Anthony Eden, the Secretary of State, broadcast an appeal on the radio on 14th May 1940, requesting volunteers to enlist in local defence units. The government had expected 150,000 volunteers in total, but within 24 hours of the radio broadcast, 250,000 had joined. By August 1940, over 1.5 million men had volunteered.
Ivybridge’s Home Guard was No.12 Platoon with Lt. George Mugbridge in charge. It was part of the 15th Devon (Plympton) Battalion.
The Drill Hall located in Victoria Park was the unit’s HQ and on most Sunday mornings there were parades, lectures and demonstrations in the use of equipment. There was also a compulsory evening parade once a week. Rifle practice was normally undertaken in the grounds of Cleeve House. From time to time, exercises with other platoons took place over the weekend, involving local civil defence units or with army personnel stationed in the area, and sometimes at Elfordleigh.
Following the success of D-Day and the enemy in retreat, the need for the Home Guard diminished and in December 1944, the Plympton Battalion, which included the Ivybridge Platoon, was stood down.