Welcome again to Then and Now, where each week we compare images of Merseyside landmarks, buildings, streets and events from bygone days with how they look today.

There’s a Then and Now contrast in a single photo in our main image this week as Liverpool Home Guard members dressed in kit from the start of World War II line up with a fully equipped unit from May 1942.

The idea of the wartime picture, taken at a Merseyside factory, was to show how far the Home Guard, or Local Defence Volunteers, had come from being formed in May 1940.

The volunteers on the right are making do with shotguns, steel helmets and ammunition belts worn over everyday clothes. Some early Home Guard units used sticks, staves and pitchforks for weapons.

On the left, the 1942 Home Guard members carry modern rifles and bayonets and wear full uniform.

Second World War
Remembrance Day Liverpool
At its height, the Home Guard numbered 1.5 million volunteers who were otherwise ineligible to join the armed forces. Most were either too young or too old as regular military service was restricted to those aged 18 to 41.

The purpose of the Home Guard, known as Dad’s Army, was to slow down the advance of an enemy invasion to give regular troops the chance to regroup. They also guarded key locations such as factories and communication hubs.

Our modern image, from November 11th 2018, shows men in historical replica kits marking the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day and the end of First World War on the streets of Liverpool.