up. Volunteers were men too young or old for military service and those in reserved occupations. Although the maximum age was 65 officially, many members, as depicted in the popular TV series, Dad’s Army were older. Outside scenes in the 1971 film Dad’s Army were filmed in Chalfont St Giles.

To fill the void in the workplace left by men conscripted into the armed forces, the Women’s Land Army (WLA) and school children were available. Here is a letter sent to farmers with a return form to request help.

 

As in the TV series, shortages of ammunition were an issue. Here is a letter from Major Marston pointing out that Amersham doesn’t seem to have its fair share of rifles.

Rifle Allocation

Mrs Palmer of Little Chalfont was not happy about an exercise close to her home, here is an apology from Major Marston.

Management Issues! It seems some volunteers were not performing, list of names excluded to avoid any embarrassment!

Sadly for the Major his request to fly to Leningrad on a fact finding mission was refused.

Russia

Lovers of the Dads Army TV series will be familiar with creativity being shown to overcome obstacles. Here is real life example from Henry Humphreys of West Drayton, seeking help from the Major to promote his idea of mobile fort made of steel. I’m not aware that the idea was ever taken up by the authorities.

Mobile-Fort

The Major was unsuccessful in obtaining a tank for Amersham, it seems Russia was a higher priority.

Tank

Evidence of the strict petrol rationing.

Petrol

Cigarettes were a vital tool for the troops!

Cigarettes

Receipt for a Home Guard lunch at the Crown Hotel. It’s a bit more expensive now.

Lunch

Beer was also cheaper!

Beer

Praise for the Major and his team

Congratulations

Uniform Price List.

Uniform Price List

Letter to Captain Drake (Shardeloes), thanking him for use of his land.

Captain Drake

Cigar Price List

Cigar Price List

Obituary, 22nd January 1961

Plan Your Visit

49 High Street
Old Amersham
Buckinghamshire
HP7 0DP

01494 723700
info@amershammuseum.org

We are open from Wednesday to Sunday, 12 noon until 4:30pm. You can pre-book your time slot or drop-in.

“Enjoyed our visit to this wonderful interactive museum where you are positively encouraged to touch things!”

Staying In Touch

Subscribe to our newsletter for all the latest news & events