MEMORIES AND INFORMATION - WARWICKSHIRE HOME GUARD
46th WARWICKSHIRE (BIRMINGHAM) BATTN.
and adjoining areas
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46th Warwickshire (Birmingham) Battalion had a responsibility for the defence of areas of
Handsworth and some adjoining
areas. Of its five Companies "B" Coy. was the factory unit of
ICI Metals Ltd. - Kynoch Works, the main factory devoted to ICI's metals interests and situated on a vast site on the eastern edge of the Battalion's territory.
It may well be that the 46th Battalion comprised entirely factory
units in the area; but this has yet to be established beyond doubt. (Other pages of the website give further information about
the Kynoch unit and the factory which it defended - see below).
At stand-down in December 1944 The Battalion's officers were as follows:
The above summary of officers
within the Battalion comes from the second page of a commemorative
publication issued by the Commanding Officer,
Lt.-Col. C. W. P. Blackmore, M.C.,
shortly after stand-down. This is the first page of it where Col.
Blackmore expresses his appreciation of services rendered.
And the third page consists of a
group photograph showing all or most of the Battalion officers who
attended a stand-down dinner at Aston
Barracks on November 10th 1944.
An image also survives of what appears to have been a parade of at least part of the Battalion. The date would have been late 1943 or 1944. Most of the officers listed above would have been present but the only names so far linked to faces are those of
Lt. E. Long, M.M., of "B" Coy. who is standing in the third rank, first file on the left after the band; and
Major H. Cann, C.O. of "B" Coy. who is first main rank, 4th from left (between the two officers at the forefront). The officer in battledress looking directly at the camera is probably
Lt.-Col. C.W.P. Blackmore, M.C., Battalion C.O.
The precise location of this event has been identified with the generous help of a visitor to this website who advises that it was taken at Witton
Barracks. (This may well be the same thing as
Aston Barracks, mentioned
previously). Part of the Kynoch (ICI Metals) buildings are shown at the rear of the photo and the houses are in Witton Road. The larger building after the houses is a Billiard Hall. Some time after the war the Post Office Telephones (GPO and later BT) used the old barracks as one of their centres. The land now is part of Aston Villa F.C.
If you can provide further identifications
on either photograph - and these would be very welcome - please use FEEDBACK
(One wonders what the significance was of the little group in the background to the right: men in civvies, standing in a line formally at ease and one or two uniformed HG men with them. New recruits perhaps? Or serving Home Guards who couldn't get home from their working shift in time to change and participate in the parade?)
The final photograph is of a group of
Battalion officers. It possibly shows the Battalion Head
Quarters Specialist Officers who are listed above (and includes
a Sergeant). What is certain is that amongst them is
Lt. A. J. Walker, M.M.,
Battalion Pioneer Officer. He is standing in the back row,
second from the left. Lt. Walker, despite his H.G.
function, was a jeweller by profession. It is hoped in the
future to dedicate a page of this website to him, in honour of
his life and service.
|We make grateful acknowledgement to Gerry Long for this information and his generous permission for its publication; to Ted Rudge for help in establishing the location of the parade pictured above - his local history website is: Winson Green to Brookfields.;
and to a further contributor, the grandson of Lt. Walker .
Battalion image © Gerry Long 2010
Officers image © Family of A. J. Walker 2020
X81 2010, updated May 2020