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MEMORIES and INFORMATION: 32nd Battn. (18)
32nd Staffordshire (Aldridge) Battalion
("E" Coy.)

ALDRIDGE



Aldridge
was defended by "E" Company of the 32nd Staffordshire (Aldridge) Battalion whose C.O. for much of the war was Lt.-Col. C. Cartwright, D.S.O., M.C.

(See the Battalion area map - left - drawn by the Battalion Adjutant, F.H. Timings - click on it to enlarge).


Col. Cartwright reviewed the role of "E" Coy. in words written immediately after stand-down in December 1944:


I always feel very near to "E" Company, not only geographically, but because I was its O.C. for the first three months of its existence.

(F.P.) Stephens (M.C.), who took over from me, has done a great deal that will be remembered by me, but none more than his work as "Adjutant" at its formation. Aldridge born and bred, he knows everyone who lives in it and whoever has lived in it. His encyclopaedic mind was a tremendous asset, and by his help three platoons were formed which, although given battalion numbers later on, will always be remembered as North, Central, and South. No company commander could have done more for the social life of its members, and many of them will regret the end of the dances which Stephens ran so successfully throughout the winter months, and which gave so much pleasure to H.G. wives and sweethearts.

Associated with "E" will always be such names as (H.W.) Howarth, perhaps the best exponent of drill I have ever watched, (H.S.) Holland, who worked so devotedly at the cost of his health for the South Platoon, (A.H.) Davis, of the quiet voice and decided views at company conferences, the genial Lloyd of North and his faithful Willis, C.S.M. Shaw, and a host of others.


Below is an image of "E" Coy., photographed on an unknow date in the grounds of Col. Cartwright's home in Leighswood Road, in front of an outbuilding.

 

A much more recent image of the same building, now demolished
(right).










And of the once fine residence too, in its later guise of commercial premises (above left), now all gone as well.

Mr. John Sale, a local historian, recalls seeing the Home Guard men march past his home in Leighswood Road on their way to the Stubbers Green shooting range. They would march to the canal, then along the towpath to the Wharf Canal bridge, and finally to a disused mound, a heap of red ash - a tip from a disused coalmine, near the old marl holes and on the towpath side of the canal. The ensuing Sunday morning shooting practices are well remembered and especially the Monday retrieval of spent cartridge cases from the mound, performed by the local lads!

To find references within the site to subjects mentioned above please use either the  Index of Surnames and Place Names relating to the 32nd Battalion or the general website Search facility.

Staffshomeguard would welcome any further information which visitors to the page may have; to help us add to the story of the Aldridge Home Guard, please use
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ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
The above image of the parade first appeared in the excellent BrownhillsBob's Brownhills Blog website. Grateful acknowledgement is made to "Bob"; and to David Evans and John Sale.
HG group image John Sale 2017
Modern images David Evans 2017

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D18 December 2017