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Rushden Echo & Argus, transcribed by Gill and Jim Hollis
Local Defence Volunteers
& Home Guard

Notes from the Newspapers
17th May, 1940

Now For Those Parachutists!

Rushden Men Hurry to Join New Defence Force

A wave of patriotism surged through the factories and streets of Rushden following the broadcast announcement on Tuesday evening of the formation of the Local Defence Volunteers, the force which may one day be called on to deal with enemy soldiers landed in this country by parachute.

Less than a quarter of an hour after the announcement had been made the first volunteer entered Rushden Police Station. Since then volunteers have been registering their names steadily.

Not only has the response been magnificent, but the type of men who have volunteered is good. Among those registering have been large numbers of boot operatives, bakers, mechanics and shop workers. Veterans in the “sixties” have volunteered in company with youths in their teens.

A boot operative who registered at midday on Wednesday told the “Echo and Argus” that he served for two years during the last war and used to be quite handy with a rifle. He believed that now the Germans were within two hundred miles of Britain the time had come for every able-bodied man to take up arms and prepare to defend his homeland.

Cars and Cycles

“I think it is my duty to volunteer,” stated a baker. “After all, there are some like me, over 60, who may never be conscripted, and I think this is a good opportunity for such people to do their bit.”

Many volunteers arrived in private cars. A number of youths under 20 years of age arrived on bicycles, and there was a big rush on Wednesday during the factories’ lunch hour.

Late on Wednesday evening, only 24 hours after the new defence scheme had been announced, the police station steps bore the dust of many scores of feet of those who had decided to sacrifice their leisure hours in preparation for combating a menace which one day might make itself felt in Britain.

The men of Higham Ferrers are equally keen, and one of them handed his name to P.C. Farly within 15 minutes of the broadcast appeal.

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