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Home Guard

ChrisM

Super Moderator
Staff member
Thanks for that interesting picture, rocketron. Do you have any idea of the location? It should be possible to pin it down because of the fairly distinctive building, top right.

Also, anything on the date? In the absence of that information, one can see that the group, possibly the best part of an entire battalion, is almost certainly about to set out on a formal parade through the surrounding streets. It even includes a band which may consist of regular Army personnel. Such parades often took place on the May anniversary of the founding of the Home Guard which was celebrated each year with some pomp and ceremony, partly as a public relations exercise. Despite that, however, and despite the fact that the men are not wearing greatcoats, it looks to me as though this was not a summer image. What vegetation there is in the background looks bare and also the small group of civilians to the right (being chatted to by another Home Guard) look as though they may be wearing overcoats.

It is worth noting that in the foreground almost all of the officers are wearing Great War service ribbons. In addition the commanding officer has the insignia of an RFC/RAF observer. This might have helped identify the group but unfortunately at least three of the 30+ Birmingham Home Guard battalions were commanded by ex-RAF personnel. (These battalions were based in King's Norton and Acocks Green and the third was a Birmingham City Transport Battalion and so none of them really fits, I assume).

If you have any further information it would be very interesting to hear it.

Chris
 

ChrisM

Super Moderator
Staff member
I was probably being a bit too pernickety, Sylvia, and also writing in shorthand.

What I am really asking rocketron is whether the image could be located at a precise spot in the Perry Barr area; and whether the 1940 mention in the image caption was a guess or whether any more specific information is available. If it was 1940, it would be very late in the year; and one's gut feeling is that it could be of a later date.

Chris
 

Astoness

TRUE BRUMMIE MODERATOR
Staff member
morning chris..i am just flicking through some back copies of the brummagem mag....one dated 2004 is showing a story and three pics of the home quard lads dressed in german uniform practising their stuff....the locations are poss aston or lozells..the writer of the story cant be sure where they were taken but his dad was amongst those in the pic..there is a street sign on one of them and maybe zooming in can determine the location....you may have these pics already but just in case shall i scan them for you and post....

lyn:)
 

Astoness

TRUE BRUMMIE MODERATOR
Staff member
here you go chris...page one...the street or road sign is on the wall of the first pic..would be good to confirm where it was...
 

Astoness

TRUE BRUMMIE MODERATOR
Staff member
chris...if you double click on the pics then once again it becomes much clearer...but you probably already know this....:D:D
 

Ray Barrett

GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN R.I.P.
Chris,
Perry Barr park was the home of the home guard mentioned. They were equipped with 64 rocket launchers,manned by the regulars during the day and the home guard at night.They did their basic training at Kingstanding drill hall,and then sent to gun sites all over the country to gain experience.
The launchers were calibrated to stop enemy planes reaching Birmingham.
As a point of interest,the old nissen huts used to house the home guard,were,after the war,used as homes by homeless families,they just set up home as squatters.
 

ChrisM

Super Moderator
Staff member
Thanks, Ray, for that firm identification.

Lyn....despite the reference to Aston and Lozells, my gut feeling is that it could have something to do with this, the Birmingham Street Fighting School training area: https://www.staffshomeguard.co.uk/DotherReminiscences60ABhamFightingSchool.htm

The area in question, at the same time as being ideal for that sort of exercise, was also the place where a number of HG training films were shot. One of these I have seen includes a complete section of "German" troops (to demonstrate the formation of such a section and the function and armament of individual members of it); and also an assault on a house containing a number of "enemy" defenders. I wonder if any of the other films includes footage of the particular incidents shown in these stills. Of course it could all be as Professor Chinn suggests, part of the 1941 exercise which predates the formation of the School but I'm a bit surprised if they would have gone to all the trouble at that time of kitting out one section of a presumably large attacking or defending force in authentic kit.

Chris
 
W

Wendy

Guest
Thanks petal it has been posted before but it's nice to see it again!:)
 
D

doris

Guest
My mate JKC (John Colin)....has all the names of the Birmingham City Transport home guard...plus some photo's of them.....I will see if I can get him to send me a few....it might be a while before I can post them if he will allow me to.....
 
N

Neville Philpott

Guest
My late cousins husband was in the Home Guard, although i believe he was actually born in Germany.

I bet he didn't have the easiest of times with that background.


regards Neville..
 
D

DGreaves

Guest
How can i find out the records of Birming ham Home Guards,my Dad was in 23rd batt.
in Erdington. Iwould like to get his Defence Medal I dont know his service number
 

ChrisM

Super Moderator
Staff member
The straight answer to that, DGreaves, is, I am afraid, "with great difficulty". One may just be lucky and find that detailed records of a particular battalion have survived. It might be worth checking with the Birmingham Library. But it's a long shot and I'm afraid it's much more likely that they have disappeared.

I tried a while ago to pull together a few options to help someone like yourself who is trying to track down an individual Home Guard member. I think it's all still relevant. It's here: https://www.staffshomeguard.co.uk/J9GeneralInformationSearchingforMembers.htm

I hope it might give you a few pointers. Let us know how you get on and also whether you would like anything about your father to appear on that HG website. The latter, by the way, already includes various bits of information about the 23rd Warwicks. Use the Search function on the index page to find it or go to https://www.staffshomeguard.co.uk/DotherReminiscencesWarkssstaffshg.htm

Chris
 
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