The big screen reboot of classic BBC sitcom Dad's Army has had mixed reviews but the film has reignited interest in the improvised band of volunteers that made up Britain's Home Guard during the Second World War.

Initially named Local Defence Volunteers, or LDV, the Home Guard was composed of local volunteers who were ineligible for military service, either by being in professions that were exempt from conscription, or by being too old (hence the nickname "Dad's Army"). The Home Guard helped to protect coastal areas and key sites such as airfields and factories from 1940 until 1944. Their main role was to act as "an armed police constabulary", slowing down the advance of the enemy in the event of an invasion. However, they did engage in combat situations, manning anti-aircraft weapons. They have been credited with shooting down numerous Luftwaffe aircraft and V-1 flying bombs.

IBTimes UK looks back at the real life Dad's Army in these vintage photographs of the Home Guard going about their duties during the war.