and where the A.A. has caught a very fair likeness at the
top of the page.
Coming nearer home, are our friends Inspector Watts and
Sergeant Webb of the Aldridge Police, and Inspector Gittings
of the Brownhills Police, who, from the very first, have
been very helpful neighbours indeed. In fact the Police
have played a very important part in the H.G. world. Our
early organizing efforts revolved round their several stations,
and throughout our history we have called on them for advice
and help, which has always been given unsparingly.
Then comes the Civil Defence - our cousins in the family
of Defence. They have played with us on many occasions,
often to their annoyance and disappointment because we were
not always in a position to supply them with the casualties
they so badly needed for exercise. Names like Partridge,
Waine, Hall, Udall and Edwards will all be remembered for
their help to us.
Nor shall we ever forget Mrs. Hampson, Mrs. Parsley and
their helpers. How good naturedly they turned out with the
mobile canteens whenever called upon, and at ungodly hours,
to bring welcome refreshment to our men.
Had one the space there are so many more of our neighbours
who could be included, but the list would be quite inadequate
without recalling the name of Gwinnett and his Darlaston
men, who were
help in our area if need arose, and Lieut.Colonel Burn and
the 27th (Walsall) Battalion, who were always ready to co-operate.
In the early days our energies were eaten up by guards
and patrols and administrative problems. It was not until
the October of 1940 that we had our first Battalion Exercise.
The other day I was reading through the operational orders
sent to companies during that Exercise, and I blush to think
of the complete disregard of the state of training of the
companies and the hopelessly inadequate communications by
which they were to be carried out in the time available.
But of all the early exercises, the most memorable was
the attack on Walsall in the summer of 1941. From the point
of view of a good time being had by all, it was a great
success. One half of the battalion attacked along the line
of the Lichfield Road, the other, and smaller half, attacking
between the Birmingham Road and Sutton Road. Tanks were
out, and Montgomery himself could not have had more enterprising
tank commanders than we had that day. Of course, there was
no cohesion, and not one of us had any knowledge of tank
tactics. You will remember how we went straight through
the enemy's outposts and finished up with a grand melee
round the Walsall Battalion's H.Q. A very successful operation,
due largely to the fact that no - or very few umpires -
were out that day.