MEMORIES AND INFORMATION - WARWICKSHIRE HOME GUARD
 
46th WARWICKSHIRE (BIRMINGHAM) BATTN.
HANDSWORTH

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The 46th Warwickshire (Birmingham) Battalion had a responsibility for the defence of areas of Handsworth. Of its five Companies "B" Coy. was the factory unit of ICI Metals Ltd. - Kynoch Works, the main factory devoted to ICI's metals interests and situated on a vast site on the eastern edge of the Battalion's territory. (Other pages of the website give further information about this unit and the factory which it defended - see below).

At stand-down in December 1944 The Battalion's officers were as follows:

An image survives of what appears to have been a parade of at least part of the Battalion. The date would have been late 1943 or 1944. Most of the officers listed above would have been present but the only names so far linked to faces are those of Lt. E. Long, M.M., of "B" Coy. who is standing in the third rank, first file on the left after the band; and Major H. Cann, C.O. of "B" Coy. who is first main rank, 4th from left (between the two officers at the forefront). The officer in battledress looking directly at the camera is probably Lt.-Col. C.W.P. Blackmore, M.C., Battalion C.O.

The precise location of this event has been identified with the generous help of a visitor to this website who advises that it was taken at WITTON BARRACKS. Part of the KYNOCH (ICI Metals) buildings are shown at the rear of the photo and the houses are in Witton Road. The larger building after the houses is a Billiard Hall. Some time after the war the Post Office Telephones (GPO and later BT) used the old barracks as one of their centres. The land now is part of Aston Villa F.C.  

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(One wonders what the significance was of the little group in the background to the right: men in civvies, standing in a line formally at ease and one or two uniformed HG men with them. New recruits perhaps? Or serving Home Guards who couldn't get home from their working shift in time to change and participate in the parade?)


MORE INFORMATION ABOUT "B" Coy. OF THIS BATTALION
Kynoch Works Home Guard - main page
     Kynoch Works Home Guard - a 1942 report   
Kynoch Works Home Guard and Lt. E. Long
Kynoch Works Home Guard (a 1944 image)
and also
 Kynoch Works - air raids
 History of Kynoch Works 1862-2008
Kynoch Works WW2 War Memorial
Kynoch People - 1961
Kynoch Site Images - 1961


We make grateful acknowledgement to Gerry Long for this information and his generous permission for its publication; and also to Ted Rudge for help in establishing the location of the parade pictured above - his local history website is: Winson Green to Brookfields.   

Images © Gerry Long 2010

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