CHARITY trustees are on a mission to immortalise the memory of a group of noble wartime volunteers – and they need your help.
The team behind Denmead War Memorial Hall is turning to the public in a bid to identify 78 men who selflessly offered to protect Hampshire during the Second World War.
Known as the Hambledon and Denmead Home Guard, the volunteer assembly was one of many across the country formed to act as a secondary defence force to soldiers on the frontline.
In the event of an invasion, the unpaid men – mostly ineligible of joining regular service – would be tasked with holding back the Nazis and their allies so frontline British fighters could regroup.
In some cases, a delay of just a few minutes would suffice – so a home guard’s armed forces counterparts could put up a fight.
As she and her team now work to trace members of the Hambledon and Denmead Home Guard, Denmead War Memorial Hall trustee Jackie O’Halloran said: ‘When I saw the photograph I felt it would be lovely if we would be able to individually identify these brave men and display their names alongside the photo in honour of the service they gave to the village during the second world war.
‘At present I have a few names from the photo which have been provided by Denmead residents, but still have a long way to go to name them all.
‘It would be wonderful if we are able to identify them all before Remembrance Day.’
The photograph, which was captured outside Jubilee House in Ashling Gardens, Denmead, is set to go on display at the War Memorial Hall on November 11 for a day of celebrations marking the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War.
The fixture will begin with a remembrance parade through Denmead in the morning, with a 1940s-theme tea party in the afternoon – set to be enjoyed by scores of Denmead’s elderly residents.
And it is hoped when they enjoy the festivities they will be able to celebrate the efforts of the Hambledon and Denmead Home Guard – ideally all identified.
Jackie added: ‘Did you have family living in Denmead or Hambledon during the second world war?
‘Did they serve in the Home Guard?
‘We would ask that anybody that is able to help with identifying names from the photograph email firstname.lastname@example.org