The North East's secret army of resistance fighters undertook vital tasks in testing the defences of airfields and Army headquarters throughout the invasion scare years of 1940-41.
But their pledge of secrecy concealed another, more unusual, role. At least two Northumberland groups, composed entirely of Bedlington and Berwick miners, formed the Royal family's personal bodyguard during residence at Balmoral. Their task: to fight off German paratroopers who may have landed with orders to kidnap or even kill the king, queen and the two princesses.
One was formed of Scremerston men headed by Lambert Carmichael. He performed two periods of duty at Balmoral and recalled that the Queen had a good memory. "She recognised me the second time as 'the Tweedside farmer'."