Finding sufficient weapons to arm the thousands upon thousands of willing volunteers who flocked to join the Home Guard in 1940 was a considerable problem to their commanders. Many a volunteer would initially have to defend the shores of Britain from German invasion armed only with home made pikes, improvised weapons of all sorts, rubber coshes and even old theatre props. To obtain any sort of firearm, even an old musket dating from before the Indian mutiny was considered to be quite an achievement
One Commander, a retired Major turned Bank Manager, having been issued with only 100 rifles and 500 rounds of ammunition to arm his 900 men temporarily solved the problem in rather a resourceful way.He remembered seeing the Regular army disembarking at Margate harbour, following their evacuation from Dunkirk, and wearily dumping their weapons on the harbour quay. Sure enough, he quickly discovered a whole heap of rifles, revolvers and ammunition still lying around and so he commandeered every firearm and round of ammunition that he found there.
When the regular army later discovered what he had done they demanded their weapons back; The Home Guard officer fobbed them off with a string of excuses until every one of his recruits had received some training with the weapons. Finally having blazed off every last round of the commandeered ammunition, he dutifully them handed over.