Britain’s 1980s Cold War Dads Army/Home Guard – The Home Service Force


The Home Service Force or HSF was UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s Cold War version of the World War 2 Home Guard. 

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An almost forgotten unit, the  HSF was established in 1982 and recruited from ex-regular Army, ex-territorial and ex-uniformed service personnel aged up to 60 years old. It’s mission was  to guard key points in the UK as the perceived threat from Warsaw Pact special forces increased towards the end of the Cold War.

I speak with Richard Coles, who served as an officer in the HSF Company of The Honourable Artillery Company (HAC). He tells of the setup of the unit, the incredible characters he served with and details some of the exercises that he participated in.   

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