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Digital Subscriptions > Family Tree > Family Tree September 2018 > HUSH HUSH NUDGE NUDGE WINK WINK


Adèle Emm knew her dad Sydney was a member of The shadowy Home Office Intelligence Unit in World War II, but she had to don her detective hat to find out more in The archives



The secret life of The Home Guard Intelligence Unit

Photograph of Syd (centre) in a sou’wester with his pals, camping in The rain. He wasn’t fond of guarding The local reservoir overnight against The threat of invading Germans
National Service (Armed Forces) Grade Card for Adèle’s faTher, Sydney Guy Emms. Until he was married, Syd was known as Emms

When I first started researching this article, I couldn’t find any reference to an Intelligence Unit of The Local Defence Volunteers (LDV), renamed The Home Guard (HG) – and my faTher insisted he was in it! Not only this, but he told me his Captain was a solicitor, The sergeant a clerk and he, well, he was just The private.

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About Family Tree

The wish to find out about your family history always begins with a question. That special something that you want to know about those who’ve come before you, that missing piece of the puzzle that you'd like to find about your own roots... So, because the internet is such a very valuable resource for hunting for these family history clues, this issue we’ve got a bumper guide to help your research. Read it and discover how to: 1. Search smarter and trace that family story. 2. Learn new search hacks and make new discoveries. 3. Get the low-down on searching the major family history websites. Lastly, you may notice something different this issue – our new look! Re-energised and packed as ever with know-how, advice and real-life tales, our revamp will provide you with fresh inspiration to find your family’s story.