| now average one
in fifteen nights compared with one in six previously.
Our third birthday approaches. We have a long training
programme ahead, new tasks, new tactics and new weapons.
Parade attendances are still excellent after three difficult
years, and the same spirit evident in 1940 is still present.
We class ourselves as trained troops and ready to tackle
Our first intimation of impending change comes with a call
for volunteers for heavy anti-aircraft. A battery of 3.7's
has been set up in the area and the Company is the nearest
infantry unit. The appeal meets with little success, only
about four men volunteering. Despite the strenuous efforts
of the C.O., summary orders are issued from "higher
up" that 100 men from the Company (120 strong) will
be transferred compulsorily to A.A. immediately, and this
wipes out the platoon. The only exceptions to the order
are a small cadre for rebuilding the blitzed company and
a few odd men whose civil work is inconvenient for meeting
the rigid demands of A.A. The Brigadier commanding area
A.A. defences attends a parade and addresses the Company
on the necessity for the transfer, sugaring the pill with
exemplary skill. And so thirty of our excellent infantry
regretfully transfer to A.A. with the grace and goodwill
expected of good sportsmen.
At that point this story ends. It is very
incomplete: how can one in a few hundred words adequately
convey even in outline the picture of the tremendous activity,
the thought and the effort expended by members of the force
during those dark days. It has attempted to put on record
brief references to three years' hard work by a typical
H.G. platoon. It tells of over 60,000 active hours of spare-time
intensive training and operational duty by a platoon of
busy men, whose total strength never exceeded forty-two.
It gives the lie to the "humourists" who suggest
that the Home Guard is a social affair.