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 HOME GUARD MEMORIES AND INFORMATION - WARWICKSHIRE, BIRMINGHAM

29th WARWICKSHIRE (B'HAM) BATTN.
BIRMINGHAM CITY UTILITIES
Water, Gas, Electricity, Salvage and Council Offices

INTRODUCTION TO THE 29TH BATTN.

The 29th Warwickshire (Birmingham) Battalion consisted entirely of members of the various departments responsible the city's utilities - the Water, Gas, Electricity Supply and Salvage Departments - and the Council's offices; it was responsible for the defence of all these facilities. Other units had similar responsibilities in respect of other Birmingham Corporation services, such as City Transport. Their members were based at the various departmental premises throughout the city and beyond. The primary role was to defend and protect these depots against enemy action of any kind, including sabotage. Individual units also cooperated with other Home Guard formations who were responsible for the geographical area in which the particular  facility was located and were thus involved in the broader scope of Home Guard infantry activity.

For most of its life this Battalion was commanded by Lt.-Col. E. Victor Horton, M.C., J.P. (right).

The following is some essential information about the Battalion which in common with many other HG units evolved  in terms of structure, designation and command, especially in the earlier years.

STRUCTURE
May 1940 - July 1940

9th Birmingham (P.U.) Battalion Local Defence Volunteers
July 1940 - October 1940
 9th Birmingham (P.U.) Battalion Home Guard
October 1940 - December 1945
29th Warwickshire (Birmingham) Battalion Home Guard
COMMANDING OFFICERS

Major T.B. Pritchett, M.C.
(1940)  
(Lord Mayor of Birmingham)


Lt.-Col. E.V. Horton
, M.C., J.P.
(1940-1944)
STRENGTH AT STAND DOWN
(December 1944)


" A"  Company (Council House)......135
" B " Company (Gas)........................400
" C " Company (Water)....................337
" D " Company (Salvage).................169
" E " Company (Electricity) ............169


TOTAL BATTALION.....................1210
SUMMARY OF ACTIVITY

Number of points at which Vulnerable Point Guards were mounted (excluding 24-hour guards on the Elan Aqueduct)
19

Total number of Guards mounted by the Battalion at the above V.P's. between Formation and Stand Down
25,735

Most of the information about this Battalion, consisting of over 1200 men in total, comes from a commemorative booklet published in 1946 and titled "The Birmingham Corporation Home Guard - the 29th Warwickshire (Birmingham) Battalion".  In the following associated pages of this website the full contents of the booklet - essentially an official record of the Battalion -  can be read. It gives a fascinating insight to every aspect of the Battalion's life which lasted effectively from late May 1940 until stand-down in early December 1944 and final disbandment a year later - organisation, military duties, personnel, casualties, parades, awards, competitions, recreation and much else.

The booklet is divided into sections. The first shows the Introduction section of the booklet (pages 1-12). For all sections, please see the Summary box below.

RECORD OF 29TH Battn:
SUMMARY of BOOKLET SECTIONS
- Introduction
Lord Mayor's message, obituary to Col. Horton, C.O.'s  appreciation, introduction
- Brief history
incl. names, formation, duties, training, weapons, demos., ceremonials, field force
- The Battalion
incl. senior officers, HQ staff, permanent staff, early commanders, veterans.
- The Companies
- A Coy. (Offices) - B Coy. (Gas) - C Coy. (Water) - D Coy. (Salvage) - E Coy. (Electricity)
- Events
incl. decorations and commendations, church parade.
- Rifle Competitions
- Stand Down Dec. 1944
incl. parade, stage production, messages of thanks, presentations.

OTHER BIRMINGHAM H.G. INFORMATION
The 31st/32nd Warwickshire (Birmingham) Battalions (City Transport Dept.)
For all other Birmingham Home Guard references, please go to Memories - Warwickshire or use the site Search function.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
Grateful acknowledgement is made to Roger Whitfield who most generously loaned a copy of this Battalion record to staffshomeguard and permitted its reproduction. His father, William Arthur Whitfield, was a member of No. 2 Platoon, "E" Coy.

IN MEMORY OF

Vol. Harold Fuller - D Coy.
Cpl. George William Haddon - D Coy.,
Vol. William James Savage - D Coy.
all of whom lost their lives on active HG service; and two other members of D Coy. who died during the same incident whilst not on HG duty:
George Vine
Arthur John Weeks

and
all their comrades in the 29th Warwickshire (Birmingham) Battalion
.

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Booklet Introduction Section

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x134 - March 2016