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Home Guard in Nechells


master brummie
I am proud to say that Harry Poppitt was my very dear father-in-law. Born in Handsworth, he left school and went to technical school, and followed his father into engineering. His first job was with MB Wild in Nechells, and he married a Nechells girl. He was a small slight chap, but in his own mind he ws 10 feet tall. His love for his family shone out of his very being, and we will never forget his kindness and generosity.

He was barely 28 at the outbreak of World War 11, the factory which was a Civil Engineering company, was soon making bren gun carrieres so Pop was more useful there than in Europe. By that time he had become Works Manager, and gathered a team of loyal men around himself. He was the first to volunteer his services when the Home Guard were formed, although they weren't called by that name immediately. To his delight he was asked to form a company at MB Wilds, and he was to be their Captain. He was kitted out with his uniform, which included a Sam Brown, stick and a gun in its holster They were allocated a lorry, and their remit was to guard Salford Bridge, and in case of an invasion it was to be blown up. If he was telling this story he would take half an hour or more, and his voice would rise an octave as he said 'Yes Harry Poppitt would have blowed it up, make no mistake.'

The men would have followed him anywhere, but they didn't have to go far. The lorry was used to take them on 'manouvers' and as luck would have it when the trees were laden with apples and plums they would go to Worcester and do a bit of scrumping. It was also used to transport the pigs that Pop kept on a bit of allotment in Brookvale Road.

We still have his Sam Brown, hat, stick, the gunholster and a lapel badge which has MB Wild.Home Guard written on it.

His last day at the company was on a Friday in January 1985, he died on the following Monday aged 75.

God Bless you Pop.


Last post.

What a beautiful story Diana, you were so lucky to have such a wonderful person in your life and I know by reading your words how lucky he was to have you in his.
Permission to fall out Sir.........