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MEMORIES AND INFORMATION - STAFFORDSHIRE HOME GUARD

 13th STAFFORDSHIRE (CANNOCK) BATTN.

THE CANNOCK HOME GUARD
SUMMARY PAGE


13th STAFFORDSHIRE (CANNOCK) BATTN.
The 13th Staffordshire Battalion, commanded by Lt.-Col. H. V. Mander, M.C., (see image), was responsible for Cannock and adjacent areas. This page gives information on the Battalion's area of responsibility, on how it was organised and on its published history; and some additional information.

Much of the surviving information about this Battalion's activities comes from a rare 1945 unit history entitled The 13th Bn. North Staffordshire Regiment, Home Guard, 1940-1944. This book is reproduced in its entirety on six associated website pages. Please see The 13th Battalion History further down the page.


THE BATTALION AREA

The Cannock Battalion's area included, in addition to the town itself:
Boney Hay, Bradley, Bridgtown, Calf Heath, Chadsmoor, Chase Terrace, Chasetown, Cheslyn Hay, Churchbridge, Coppenhall, Dunston, Featherstone, Four Crosses, Gailey, Gentleshaw, Great Wyrley, Hanley, Hatherton, Heath Hayes, Hednesford, Huntington, Landywood, Leacroft Colliery, Levedale, Littleworth, Newtown, Norton Canes, Penkridge, Pillaton, Pottall Pool, Pye Green, Rawnsley, Shareshill, The Saredons, Teddesley, Wedges Mills, Whittimoors, The Wilkin, Wimblebury.

This is a map of the Battalion area, based on information so far available.  Some of the boundaries are conjectural. It demonstrates the area of responsibility of three of the five Companies. It also shows Companies of adjacent battalions: the 14th Staffordshire (Stafford) Battalion and the 25th Staffordshire (Brewood) Battalion. To the north-east, the adjoining battalion will have been the 12th Staffordshire (Rugeley) Battalion; to the south-west, the 32nd Staffordshire (Aldridge) Battalion; and to the south, the 20th Staffordshire (Wolverhampton) Battalion.


Click on the map for a higher definition version

BATTALION ORGANISATION

The Battalion comprised four Companies, "A"-"D", each responsible for a specific area within the Battalion; and a further HQ Company with  specialised responsibilities for the entire Battalion. The four geographically based Companies were further sub-divided into Platoons, each responsible for a smaller area, such as a village. H.Q. Company was divided into specialist sections.

These were the area of responsibility of each of the Companies:

"A": Cannock and the area to the south-west, including Calf's Heath, Cheslyn Hay, Featherstone, Four Crosses, Great Wyrley, Landywood, Newtown, the Saredons, Shareshill.

"B": Penkridge, Huntington and areas in the north-west.

"C": Areas to the north and north-east of the town including Gentleshaw, Heath Hayes, Hednesford, Littleworth, Norton Canes, Pye Green and Rawnsley.

"D": Boney Hay, Chase Town, Chase Terrace and the Wilkin area of Watling Street, Brownhills.

"H.Q.": all areas, likely to have been based in Cannock and with responsibilities in the town itself.


HISTORY OF
THE 13th NORTH STAFFORDSHIRE REGIMENT,
HOME GUARD, 1940-1944

Much of the surviving information about this Battalion's activities comes from a rare 1945 unit history entitled The 13th Bn. North Staffordshire Regiment, Home Guard, 1940-1944. This book is reproduced in its entirety on six associated website pages, as follows (please click on individual links):

THE 13TH Bn. NORTH STAFFORDSHIRE REGIMENT
HOME GUARD


Pages 1-15:  Introduction and General Information
Foreword - Lt.-Col H. Vivian Mander, M.C. (image) - Battalion Record - Early Organisation - Battalion Defence Schemes - Disposition of Strengths and Weapons - Exercises: "Coal", "Parker", "GAM" and others - Weapon Training - Cadres - Demonstrations - Battle Drill - Camps - Training Competitions - Courses of Instruction and Strength Analysis - Field Firing
.....and the name of many individuals


Pages 16-23:  "A" Company, also Medical
(Cannock and the area to the south-west, including Calf's Heath, Cheslyn Hay, Featherstone, Four Crosses, Great Wyrley, Landywood, Newtown, the Saredons, Shareshill)
"A" Company Shooting Competitions No. 1 Platoon Attack on a Bridge No. 2 Platoon - No. 3 Platoon - No. 4 Platoon Home Guard Women Auxiliaries Equipping a Recruit Do You Remember? Do You Know? Medical A.M.L.O. Films
.....and the name of many individuals

Pages 24-29:  "B" Company, also "'I' Hi-Lites"
(Penkridge, Huntington and areas in the north-west)
"B" Company Early Days First Duties Quarters and Changes Training Liaison Social Organisation Operational Role Stand Down Training Note "B" Company Claim 9 and 10 Platoons "B" Company in Camp 7 Platoon 8 Platoon 6 Platoon Hanley Exercise "The" Company Intelligence And An Old Soldier Too
.....and the name of many individuals

Pages 30-41:  "C" Company, also Gas
(Areas to the north and north-east of Cannock including Gentleshaw, Heath Hayes, Hednesford, Littleworth, Norton Canes, Pye Green and Rawnsley)
"C" Company Our Beginning Taking Shape Changes and Arming Camps Memories (including the tragic accident in June 1942) Missing from Home Battalion Officers, October 1944 (image) "The Home Guard" 12 Platoon 13 Platoon 14 Platoon 15 Platoon 16 Platoon 17 Platoon 18 Platoon "P.A.D." Do You Remember? Exercise "Brin" "C" Company Flashes On Exercise Cinderella Section The "I's and Ears of "C" Company" "C" Company Officers' Mess - Gas - "I" Hi-Lites - H.G. Women Auxiliaries
.....and the name of many individuals

Pages 42-51:  "D" Company, also "D" Day Diary
(Boney Hay, Chase Town, Chase Terrace and the Wilkin area of Watling Street, Brownhills)
"D" Company Early Days "Do Something" Observation Posts Finding Quarters Duties Equipment and Training Instructors and Camps Sirens Ceremonial Parades Specialist Training Exercises Call Out Alarms Night Ops. Quiz POWs Training Generally Sport and Social To Sum Up First Impressions of the Home Guard South Coast Holiday "D" Day Diary
.....and the name of many individuals


Pages 52-68:  "H.Q." Company, also Roll of Honour, Stand-Down
(All areas, probably based in Cannock and with responsibilities in the town itself)
"H.Q." Company In Lighter Vein: Good Spots, Impossibilities, Bad Spots, The Best Story Battle Drill 24 Platoon Orderly Room, HQ Company Interview Who Goes There? 27 Platoon They Also Serve 26 Platoon Summer Training Camps Battle Drill Demonstrations Ammo A Car Joins the Home Guard Chaplains Do You Know? Do You Remember? Battalion Signals (image) Battalion Intelligence (image) Signals Rifle Competitions Pioneer Section Tailpiece For Absent Comrades Awards Roll of Honour The Early Days Final London Ceremonial Parade Stand Down Activities
.....and the name of many individuals


FURTHER INFORMATION ON THIS BATTALION

- Magnified images
- Information on the tragic circumstances of the training accident on 29th June 1942

In Memory of
ALL MEMBERS OF
THE CANNOCK HOME GUARD

13th Staffordshire (Cannock) Battalion
Home Guard  1940-1944

including

John William Borton
(Wednesbury)
Victor Leslie Bradbury
(late R.F.A.)
Arthur Cashmore
Bert Cashmore
Cyril Edmunds
(Great Wyrley)
Percival Manifold
(Chadsmoor)
Leonard Morris
Harold Palmer
G. Perks, Cpl. ("C" Coy.)
Kenneth Desmond Tonks
(Bridgtown)
Leslie Daniel Vernon
George Watkiss

All still remembered in the 21st Century

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
Grateful acknowledgement is made to the mainly unknown authors and publishers of  "The 13th Bn. North Staffordshire Regiment, Home Guard, 1940-1944" and it is hoped that they would have been pleased to see their words finding a new and wider audience in the third decade of the 21st century; to Austin J. Ruddy and his Remember Britain's Home Guard Facebook page; to John Carter for a copy of parts of an original HG map on which the above map is based; and to all those who have made known to staffshomeguard the name of a relative who served in this Battalion.

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x175A - June 2020