HOME GUARD MEMORIES AND INFORMATION - WARWICKSHIRE, BIRMINGHAM

BORDESLEY GREEN HOME GUARD
(39th WARWICKSHIRE (BIRMINGHAM) BATTALION)

and

Sgt. JIM BAKER

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Cecil James Baker, always known as Jim, was a sergeant in a platoon which defended Bordesley Green and part of Alum Rock. He was a veteran of the Great War, like many Home Guard officers and NCOs, and lived at 72 Fordrough Lane, Bordesley Green in Birmingham. It was in this house that he and his wife Janie were visited every Sunday morning by his young niece after she had been bombed out in May 1941. One element of Birmingham at war which she remembers from those days of 65 years ago was the large white "SP" which was painted on the wall of the entry running down the side of the house. This familiar sign denoted the location of a stirrup pump which together with a bucket of sand and one of water was a mainstay in the householders' fight against incendiaries. Decades later its faint outline was still to be seen.

Jim Baker's unit is believed to have had its HQ at Saltley Training College in Bridge Road which was nearby. (Fordrough Lane is left centre on the map to the right; Bridge Road is above and runs off slightly to the left)..The Battalion has now been identified as the 39th Warwickshire (Birmingham) Battn.

A photograph of Jim Baker's unit has survived, taken at Saltley College. He is seated on the front row, second from the left.

      Click on the above image to see a magnified version       

N.B. Elsewhere in the website there are reminiscences and images provided by another member of the same unit, Pte. Geoffrey Bennett.

Acknowledgements:
We make grateful acknowledgement to June E. for this information about her uncle and her generous permission for its publication.