Kilnsey Mastiles Lane – North Yorkshire

The Local Defence Volunteers were organized nationally in May 1940 to supplement field troops and in November were incorporated in the army as the Home Guard. Enrolment became compulsory in March 1942 for all men from 17 to 65 in civil defence regions; these men were fully equipped and served a maximum of 48 hours every 4 weeks receiving subsistence allowances while on duty, but no pay. Their primary role was defence, to delay the enemy until regular formations moved to the attack.
Bren gun carriers came on an exercise from Kilnsey over Mastiles Lane to Malham but it was reported that the gates were too narrow and they did a lot of damage. The wall at Gordale was knocked down and they broke all the stone posts, which eventually were replaced after the war with sandstone posts, but the gate at Smear Bottoms has never been replaced.