GENERAL INFORMATION ON THE HOME GUARD    

 TYPICAL HOME GUARD HQ LOCATIONS

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Home Guard HQs seem to vary widely in terms of location and the degree of sophistication and comfort and this possibly depended on the means and facilities available to the particular unit at the time. They also appear mainly to have bedded down into acceptable and appropriate quarters over time, after the first few weeks of chaos. There was no doubt a common theme throughout the country - homes, offices, pubs, parish halls, scout huts, stables, requisitioned buildings, factory offices and so on.

One of the best documented battalions within the Home Guard was the 24th Staffordshire (Tettenhall). This battalion covered a large area of countryside in the West Midlands including some reasonably well-heeled bits of suburbia. A glance at the range of locations of its unit HQs will give a reasonable impression of what happened in many other battalions.

24th Staffordshire (Tettenhall) Battalion Locations at Stand Down

Battalion HQ: Nethy House, Wergs Road, Tettenhall

HQ Company: The Old Manor House, Old Hill, Tettenhall

"A" Company: The Gun Room, Wolverhampton Road, Codsall
                        Blanton's Tea Rooms, Codsall
     Platoon HQs:
          5 - Blanton's Tea Rooms
          6 - "Bradbourne"
          7 - Church Road
          20 - Gun Room

"B" Company: Gravell Hill, Wombourn
     Platoon HQs:
          8 - Lambs Cottage, Wombourn
          9 - Spring Hill Park, Penn
          10 The Bungalow, Smestow
          11- Congregational School Room, Swindon
          21- Women's Institute, Himley
22- Walkers Tea Rooms, Wombourn
23- The Stables, Trysull Manor, Trysull.

"C" Company: Stockwell House, Tettenhall
     Platoon HQs:
          13 - Squash Court, Whitwick Manor
          14 - Farm House, Wergs
          15 - Stockwell House
          16 - New Inns, Lower Street
          24 - Stockwell House
          26 - Farm House, Wergs

"D" Company: Pigot Arms, Pattingham
     Platoon HQs:
          17- Reading Room, Pattingham
          18- The Institute, Burnhill Green
          19- Kingswood Camp
          27- Nissen Hut, Nurton


A private in another Staffordshire battalion, the 32nd (Aldridge), describes the situation of his platoon in 1940:

"………The platoon headquarters was in a disused part of the old stable block, which opened out on to a sizeable square, useful for parades. One side contained a large garage, inside which stood two black Rolls-Royce motor cars……….The stables served as guardroom and as the platoon office, and was soon furnished with wooden wire bunks where the guard could rest when not on sentry duty. Later, a telephone was installed, and other equipment was provided as time went by……".

Where this platoon's Company HQ was at the same time is unknown. But by 1941 and after the attack on Russia it had installed itself very satisfactorily:

"…… There was no relaxation in the Home Guard, however, and the intensive training and guard duties continued as before. Around this time, the unit acquired the use of a large residence, which was standing unoccupied. Known as "The Greylands", this …….. was taken over to provide a suitable Company Headquarters. The evening training sessions on weaponry, map reading, and other skills were henceforth held here. A three-quarter sized snooker table was obtained, and set up for recreational use. In another room a well-stocked bar appeared, available for the use of members, and some of us - myself included - took on the additional rota task of bar-steward which office entailed the acquisition of useful new talents, such as how to tap and change a barrel. However, despite the leisure-time attractions now on offer, the serious business continued as before………."


 

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