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AND INFORMATION - WARWICKSHIRE
VISITORS TO BIRMINGHAM
In the course of the war
there were several formal visits to Birmingham by
notable people. These visits often had a significant
Home Guard involvement as the Guard of Honour for
them was provided by the 31st/32nd Warwickshire
(Birmingham) Battalions whose membership exclusively
comprised City Transport Department employees.
here to see detailed information
about these two Battalions).
These are the notable visitors honoured by
the Battalions on behalf of the City:
Images of some of
these events are shown below.
King Haakon of Norway
inspects a Guard of Honour on 8th April 1942,
accompanied by Col. J.
Clive Piggott (late Capt. Coldstream Guards),
Commander of the Birmingham Zone of the Home Guard. The
Guard is provided by the
Warwickshire (Birmingham) Battalions.
on 7th February 1942, General de Gaulle shakes the hand of a Home Guard
officer, Lt-Col. John H.
Lewis. Looking on are the Lord Mayor,
Norman Tiptaft, and
also Col. Piggott. Does this image perhaps show the
moment of farewell, after a successful visit?
John Lewis was at that
time second-in-command of "A" Group of the Birmingham
Zone and responsible, amongst much else, for the
organising of welcoming parades on occasions such as
this. He was the son of Alderman W.S. Lewis
who towards the end of that year, 1942, would become Lord Mayor of the city.
John would eventually perform the same role himself in
the post-war years.
Further images of
these events and other notable visits:
Montgomery and General de Gaulle
Blakiston-Houston, King Haakon and Field Marshall
The two Battalions
also formed a military band which performed on these
and similar occasions. A press cutting shows it
in action. The occasion was the first anniversary in
May 1941 of the founding of the Home Guard.
most grateful to Matt Felkin and visitors to
Birmingham and the Blitz" Facebook page,
especially Adrian de Redman and Alton Douglas, for
providing images and information on this
- Detailed information
31st/32nd City Transport Battalions, incl.
full membership list.
Further information about
And..... if you
can add to the history of the Warwickshire Home
Guard, please contact staffshomeguard via the
Feedback link below.
x121 November 2015;
updated Jan 2017