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AND INFORMATION - WARWICKSHIRE HOME GUARD
WARWICKSHIRE (BIRMINGHAM)) BATTN.
Pte. WILLIAM HENRY BRYAN
Pte. William Henry Bryan
was a member of the
Home Guard. This unit was
either part of the
Warwickshire (Birmingham) Battalion
or of an adjoining battalion such as the
Warwickshire (Solihull) Battalion
(still to be confirmed).
William Bryan lived in
Marston Green but worked for
Green/Adderley Park in a reserved
occupation manufacturing the bodies for
Army vehicles. Troop carrying gliders were
also produced at the factory.
record of William Bryan's service is, so
far, restricted to an image of the unit to
which he belonged - perhaps a small
HQ Company based near to his home. And his King George VI
certificate which tells us that his period
of service was the maximum possible: from
June 1940 to December 1944, a remarkable
period of entirely voluntary endeavour.
The location of the image is
Farm, Marston Green and the group
is assembled in front of the house.
House Farm has been described as the local
Home Guard HQ. It later became the
clubhouse for the Marston Green Golf Club
before being swallowed up by extensions to
Birmingham Airport in the 1970s.
The group image and the
certificate are reproduced below.
The one positive identification within this
group is of Pte. Bryan himself
(left). He is
located in the rear row, third from the
Almost dominating the image is the
splendid figure seated fifth from the
right in the front row
He, and his function, are so far
unidentified. But expert opinion
based on cap badge, medal ribbon and
general appearance is that he is a retired
Grenadier Guard who has served in the Boer
War, has received a long-service and good
conduct medal and may, despite his
non-Home Guard uniform (perhaps worn for
this official photograph only), serve as
the Battalion or Company Sergeant-Major.
Also of interest are the couple
contemplating the scene from the obscurity
of an upstairs window. Again, they
are so far unidentified. If the farm
still operating in its traditional
function at this moment, they could be the
farmer and his wife. But it seems
that a few years previously, in the
long-gone days of peace, part of the farm
had been given over to the construction of
a nine-hole golf course. This work had
been carried out in 1938. Eventually and
fairly shortly after the end of the war
this work will be resumed and a further
nine holes will be added in 1948 to form
the complete course of the Marston Green
Golf Club. The Club
will survive until the 1970s before being
buried under an extended Birmingham
Airport. It is known that immediately
postwar the Head Greenkeeper at the Club
was Mr. Harry Monkhouse who by then lived
at Chapel House Farm
his wife. Mrs.
responsible for the clubhouse catering.
So... it is just possible that they had
taken up residency at an earlier date than
has been recorded and it is they whom we
can now look at in the photograph whilst
they themselves contemplate the scene
The presence of the
Women's Home Guard Auxiliary in the front
wearing her distinctive badge and her very
non-military gloves, dates the image as
either autumn/winter/spring 1943/1944 or
October/November 1944, just prior to
Below is Pte.
Bryan's King George VI Certificate
confirming that he served throughout the
life of the Home Guard: four-and-a-half
years of dedicated, voluntary and unpaid
service in the defence of his family, his
district and his country.