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A contemporary account of an air raid on Aston, on an unknown date and involving Albert, Frederick and Victoria Roads, with which members of the 23rd Warwickshire (Birmingham) Battalion were closely concerned.



Birmingham was blitzed on many occasions, and the Home Guard did excellent work. It is a fact that officers found it harder to secure a full muster on parade when times were quiet than when there was trouble. As in other cities, the men turned out voluntarily when there was a raid, whether they were on duty or not.

'D' Company of the 23rd Warwickshire Battalion Home Guard had a typical night's work when, at 22.10 hours, a number of incendiary bombs fell in Albert, Frederick and Victoria Roads, those in Albert Road being in the immediate vicinity of C.H.Q. The Guard was immediately turned out and was joined by several N.C.O.s of the Company who had been holding a meeting at H.Q.

A bomb which was burning on the footpath a few yards away was dealt with by C.Q.M.S. Little and party, Another bomb had fallen on the top landing of No. 174 (A.R.P. Post) This was extinguished by Junior Platoon Commander (later Lt.) D. Thursfield assisted by Riflemen A. E. Lintern and G. Harrison, with the aid of 2 stirrup pumps. Meanwhile C.S.M. Walker, assisted by Rifleman K. R. Morton, was dealing with a fire-bomb at 175 opposite. Tho fire here was getting a hold, and the smoke and fumes were very bad. Morton was temporarily overcome, but soon recovered, and the C.S.M. requiring further assistance, sent Sergeant Apperley, who contacted Mr. Thursfield at 174, who took over the stirrup pump until the A.F.S. arrived.

During this time Sergeant Duffill and party dealt with a fire at 191 and then went to 182, where it was discovered that a bomb had caused a fire in the eaves of the roof. In this instance, most valuable assistance was rendered by Sergeant Harvey and Corporal Yardley, who climbed through a small aperture made in the ceiling and in dense smoke and fumes smothered the burning bomb with sand. Other bombs had fallen in the roadway and in front gardens higher up Albert Road, and Corporal Yardley and Rifleman Blocksidge dealt with these, Corporal Yardley putting one out by placing his steel helmet over it.

In Frederick Road Corporal S. J. Belcham and party dealt with bombs at Nos. 171, 175, 181 and 185. At No. 175 the fire had taken hold, but Riflemen A. Wallis and McCaskill put on gas-masks and extinguished the bomb with sand and burning bedding with water. At No. 171 the A.F.S. asked for a volunteer to enter the burning room to open a window so that a hose could be played on the fire. Rifleman A. E. Lintern put on his gas-mask and got into the burning room, but was unable to do anything further as the fire had gained too much and the floorboards were gone.