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AND INFORMATION - WORCESTERSHIRE
WORCS. (HALESOWEN) BATTN.
SERGEANT GEORGE HUSSEY
Halesowen was defended by the
(Halesowen) Battalion, commanded
Lt-Col. B.J. Keene.
Battalion H.Q. was at The Drill
Hall, Grammar School Lane, Halesowen and
Company/Platoon HQs were located at different places
in and near the town.
members was Sgt. George
served in the Great War as did many of his comrades.
George was a miner for almost all of his working life
We remember his life and service on this page.
OF GEORGE HUSSEY
George Hussey was born in
Street, Halesowen on 10th July 1900. He
started work at the age of 14, in 1914 or 1915
as this later (undated) reference from a
manager at Witley Colliery, Halesowen
confirms. The manager was
Frank Jew who may
have subsequently lost his life in an accident
at the pit.
Great War service caught up
with George towards the end of the war, in
1918. A Certificate Of Employment
confirms that he served as an Orderly in the
Labour Corps, 615 (H.S.) Employment Coy. from
October to December 1918. Whether this
comprises the whole of his service or whether
there were other duties in addition to his
basic military training, including even
previous infantry service prior to transfer to
the Labour Corps after the latter's creation
in 1917, is not known. The "H.S" designation
probably infers Home Service in England.
We must assume that George
returned to working in the pit after his
demobilisation. He may have left Witley
Colliery in the mid 1920s and moved to a
nearby pit, Beech Tree Colliery at
Cradley. A certificate
dated 2nd May 1928 confirms the appointment of
Geo. Hussey to perform the duties of Cager at
Beech Tree and is signed by
Manager. And seven or eight years later
another reference survives, this one dated
20th September 1934, again from Beech Tree and
signed by Arthur Raybould (Undermanager); it
confirms the fulfilment of George's duties as
Onsetter and attending the horses.
It is safe to assume that George Hussey
continued to work at Beech Tree throughout the
1930s, up until and beyond the outbreak of
another war, on 3rd September 1939.
We do not know
exactly when George Hussey volunteered for
Home Guard service but the assumption has to
be that it was in the early weeks, perhaps in
June or July 1940. His previous Great War
training and experience would have been
invaluable and, together with his obvious
personal qualities, would have led to early
promotion. By the time we know anything of his
Home Guard career, he wore the three stripes
of a Sergeant.
Most of what we
know of his service comes from the
Home Guard booklet (P. 24). That tells us that
Sergeant George Hussey was in 1944 one of three
sergeants in No. 17 Platoon of "C" Company. It
seems very likely that George was a member of
the unit based at Beech Tree Colliery – his
place of employment. In the early days that
Platoon had been a large one, under the
command of Lieutenant T. Holden
and 2/Lt. G.
Bretell; it was later split into two, under
the command of Lt. A. Cornock (No. 16) and
C.F. Smith (No. 17).
One fragment of
his service survives, retained within his
papers for the rest of his life - for a
reason we can now never know: a list of the
components of the Blacker Bombard
He possibly trained his men on the operation
of this fearsome weapon.
From the training manual
by the 23rd Warks (Erdington)
And a cutaway image showing some of the
components on George's list ....
But perhaps the main
surviving memento of George's Home Guard
service is his copy of the 5th
Worcestershire's unit history, written in
Home Guard", by
Lt. J. G.
fascinating book is reproduced in its
entirety within this section of the website.
Click on the link to start viewing it).
The frontispiece of this
work confirms it as having been his
personal copy. And it also confirms his
period of service which was very nearly the
7th July 1940 -
31st December 1944.
In the post-war years George Hussey
continued his career at the Beech Tree pit
performing duties of a particularly
responsible kind. Here are some glimpses
of those years - essential certificates
from his work , now all bearing the
National Coal Board heading following the
nationalisation of the industry; and
images of his family life.
His private life goes on ..... relaxing
with his wife, Lily Elver (nee Fletcher) in about 1950
and, one sunny spring day in 1963, enjoying the
company of his son and infant grandson,
time continues to move on: Beech Tree Colliery
closes, George Hussey's identity disc is
put to one side (but is not wholly
discarded) and George receives a glowing
testimonial from the Colliery Manager,
continued working and at the age of 58
Clancey Ltd., Belle Vale, Halesowen
as a machinist. Eventually he finished
work and could finally sit back (as
he is doing here in 1982, shortly before
his death) and
enjoy a well-deserved retirement after a
lifetime of devoted service to his nation,
to his community and to his industry.
Hussey died at Wordsley on 23rd April 1982
in his 82nd year and was survived by Lily
for a further 18 years: she died at the
age of 97 in 2000.
In Memory of
all his comrades
is gratefully made
to Kevin Hussey for providing this information
about his grandfather and generously
permitting its publication
Family images © Kevin
Other information about the
Halesowen Home Guard (5th Worcestershire
(Halesowen) Battalion), including the contents
of a 1944 history, is available on
the main battalion page of this website;
and about the Worcestershire Home Guard in
general in the
Worcestershire summary page.
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
Guard, and especially the Halesowen unit, please contact staffshomeguard via the