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Home Guard

mw0njm.

Brummie Dude
Off the top of my head, (I've got more info somewhere), the antelope on the warwick's cap badge originated from a colour captured from a Spanish regiment at some time.
regimental badge, the Antelope, originates from this period. Tradition has it that a Moorish standard bearing an antelope was captured at the battle of Saragossa. However, it is perhaps more likely that the antelope was chosen because it is a royal symbol; it had been used by the Lancastrian Kings. 1572199375893.png
 

ChrisM

Super Moderator
Staff member
Most of these AFS images can be more conveniently viewed in higher resolution here: http://www.staffshomeguard.co.uk/DotherReminiscences120AFS.htm

Also included is some additional information on Station 6/1, Washwood Heath Road, Washwood Heath. The mainly light-hearted tone of this 1941 magazine does its best to cast off the shadow of the the Station's losses in October 1940 - three men killed when a fire tender received a direct hit at the junction of Great Lister Street and Dartmouth Street.

Chris
 

ChrisM

Super Moderator
Staff member
This is a nice image which has recently surfaced, showing members of HQ Company of the Kings Norton Home Guard – the 27th Warwickshire (Birmingham) Battalion. 1944, unknown location and occasion. (This Battalion's territory also included the Cadbury's factory Home Guard unit).

27thWarksHQGroup.jpgw710.jpg

Here are the names of the men shown in the image, all presumably Kings Norton residents.

27th WARWICKS (H.G.) Bn. H.Q. STAFF 1944

(Seated) Left to Right:
Lt. J. T. Smith, Capt. L. Hunt, Maj. J. Radnor (M.O.), Capt. R. Turner (Adjt.), Lt.-Col. A. Whittaker, Maj. A. F. Ward, Capt. D. G. Clarke (A. &.Q.). Lt. T. Grant-Dixon, Lt. J. N. Hyde.
(Middle Row):
C.S.M. Staples, Sgt. V. A. Ashby, Lt. H. W. W. Gumbley. R.S.M. H. P. Sheasby, Lt. N. Bryan-Jones, S/Sgt. S. S. Jones, Lt. W. E. Steatham, Lt. W. E. Wildridge.
(Back Row):
2/Lt. H. Ward, Lt. R. Richardson, Sgt. S. E. Fletcher, Sgt. C. A. V. Brittain, Cpl. A. Banks, Sgt. H. C. Lucas, Cpl. L. A. Daniels


How nice it would be if someone is recognised........ I'm lucky. I DO recognise one of the faces and the name. Someone whom I knew well, at that time and for a period later. He was Major A. F. Ward, C.O. of the HQ Company (or Bert Ward as he was known: one of my father's closest friends and, like my father, a fervent Home Guard enthusiast). What better excuse is there for a personal memoir?!!! Here it is.

27thWarksWardPortrait.jpg

Bert Ward and his family, who included a son, Martin, lived in Middleton Hall Road, Kings Norton. We visited them from time to time, travelling from the other side of Birmingham, often by tram which would run at an exciting speed down the middle of one of the modern dual carriageways. (I loved those journeys - especially if I was allowed on the top deck. But I never achieved my ambition of sitting on one of the open balconies which some of the trams still had).

Bert was a good man and always kind to me. We were in his lounge one Sunday morning. I think he had just come off parade but, whether or not that was the case, his Home Guard rifle was very available and within my reach. Unprompted and definitely uninvited, I picked it up, lay down on the lounge carpet and adopted the correct pose for holding and aiming the weapon which my father had taught me – legs well apart, elbows placed evenly on the floor to provide a firm, steady base as I peered down its length and lined up the sights on a distant china ornament. I suppose I was around seven at the time. Bert complimented me in generous terms on my expertise and, I have to say, I was quite proud of it myself! As I say, he was a kind man.

Possibly on the same occasion – or it might have been another – he demonstrated to my father and me various booby-trap detonators he had in his possession. One was rather like a large bulldog clip which, when the ears were compressed, could be slipped under a door so that, when the latter was moved...... Another was designed to be moored at one end by wire to something static such as a wall, and then, at the other, attached to a door or a piece of equipment or furniture. As soon as the movable object was shifted the two halves of the detonator would be pulled apart and again, disaster for the victim.

Bert, like so many of his generation, was a veteran of the Great War. I don't know where he served, with whom or what rank he held. But I do know that at some stage he was gassed and he survived for the rest of his life (which was regrettably shortened) with lungs which had been seriously damaged by his experience.

I am happy that I knew Bert and that his life overlapped mine, if only for a relatively short period. And I'm especially glad now to remember and be able to honour him for his life and his service which I witnessed so many years ago and of which the image has reminded me ............

Chris

(PS More now online, if anyone is interested).
Source: staffshomeguard and David Morse.
 
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Radiorails

master brummie
Nicee photo, post 190. I have heard the expression "more chiefs than indians" and I wonder where all the others were. The lowest rank seems to be Corporal, but the must have been others in the ranks. :D
 
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ChrisM

Super Moderator
Staff member
Yes, Alan, almost certainly it's just a group of officers and NCOs. There would have been a lot more blokes, other ranks, in a HQ Company like that, mainly with specialist functions like signalling, intelligence, weapons, admin, training etc., etc. There MAY be - in fact I would bet on it - a complete Company image showing everyone but whether it has survived and whether it will ever resurface....

Chris
 

ChrisM

Super Moderator
Staff member
A question for Forum family history experts (if any look at this thread!): is there any way of establishing the precise Ward family address? They were there somewhere in Middleton Hall Road in the 1930s.

Chris
 

mikejee

Super Moderator
Staff member
The 1935 electoral rolls show Alvbert Frank Ward, with Lilian Ward lived at 53 Middleton Hall road
 

ChrisM

Super Moderator
Staff member
Thank you, Mike. With the prompt, I now remember the number. Nice house, as I recall it from 75 years ago!

(Lilian was always known as Mary).

Chris
 

ChrisM

Super Moderator
Staff member
Just to prove that all Home Guards didn't look like Pte. Fraser or L/Cpl. Jones....

This handsome young man was Alexander J. Schadowsky who as a Home Guard helped to man an anti-aircraft battery in the Kings Heath area and thus contributed to the defence of Birmingham against Luftwaffe attack. Yet he himself had come from Germany only three or four years previously.

Alexander's home up to July 1939 was in Saxony. His father was Latvian and Jewish, his mother German and Christian. The father's background made German citizenship impossible. When the family fled from Germany in July 1939 and sought sanctuary in England, the advice given to the family on entry was not to register as Latvian but as Russian. So in 1943 and 1944 we have a young Russian, originally of Latvian nationality, having spent most of his childhood in Germany, having a German mother at home in Birmingham and now doing his best to shoot down any German plane within range which was threatening his adopted city.

Things took another turn in 1947 when the family obtained British citizenship and anglicised their name to Sinclair. Alexander Sinclair continued to contribute significantly to British life after the War through a distinguished career in education.

R.I.P. Alexander Schadowsky, later Sinclair (1926-1986)

Chris

(Sources: Elizabeth Aldridge, Julian Sinclair, staffshomeguard website)

CCE05112009_00000aASchadows.jpg
 
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ChrisM

Super Moderator
Staff member
I don't think that lanyards often appeared on Home Guards, Pete. They certainly weren't official issue. The exception is men attached to Royal Artillery batteries - especially A-A - and they tended to adopt white ones, like those of their R.A. comrades. Again I think this was fairly unofficial. And Alexander isn't wearing one in the picture, so it probably wasn't universal.

All a bit vague and undefinitive, like much to do with the HG!

Chris
 

mw0njm.

Brummie Dude
I don't think that lanyards often appeared on Home Guards, Pete. They certainly weren't official issue. The exception is men attached to Royal Artillery batteries - especially A-A - and they tended to adopt white ones, like those of their R.A. comrades. Again I think this was fairly unofficial. And Alexander isn't wearing one in the picture, so it probably wasn't universal.

All a bit vague and undefinitive, like much to do with the HG!

Chris
thanks chris..for reply . I saw them wearing them on a dads army film, the one with the artillery. that is the only time.......on what shoulder was a lanyard worn left or right
 
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