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The Commanding Officer of the 3rd Staffordshire (Longton) Battalion was Lt.-Col. V.B. Shelley (left). Col. Shelley, late captain in the T.A., was the second son (and the elder of twins) of Mr. Percy Shelley who had done much to build up the company over the 50 years until his retirement in 1932 when he handed over to the next generation. Another page within this website describes how, after the Home Guard standown in December 1944, a commemorative tankard was issued, an example of which survives in the family of one of the Battalion's officers. The item was produced by the Shelley company, a pottery whose reputation for fine china was worldwide and which survived from the 1860s until the 1960s.

A collector of Home Guard memorabilia has generously provided images of an item in his collection which also has links to the Shelley family, an ashtray of high quality. This is shown below.

This object is almost certainly a second example of Col. Shelley's generosity in providing a commemorative item, produced in his own pottery, for presentation to members of his Battalion. It possibly saw a wider distribution within the Battalion, compared with the tankard which is mentioned above: this seems to have been presented only to fellow officers. And it represents another memorable and surviving reminder of the work done by the 3rd Staffordshire (Longton) Battalion in the defence of its area between 1940 and 1944 under Col. Shelley's leadership.

Col. Shelley did not live to see much of the peace which he and his men strove to achieve. He died in 1945.

Grateful acknowledgement is made to David Morse for bringing this, so far, unique item to the attention of staffshomeguard.

Ashtray images © David Morse 2013
Shelley image David Woollam 2016