This is a page within the website. To see full contents, go to SITE MAP.

MEMORIES and INFORMATION: 32nd Battn. (15)
32nd Staffordshire (Aldridge) Battalion

("A" Coy.)


"A" Company of the 32nd Staffordshire (Aldridge) Battalion was responsible for an area in the southern part of the Battalion's sphere of operations; this area included Barr Beacon.

Private George William Waight (1917-1987) was a member of this Company. His grandson describes him thus:

"This remarkable man was excused any form of military service due to having a piece of his skull removed as the result of a chidhood accident which left him with a squidgy portion of his head which was never covered as it would be today. He also lost a thumb in another industrial accident but despite these setbacks he was determined to do his bit".

An image of George Waight and fellow members of an unknown training course survives (below). He is seated on the extreme right.

The location of this photograph is unknown. A training course held on Sunday 21st November 1943 when George took and passed several tests (see his Certificate of Proficiency below) could be the subject. In that case the location is likely to be the Battalion's own training centre situated within its area. The background is distinctive and might help identification. A strong possibilty is Beacon Camp, used by the Battalion for training from the end of 1941. A description of its function and personalities was written by the Battalion C.O., here. Another possibility is Aldridge Lodge. (Use the website SEARCH function to find all references to these locations within this website). If either were the case all the course members shown below will be members of the 32nd. They range, typically for a Home Guard group, from young boys still awaiting call-up to middle-aged, and even older men. Several are wearing Great War medal ribbons, including, unsurprisingly, the officer in the middle of the front row.

N.B. It has been pointed out that George appears to be wearing a North Staffordshire cap badge: if this is the case, it is difficult to explain.

A Certificate of Proficiency was issued on 6th January 1944 following tests in a range of skills deemed necessary for a Battalion private to possess. These tests took place in November and December 1943. Whether the training course image is associated with the acquisition of all or some of these skills is not known.

The main series of tests occurred on Sunday 21st November 1943, almost certainly a single day devoted to various tests of proficiency. The General Knowledge test was later, on Wednesday 1st December, and very probably during an evening period of duty.

Some of the initials and full signatures on the certificate above can be identified:

General knowledge - HRW - H.R. Wheatley
Rifle -
FG - probably F.F. Gething
Map Reading -
GWM - probably G.W. Mycock
President/Member of the Board - T.J.H. Hume-Humphreys
Company Commander - J. Trevor Jones

Other references to the above men elsewhere in this website can be identified by using
or the website SEARCH

George Waight's grandson tells us a little more about the personal life of this Home Guard. He writes as follows:

George William Waight was born on 24th October 1917, one year before the end of the First World War. His younger years were spent living at 173, Farm Street, Hockley, Birmingham. When aged around five years old he was run over by a motor bike and suffered a fracture to the base of his skull, resulting in a permanent hole in his skull.

His first job was as a Vertical Miller, although aged just twenty-one his thumb became trapped under machine workings as there was no machine guard fitted resulting in the loss of his left thumb. No Health & Safety as there is today. He received around £100 compensation and this was used to help pay toward his wedding aged twenty-two, to Nell Howard on 3rd August 1940. They moved into what was to be their only home for the remainder of their time together at 120 Collingwood Drive, Great Barr.

A long period of unemployment followed due to recuperation from the injury to his hand. George then found employment at a foundry (name unknown). He worked at the foundry throughout World War Two, combining a full-time and physically demanding job with the duties and training with the local Home Guard Battalion and still found time for his wife and young daughter. Two more daughters were later born to George and Nell.

George worked at the foundry until the mid 1950s. On leaving the foundry he found employment as a Security Guard/Night Watchman at the Tufnol Factory in Perry Barr. He was employed at this post until the early 1960’s. Then followed a further period of employment as a Fitter's Mate for GKN until his retirement.

George passed away on 7th August 1987, and is missed by all his family.

Grateful acknowledgement is made to Scott Mason, the grandson of George Waight, for providing this information and generously permitting its publication.
Images © Scott Mason 2013

Links within this website
Please use the links below to view:

  - the Name/Place Index for many other references to names and places
   - other Memories of the Battalion
   - contents of the "Home Guarding" book about the Battalion
   - images and documentation of the 5th Platoon, "B" Coy.
   - the complete site contents
including a Search function

In Memory of
Pte. George W. Waight
All his Comrades in the 32nd Staffordshire (Aldridge) Battalion




32 Bttn


x15 - 6 May 2013