MEMORIES AND INFORMATION
relating to Home Guard units in


WORCESTERSHIRE

This is a page within the www.staffshomeguard.co.uk website. To see full contents, go to SITE MAP.
The most recent addition was on 11th September 2016.

 

This page includes memories of and miscellaneous information about WORCESTERSHIRE units ONLY.
(Places below are listed alphabetically on the basis of 1940s county boundaries).

BLAKEDOWN - BROADWAYBROMSGROVE -COOKHILL - CRABBS CROSS - DUDLEY - EVESHAM - HAGLEY - HARBORNE, QUINTON and OLDBURY - HEADLESS CROSS - HEWELL - KIDDERMINSTER - OLDBURY - PERSHORE - QUINTON - REDDITCH - WARLEY - WEBHEATH - WORCESTER

 

(Similar pages are available elsewhere dealing with The 32nd (Aldridge) Battalion and units in Shropshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire and All Other Counties.

Contributions from visitors are warmly welcomed - and, please, an alert on any non-functioning link.
Use FEEDBACK if you have material you would like to appear here. 
        

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BLAKEDOWN
Mr. R. Hobson records a brief memory of his father's Home Guard service:

"My father was in the local platoon of the Home Guard in 1940, which was known as the Local Defence Volunteers (L.D.V.). I used to follow them around and about Blakedown with my friends. We hid in the bracken in the local woods and watched them training, they never spotted us."

© R. Hobson 2004    (This memory originally appeared in the BBC WW2 People's War Archive.  WW2 People's War is an online archive of wartime memories contributed by members of the public and gathered by the BBC. The complete archive can be found at www.bbc.co.uk/ww2peopleswar. You will leave this site).

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BROADWAY
In an interesting memoir entitled "A Wartime Childhood in Worcestershire" Mr. Don Davies recalls a particular act of bravery by a group of local Home Guards. (You will leave this site).

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BROMSGROVE
The Bromsgrove Home Guard, the 2nd Worcestershire (Bromsgrove) Battalion, clearly had not only the Germans to contend with.



(Grateful acknowledgement to Matt Felkin and his "Wartime Birmingham and the Blitz" Facebook page.
Added Nov. 2015)

This tankard was presented by officers of Bromsgrove Home Guard, the 2nd Worcestershire (Bromsgrove) Battalion, to its Adjutant, a serving officer in the Regular Army who is being transferred to pastures new.  The inscription reads as follows:


Presented to
CAPTAIN N. MORRISON
by the officers of the
2nd WORCESTERSHIRE (BROMSGROVE) BATTALION HOME GUARD
on the termination of
HIS APPOINTMENT AS ADJUTANT
April 20th 1943.


(Grateful acknowledgement to Donald Walker) 
Added Feb 2016

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COOKHILL
An excellent description of the activities of the Cookhill platoon within "D" Coy., 9th Worcestershire (Redditch) Home Guard Battalion can be read by clicking on the title above. The article has been written by Mike Johnson who is researching the activities of this Battalion as a whole and will welcome further information on it. Extensive use has been made of the reminiscences of a former member of the platoon, Mr. Egbert Ganderton.
See also REDDITCH below.

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CRABBS CROSS and adjoining villages
Click on the above title to read a fascinating article by Mike Johnson on the subject of
"C" Coy., 9th Worcestershire (Redditch) Home Guard Battalion. This Company defended Crabbs Cross, Headless Cross, Hewell and Webheath. It draws on the memories of two surviving members of the Company, Mr. Bill Preece and Mr. Albert Wharrad. The article is a companion piece to that describing the nearby Cookhill unit.
See also REDDITCH below.

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DUDLEY
Members of the Dudley Home Guard, (the 3rd Worcestershire (Dudley) Battalion and including Sgt. Joseph William Wesson) at a weekend camp at Kinver in 1942.
Added May 2015

Another participant of the 1942 weekend camp at Kinver was Maj. W.J. Adair.
Added January 2016

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EVESHAM
Joan Boulton remembers for the BBC People's War Archive an incident from her father's Home Guard service:

"My Father was a member of the Home Guard in Evesham. One night when he was on duty a land mine came down on a parachute. It failed to explode. The area was evacuated & the bomb disposal team were called presumably on a field telephone. Does anyone recall this incident?

© Joan Boulton 2003    If you wish to read the above in its original setting, the BBC's People's War Archive, please click here.    (You will leave this site.  WW2 People's War is an online archive of wartime memories contributed by members of the public and gathered by the BBC. The complete archive can be found at www.bbc.co.uk/ww2peopleswar.)

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HAGLEY
A photograph of the Hagley Home Guard can be seen here. The page also includes information on two of its members: Harry Harper and Jack Holyoake......

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HARBORNE, QUINTON and OLDBURY
The memories of Mr. Dennis Nash who was a gunner in an AA unit, known as The Stonehouse Gang. (You will leave this site).

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HEADLESS CROSS
Please refer to Crabbs Cross above.

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Mr. Charles Lucas was a member of the Headless Cross Home Guard unit commanded by Mr. Phillip Terry, of Terry's Springs. For further information, click here. (You will leave this site).

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HEWELL
Please refer to Crabbs Cross above.

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KIDDERMINSTER
This page records some 70 names of the many who served in the
6th Worcestershire (Kidderminster) Battalion.
Added September 2016

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OLDBURY
The headstone in Lodge Hill Cemetery of Vol. H. W. Richards, Bsc., of the 8th Worcestershire (Oldbury) Battalion who died on 14th July 1941 at the age of 41 years. He was the husband of Evelyn Alice Richards of Moreton, Shropshire.

 


Grateful acknowledgement to Maggie Laity; and to Matt Felkin and his "Wartime Birmingham and the Blitz" Facebook page.
Added July 2015

 



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PERSHORE
In The Home Guard defend the A 44 road from German Invaders Mr. Alan Meikle describes the defence of Pershore:

"Most of the men left behind on our farm were in reserved occupations so most of them joined the LDV and then the Home Guard as it became later. We provided most of the training weapons, pitchforks, axe handles. And hoes were used before proper firearms arrived. Being a hopfarm we had an abundance of long poles and heavy wires. The poles were used in the flat fields outside Pershore, (also at Upton ) to provide obstructions to any gliders that might land. The wire had a more deadly use.

At the corner of our front orchard at the cross roads at Wick on the A 44 a defensive trench was dug, behind it attached to a tree was one of the coils of wire .The idea was that when a German motorcyclist was driving along the road from Evesham, one of the men would run out across the road and attach the wire to a tree opposite at the right height to decapitate the motor cyclist. How did they know whether it was a German or a local who was coming along the road? Well we had about ¾ of a mile of road frontage towards Evesham, so scouts were to be posted along the hedge that would shout out whether it was a friend or foe. Thankfully no Germans ever came our way. If they had got past our defence line they would have met a 6lb ant-tank gun sided in the south side of Pershore Bridge, (now converted to a pumping station for Pershore College) and the Bridge itself was to have been blown."

© Alan Meikle 2005    To read the memoir in its original setting, the BBC's excellent People's War Archive, please click here. (You will leave this site.  WW2 People's War is an online archive of wartime memories contributed by members of the public and gathered by the BBC. The complete archive can be found at www.bbc.co.uk/ww2peopleswar.)

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QUINTON (See WARLEY below, also HARBORNE, Quinton and Oldbury above)

For information on the 12th Worcestershire (Warley) Battalion, please go to WARLEY below.

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REDDITCH
Please see Cookhill and Crabbs Cross above.

An excellent new book was published in February 2009 entitled "The Redditch Home Guard 1940-1945". Further information is available here.

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WARLEY (see also QUINTON)

The 12th Worcestershire (Warley) Battalion issued a commemorative booklet after stand-down in December, 1944. A Souvenir of Friendship contains a brief history of the Battalion and images of many of the men who served.
Added January 2016
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For a further good description of the 12th Worcestershire (Warley) Battalion which mentions many names and places, click here. (You will leave this site).

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More personal reminiscences about the 12th Worcestershire and in particular the Danilo Platoon may be read on a separate, illustrated page of this website. Pte. Geoff Cradock was a member of that platoon and tells of the building of a fortified HQ in the cinema carpark and also of the fund-raising film show put on there in August 1940 for which he and his comrades formed the Guard of Honour.

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Magnified images showing members of the 12th Worcestershire can be seen here. Several are of excellent quality. One, fully captioned, shows the officers and senior NCOs at "High Tor",
Perry Hill Road, Warley, on Sunday, 15th October 1944. Other show members of the constituent Companies in the Battalion on unknown dates at various locations in the area.
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Appearing on one of the above images, that showing members of
"D" Coy. 12th Worcestershire (Warley) Battalion in 1944, is Harry Mac Leod Kay. Mac Kay's story can be read here.
Added March 2015
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This page recounts something about the service of Leslie Pierson of Quinton, and of his friend Norman Ray, who were members of a local battalion, either the 12th Worcestershire (Warley) or the 5th Worcestershire (Halesowen) Battalions. Both men appear in a group image together with a number of other officers. Added March 2015

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WEBHEATH
Please refer to Crabbs Cross above.

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WORCESTER

In the winter of 1943 a major weekend exercise took place when the Worcester City Battalion under the command of Lt.-Col. V.N. Johnson successfully defended the city against attacks from units of the 30th and 41st Warwickshire Battalions, under the command of Col. N.Y. Blacker and comprising men fron Moseley, Stratford-upon-Avon and Redditch. This is how the magazine "Defence" reported it in its March 1943 issue.
(Acknowledgement to the magazine "Defence" and to Mick Ackrill).

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Mr. Bob Gammon remembers his Home Guard service for the BBC People's Archive:

"I was at junior school and had lost my mom at 6 years old. I had been pushed from family to family and left school at 13. I was at Pershore Senior School and I had joined the ATC. I went right through the training and failed the final medical on my eyesight. I was very upset because I had loved this way of life; we had trained with the Wellington Bombers all along the coastline.
So in the early 1940’s I joined the Home Guard at Worcester. I did all the basic training with them. I didn’t want to sit around and my heart was set on the forces but it wasn’t to be.
So the Home Guard was the next best thing. We did have the advantage of going on training days. We also had the same basic training and armoury training as the Regular Army but I should have liked to have had better eyes! Then I could have followed my ambition fully."

© Bob Gammon 2005     To read this memoir in its original setting, the BBC's excellent People's War Archive, please click here. You will leave this site.  WW2 People's War is an online archive of wartime memories contributed by members of the public and gathered by the BBC. The complete archive can be found at www.bbc.co.uk/ww2peopleswar.)

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Mr. Eric Barker recalls an amusing factory incident:

"During the war I worked at Heenan and Froude and I joined the Home Guard. One Sunday we were due to parade in the city, led by one of the bosses. We assembled in the back of the Factory ready to march, not realising that the boys from the Metal Box had called the previous night and placed a boulder in the middle of the entrance to the yard. The boss gave the order to march and strode out, passing the boulder and the Home Guard platoon found it difficult to get through, some climbed over the boulder and resumed marching.
On the Monday we were told to assemble and the boss said he would sack the ones responsible, which was impossible because they worked for the Metal Box."

© Eric Barker 2004     To read this memoir in its original setting, the BBC's excellent People's War Archive, please click here. You will leave this site.  WW2 People's War is an online archive of wartime memories contributed by members of the public and gathered by the BBC. The complete archive can be found at www.bbc.co.uk/ww2peopleswar.)

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Grateful acknowledgement for badge images to Stanley C. Jenkins

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