They Fought in the Fields

3: The French Drop(Feb '41);Enemy Fire(Feb '41);They Fought In the Fields(April '41); War of Nerves(June '41)

2: Fifty Ships (Sept '40); Among the Few (Sept '40); War Games (Oct '40); The Funk Hole (Oct '40)

1: The German Woman(May '40);The White Feather(May '40);A Lesson in Murder(June '40);Eagle Day(Aug '40)

They Fought in the Fields

Postby bellis » Sun Jan 13, 2013 1:04 am

This news item reminded me of the parachute which Barbara Hicks made into dresses
http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/370006/War-girls-who-risked-all-for-pair-of-silk-knickers

The clip from the Antiques Roadshow which featured it can be viewed here
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p012q3n0
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Re: They Fought in the Fields

Postby Wolesley » Sun Jan 13, 2013 7:10 am

Fascinating - and my late mother-in-law lived in Redditch at that time! She probably would have joined the ladies, too!

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Re: They Fought in the Fields

Postby ayresorchids » Sun Aug 25, 2013 10:05 pm

Taking a close look at the opening scenes of this episode, I noticed for the first time that the Home Guardsman--who greets the team when they come to investigate the death of the German parachutist--is also a clergyman.
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Re: They Fought in the Fields

Postby Lynnedean » Sun Aug 25, 2013 11:58 pm

ayresorchids wrote:Taking a close look at the opening scenes of this episode, I noticed for the first time that the Home Guardsman--who greets the team when they come to investigate the death of the German parachutist--is also a clergyman.

I'd never noticed that, Chris, but you're right, the chap's wearing a dog collar. And it's odd, because I don't think that members of the clergy were accepted in the Home Guard. I've just done a quick trawl of the Internet and found this article that would appear to confirm it ... Worthing History: the Local Defence Volunteers / Home Guard ...

    [...] in May, 1940, when Britain’s wartime leader, Winston Churchill, told the people of Britain: “I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat,” and Secretary of War, Anthony Eden, announced the formation of the Local Defence Volunteers. The call went out for volunteers between the ages of 17 and 65 who were too young, too old or insufficiently fit for the army, navy or air force. [...] Within a month, the strength of the LDV climbed to well over a million men from every walk of life. Even ageing ex-brigadier-generals like the Hon Alexander Victor Frederick Villiers Russell CMG MVO, a godson of Queen Victoria, signed up.
    They were a motley lot but providing they could claim to be “physically active”, they could join.
    But they must be British, not a member of the clergy, and most definitely not a woman.
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Re: They Fought in the Fields

Postby amiga » Mon Aug 26, 2013 12:19 am

It always amazing to me that no matter how many times these episodes are watched, there always seems to be something new to find. I trust you have both watched this episode a few times. :lol: :lol:

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Re: They Fought in the Fields

Postby starlight » Mon Aug 26, 2013 5:23 am

Lynnedean wrote:
ayresorchids wrote:Taking a close look at the opening scenes of this episode, I noticed for the first time that the Home Guardsman--who greets the team when they come to investigate the death of the German parachutist--is also a clergyman.

I don't think that members of the clergy were accepted in the Home Guard. I've just done a quick trawl of the Internet and found this article that would appear to confirm it ... Worthing History: the Local Defence Volunteers / Home Guard

    'They were a motley lot but providing they could claim to be “physically active”, they could join.
    But they must be British, not a member of the clergy, and most definitely not a woman.'


I've no doubt that clergy were excepted from call-up, but would they have be forbidden to volunteer for the Home Guard? Interestingly I found a thread that makes a distinction between "reserved" and "exempted" - with regard to call-up at any rate. See Drayton's post towards the end of this thread WW2 Talk

    'For example, being a formally ordained minister of a recognised denomination was an "exempted" category, not "reserved".'

I have to wonder what the reasoning would have been behind the quoted "exclusion of clergy" rule as applied to the LDV, and whether, in some areas, local discretion came into play, especially in areas of low population such as (LOL) English villages and coastal towns.

This Hansard extract re the LDV (from 1940) makes for fascinating (and HILARIOUS... and, actually, poignant) reading. Do have a look! :geek:

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Re: They Fought in the Fields

Postby Lynnedean » Thu Sep 05, 2013 5:19 pm

For the last couple of months, for various frustrating reasons, I haven't had much time to myself, but I did take time out to ask one or two people about this question, because it was nagging at me. When no one appeared to know, I sent an email to the Imperial War Museum. Obviously, the folk at the IWM have been very busy, too, because I've only just now received a reply. Seems that the admin of the Worthing website has got his facts wrong or they were particular to his location, because the IWM historian is "fairly sure" that members of the clergy were allowed to join the HG, and says that Norman Longmate's book The Real Dad's Army: the Story of the Home Guard, published by Arrow Books, contains a photograph of a clergyman doing rifle drill. So, presumably, it was a matter of choice or the particular policy of this or that Christian denomination (if the latter, neither Anglicanism nor Methodism has a clue as to the answer!).

Now I'm wondering about other religious bodies, but I don't have the time right now to enquire any further!
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Re: They Fought in the Fields

Postby starlight » Thu Sep 05, 2013 5:41 pm

Lynnedean wrote:Seems that the admin of the Worthing website has got his facts wrong or they were particular to his location, because the IWM historian is "fairly sure" that members of the clergy were allowed to join the HG, and says that Norman Longmate's book The Real Dad's Army: the Story of the Home Guard, published by Arrow Books, contains a photograph of a clergyman doing rifle drill. So, presumably, it was a matter of choice or the particular policy of this or that Christian denomination (if the latter, neither Anglicanism nor Methodism has a clue as to the answer!).


All sounds eminently sensible to me, Lynne. This brief item might interest you:
Participation of the clergy in war

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Re: They Fought in the Fields

Postby ayresorchids » Thu Sep 05, 2013 7:59 pm

amiga wrote:It always amazing to me that no matter how many times these episodes are watched, there always seems to be something new to find. I trust you have both watched this episode a few times. :lol: :lol:

Amiga


I most definitely had--but was watching all the more closely recently so that I could finish a fanfic chapter based on the episode. The story is so very long that I haven't put it here on QE, but if anyone's intrigued, see Lesley's link to the FW section of the Fanfiction dot net site. Find it at the top of QE's Foyle's War Fan Fiction forum.

My tale is called The Crash (because it begins its alternate-universe events with the accident Sam and Mr Foyle have when she loses control of the car in The French Drop).

I so appreciate all the historical detail brought to my attention during this discussion. Golly, we've some rather brilliant sorts around here, haven't we? :foyle1:
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Re: They Fought in the Fields

Postby Lynnedean » Thu Sep 05, 2013 8:26 pm

starlight wrote: This brief item might interest you: Participation of the clergy in war

Ha, I've got a copy of ODCC, (2nd edition 1974 - I go back aways) but didn't think of consulting it with regard to this!
The dictionary states "since the Middle Ages clerics in major orders have been expressly forbidden to take a direct part in the shedding of blood" but that the Church of England (Anglican Church) has actually turned a blind eye on the few occasions when clergy have ignored the rule and enlisted in the services. There is no mention of the Home Guard, but presumably the rule also covered that organisation. Of course, during the world wars, many ordained priests and ministers served in all branches of the military forces as chaplains, and still do, and chaplains have always been non-combatants.

The dictionary also states: "Where, however, the power of the State compels them to undertake military duties, they are permitted to conform." This has me puzzling as to what sorts of compulsory activities "military duties" could possibly refer. Not to call-up if clergy were exempt, so to what?

Chris, you started this!
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Re: They Fought in the Fields

Postby ayresorchids » Thu Sep 05, 2013 8:30 pm

hee. Ever the trouble-maker...
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Re: They Fought in the Fields

Postby historianheidi » Thu Sep 05, 2013 9:21 pm

The Worthing article goes on to say that several members of the clergy signed up regardless, so maybe the church turned a blind eye and eventually the home guard decided that they needed all the volunteers they could get.
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Re: They Fought in the Fields

Postby starlight » Fri Sep 06, 2013 11:21 am

historianheidi wrote:The Worthing article goes on to say that several members of the clergy signed up regardless, so maybe the church turned a blind eye and eventually the home guard decided that they needed all the volunteers they could get.


I feel sure you're right :pleased: . Particularly in low-population areas, unlikely that volunteers would be turned away. Hansard mentions seaside towns and villages as having a particular problem making up the numbers:

    "Another point that my noble friend Lord Croft made last week was that he wanted to see the Defence Volunteer units recruited to the full in coast towns and villages. I think we must all agree that that is most desirable; but I should like to point out that in these villages certainly, and in a good many of the coast towns, the population is small and the numbers of the L.D.V. are therefore not strong."

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Re: They Fought in the Fields

Postby Samfan » Mon Sep 15, 2014 1:52 am

Just watched this episode again, and it dawned on me just how much poor Foyle was getting 'flack' from women. I didn't realize how much Barbara Hicks ragged on him, until toward the end at the chestnut tree and then the bench. And Joan, too, giving him a hard time. :lol:


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Re: They Fought in the Fields

Postby Wolesley » Thu Feb 12, 2015 6:03 am

I've moved this post from the S.9 discussion of Elise:
mohairMK wrote:Don't know if this is the thread to place this in, but we have been entering into conversations about consistencies...

In the episode, "They Fought In The Fields", there was the mention by the land army girls that they started plowing the fields early in the morning, using lanterns (if I am not mistaken). Wouldn't that be a violation of the black out? And if not, why not? :puzzled:


The characters described ploughing the fields through the night by lanterns posted at either end of the furrow. The lantern would only cast a small light just visible enough for the tractor driver, and there would perhaps be a shade over the top so it wouldn't be visible from above. That would be permitted by the ARP wardens and by blackout regulations, I should think.

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Re: They Fought in the Fields

Postby jewell » Thu Feb 12, 2015 12:59 pm

In addition to what Lesley said - and for an example of that, car headlights - I think that the blackout was to hide populated areas from the German bombers.

A small light here or there in the hinterlands was probably not indicative of a good target. I imagine the blackout was encouraged in the country, for solidarity purposes if for no other, but there could be virtually no enforcement. When your nearest neighbor is a half mile away, the blackout depends on only you.

Early morning musings from yours truly.

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Re: They Fought in the Fields

Postby mohairMK » Thu Feb 12, 2015 3:00 pm

Thanks for the replies to my question about the lanterns, Lesley and jewell! You both make sense and it makes the situation more clear to me. :wavehello:
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