Mr David Dulson wrote a fascinating memoir
of his childhood in Small Heath, Birmingham and in Wolverhampton
for the BBC WW2 People's War Archive. This was entitled
in Birmingham and Wolverhampton, 1939-1946" and is
well worth reading in full (see link below). Within
it he makes reference to the 23rd (Wolverhampton) Battalion. An extract from this article relating to the Battalion
is reproduced below.
........My brother in law
was working for Hobsons Carburettors, designing fuel systems
for military aircraft. This was secret war work and he
was exempt from the forces, so he joined the Home Guard.
Their H.Q. was at Park Hall about a mile away from our
house. He was a lieutenant, in the 23rd Battalion.
Our house was surrounded
by fields and just a few hundred yards away were the remains
of a First World War Rifle range complete with mechanical
target holders. The Home Guard cleaned these up and got
them working again so on occasional Sunday mornings rifle
firing practice would take place and afterwards the rifles
would be handed in at our house for cleaning, before being
collected by lorry and take back to the H.Q. I found Sunday
afternoons great fun helping to strip and clean the guns,
(little did I realise how useful this would be, when I
did my National Service in 1950 as I knew more about the
Lee-Enfield rifle than the instructor did!).
One of the men in the H.G.
was a chemist and he used to make a small smoke bomb,
about the size of a tennis ball, with a flat area with
a striker pad, when this was rubbed with sand paper it
would ignite, these were used on manoeuvres as hand grenades.
Some of these manoeuvres would take place in the local
streets, another battalion from a different part of the
town would act as the enemy force, our local men would
be hiding in gardens, behind the walls, and hedges and
would be wearing green lapel markers, the enemy would
wear red tags, so I would ride around on my bike to locate
the enemy troops, and then alert our men and keep them
up to date as to the whereabouts of the enemy, as there
were no means of communication with the other groups in
the area, I used to take messages from one group to another,
which proved very useful when an attack was imminent......
This article appears within the BBC's
WW2 People's War Archive under the heading "Wartime
in Birmingham and Wolverhampton, 1939-1946"
by David Dulson. Please click on the title to read the
whole of this memoir in its original setting.
WW2 People's War is an online archive of wartime memories
contributed by members of the public and gathered by the
BBC. The archive can be found at www.bbc.co.uk/ww2peopleswar.
Grateful acknowledgement is made to the BBC and to the
author for the creation of this record under terms which
permit its reproduction on this website.