AND INFORMATION - SHROPSHIRE
HOME GUARD PARADE 1942
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This parade of the Wellington
Home Guard took place in the summer of 1942. It might well
have been on the second anniversary of the founding of the
force in May 1940.
The location of the view is not
specified but will be recognisable to anyone who knows the
town well. There is a picture which appears on another website
here to view) which may well show the same parade and
the location there is specified as Sutherland Avenue, adjacent
to Wrekin College. The officer taking the salute on that occasion
is Captain E. Hunt.
It is almost certain that the
men of the Wellington Railway Platoon, shown
here, will have participated in this big parade.
The size of the crowd is
remarkable. Can anyone recognise and identify
any of the participants? Or are they all to remain anonymous
and forgotten? Or any of the onlookers, including the baby
slumbering peacefully in his pram, oblivious to all the
excitement surrounding him.
We are indebted to the late Mr. Arthur
Hounslow of Admaston for providing this fascinating picture.
Below is a higher definition
version of the image.
the time when this parade was taking place,
was a pupil at
and was photographed at around this time standing
in the main entrance
John was a member of the crowd watching this
impressive event and has recorded his memories for
I went to Wrekin College in 1940 and heard
harrowing tales of senior pupils being co-opted
into the LDV, as it was then, and guarding the
Wrekin and surrounding area at night dressed in
their OTC uniforms and carrying SMLE Enfields.
(The uniforms were of WW1 vintage with '09 webbing
but were replaced with battledress in around
1943). The result of these nightime operations, it
seems, was that they were falling asleep in class
the following day. Evidently this was an emergency
situation as it had ceased by the time I got
This was not my first encounter with
the Home Guard. My father had joined the LDV at
the very outset and on the basis of his Great War
experience was a Sergeant in the Chester Home
Guard. Before moving to Wrekin College I was a
pupil at the King's School in Chester in 1939/40
and not long after the Home Guard was formed in
June 1940 they asked for volunteers to unpack and
degrease a shipment of Ross rifles from, I think,
Canada, the first such issue to the Chester HG.
These weapons had been stored in a military
arsenal for two decades and were caked in
protective grease. They were now in Milne's
warehouse in Godstall Lane, awaiting issue to
individual Home Guards. So, being keen on guns, I
volunteered and a messy job it was too!
At Wrekin, the Officers' Training Corps consisted
of most of the school, about 300 odd in three
Companies, one SMLE for each member, but when I
had been there about six months all the guns were
taken away for the HG and it was about a year
before we got replacements.
I watched the Home Guard
parade shown on this page. I was 16 years of age
at the time and was standing near the entrance
gate to the school. In this parade were two
masters from the school,
Mr. "Jack" Frost and
but unfortunately I cannot pick them out in the
I went straight from Wrekin into the
Royal Navy: the only difference I noted was a
change of clothing as Wrekin was run by a
Victorian despot in the old mould so the R.N. was,
in some instances (not many, but some!), a bit
acknowledgement is made to Mr. John Lindop for
sharing his memories of those times.