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MEMORIES and INFORMATION: 32nd Battn. (17)
(ALDRIDGE) BATTN. -"F" COY.
was defended by "F" Company of the
Staffordshire (Aldridge) Battalion whose C.O.
for much of the war was
C. Cartwright, D.S.O., M.C.
Battalion area map - left - drawn by the
Battalion Adjutant, F.H. Timings - click on it to
Col. Cartwright reviewed the role of "F" Coy.
in words written immediately after stand-down in December 1944:
Company..... How well
and his loyal lieutenants,
did look after the creature comforts
of their men! I still retain visions
of amazing meals on mustering tests.
Smith was in command for a
considerable time until one day came
re-organization and the size of the
company was increased by the inclusion
Platoon, and the stormy petrel
of the battalion, the one and only
took over command.
I find it difficult to
understand, but "F" has always been a
tough nut to crack. Even "Talky" could
not change the Walsall Wood spots, but
I am sure there are men in that
locality who will never forget the
intrusion of this warrior into their
peaceful world. If ever circumstances
had demanded action on the part of "F"
Company, it would not have failed to
give a very good account of
The full article
can be read
elsewhere within this website.
Capt. E. W.
Smith was the local chemist in
Mycock was President of
Wood Football Club; and
Arblaster was possibly a local
Their HQ was the
Jockey Inn, in the southern
part of the village.
Only one image known to show men of the
Walsall Wood Company has so far come to light
and it is an excellent one.
The precise location - thought to be in
Walsall Wood itself -and the date - possibly 1942/43 - cannot yet be confirmed. The parade is headed by
Sgt. Ron Harrison
Mr Arthur Wadey,
later the trainer at
Walsall Wood F.C., was a
Bevin Boy in WW2, working in the local
coalmine. He was also a member of the Walsall
Wood Home Guard. He had won an anonymous plain
leather wallet in one of the shooting
competitions and treasured it thereafter. An
unusual award perhaps? Well, Colonel
Cartwright was a manager of a leather firm in
Walsall at that time! The competition took
place at the shooting butts in the brickworks
near Stubbers Green, by the canal.
1943 and 1945 one in ten of young men
conscripted in Great Britain was directed into
working in the coal mines where there was a
desperate shortage of labour).
Arthur Wadey is remembered taking part in
Platoon or Company route marches in the area:
up Castle Road, by the
Old Fort, onward to
Shire Oak and then back down the
Road.The local HQ was, as stated above, the
Boot Inn, near to the Barons Court Hotel in
the south part of the territory.
There was a road
block at the Shire Oak junction and its
manning and operation would almost certainly
have been the responsibility of the local Home
This obstruction, consisting of concrete
blocks, formed a chicane for traffic coming along the
Road (A452) from the
Streetly direction. It
was removed for convoys. We have to assume
that this road block was established as soon
as the threat of invasion appeared and lasted
until all risk had clearly vanished. This road
block was outside Goodings Garage, as it then
was. There were further road blocks to the
north-west, near to the
Rising Sun, adjacent
to the junction with
Watling Street (A5), and
further south-east, along the Chester Road to
Streetly and beyond.
book on the 32nd Staffordshire Battalion,
"Home Guarding", makes a brief reference to
training and the siting of strong points
and machine gun posts on the fern-covered
slopes which were once
Knaves Castle and the
Old Fort at Upper Stonnall. All in order to
keep the vital Chester Road under close
scrutiny and if necessary attack what was
trying to pass along it. The suggestion is that such
measures were merely a repetition of similar
precautions over the previous two millennia.
To find references elsewhere within the
site to subjects mentioned above
32nd Battalion Information Summary
(Aldridge, Barr Beacon, Brownhills, Little Aston,
Index of Surnames
and Place Names
relating to the 32nd Battalion
- or use the general website
Staffshomeguard would welcome any further
information which visitors to the page may
have; to help us add to the story of the
Brownhills Home Guard, please use
image of the parade first appeared in the excellent
BrownhillsBob's Brownhills Blog website.
Grateful acknowledgement is made to "Bob";
to Graham Harrison, son of Sgt. Ron Harrison,
who provided the image; and to David Evans and
(The HG group image
D17 May 2015, updated Dec 2017, July 2019