An exhibition, 'Tain & District Through The War Years', was held from June-August 2006 in the Collegiate Church. It was the work of a group of museum volunteers who got together to remember their childhoods and, more particularly, the years 1939-45 and how they affected Tain and District.
In May 1940 Anthony Eden, Foreign Secretary called for volunteers to "keep the country safe". His officials were unprepared for the 250,000 names registered within the first 24 hours and the 1,400,000 by the end of June. The Local Defence Volunteers, as they were called, were renamed the Home Guard by the Prime Minister, Winston Churchill.
The officer in overall charge of the 1st Ross-shire Battalion Home Guard had his HQ at Arabella House. he was Lieutenant Colonel Sir John Dick-Lauder. Bart.
Rear-Admiral Cecil B Prickett, whose HQ was at Glastullich House, was in command of A Company, consisting of 7 platoons.
CB Pricket. Photo: Mrs M Pricket
Tain Home Guard on exerciseThe roll of the Home Guard was to support and assist the regular units of armed forces in the area. They also performed patrol and guard duties and liased with RAF Tain and HMS Owl and the gun battery at Nigg. In addition they undertook various exercises, both small and large scale, to prepare for enemy activity.
People joined various other organisations in order to paly their part in the defence of the country.
Photo: Forbie Urquhart
Civil defence excercises were held to allow groups to co-ordinate their efforts. Forbie Urquhart recalls volunteering to be a patient during one exercise. The scenario had him a victim of a bomb blast on Tarlogie Farm steading. He had to climb up onto a ledge via extension ladders where he was then strapped to a stretcher, dangled over the ledge and lowered to the ground by a block and tackle rigged by the participants. It was an experience he found "quite exciting".
Dr EK made sure his Air Raid Precaution group were well versed infirst aid
The Women's Voluntary Service ran a canteen for the troops under the Picture House. This photograph shows the women of the WRVS at a party held by the RAF to thank them for their work.
Photo: Wattie Louden
Wattie LoudenEven school children played their part. Wattie Louden remembers his class being marched down from the old Academy to the Links where they filled sand bags for the Pioneer Corp to transport into the town. These were then put round buildings, such as the Town Hall and Academy to protect against bomb blast.
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