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ERDINGTON & Home Guard

a s wood

master brummie
Does anyone have any knowledge re Erdington Home Guard. My Gt Uncle was an officer and lived in Erdington. I know that he was involved in an attack on Alleyne Rd Erdington, helping with the rescue.
thankyou
 

jennyann

master brummie
Staff member
A S Home---Your post sent me looking for information of the Home Guard during WW2. I haven't found anything specific about where the headquarters were for Erdington but there was a divisional headquarters in Ward End, where the group took over the whole of Ward End Hall after the LDV (Home Guard) was formed. There is a site which is being built up regarding the Home Guard in Britain. Just hit the pictures and you will find general info there. I found the Rationing lists very interesting:Aah:
https://www.home-guard.org.uk/

My grandfather was almost arrested by the Stockland Green contingent of the Home Guard, when he was caught with a torch in our house at night and the windows in one part of the house were without blackout. The story is on this forum.
 

ChrisM

Super Moderator
Staff member
a s wood...........

I endorse jennyann's suggestion of the homeguard.org website which provides much information on the Home Guard as a whole - weapons, units, awards etc., etc.

There's another site which attempts to tell the story of individual units and its members here: www.staffshomeguard.co.uk. Within that website there is information on a number of West Midlands units - a lot on the Streetly/Little Aston/Aldridge/Pelsall Battalion and some on several Birmingham units as well as Sutton Coldfield's. Aston, Nechells, Witton, Harborne etc. all get a mention but not, so far, Erdington. But that could always change!

To see the Birmingham information, navigate through the site from the SITE MAP page to OTHER HG UNITS PAGES - WARWICKSHIRE.
To see a list of useful Home Guard websites and further reading, GENERAL PAGES - LINKS
For some comment on tracing individuals, GENERAL PAGES - GUESTBOOK.

If you would like to post your great-uncle's name I will look to see if there is any obvious record of him. As he was an officer there is a reasonable chance.



jennyann....

You say: My grandfather was almost arrested by the Stockland Green contingent of the Home Guard....The story is on this forum. Where please?

Staffshomeguard is always on the lookout for new material about West Midlands HG units, and particularly their members, in an attempt to commemorate those who served before they are completely forgotten. The most recent addition is based on memories and information generously provided by a member of this very forum, Di.Poppitt, in the section Warwickshire - Birmingham, Nechells. Any contribution from you (or any other forum member), even if we are only talking about small snippets of information, would be warmly welcomed.


Chris
 

jennyann

master brummie
Staff member
Here is the item Chris. A true story and when you think about it the Home Guard had every reason to check out the situation. Hidson Road is at the top of Woolmore Road off Marsh Hill and in a direct line with the ex-ICI site and also the G.E.C. that was in Electric Avenue, Witton. The German bombers flew over our house very often but I don`t think either of those factories took a bomb hit. I remember all the buildings next to the canal going towards Witton on the Holford Road side were painted with camouflage.


The Home Front
My Mother's Father, John had moved in with my father and mother during the war. He was living in Brantley Road Witton and then moved to Hidson Road, Marsh Hill. Although there was an Anderson shelter in the garden the favourite spot was in the pantry close to the stairs where my Mother her first born son and her Father shoehorned in whilst Hitler's bombers looked for the ICI and GEC.

My Father was often holed up in Bournville Power Station hoping that Gerry hadn't got that station on their list for several nights or that he wasn't blown off his bike as he cycled the many miles from Erdington to Bournville and back. He slept under a heavy wooden table when on night shift with only a cat and mice for companions.
I was on the way in l941 and my Mother knitted furiously in the bomb raids to prepare for my birth. Mother told me how frightened she was most of the time especially after that menace Lord Haw Haw would spell out local targets for that evenings bombing via the radio.

My Grandfather was very restless. He was 80 years old. Mom and Dad removed the bulbs from the landing and hall lights. The large long window on the stairs then didn't have to have any black out since everyone used shaded torches to find their way around on the stairs and in the hall.

Grandfather had his own torch and frequently used to get up in the night to make tea. He was unsteady on the stairs and would flash his torch around all over the place on his way to the kitchen. My parents didn't know about this and one night there was a loud knock on the front door. The head of local patrol officers told my parents that for several nights strange darting lights had been seen coming from our landing window and were going straight up into the sky. The officer wanted to know what was going on. It some time before it was realized that Grandfather was the culprit....almost accused of signalling to the German aeroplanes that came over frequently. All was sorted out and a blackout curtain was hastily made for the landing window!!!
 

ChrisM

Super Moderator
Staff member
in a direct line with the ex-ICI site and also the G.E.C. that was in Electric Avenue, Witton. The German bombers flew over our house very often but I don`t think either of those factories took a bomb hit.
Thanks, jennyann, a great story!

I'm not sure about GEC but ICI/Kynoch definitely did get clobbered. By good fortune casualties were low, unlike some factories, but the attacks were real enough. There is some information on them in the same Home Guard website, here.

Chris
 

a s wood

master brummie
Erdington Home Guard

Hi Chris
My Uncles name was William Matthews and he lived in Belvedere Rd. He fought in WW1 and was awarded MM and Bar.
regards
Amanda
 

ChrisM

Super Moderator
Staff member
Thanks, Amanda.

Lt. W. Matthews, M.M., is listed within a record I have, together with 29 other officers all serving in the 31st Warwickshire (Birmingham) Battalion of the Home Guard. The record lists officers as of 1st February 1941 and so it is very likely that your great-uncle was in from the very beginning (May/June 1940).

I'm glad we have found him. Do you have anything more on his Home Guard service? (I'd be happy to give him a mention on the staffshomeguard website).

Chris
 

a s wood

master brummie
Hello Chris
thank you for that. What record/list do you have?
Can I get any information from anywhere else?
What kind of information would you like re my Uncle?
regards
Amanda
 

ChrisM

Super Moderator
Staff member
Amanda......

The information came from the 1941 Home Guard List which records all officers serving in the Home Guard at that time. No other information, regrettably, except for the Battalion to which they were attached.

Finding out much more is a real problem. The question arises quite often: "How do I find out more about Dad's/Grandad's Home Guard service?" The answer is unfortunately "with very great difficulty". I've attempted to put down some guidelines here which might help you and future visitors to this thread. This includes details of the List we've used on this occasion.

With regard to the staffshomeguard website, what I try to do is collect any information which is available about an individual in the West Midlands units. There is so little information around that it is worthwhile just putting in something like "Bill Smith served in the 25th Warwickshire Battalion in the Nechells area from 1940-44" At least then Bill Smith's name is there if anyone is looking into the Nechells Home Guard in the future. And he will be Googleable.

What is better still of course is when someone can provide all sorts of further information, anecdotes, images, documentation etc. A good recent example of this is a page produced from information from a leading member of this forum who had a lot of information and was generous enough to let me use it.

So the short answer to your question is - anything you've got!

Chris
 
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