We are indebted to T.J. of March, Cambridgeshire
for this splendid anecdote written especially for staffshomeguard.co.uk
and recalling one momentous night in the defence of Middleton
St. George, County Durham. Clearly, invasion panics were
not restricted to the South Coast!
It must have
been September 1940 when the country was fearing invasion
by the Germans.The days were warm but there was quite
a mist which
developed during the night and around dawn. The Home Guard
called to readiness in our village.
On this particular
night they were detailed to take up defensive positions
on the local golf course as it was thought that paratroops
would land in this area. All was very quiet until about
2 a.m. when all hell was let loose. Firing was heard in
the distance and the church bells began ringing, warning
invasion and waking everyone in the village. After 10
minutes or so the
shooting stopped together with the bells and everyone
was advised to
return indoors but no explanation was offered. At about
6 a.m. Dad
returned and he went off to bed without a word.
The next day
the truth came out. It appeared that several aircraft
passed overhead their positions and they feared the worst.
selected their 'targets' and opened fire. As the early
began to lift they counted the bodies.....22 sheep were
night but not one paratrooper!!
© TJ 2006