At the height of the Cold War, a short-lived and little known military force was established by Margaret Thatcher’s government to protect and defend key sites and installations in Britain from attack or sabotage by enemy special forces.
Drawing on the experience of former members of the armed forces – veterans who served their country in conflicts around the world – the Home Service Force (HSF) was part of the Territorial Army.
In 1982, four pilot Companies were formed in Perth, Reading, Bedford and Worcester and, over the next few years, volunteer battalions, squadrons and companies sprang up all over the country.
Near the Perthshire village of Dunkeld, a concrete tablet marks the raising and disbandment of Z Company, the 1st Highland Volunteers, based in Perth. It is a simple tribute to the men who served in the unit and a bleak reminder of the threat the world faced of nuclear annihilation.
The HSF was disbanded in 1992 as the Soviet Empire collapsed and the Berlin Wall fell.