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 HOME GUARD MEMORIES AND INFORMATION - WORCESTERSHIRE

12th WORCESTERSHIRE (WARLEY) BATTALION

Magnified Images


The 12th Worcestershire (Warley) Battalion was responsible for the defence of Warley, Langley and parts of Quinton on the outskirts of Birmingham and the Black Country.

A history of the 12th Worcestershire (Warley) Battalion is available within this website. This page shows magnified versions of those contained on that page.


"A" Coy.

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"B" Coy.

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"C" Coy.

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"D" Coy.

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"E" Coy.

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The above image of "E (HQ)" Coy. was taken on an unknown date at Brandhall School.  It appears to show all members of the Company who were available at the moment when the photograph was taken, officers, NCOs and other ranks. It is possible to identify a few of the men:

Front row: Major R.B. Greatorex is the Company C.O. and he is located in the middle of the front row. Sitting on his immediate right is Capt. L. Slade and then next along Lt. J. Inman. Lt. Eric Rudge
(1914-1969) is 6th from right.

Fourth row back:  Harry Mac Leod Kay is 6th from the right. (Read his story).



HEADQUARTERS OFFICERS

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BATTALION OFFICERS
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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.)


 

OTHER INFORMATION

"A" Coy. HQ was located at Langley Drill Hall. (This had been the Battalion HQ also before it moved to "High Tor").
"B" Coy. HQ was at
George Road School.
"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 Lapal Primary School, Quinton and Carters Lane Baptist Church.
"E" Coy. was at
Brandhall School
(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. Fillery and Lancaster and an image of the latter.

A history of the 12th Worcestershire (Warley) Battalion is available within this website.




These images appear in memory of

Capt. L. Slade

and all his comrades
in
12th Worcestershire (Warley) Battalion,
Home Guard




Below is a further image of officers of a Worcestershire 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 are Leslie Pierson who 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. 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 5th Worcestershire (Halesowen) Battalion.



.
Leslie 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
Click anywhere on the image to return to Leslie Pierson's story.


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
Grateful acknowledgement is made to:
- Mr. D. Slade, son of Capt. L. Slade, for making HQ Officers and Battalion Officers images available to staffshomeguard ;
- The "Black 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 Weeks for additional information;
- 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 Slade 2014
Pierson Group image © Maureen Baker 2015



Other 12th Worcestershire (Warley) Battalion pages in this website:
The Danilo Platoon and Ken Cradock
Harry Mac Leod Kay
Leslie Pierson
or return to
History of 12th Worcs. Battn. page

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x106 revised March 2015, January 2016, October 2017