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Halesowen was defended by the 5th Worcestershire (Halesowen) Battalion, commanded by Lt-Col. B.J. Keene (right). Its H.Q. was at The Drill Hall, Grammar School Lane, Halesowen. The Battalion averaged a membership of around 1000/1100 men during its life.

The main sources of information about it are:

"Chronicles of the Worestershire Home Guard"
by Mick Wilks, Logaston Press, 2014, ISBN 978 1 906663 87 2 - still available for purchase, and

"Halesowen Home Guard"
a booklet published in 1945 and written by Lt. J. G. Mountford, an officer of the Battalion. This publication appears to be rare and staffshomeguard is pleased to be able to make its entire contents accessible on associated pages, thanks to the generosity of a visitor to this website, the daughter of Eric Rudge, a Battalion member. 

It contains much information about individuals and places, and about all the many aspects of building up and operating a fighting force capable of defending the town against enemy invasion or incursion - constant training and drill, weaponry, exercises, guard duty and a hundred other things - which, for the 5th Battalion, even included the creation of a Band
(above).  And of a Mk IV German Panzer tank seen here (right) in Halesowen under attack by 5th Battalion troops.......

This page of the website contains:

and LINKS to further associated pages where this rare booklet from late 1944, compiled and written by J. G. Mountford, can be read in its entirety.

 including, mainly, all those mentioned in the booklet; and also others gleaned from other sources.

from other sources.

(and Links to appropriate pages)
PAGES 1 - 12
Portrait of Major-General W. Robb, C.B.E., D.S.O., M.C.
- P. 2
Foreword by Major-General Robb - P. 3
Officers of the 5th Worcestershire Battalion - P. 4
The Story of "The Fifth" - P. 5-12
(including Third Anniversary Celebrations, Grammar School Grounds , May 16th 1943 - P.9
The Battle Squad - P.10)
A Tribute - P.12

PAGES 13 - 23

Training - P. 13-14
Fourth Anniversary Drumhead Service, Grammar School Grounds' May 7th 1944 - P. 15
The Band on Parade - P. 16
Miscellaneous Information - P. 17-18
(including The Regimental Badge, The Band and humorous anecdotes)
Battalion H.Q. - P. 19-20
"H.Q" Company - P. 21
"A" Company - P. 22
"B" Company - P. 23

PAGES 24 - 32
C" Company
- P. 24
Home Guard Weapons - P. 25
Specialists - P. 26
"D" Company -
P. 27
"E" Company
- P. 28
"F" Company
- P. 29
- P. 30-32



Below is an alphabetical list of known members of the Halesowen Home Guard.

Total membership throughout most of the Battalion's life averaged around 1000/1100 men (and a few women, known as Home Guard Auxiliaries). But several hundred more would have been members at different times over the four-and-a-half years and would then have moved on: young men being called up, older men exceeding the upper age limit, resignations through ill-health or essential work commitments, and so on. The following list therefore represents a small percentage of total membership - perhaps around one-fifth. It will be added to as and when further members are identified.

Here is a group image
(left) including most of the Battalion officers, photographed in 1944. A fully captioned version of this is to be found within the book.

Most of the names below are also mentioned within "Halesowen Home Guard". (They are mainly those who are shown in the list as being associated with a particular Company). There is also further information here about these and a number of other men: it is contained in the section NOTES ON INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS below. (These men are marked on the following list by * ).

To see what is said about these men in the book, including their specific function and their achievements, please note the Company reference against their name (where it is available) and then select the appropriate website page from the CONTENTS panel above.

ALLCHURCH, L, L/Corporal, "H.Q" Coy.
ANDREWS, F, Sergeant, "H.Q" Coy.
APPS, I A, Corporal, "H.Q" Coy.
ARMSTRONG, M, L/Corporal, "D" Coy.
ATTWOOD, J, Corporal, "E" Coy.

BACHE, Geoffrey
BARBER, T, Major, "A" Coy.
BARKER, H M, Lietenant

BARRETT, S, Corporal, "E" Coy.
BARTON, A, Captain
BATE, H, L/Corporal, "C" Coy.
BAUN, I, Corporal, "B" Coy.
BAYLISS, F, Sergeant, "C" Coy.
BECK, F N, Private, "B" Coy.

BERRY, G, Sergeant, Battn. H.Q.
BILLINGHAM, F, Corporal, "E" Coy.
BILLSON, C L, L/Corporal, "B" Coy.
BIRD, W, Corporal, "B" Coy.
BISSELL, W J, Sergeant, "E" Coy.
BLAND, H W, Major, Battn. H.Q.
BLOOMER, C L, Sergeant, "B" Coy.
BLOOMER, G, Sergeant, "C" Coy.
BLOOMER, G, Corporal, "F" Coy.
BLOOMER, H, Sergeant, "H.Q" Coy.
BODDISON, J, L/Corporal, "E" Coy.
BOWATER, A T, Lieutenant , "B" Coy.
BOWEN, A, Lieutenant
BOXLEY, L, L/Corporal, "F" Coy.
BRADLEY, C, Corporal, "H.Q" Coy.
BRADNEY, T Sergeant, "B" Coy.
BRETELL, J, Corporal, "C" Coy.
BRETELL, R, 2/Lieutenant

BRETTLE, J B, Corporal, Battn. H.Q.
BROOKES, W, L/Corporal, "C" Coy.
BROOKES, W L, Lieutenant
BURGESS, S T, Corporal, "B" Coy.
BURGOYNE, M, L/Corporal, "C" Coy.
BURLEY, C, Corporal, "D" Coy.
BURLEY, H W, Sergeant, "D" Coy.
BURTON, W, Lieutenant
BUTLER, George Eliot

BUTTERWORTH, M, Sergeant, "B" Coy.
BYNG, W E, Corporal, "E" Coy.

CARTWRIGHT, H, L/Corporal, "F" Coy.
CHAMBERS, G H, Corporal, "B" Coy.
CHATHAM, G, Sergeant, "H.Q" Coy.
CLARKE, F, Lieutenant, "A" Coy.
CLEMENCE, D S, Captain
CLISSETT, P J, Corporal, "F" Coy.
COBOURNE, J D, 2/Lieutenant
COE, C D, Lieutenant

COLE, H, Corporal, "B" Coy.
COLEY, L H, L/Corporal, "C" Coy.
COLEY, W V, Corporal, "B" Coy.
COLLINS, I, Sergeant, "B" Coy.
COOMBES, F, Lieutenant
CORNOCK, A, Lieutenant
COX, D, L/Corporal, "C" Coy.
COX, H S, Corporal, "B" Coy.
CURLEY, E, L/Corporal, "H.Q" Coy.
CURRIN, J L, Lieutenant

DAFT, J R E, 2/Lieutenant
DAVENPORT, Dennis, ?Private *

DAVIES, A E, L/Corporal, "H.Q" Coy.

DEPPER, W H, Sergeant, "H.Q" Coy.
DETHERIDGE, J, Sergeant, Battn. H.Q.
DIMMOCK, W, L/Corporal,, "H.Q" Coy.
DICKSON, P W, Captain

DONNELLY, J, Captain, Battn. H.Q
DOWNING, J, L/Corporal, "H.Q" Coy.
DOWNS, J L, Lieutenant, Battn. H.Q.
DUDLEY, B, CSM, "B" Coy.
DUNN, J E, Sergeant, Battn. H.Q.
DUNN, L S, Corporal, "C" Coy.
DUNN, P, Sergeant, "C" Coy.

EDEN, R, L/Corporal, "B" Coy.
EDGE, C, Sergeant, "E" Coy.
EDGE, W, Corporal, "E" Coy.
ELCOCK, H H, Lieutenant
ELLESMORE, R, Sergeant, "C" Coy.
EMMS, G A, Lieutenant, Battn. H.Q.
EVANS, H, L/Corporal, "F" Coy.

FAULKNER, H, Sergeant, "H.Q" Coy.
FELLOWS, F A, Corporal, "F" Coy.
FISHER, J, L/Corporal, "A" Coy.
FOX, W, Sergeant, "H.Q" Coy.

GAUNT, H, L/Corporal, "H.Q" Coy.
GIBSON, H J, Lieutenant

GILLAM, R, Corporal, "A" Coy.
GOODE, C T,  2/Lieutenant

GOULD, C C, Corporal, "B" Coy.
GRAINGER, J, Lieutenant
GRANDON, G, L/Corporal, "A" Coy.
GREAVES, L C, Corporal, "D" Coy.
GREEN, R H, Lieutenant
GREEN, W, Corporal, "A" Coy.
GRIFFITHS, J, Corporal, "B" Coy.
GRIFFITHS, L R, Sergeant, Battn. H.Q.

GROVE, W B, ORQMS, Battn. H.Q.
GROVES, J H, Captain, Battn. H.Q.
GROVES, W A, Corporal, "H.Q" Coy.
GUEST, G H, L/Corporal, "B" Coy.

HACKETT, A, L/Corporal, "A" Coy.
HACKETT, H C, 2/Lieutenant, "H.Q" Coy.
HACKETT, J, Sergeant, "B" Coy.
HACKETT, T O, L/Corporal, "B" Coy.
HACKETT, W, L/Corporal, "H.Q" Coy.
HADEN, C H, CSM, "F" Coy.
HADLEY, H S, Corporal, "C" Coy.
HADLEY, Leonard

HALL, L R, Corporal, "C" Coy.
HAMMERSLEY, S H, Major, "E" Coy.
HAMMOND, W, Corporal, "E" Coy.
HANDLEY, L C, Corporal, "H.Q" Coy.
HANDLEY, T, Sergeant, "F" Coy.
HANSFORD,, A, Sergeant, "C" Coy.
HARDWICK, J, L/Corporal, "D" Coy.
HARRIS, A, L/Corporal, "A" Coy.
HARRIS, G N, L/Corporal, "A" Coy.
HARRISON, S, Major, "A" Coy.
HARRISON, S D, 2/Lieutenant

HARROLD, A R, Corporal, "E" Coy.
HARROLD, F, L/Corporal, "H.Q" Coy.
HART, A, L/Corporal, "E" Coy.
HART, D G C, Corporal, "D" Coy.
HARVEY, C, Corporal, "A" Coy.
HAWKINS, C, Sergeant, Battn. H.Q.
HAWKINS, J, Corporal, "H.Q" Coy.
HENSMAN, R L, Corporal , "B" Coy.
HILL, -, Private, "E" Coy.

HILL, E S, L/Corporal, "E" Coy.
HILL, F, Sergeant, "C" Coy.
HILL, L J, Lieutenant, "HQ" Coy.
HILL, J H, Sergeant, "F" Coy.
HIPKISS, R, Lieutenant
HIPKISS, W, Sergeant, "C" Coy.
HODGETTS, C, Sergeant, "C" Coy.*
HODGETTS, G, Lieutenant, "D" Coy.
HODGETTS, T, Captain, "B" Coy.
HODGETTS, W, L/Corporal, "A" Coy.
HODGKINS, A F, Corporal, "B" Coy.
HODSON, A B, Major, "HQ" Coy.
HOLDEN, T, Major, "C" Coy.
HOLLINSHEAD, R E, L/Corporal, "E" Coy.
HOLLOWAY, H B, Major, (early Bn. Comd.)
HOMER, J H, CQMS, "F" Coy.
HOPKINS, F, 2/Lieutenant

HOPKINS, R B, Sergeant, Battn. H.Q.
HOWL, B E, 2/Lieutenant
HULME, R H, 2/Lieutenant
HUSSEY, George, Sergeant
, "C" Coy.*

JACKSON, J, Sergeant, Battn. H.Q.
JACKSON, W, Corporal, Battn. H.Q.
JAMES, F, Sergeant, "E" Coy.
JAMES, J, 2/Lieutenant

JAMES, W, Corporal, "B" Coy.
JAMES, W H, L/Corporal, "E" Coy.
JASPER, A, Sergeant, "C" Coy.
JOHNSON, A, Corporal, "F" Coy.
JOHNSON, H C, Corporal,, "H.Q" Coy.
JONES, G, Corporal, "F" Coy.
JUKES, H C S, Captain, Battn. H.Q.

KEELER, T G, Lieutenat
KEENE, B J, Lt.-Col., (Bn. Comd.)*

KETELBEY, F G, Lieutenant, Battn. H.Q.
KENDER, G A, Corporal, "B" Coy.
KENDON, D H, Major

KENDRICK, J, Lieutenant
KENDRICK, N H, Lieutenant

KIRBY, H J, Corporal, "B" Coy.
KIRTON, G A, L/Corporal, "E" Coy.

LANGFORD, G W, Captain, Battn. H.Q.
LAYTON, W, C.Q.M.S., "H.Q" Coy.
LEWIS, A, Lieutenant
LEWIS, C K, Lieutenant, Battn. H.Q.
LIPPITT, T W, Corporal, "E" Coy.
LITTLE, H, 2/Lieutenant, "A" Coy.
LLOYD, A F, Sergeant, "D" Coy.
LLOYD, D W, L/Corporal, "D" Coy.
LONGHURST, F, Sergeant, Battn. H.Q.
LOWE, P, Sergeant, Battn. H.Q.

MALE, W, L/Corporal, "B" Coy.
MAPP, G, Sergeant, Battn. H.Q.
MARSH, W P, Captain, Battn. H.Q.
MARTIN, W C, Lieutenant
MATTHEWS, A, Sergeant, "A" Coy.
McCARTHY, J N, Captain
MILLINGTON, A, Corporal, "A" Coy.
MOLE, S, M.M., RSM, Battn. H.Q.
MOUNTFORD, J G, Lieutenant, Battn. H.Q.
MUCKLOW, H, Sergeant, "A" Coy.

NICKLIN, R, Corporal, "A" Coy.
NOCK, J, Corporal, "E" Coy.

OLIVER, M, L/Corporal, "C" Coy.
OLIVER, T, Corporal, "C" Coy.
OLIVER, W H, Captain
OWEN, H, Corporal, "F" Coy.

PARISH, C N, Lieutenant
PARKER, J, Sergeant, Battn. H.Q.
PARKES, F G?E, Captain
PARKES, G J H, ?Private *

PARSONS, A, Sergeant, "A" Coy.
PARSONS, H, L/Corporal, "A" Coy.
PARTRIDGE, E J, L/Corporal, "B" Coy.
PARTRIDGE, H, Corporal, "B" Coy.

PARTRIDGE, W T, Lieutenant
PEARSON, F, Corporal, "C" Coy.
PEARSON, H, "F" Coy.
PENGELLY, W, Sergeant , "B" Coy.
PENN, E H, Lieutenant
PETFORD, J, Corporal, "C" Coy.
PHIPSON, L, Lieutenant, "H.Q" Coy.
PICKRELL J B, Lieutenant, "H.Q" Coy.
PLANT, F W, L/Corporal, "H.Q" Coy.
PORTMAN, H, C.S.M., "H.Q" Coy.
POSTLES, A T, Corporal, "A" Coy.
POWELL, H V, Corporal, "H.Q" Coy.
PRICE, J E, Corporal, "H.Q" Coy.
PRIEST, DV, Sergeant, "H.Q" Coy.

RANDALL, R, Lieutenant
RAYBOULD, H C, Lieutenant, "H.Q" Coy.

REYNOLDS, A, L/Corporal, "H.Q" Coy.
RICH, V C F, 2/Lieutenant
ROBB, W, Major-General
ROBERTS, E A, Corporal, "B" Coy
ROCK, A, 2/Lieutenant

ROCKETT, F W, Corporal, "H.Q" Coy.
ROPER, E, Corporal, "F" Coy.
ROPER, K J Corporal, "B" Coy.
ROSE, J, Sergeant, "E" Coy.
ROUND, W, Corporal, "B" Coy.
RUDGE, J, Sergeant, "A" Coy. *

SALISBURY, F, Corporal, "A" Coy.
SAUNDERS, H, Sergeant, "F" Coy.
SAWYER, A, Corporal, "C" Coy.
SAWYER, R E, CorporaL, "H.Q" Coy.
SAWYER, W A V, Corporal, "A" Coy.
SCAMP, T E, Lieutenant
SCARLETT, T, Sergeant, Battn. H.Q.

SEARANCKE, B A, Lieutenan, "A" Coy.
SHARRAT, F R W, L/Corporal, "B" Coy.
SHARRATT, R F, L/Corporal, "B" Coy.
SHAW J A, 2/Lieutenant, "A" Coy.
SHERLOCK, A, Sergeant, "D" Coy.
SHILVOCK, A G, Sergeant, "H.Q" Coy.
SHILVOCK, H, L/Corporal, "E" Coy.
SHILVOCK, J, Corporal, "H.Q" Coy.
SILCOX, J, 2/Lieutenant
SIVITER, A E, Corporal, "A" Coy.
SKIDMORE, J W, L/Corporal, "A" Coy.
SLATER, H, Corporal, "C" Coy.
SMART, D, L/Corporal, "F" Coy.
SMART, R, Sergeant, "F" Coy.
SMITH, C F, Lieutenant
SMITH, F G, Sergeant, "F" Coy.
SMITH, F P, Major, "C" Coy.

SMITH, F W, Corporal, "H.Q" Coy.
SMITH, H, Captain, "A" Coy.
SMITH, H, L/Corporal, "H.Q" Coy.
SMITH, H, Sergeant, "C" Coy.
SMITH, W, Corporal, "A" Coy.
SOMERS, F, O.B.E, Major, Battn. H.Q.
SOMERS, W L C, Captain

SOUTHALL, A, Corporal, "B" Coy.
STEPHENS, A, Major, "B" Coy.
STEPHENS, T D, Corporal, "B" Coy.
STEVENSON, J B L, Major, "D" Coy.
STOKES, A, L/Corporal, "E" Coy.
STOKES, S, Corporal, "F" Coy.
STONE, F W, L/Corporal, "B" Coy.
STONE, W, L/Corporal, "B" Coy.
STOTT, A, Sergeant,, "H.Q" Coy.
STYLE, H, Captain

TAGGART, J, L/Corporal, "D" Coy.
TAYLOR, F, Corporal, "C" Coy.
THOMAS, D, L/Corporal, "H.Q" Coy.
THOMPSON G G, 2/Lieutenant
TOMBLIN, E P, 2/Lieutenant

TONKS, A, L/Corporal, "A" Coy.
TRANTER, S J, Corporal, "B" Coy.
TROMANS, E J, Corporal, "A" Coy.
TURNER, H, L/Corporal, "H.Q" Coy.
TYLER, H F, Sergeant, "C" Coy.
TYLER, W T, Sergeant, "F" Coy.

VERNON, J H, Major, "F" Coy.

WAITE, W, L/Corporal, "B" Coy.
WALKER, W, L/Corporal, "H.Q" Coy.
WAKEMAN, T H, Corporal, "D" Coy.
WARDLE, P W, LieutenanT, "B" Coy.
WATERFIELD, A, Corporal, "H.Q" Coy.
WEAVER, G, Sergeant, "C" Coy.
WEBSTER, E, 2/Lieutenant, "H.Q" Coy.
WESTCOTT, VR, M.C., Lieutenant, "H.Q" Coy.
WESTON, T, Corporal, "A" Coy.
WESTWOOD, J, Corporal, "E" Coy.
WESTWOOD, S, L/Corporal, "A" Coy.
WHITE, R F, L/Corporal, "B" Coy.
WHYLEY, L, Lieutenant, "A" Coy.
WILLETTS, F, Lieutenant

WILLETTS, J B, Lieutenant, "H.Q" Coy.
WILLIAMS, J T, Sergeant, "B" Coy.

WILLIAMS, R E, L/Corporal, "B" Coy.
WILLIAMS, S G, Corporal, "H.Q" Coy.
WILLIAMS, William Thomas*

WITHERS, G, L/Corporal, "H.Q" Coy.
WITHERS, C S, C/Sergeant, Battn. H.Q.
WOLBOLD, F, Corporal, "H.Q" Coy.
WORRALL, H, L/Corporal, "A" Coy.
WORRALL, F, Sergeant, "A" Coy.

WOOD, Sergeant, "A" Coy.
WOODALL, A S, Corporal, Battn. H.Q.
WOODALL, G R, L/Corporal, "D" Coy.
WOODHOUSE, A, Sergeant, "C" Coy.
WOODWARD, Corporal, "H.Q" Coy.
WORRALL, T F, Sergeant, "A" Coy

YOUNG, F R, Lieutenant
YOUNG, J, Sergeant, "F" Coy.

denotes mention in NOTES ON INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS below
Grateful acknowledgement to: Jane Bache, Wendy Chapman (Butler), John Hadley, Margaret Harding (GJH Parkes, B.J. Keene), Mark Higgins (Davenport), Kevin Hussey, Linda Levine (Grossman), Sally Weeks (Rudge); The Home Guard List 1941 by Jon Mills


Anecdotal information about individual 5th Battalion members seems to be sparse.  Any information (beyond what the book tells us) which becomes available to staffshomeguard will be posted here, in their memory.


Eric Rudge
(right) served in the 5th Worcestershire Battalion although his years of service are unknown; his rank was probably Private. His parents were Harry and Sarah Ann Rudge who lived, and ran a garage, at 15 Rumbow, Halesowen (the first to have a petrol pump in Halesowen, left).

By the outbreak of war Eric was living at 19 Melbourne Road, Halesowen with his widowed mother who died in 1945. He married Esme Roberts in 1948 and is thought to have lived in the same house for the rest of his life.

Eric obviously had a background in the motor trade. The 5th Worcestershire Battalion provided themselves with a large scale model of a tank, for training purposes: this was built by the Battalion's Pioneers unit. Could there be a connection?

The above image of Eric has as its background, a large German Panzer. Here is the entire image with Eric second from the right:

This image has previously been interpreted as a scene from the Birmingham Street Fighting School. But now that information has appeared concerning the existence of the Halesowen tank, it is much more likely that it is the latter in the background, together with its "German" crew in authentic-looking uniforms. The photograph was probably taken at the time of a public display by the Halesowen Home Guard
(see the booklet, P. 5-12).
(Source: Sally Weeks)



After service in the Halesowen Home Guard, Dennis, of Quarry Lane, joined the Royal Warwickshire Regiment, became a sniper, landed in France on D-Day and was wounded in action near Caen.
(Source: Mark Higgins)



The life and service of Cyril Hodgetts are remembered on an associated page.



Information about George Hussey's life and Home Guard service can be read on this separate page of the website.



Bertram Keene,
(b. 8th May 1891) had served in the Great War as a Lieutenant in the West Yorkshire Regiment) and later commanded the 5th Worcestershire Battalion throughout its life, from 1940 to 1944. He was living in Halesowen from at least 1935, in Garden Village Hunnington. In that area was located the Blue Bird Toffee factory and Bertram was its advertising manager. He is remembered locally as "a Colonel" and as having only one arm - no doubt a result of his Great War service. And as having taught two young girls how to play tennis on the sports field in the Village of Blue Birds where there were tennis courts, a cricket pitch and a pavilion.
(Source: Margaret Harding)



Geoffrey Parkes
(b. 28th February 1921) served as a young man in the Halesowen Home Guard.  He lived in Tenter Street, Halesowen and worked at Emery's Engineering. Little information about his HG service survives but he is thought to have have been injured during training, seriously enough to require hospital treatment.

(Source: Margaret Harding)



William  Thomas Williams was a chainmaker on Cradley Hill and lived in Colley Gate.
(Source: Hazel Sidaway)


In Memory of  
Eric Rudge
and of
All His Comrades

in the
5th Worcestershire (Halesowen) Battalion

is gratefully made to Sally Weeks (Australia) for the above information about her father and his Battalion; and for her generous permission for its publication; to the Halesowen Remembered Facebook group and its members who have kindly provided information on various individuals, some of whom had previously been unknown; and of course to the unknown creators and publishers of  "Halesowen Home Guard", without whose efforts much knowledge of the Battalion would now be permanently lost.
Tank image Sally Weeks 2018

information about the Home Guard in Worcestershire contained within this website can be seen in the Worcestershire summary page which can be accessed via the Info - Worcs link below. Much information about the Home Guard in the county is also contained in the book Chronicles of the Worcestershire Home Guard by Mick Wilks (Logaston Press, 2014, ISBN 978 1 906663 87 2).

And if you can add anything to the history of the Worcestershire Home Guard, and especially the Halesowen unit, please contact staffshomeguard via the Feedback link.

 x179A Sept. 2021, updated Dec 2021
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