When the Home Guard gathered at a Cowley car factory
While our brave troops fought the enemy, another worthy group of men protected our communities back home. The Home Guard may be seen as a comical and often clumsy and haphazard outfit in the popular Dad’s Army on TV. In truth, its members worked hard to protect everyone during the Second World War, particularly when German bombs were raining down and the threat of invasion was very real.
Read again: Diners dish out ?4,000 for charities This picture comes from the archives of an organisation called Oxfordshire Home Guard, based at Launton, near Bicester. It is captioned: “Machine Gun Section, H Company, Home Guard”.
It is believed to have been taken at one of the Cowley car factories, Morris Motors or Pressed Steel. Instead of making cars, Cowley became No 1 Civilian Repair Unit during the war and workers put thousands of damaged fighter planes back into service. Mines, trucks, reconnaissance vehicles and many aircraft components were also produced by the workforce, which included many women.
All the work was supervised by Lord Nuffield, creator of the Cowley car empire. He was constantly on the move between Oxford and his other factories in Birmingham and Coventry. Read more: Where is the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine made
His patriotism was symbolised by his insistence that the Union flag fluttered over all his factories engaged in war work.
Lord Nuffield, the founder of Morris Motors, was born in 1877 and died in 1963.