AND INFORMATION - WARWICKSHIRE
COLDFIELD HOME GUARD
Lt. H.E. PEARCE and
is a page within the www.staffshomeguard.co.uk website.
see full contents, go to SITE
The area of Sutton Coldfield
was the responsibility of the 6th Warwickshire (Sutton)
In 1941 the Battalion was commanded by Lt.
Col. W. Bigwood, M.C.,
late of the Indian Army. The officially recorded list of
serving officers at that time is far from complete but it
Green, J. Iveson, H.E. Pearce and J.H.
Clark, W.A. Butterfield, S.V. Allton, C. Windsor, W.A.
Kean, J. Irwin,
D.G. Young and
lived on the corner of Four Oaks Road and Streetly Lane,
adjacent to Burcot Grange School. There are group
images of this Battalion to be found on the pages
devoted to another officer mentioned below.
names who are remembered
include Cpl. Peter Geoffrey Bate
diary of 1941), Capt.
John R. Brosch,
Cpl. Douglas Thomas and Sgt. William Thornton,;
and, of unknown rank, Messrs. G.W. Bingham, W.
Garner, Dennis Hood, Hammond, Killick, F.
Norton, Saveker ?, Slater, "Mac" Webb and
Eric Westrup. (Click the links to read the story of those individuals elsewhere in this website).
further officer was Lt. Rupert
L. Thomas of 37 Walsall Road, Four Oaks. Like
so many of his Home Guard comrades, this officer, sometime
Captain in a Welsh regiment, was a survivor of the Western
Front. He joined the LDV in the earliest days and became
a platoon commander, responsible for the area around Wishaw.
In addition to his skills and experience he brought with
him his service revolver and just two rounds of ammunition,
to supplement the Battalion's inadequate armoury. For the
rest of his Home Guard service Rupert Thomas was known by
his comrades as "Two-Shots Thomas". The Company
HQ of his unit was within a disused pub on the corner of
Tamworth Road and Whitehouse Common Road.
We are very pleased to have
received from Mr. G.W.A. Pearce, late of Sutton Coldfield,
a fascinating memory of another member of this Battalion,
his late father, Lt. Harold E.
Pearce. We reproduce it below with the author's
father, Harold E. Pearce, born on 18th June 1893, won a
scholarship to Bishop Vesey's Grammar School and was there
from about 1903 until 1909. Thereafter he had served in
WW I but being too old for Army service in WWII had volunteered
at once when the Local Defence Volunteers, LDV, was formed,
which was soon renamed the Home Guard.
He is pictured right
in 1940 in the denim uniform which started to be issued
to Home Guards at the end of May, long before full battledress
became available towards the end of the year.
We lived at 40 Beacon
Road, Boldmere at that time and almost at once he was appointed
as Musketry Officer for the local Battalion, as a Lieutenant.
He was a self-employed accountant and auditor by day and
did his Home Guard parades or duties on many evenings, including
weapon training sessions, and guard duties at the Light
Alloy Co Ltd, a company making aluminium parts for aircraft,
at, I think, Minworth, near Walmley. He also attended a
short course on the Blacker Bombard or Spigot Mortar, a
device for projecting a rugger ball sized bomb with a long
hollow tube tail, from a heavy metal spigot, about 2 inches
diameter and 3 feet long.
I remember him bringing
home a Browning automatic rifle, to find out how to strip
and reassemble it, before instructing the Battalion on it.
I have a vague idea that the Battalion HQ was in Hartopp
A good friend of his
in the Home Guard was Jim Iveson......
© G.W.A. Pearce 2007