MEMORIES and INFORMATION: 32nd Battn. (11)

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A memory from 1940 and 1941



Mr. M.J. Butler makes the briefest of mentions of his father's membership of the 32nd (Aldridge) Battalion in a BBC People's War Archive memoir which will be of great interest to anyone who knows the Streetly - Parson & Clerk - Kingstanding area.

2/Lt. J. Butler is listed as an officer within the 32nd Battalion in February 1941. He is presumably the father mentioned in this extract. No doubt his is also one of the many, so far unidentified faces pictured here in 1943. Streetly Works - The Streetly Manufacturing Co. - provided much support to the local Home Guard, as mentioned elsewhere on this site.

"....When being taken to the shelter I remember the engine noise of the German bombers - quite different from those we would hear later when the RAF Wellingtons and Lancasters flew over on their way to Germany. We lived opposite Sutton Park and remember being told that, on moonlit nights, the German bombers could take a 'fix' from the pools in Sutton Park to reach their target, down Chester Road to the Spitfire factory. Am I right in believing that some of these pools were drained in an attempt to foil the bombers? It may have worked as we had both incendiaries and high explosives land just inside the Park with the 'Parson and Clerk' pub across the road from us losing their windows one night.

Dad - who was a Lieutenant in the Home Guard at Streetly Works and blocked, notably by his Chairman, from joining up - took me onto the roof of our air raid shelter on one of the nights, the night that Coventry was bombed; it was something I had to see, he said. We lived well over 20 miles away and I remember clearly the sky being bright red from the flames......"

© M.J. Butler 2005    To read the rest of Mr. Butler's memoir, entitled A Child's Memories of WWII, please click here.  
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 WW2 People's War is an online archive of wartime memories contributed by members of the public and gathered by the BBC. The complete archive can be found at