Film ID: YFA 2914 Video of YFA _2914 Stand Down Parade of the Home Guard STAND DOWN PARADE OF THE HOME GUARD 1944 Visitor TabsDescription This is a film taken in December, 1944 by the Halifax Cine Club of the Stand Down of the local Home Guard towards the end of the Second World War. The film opens with a few title cards The Halifax Home Guard Stands Down - A Historic Film taken for Corporation records by Members of the Halifax Cine Club. Cameramen Messers: J Ward, CC Thomas, K Holway, H Mallinson, CH Horner, WL Simpson Sequence and Titles: Mr. CC Thomas, Lt. TT Dickinson General Direction Lt. H Roscoe Title card - On Sunday, December 3, 1944, the Home Guard stood down. In Halifax, officers and men of the 23rd and 24th West Riding Battalions, the 102nd Rocket AA Battery, and a detachment of Civil Defence personnel trained as Home Guards fell in for the final parade. Title card - A Company Commander chats with his Officers. The Company then fall in and begin their march for the last time. Men then begin to fall in on the street (possibly near the church in the centre of town.) Title card - The last Parade The procession goes down a main street while a few busses pass along the street. Title card - The 23rd Battalion March to the Regal Cinema and are played into the Hall by the band and drums of the Army Cadet force. Here loyal service is commended by group and battalion commanders. Some onlookers begin to gather as the army and band approach the cinema. The band marches around and the large drum section plays as the men enter the cinema. At this point there are closer shots of the individual men entering. Title card - The Mayor, Alderman Lewis Chambers, accompanied by the Mayoress, arrive to pay his tribute to the men who guarded the home front. They arrive in a car which pulls up to the front of the cinema and then proceed to enter. Title card - The 24th Battalion and 102nd Rocket AA Battery arrive at the Picture House, Wards End. How it Rained!!! These groups march towards and enter the picture house. Title card - In spite of the pouring rain the HG well maintain their reputation for smart and soldiering bearing More soldiers march and enter, but rather than the very strict line formation of earlier in the film, at this time there are a few more candid moments of the soldiers grouped together and smiling. Title card - Col. Sir Alfred L Mowat Bart, 13th Area AA Regimental Commander takes the salute from the 102nd Rocket AA Battery The men approach the steps of the cinema. Title card - March Past of the 24th Battalion at Bull Green where the commanding officer takes the Salute The men march past the podium which is decorated with the Union Jack flag. There are other flags also hung in display including that of the United States and other Allied force nations. The band also marches by followed by the soldiers. The man at the podium is saluting, and there is a crowd of onlookers lining the street. Title card - Darkness has fallen when the Mayor takes the Salute of the 23rd Battalion as they march past to the music of the Halifax HG Band There is a close up of the band, but the remainder of the film is hard to make out as it is dark by the time these events are taking place. Finally, the film ends with an end title. Context Marching in typical determined fashion in the pouring rain, through the empty streets of Halifax, these men of the Home Guard exude steeliness, pride and, possibly, relief. On a cold December day in 1944, pouring with rain, the men of the Home Guard, as they march one last time, look as if they are marching off to battle rather than to the local cinema – and wishing that they had trench coats, not greatcoats. Although few have braved the horrible conditions to witness the men formally stand down from their wartime duties, the Mayor of Halifax stands on his platform in salute as they proudly march by. This is one of many films made by the Halifax Cine Club since their formation in 1938; this one under the direction of Charles Thomas. The formation of the Local Defence Volunteers was announced before the war, on May 14th; re-named the Home Guard in July 1940. The serious training in guerrilla warfare had been initiated the month before, unofficially, by ex-Communist Party member Tom Wintringham, bringing to bear his experiences of the Spanish Civil War (CP members weren’t allowed to join the HG). At its peak the HG numbered 1,793,000, although it excluded women, who were restricted to auxiliary services – despite the efforts of Edith Summerskill. Orwell, among others, criticised it as being undemocratic.