Auxiliary Units - their legal status
Soldiers or Civilians
The Operational Branch of the Auxiliary Units are often claimed to be 'civilian' as part of the romantic mythology that accrued around their history. This assumption is rarely explained. Whilst the intelligence-gathering branch of the Auxiliary Units - the Special Duties Branch were clearly civilian (albeit facilitated by Royal Signals and ATS), the Operational Branch had a more complicated status. This was inherently tied to the status of the Home Guard where the modern popular impression of the organisation might be different from the contemporary driver to establish their legal standing.
The Operational Branch were enrolled from the Home Guard in order to give them a legal status as a uniformed part of the 'Armed Forces of the Crown' and subject to military discipline - explicitly so that they could not be accused of being civilian. This was all prepared in anticipation that both the Home Guard and Auxiliary Units would be fully mobilised upon invasion. As this never happened, the modern impression of both has been significantly distorted..
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