We mourn the passing of
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
GOD SAVE THE KING
The HSF Association
was disbanded in August 2016.
This does not mean that local Groups of HSF Veterans
(aka “HSFA Units”) have necessarily disbanded, but their activities
and viability are their responsibility and always has been.
Upon disbandment, the HSFA donated the balance
of its bank account to The National Memorial Arboretum
in return for an assurance that the NMA would
maintain the HSF Grove for as long as possible.
Access to Unit Pages………….
The password to the Members’ Compound has been removed.
Unit Pages will be expanded in 2017, and will include Unit Websites and/or a Page assembled from known information.
What was the Home Service Force ?
…or perhaps you have never heard of us?
I’m not surprised.
People were recruited who had retired from the forces (regular & reserve), to carry out low level Home Defence roles in the event of an attack on Great Britain, and wouldn’t cost lots of money in basic training. They were administered within the existing Territorial Army, and with a bit of familiarisation with more modern weapons and equipment, a very keen and experienced force was thus available which could be very valuable if somebody decided to attack the UK. In 1982, four pilot Companies were formed around Perth, Reading, Bedford and Worcester. A full HSF Company had 100 – 120 soldiers (including 5 officers) and was usually commanded by a Major.
There was no need for the Home Service Force in Northern Ireland because there already existed a number of Home Service Battalions of the Ulster Defence Force (later part of The Royal Irish Regiment), and so The HSF was confined to the mainland of Great Britain, although there were detachments based in the smaller offshore islands as well.
In 2017 we celebrate 35 years since the formation of the four pilot HSF companies (1982 – 1985)
Without the performance of the personnel in those companies the Home Service Force may not have happened, so the rest of us owe thanks to those “pioneers” .
If you have hard evidence of this process, please contact us.
The Home Service Force was officially raised in 1985, (with some formations ready to start in 1984), but disbanded in 1992. This reflected the collapse of The Soviet Empire, the Berlin Wall, and Soviet-style communism. The “so-called” Peace Dividend that was to turn swords into ploughshares. Some hope.
In the year of the disbandment of the HSF in 1992, Her Majesty also proclaimed the year “Annus Horribilis“.
This web site is dedicated to:
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
Local HSF Associations or Veterans’ Groups (“Units”) – formed after the disbandment of HSF formations in 1992.
HSF Veterans, their families and loved ones everywhere – encouraging you to keep in touch and support your local Unit.
Those who wish to learn about the HSF and the HSFA.
The Regiments and Corps of The British Army which sponsored, managed and supported HSF Batteries, Squadrons or Companies between 1982 and 1992.
Also, and always…………….Absent Friends
This website, launched in 2012, is the third website we will have had.
Read the Menu “Tabs” along the top of the page. The one on the extreme right-hand-side will lead you to a Page for the HSF Battery, Squadron or Company which interests you. (We regret that this facility remains under construction and is incomplete, although expansion is ongoing)
This website concerns an association for veterans who were Servants of The British Crown. Any information deemed to expose current serving personnel, locations or operations will be subject to the Editor’s scrutiny and only balanced comment or observations about current UK Government defence policy will be published.
Our thanks to AM © The Home Service Force Association – Copyright September 2013
Round GB Mainland Coastal Ride
RTTW & Barnsley (Denbury) Reunion
A leisurely adventure on the Bombardier 800 Quad Bike
In support of The Denbury Boys
Torbay Dementia Action Alliance
Route Card Anti Clockwise-not set in stone
Tel No Every evening or text message. 07759938919
September 28th Journey to York Area.
29sat York Prep for Journey, visit 2 Yorks
30sun Humber Bridge Spurn Head Bridlington Whitby
1mon Newcastle Carlise Barrow-in-Furness
2 tue Lancaster Chester Bangor
3 wed Betws-Y-Coed Snowdonia Aberystwyth St David`s
4thur Tenby Swansea Newport Ross on Wye
5frid RTTW Holiday Inn Express with Riders Branch Visit The HSF Grove & Air Formation memorial
6sat RTTW Holliday Inn Express With Riders Branch Visit The HSF Grove & RSA. memorial
7sun Western Super Mare Bideford Land`s End
8mon Plymouth Brixham Overnight?? or Littlehampton?? Flying Pieman?
9tue Poole Brighton Hastings Dover Dartford
10wed Southend-On-Sea Felixstowe Great Yarmouth
11thur King`s Lynn Boston Skegness
12fri Whitby Grimsby Scunthorpe Barnsley
13sat Barnsley (Denbury) Reunion
14sun York?? Scotland
Anyone out and about who wishes to join in is more than welcome.
congratulations to all in the HSF we now have a standard and not a flag
Hi is anyone still out there? it’s that time of the year again for rememberance and I always remember my my ex HSF volounteers. By the time I found out about the Assocation it was too late and you had disbanded .
Here in Cheltenham we still have a few members who meet up for a breakfast club once a month.and natter about old times so please if anyone picks up this message give me a call.
Harry Turbyfield Ex SQMS 302Sqn HSF RLC.
[email address witheld by webmaster for the time being – to protect the innocent !! – but available on demand]
Hello Teddy (or is it Harry?),
Thanks for your post. Sorry for the delay in acknowledging.
There is, indeed, somebody our here, and the boys and girls will note your comments.
They are all over Great Britain. (NI had their own system, of course)
I have already had at least two blokes contact me saying they served with 302 Sqn, so once I have found their details I will email all (3?) of you so you can make contact with each other.
You understand that people have the right to remain silent, even if they are still alive – and the numbers there are sadly dwindling.
Of course you will be aware that HSF people were all retreads and therefore few of them actually came from the Cap Badge they wore with the HSF. I think one of the above guys was a Gdsmn. That was the strength of the HSF – diversity !!. I will email you separately and we can speak.
………….PS………….I really do need to spend some time tidying up this website, including the addition of detail about the Welsh Coys (Apologies)
Hello mucker; I am one of the ex guardsmen you mentioned. There were 3 ex footguard s in my unit, in Liverpool. I also served in the Territorial Army for 3.5 years prior to joining the Regular Army. After this I re joined the TA and served for 11 years before transferring to the HSF. Apparently I was the FIRST TA soldier in the UK to transfer to the HSF.
Further to my last post….I have some very good photos of my BEST unit on ex in BAOR . Maybe someone with I.T. Skills could start a gallery……I’d with a map showing
Hello William (perhaps Bill ?),
So were you an HSF soldier with A Bty 103 Air Defence Regiment RA?
If so I can put you in touch with those remaining.
Your claim to be the first Territorial soldier to transfer to the HSF is very interesting; was this in 1982 or 1985?
I will try to email you direct and we can talk.
Thanks for this William.
I have sent you an email and will now update it.
One aim of the website is to post photos by Unit activity.
All the best material can also be used on The HSF Book Project if it is good enough.
The HSF Book Project was started in order to publish a history book about the HSF,
however it was never finished. Partly that was because the second custodian /
Project Manager was unable to carry on with it, and then after I took it over,
something similar happened to me, and I have been trying to compile and save
the material for posterity. There are people out there who have offered help.
One of the main problems is that we need to compile some hard evidence
to demonstrate what the HSF was tasked to do, how well it did it, and
also something about every Battery, Squadron or Company. Each of those Units
wore a different Cap Badge and some even changed their Cap Badge during their HSF
service. Each was also affiliated to old (antecedent) Cap Badges and, now, also to
the new ones created in 2006/07, in many cases. In this way the HSF is connected
to many old regiments and corps, and also forms part of the history of the new.
The only two Cap Badges which have survived all the way through are probably
The Royal Regiment of Artillery (Liverpool) and The Royal Corps of Signals (Catterick).
Further to my last post we have absolutely nothing about the Catterick HSF Squadron,
also bearing in mind that some Units were disbanded and failed to survive through to
Just found this site, very interesting. I was never in the HSF but was the clerk (AO) that assisted in recruitment and set-up of “E” Coy HSF, 6 Bn LI (v) in Bath in November 1984-May 1985.
By strange coincidences of life, after 35 years I have returned to working for the TA in its modern form as the Army reserve – and now I am older than the ‘old soldiers’ I recruited into the unit.
If anyone IS out there who joined at that time and place – hello and thank you
How kind of you to contribute. An HSF Coy AO is a rare beast indeed, and you are now a “Retread” just like the HSF soldiers of 1982 – 1992?
Since the disbandment of the HSF Association (of GB) three years ago communications have dropped off a little but I still get the odd email. The head man of the Bristol HSF Veterans tribe was, at the last count, a local councillor in that City and one Company veteran now lives on the northeast coast of mainland Scotland (still part of UK, as I write !!!).
The HSF Company Veterans’ Groups that came together, around the Millenium, to form the HSFA numbered around 16, exactly one third of the Companies raised in 1985. Each did its own thing and for its own reasons but for about 10 years they sent delegates to national annual events, initially at Bisley, then a pub near Rugby, and then Swynnerton. The remaining two thirds (32 odd, and their veterans) therefore offer more scope for exploration, research and new contacts. One or two HSF formations were Platoons, sometimes administered by non-HSF TA Companies. One or two HSF Companies/Platoons failed to get of the ground initially and some were disbanded halfway through the period.
Of the five guys on the header of the website, two are no longer with us, one is cared for at home, and a fourth has serious health issues. The fifth is still marching as far as I know, but sometimes lines of communications can suffer when key people leave us.
Sadly HSF veterans are falling out, given that they were old when in The HSF, and nearly all HSF personnel had served, and went on to serve, each with a number of Cap Badges, and that increases the risk of them losing contact with the Regiments/Corps with which they served while in the HSF. At advancing age their energy levels have reduced and their availability for reunions has reduced thanks to family health issues, and caring duties brought about by the economic pinch of 2008/09.
Two HSF Veterans’ Groups are now small in number but very active. The Liverpool Gunners send me monthly meeting minutes and three of them go on an annual fund raising hill walk. The Lincoln “7-Force” Lads run a Facebook Page (Cold War Warriors – Heavy Strike Force – or similar?) and they still get out and about helping on local construction and maintenance projects.
It was nice while it lasted.
At 68, I am just about ticking, but am still keen to gather as much factual information about the HSF 82-92 as possible. There is very little official information available and there currently appears to be little academic or nostalgic interest amongst those who have influence. The HSF Book Project remains a Work in Progress.
I will make an effort to contact you directly by email and hope that we can keep in touch.
Thanks Graham; No doubt you’ve read my claim (as advised by Chief Clerk 103 AD reg) that I was first TA soldier in UK to trans to HSF. I did contact Guinness no records but no response!!!! How can I check this out? I joined US (RoySigs) in 1958 and left TAVR in 1992 as a result of Defence Cuts!!!!!