Gosberton grandad lied to get into Home Guard

John George (Jockey) Neal in his Home Guard platoon in 1944.
John George (Jockey) Neal in his Home Guard platoon in 1944.
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We’ve heard stories about young boys altering their age in order to join the Army in the Second World War.

Teresa Stevenson, of Gosberton, says her grandfather John George (Jockey) Neal, also of Gosberton, lied about his age too – except in his case he claimed to be younger than he was in order to get into the Home Guard.

Teresa says: “He lied about his age so he could join. He would have been 67 years old when this photo was taken on December 3, 1944.

“When he joined he told them he was 60. When asked his age on leaving, he told them 60.”

In fact Platoon Commander Edward O Garrett seemed to be in on the falsehood, as it was he who gave the picture to John, and wrote on the back: “Just a little reminder and a token of appreciation to the youngest and keenest Home Guard in enthusiasm in the platoon, though the oldest in years.”