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HOME GUARD MEMORIES AND INFORMATION - WORCESTERSHIRE
12th WORCESTERSHIRE (WARLEY) BATTALION
Click anywhere on
the image to return to 12th Worcs History page
The above image of the Battalion officers and senior NCOs was taken on Sunday, 15th October 1944 at a house named
"High Tor". This was the Battalion HQ and was located on
Perry Hill Road, Warley
between Tame Hill and Perry Hill Crescent and
opposite Forest Road.
Lt.-Col. W.J. Balderstone was the C.O. and he is seen in the middle of the front row. Col. Balderstone had taken over command in June 1944 from Lt.-Col. T.C. Fillery; the latter had commanded from August 1942 to June 1944 and then transferred to the Oldbury Battalion as C.O. The first Battalion commander had been
T.S. Lancaster who served from May 1940 until July 1942; he died in 1944.
One has to assume that "High Tor" was, for one
reason or another, largely unused in 1940 and was
therefore requisitioned by the Home Guard as a
suitable Battalion HQ. Memories of the house
survive from immediately prior to, or after, the
outbreak of war but before the arrival of the Home
Guard. A visitor to this website, living nearby in
Forest Road, describes being taken for dancing
lessons on the ground floor of the house in the
left hand reception room where a piano had been
installed. There is a dim memory that perhaps the
upper floor was still occupied. Later, during the
Home Guard era, there may have been earth
fortifications in the gardens of the house.
(In Forest Road
there lived at least one member of the local Home
Guard who may or may not have been based at "High
Tor": he was Sgt. Sam
Bell, a family man with three daughters.)
"A" Coy. HQ was located at
Hall. (This had been the Battalion
HQ also before it moved to "High Tor").
HQ was at George
"C" Coy. HQ was at
Chance & Hunt's
Cricket Pavilion, Dog Kennel Lane.
"D" Coy. HQ was at the
Danilo Cinema, Quinton.
There was an AA gun at the back of the cinema car
park. Platoons were based at
School, Quinton and
"E" Coy. was at
(Information from Roy Bates)
The images on this page
show numbers of men which are fewer than one might
have expected. There could be several reasons for
this: a selected group of particular members;
availability of men on the day of the photograph;
or even the fact that some of the Companies were
very much depleted by the transfer of men to
anti-aircraft duties. In the latter circumstances
men would have been removed from a Battalion
which, when performing solely its normal infantry
role, would have numbered between 1000 and 1500.
One of the platoons within this Battalion was known as "The Danilo Platoon". A memory of this unit can be read
here. It also contains references to Messrs.
Lancaster and an image of the latter.
of the 12th Worcestershire (Warley) Battalion
is available within this website.
These images appear in memory of
Capt. L. Slade
and all his comrades
12th Worcestershire (Warley) Battalion,
Below is a
further image of officers of
Battalion, which may or not have
been the 12th Worcestershire. It was taken on an unknown date between 1941 and
1944 and at an unknown location.
Shown on it
Pierson who is in the middle row, 3rd from
right; Norman Ray is next to him, 2nd from
Also identified is
Lt. R. P.
Bird, back row, 7th from the right. Lt. Bird
appears in the image at the top of the page showing
officers of the 12th Worcs in 1944; but none of the
others, including Messrs Pierson and Ray, seem to do.
This throws considerable doubt on the identity of
the Battalion which might otherwise be assumed to be
the 12th. Another possibility is the
Worcestershire (Halesowen) Battalion.
Pierson is in the middle row, 3rd from
right; Norman Ray is next to him, 2nd from
the right. Also identified is Lt. R. P.
Bird, back row, 7th from the right
on the image to return to Leslie Pierson's story.
Grateful acknowledgement is made to:
- Mr. D. Slade, son of Capt. L. Slade, for making HQ
Officers and Battalion Officers images available to
Country Bugle" newspaper and Mr. Dan Shaw for
providing information previously published in that
newspaper and permitting its republication here;
Mr. Roy Bates of the Warley History Society and Sally
- David and Maureen Baker for providing the bottom
image which includes her father, Leslie Pierson, and
for other information.
to Michael Condon
for early memories of "High Tor".
HQ and Officers images © David
Pierson Group image ©
Maureen Baker 2015
revised March 2015, January 2016, October 2017