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Last Updated: Wednesday, 7 April, 2004, 06:04 GMT 07:04 UK
Lottery cash for Home Front plans
Dad's Army
The Home Guard was immortalised by TV sitcom Dad's Army
Celebrations of the role played by the Home Front in World War II have received a 7.3m lottery cash boost.

A new National Lottery fund will give grants for street parties and reunions honouring the work of the Home Front.

Plans include developing an education centre at Bletchley Park, Milton Keynes, a wartime code-breaking hub.

The Home Front Recall scheme is part of the Veterans Reunited programme marking the 60th anniversary of the end of the war in May 1945.

The fund will preserve and honour the memories and bravery of countless men and women ensuring that their sacrifice is remembered by future generations
Heritage Lottery Fund
Bletchley Park, known as Station X during the war, plans to apply for funding for a cafe where veterans are invited back to give talks to schoolchildren.

The planned tXt cafe will form part of a news exhibition centre showing a history of wartime intelligence gathering and its impact on modern day computing.

'Monument to history'

Jean Valentine, 79, of Marlow, Buckinghamshire, who was posted to Bletchley Park in 1943, now works there as a guide.

More than 1.5m people volunteered to work in the Home Guard
The Home Guard, formed in May 1940, was immortalised by TV sitcom Dad's Army
Women joined the force in their thousands after Churchill urged them to join the war effort
By 1943, women formed a quarter of the force, most of them as air-raid wardens
Miss Valentine said she hoped the scheme would stop "a monument to an extraordinary piece of history falling down".

She said: "It's time our work was recognised.

"I love what I'm doing and I like people and I like being part of this place. I just hope it retains its uniqueness - there are lots of these theme parks but there's only one Bletchley Park."

Funding for Home Front Recall comes from the New Opportunities Fund, the Community Fund and the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Liz Forgan, chairman of the Heritage Lottery Fund, said the debt owed to the Home Front "must never be forgotten".

She said: "The fund will preserve and honour the memories and bravery of countless men and women ensuring that their sacrifice is remembered by future generations".

Other elements of the New Opportunities Fund's Veterans Reunited programme have included the Heroes Return initiative, funding veterans' visits to wartime battlefields and the Their Past - Your Future educational project.

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