• Welcome to this forum . We are a worldwide group with a common interest in Birmingham and its history. While here, please follow a few simple rules. We ask that you respect other members, thank those who have helped you and please keep your contributions on-topic with the thread.

    We do hope you enjoy your visit. BHF Admin Team

Home Guard

Astonian

gone but not forgotten
Hi there guys
Here is a couple of photographs of the home gaurd parade on sunday march 23 1941 for a march past
A drumhead service, it was held in a municipal car park birmingham,
General sir robert Gordon Finlayson, G.O.C, Westeren command took the salute in front of the council house birmingham
 

Attachments

ChrisM

Super Moderator
Staff member
Thanks, Alan.

This seems to be a wider-angled version of the same photograph, showing a bit more of the city background, as well as the size of the parade.

Chris

BhamParade1941w700.jpg
 

Astonian

gone but not forgotten
Hi Viv
Hope you are well ,and i like your photographs of the home gaurds
and i thought you may like these so i have posted them for you and the gang to see
I have down loaded three for you i do have plenty more of the war years pictures with the planes as well
and i have quite afew pics of different home gaurds and whom are connected to there factories
 

Attachments

ChrisM

Super Moderator
Staff member
Thanks for an interesting image, Pedrocut. These men would all have been members of the 6th Warwickshire (Sutton) Battalion. Very regrettably the 1941 Officers' List, which has been published and is a very useful method of tracking down individual HG officers in every battalion), is incomplete as far as the Sutton unit is concerned. And so I can't check on most of the names mentioned. Capt. Bigwood, however, definitely became a Lt.-Col. which was the normal rank for a Battalion C.O. from early 1941 and commanded thereafter. "Lt.-Col. Strevens" bore a strange rank for an "Administrative Assistant" - that may have been his Great War rank but he would not have maintained that later. He may have been the Battalion Adjutant. Similarly with Messrs. Holte-Smith, Gay and Hollands. All the "Misters" would have been given proper ranks within weeks.

Not sure of the extent to which a mounted unit like this represented a normal activity during the 4-and-a-half years of the Home Guard's existence, even over such appropriate terrain as Sutton Park. It certainly represented a good "photo opportunity" but I suspect that the every day work of these men was much more to act in a conventional infantry role - observation, patrols, guard duty, establishment of defensive positions, exercises - and training in every conceivable technique required by an infantryman.

It would be very interesting if any member can throw further light on the men shown and their HG service.

Chris

(Edited: Battalion number subsequently corrected)
 
Last edited:

rosie

brummie
Thank for posting those photographs Alan, if there are any of Belliss & Morcom I would like to see them. My Dad was "reserved occupation" and worked there. He used to patrol at the Edgbaston Reservoir. I have never been able to find which unit he was with so B&M seems most likely.
Best Wishes,
rosie.
 

ChrisM

Super Moderator
Staff member
Rosie,

Your father is likely to have served in:
EITHER a small unit, a platoon, consisting entirely of men employed at that factory - this unit would have been responsible for the defence of the factory and would would have been part of a Battalion responsible for a number of such factory units in a particular area of the city;
OR in a different a platoon based close to where he lived and part of a Battalion which was probably more geographically concentrated in its responsibilities. There were twenty or thirty such Battalions within the City boundary, each comprising anything between one and two thousand men (and a few women) and every square inch was the responsibility of one unit or another.

I am wondering which of these would make more geographical sense, in view of the memory of his having patrolled the Resa?

Chris
 

rosie

brummie
Hello Chris,
Thanks for your reply. He was living in Ridgeway, Edgbaston at the time. He did ride a bike, but I suppose that was common.
I know he was working on submarine engines but that's no help!!
I wish I'd have asked more but now there's no-one left who would remember.
Thanks again,
rosie.
 

kc

master brummie
hi chris
do you have any photos of post office home guards please im trying to find a photo of my grandad george tibbitts
kind regards
 

Pedrocut

Master Barmmie
IMG_1507.jpg IMG_1508.jpg IMG_1509.jpg IMG_1510.jpg IMG_1511.jpg
Hi Viv
Hope you are well ,and i like your photographs of the home gaurds
and i thought you may like these so i have posted them for you and the gang to see
I have down loaded three for you i do have plenty more of the war years pictures with the planes as well
and i have quite afew pics of different home gaurds and whom are connected to there factories
The last picture, with the cyclist, appears in the Birmingham Daily Gazette (July 1941) under the story of the "Home Guard round up enemy in Birmingham all-night test."

Here is the write up and the other pictures...
 

maypolebaz

master brummie
View attachment 112817 View attachment 112818 View attachment 112819 View attachment 112820 View attachment 112821

The last picture, with the cyclist, appears in the Birmingham Daily Gazette (July 1941) under the story of the "Home Guard round up enemy in Birmingham all-night test."

Here is the write up and the other pictures...
I'm really enjoying looking at all these photos, I particularly like the first one of this group. Those men look more heavily-armed than those in the other pictures, as well as a Bren and a Thompson, they also seem to be carrying the SMLE rifle, instead of the the usual P1913.
 

ChrisM

Super Moderator
Staff member
do you have any photos of post office home guards please im trying to find a photo of my grandad george tibbitts
Regrettably not, kc.

Your grandfather was most probably a member of the 47th Warwickshire (Post Office) Battalion. You will probably recall that I made a mention of him in my Home Guard website and of the tragic circumstances surrounding his death on Boxing Day, 1940, as follows:

Vol. Tibbitts died in the General Hospital on 26th December 1940. He now lies in St. John's Churchyard, Perry Barr. The circumstances of his accident on that same day, Boxing Day, are recorded in two newspaper clippings, dated 28th December 1940 and 2nd January 1941 respectively.........

To see further information, please use this link: https://www.staffshomeguard.co.uk/DotherReminiscences137BhamGPO.htm#1

The linked page makes mention of three other men of the same Battalion who lost their lives in Home Guard service, two of them victims of the air raid of 22/23rd November 1940 when a direct hit occurred on the G.P.O. depot. As a result of that incident bravery awards were made to other members.

There MUST be further surviving information about this unit, and especially photographs, perhaps including George Tibbitts. But I have yet to come across it, unfortunately.

Chris
 

ChrisM

Super Moderator
Staff member
Great image of Messrs. Brunges and Tozer, Pedrocut.

I have often wondered whether there was a connection between this C.W.L. Tozer and the Birmingham Fire Brigade Tozers. If there was, he must have been about the only member of the family who wasn't a fireman!

I have quite an extensive write-up about the episode on 26th October 1940 when these two men of the Aston Home Guard earned their bravery awards. The location is variously described as a public shelter located below a fruit & veg. shop owned by a Mr. Willetts or one on the corner of Barker Street, Lozells opposite the Villa Cross picture house. If anyone is interested, please say so and I'll post the link.

Chris
 
Last edited:
Top