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Home Guard

Selly Oak boy.

knowlegable brummie
Thanks for your useful comments and replies Aidan and Chris.

More tunnel at the end of the light !

I'm not one to believe in coincidence..........but, as I mentioned earlier, in the 50's, my Dad did point out to me a semi-derelict building with yard at the junction of Harborne Lane and Bristol Road, which he said had been his HQ/Drill Hall. Upon reading about the 49th Battalion subsequent to the end of War, it appears that their Old Comrades Association met on a regular basis at the Oak Hotel (Inn) which, prior to the 70's/80's destruction of upper Selly Oak, stood across the lane, some 15 feet from the old Drill Hall. Could this be a link..........or just coincidence ?

Next stop I now feel, has to be the Central Library, but I've to wait on my old arthritic bones being up to the trip.

If anything else comes to light, I'll post it here.

Yet again, many thanks for the aid I've received.

Chris.
 

Aidan

master brummie
My Gt-grandfather lived in Harborne and was in the Home Front having previously been in the RAF. Which Unit would he have been under and where would they have been based? I guess Selly Oak is possible but a bit of a walk! I have tried the above links but there doesn't seem a lot of detailed info about
 

ChrisM

Super Moderator
Staff member
Aidan,

It doesn't seem that Harborne ever had its own dedicated battalion and so that area would have been covered by part or parts of those battalions which had nominal responsibility for Selly Oak, Edgbaston or Quinton and which are listed in the page about the HG structure.to which I gave a link previously. The Birmingham ones are listed under "Warwickshire" although Quinton was an anomaly as it fell under the 12th Worcestershire (Warley) Battalion.

Each battalion often comprised well over 1000 men and would be subdivided into four or five Companies, each with a responsibility for a specific part of the Battalion's territory. Each Company would in turn comprise several Platoons and each of these would have an allotted "patch" which might well have been quite close to the homes of many of its members. In this way every square yard of ground was covered. All of these units would have its own HQ in the locality which might have been a disused house or shop, a hall or, most conveniently of all, the back room of a pub.

So it might well have been the case that your gt-grandfather didn't have a long walk in order to perform his duties, even if he had been a member of the Selly Oak Battalion. And let's not forget that if it had come to the crunch he and all his comrades would have actually FOUGHT, against German infantry, paratroopers and Panzers, to defend their area with consequences which don't bear thinking about.

Chris
 

paul stacey

master brummie
I was in the army cadets i harborne aiden in the late 50's it was RE and had about 3 ramshackled huts with a mock up of an army lorry to teach you to drive I cannot remember exactly where but it was off war lane on the left comming in to harborne and behind the round pub.
 

paul stacey

master brummie
I cannot remember aiden its so long ago now, you got off the bus from weoley castle at the new pub (round one) fairly unique then, then walked up the road on your left from war lane, you started to come into the country a bit then a driveway to the army cadet force site which I am sure had been a home guard unit during the war, there was a small copse or wood just behind and we saw quite a lot of police vehicles comming and going I think the police dog training school but could be wrong.
paul
 

ChrisM

Super Moderator
Staff member
Going right back to rocketron's first post in this thread, showing a HG parade somewhere in Perry Barr, I have recently received an identical photograph from another source and have uploaded a reasonably high definition version of it here: https://www.staffshomeguard.co.uk/DotherReminiscences81Handsworth.htm together with a bit further information about the group. Still nothing firm on precise location, though. (Surely it must be quite distnctive?)

There's a sea of faces and one or two names. If we could put a few more names to faces it would serve the memory of these dedicated men well. All contributions gratefully received!

Chris
 

ChrisM

Super Moderator
Staff member

philjb

New Member
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.
Ray
Not sure about the squatters but l lived in one of the Nissen Huts with my Mum and Dad for a couple of years before the council moved us to Kingstanding. I was born in 1946 and believe we moved in 1949 around the time my sister was born..
 
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kc

master brummie
hi all
im looking for a picture of home guards( for post office) 47 th Warwickshire regiment which includes George tibbitts my grand-dad
kind regards
 

GEFF

Geff
Chris, I am searching for the photo of the stand down parade of the Home Guard in Birmingham in Dec.1944, I have seen it somewhere on the internet but cannot find it, can you help. I need it for my Family History File. GEFF
 

ChrisM

Super Moderator
Staff member
Geff,

Stitcher posted an image of what I believe to have been the stand-down parade of Sunday 3rd December 1944 in this thread, post #12:
https://birminghamhistory.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?t=15998

It appears also in the Birmingham Council website here:
https://www.birmingham.gov.uk/cs/Sa...355652969&pagename=BCC/Common/Wrapper/Wrapper

Neither source confirms the event 100% conclusively. The Council website shows it under "VE Day" but I doubt that very much - it's a winter scene and we know that there definitely was a stand-down parade the previous December. So I think it is a pretty safe bet.

Chris
 

ChrisM

Super Moderator
Staff member
Birmingham Corporation Departments in WW2 - Defensive Arrangements.

A bit of information which might be useful to WW2 and family history researchers. I have recently put online the entire official record/commemorative booklet dealing with the 29th Warwickshire (Birmingham) Battalion, Home Guard. This Battalion comprised employees of many City utilities, including gas, electricity, water and salvage, and of the Council House. It was responsible for guarding all the various facilities in the city, and beyond, for four and a half years. 25735 guards were mounted in that time, overnight, weekends, each guard comprising a significant number of men - the man-hours involved are staggering as is the thought of the inconvenience, discomfort and mind-numbing boredom, all over and above the day job. All done by some 1200 blokes. The publication was a sister booklet to the one dealing with the Birmingham City Transport Department and its two Battalions. This has been available on the same website for a little time.

If anyone is interested in looking at the Utilities pages, they can be found here: https://www.staffshomeguard.co.uk/DotherReminiscences13429thWarks.htm

The BCT pages, dealing with two Battalions, the 31st and 32nd Warwickshire, list every single member, including those who didn't make it to the end due to call-up, age, ill-health or death, some 3500-4000 men. These pages can be seen here: https://www.staffshomeguard.co.uk/DotherReminiscences122A3132WarksIntro.htm

Chris
 

rosie

brummie
Thank you Chris, I've bookmarked it for later.
My father worked at Belliss & Morcom (on submarine engines I think) and he used to be on duty at the Edgbaston Reservoir. He had to patrol along the "dam" wall.
I have his certificate but that's all I know and there's no one left to ask!
rosie.
 

ChrisM

Super Moderator
Staff member
Thanks, rosie. Your father would have been either a member of the Belliss factory unit or, more likely, a member of the Battalion which was responsible for defence of the area in which he lived. Either way, he would have been devoting huge amounts of time to the service. Later in the war this was stipulated at a minimum of 48 hours per month; but many men did far more than this, especially in the earlier years. All this on top of jobs which probably occupied 50, 60 or even 70 hours a week. It's difficult to imagine how they did it.

If the certificate you have is the King George VI certificate, this might not tell us much but it will at least provide the precise length of your father service. Could you possibly post it, for all to see?

Chris
 

rosie

brummie
Thank you Chris.
The certificate just a sort of "thank you" really without service dates. I will try to post it but last time I tried I didn't have much success, I'm hopeless with that kind of thing!
It's the same old story, I wish I'd asked more.
I don't know how they coped with everything and all that extra work. He was ill at the time too as he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis a few years later. (Not much was known about the illness at that time.)
rosie.
 
Hi All i am posting this Photo for a friend Margaret Fry it is of her father Victor Fry .It is taken outside the Clifton Picturehouse on the Walsall Rd I think it was taken around 1942/3 Her Dad is in the back row first one on the right side in uniform.the clifton.jpg
 

oldMohawk

master brummie
Great photo taken in front of a cinema I knew well as a child and teenager. I notice a wall poster behind them advertises a film 'Lassie Come Home'.
 
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