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But however good the men, they would have been powerless to create a fine unit had it not been for the truly constructive effort put into their jobs by the Officers and N.C.Os.

We have been an efficient battalion.  We have not been called upon to face the enemy, but if competitions against other battalions in shooting, field work, street fighting, and signalling are any guide, we can claim to have been one of the most efficient battalions in the garrison, as witness the record which appears on page 23.


In the absence of a diary, I wonder how far I can give you in a few words some of the outstanding features in the life of this battalion, and with them some of the impressions which have remained with me after four years of command.

We began as part of a much larger unit.  In the weeks immediately following the enrolment of the L.D.V. we were part of the Wednesbury Group corresponding with the Wednesbury Police Division, and including Bilston, Wednesbury, Darlaston and Aldridge.  Brownhills, at that time, was in the Lichfield Group and was not transferred to the Central Midland District until July 1940.  

Shortly before I took over, on 1st September, 1940, the present battalion was created, and Major Machin, who had performed magnificent service in forming


the Wednesbury Group, became the first C.O.  Though he was with us for not much more than three months, we must not forget the tremendous job he did.  Compare his job at that time with mine in 1944! Without chart or compass in the way of direction from higher formations, with miles of territory to cover - from Wednesbury to Brownhills - without any organized financial help and with a very inadequate staff, he had to weld thousands of volunteers into some semblance of a military organization, issue rifles and equipment which trickled in daily, and every night supervise and control the enthusiastic and somewhat erratic patrols and guards which sprang up everywhere.  Only a very stout-hearted man, such as he was, could have done it.

When I took over from Machin, who left us for service with the regular army, the pioneer work was, to a great extent, already done.  Some of his volunteer staff remained to help me, one of which was Jerromes - known as "Jerry" - who made history in the Q.M.'s stores at Wednesbury with the first issue of denims and their thousands of component parts.  Jerromes was a young quartermaster in the last war, and it was largely due to him that in 1940 and 1941 the "Q" side was handled without, shall we say, causing too much criticism from the company commanders.

As I have said, Brownhills had only just been transferred to this area when I took over the battalion. It was a momentous move as far as this battalion was concerned.  Brownhills then became our "C" Company and,