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artificial, and though plans were made and defences tested under Sector's guidance, little real interest was shown in them. It was, therefore, not too soon that, in the early part of 1944, the scheme was scrapped, and we were given simple orders to muster at assembly points on the receipt of certain code words which would be issued should the enemy attempt any airborne diversion to the opening of the Second Front. This scheme cancelled the part Darlaston had played in our defence plans during 1942 and 1943 and brought us back to something not very far removed from the earliest plans of all, but with this solid difference, that, whereas in 1940 if we had been called upon to serve we should have been a collection of partially armed untamed enthusiasts, in 1944 we should certainly have been reasonably well armed and, in many cases, well organised and led.

Another serious problem which had to be tackled in our training during 1942 and 1943 was co-operation with the C.D. My own feeling on this subject is that in the very earliest stages Civil or Home Defence should have been organised as one force divided into combatant and non-combatant. The dualism through not doing this led to a colossal effort on the part of all concerned, attended by only limited success, to bring about real co-operation. Zone, sector, and battalion organised schemes and TEWTS. We ourselves had two which could be described as successful. One was a TEWT at the Beacon Hut at the end of


1942, in which Police, N.F.S., C.D. and H.G. from all parts of the battalion area participated. The other I have already mentioned. But the sum total of our efforts was very small, and even at the end there was little real liaison between the C.D. and ourselves.


Platoons had their "Smokers", companies their "Smokers", concerts and dances. The battalion concentrated on the sports, with the exception of a very successful dance at the Walsall Town Hall, when something like 700 attended.

Some companies seemed to excel in one particular direction. For instance, "B" had a series of excellent smoking concerts in the early days, "A" and "C" ran very popular shows on the platoon level, "G" had some first-rate concerts, whereas "E" made a speciality of dances.

A separate article by our Sports Officer, Breeze, is being devoted to the meetings held each year, so I will content myself by saying that the battalion owes a debt of gratitude to my Second-in-Command, and to Hackett, Jerromes, Dainty, Moss and Pepper, to mention only a few of that willing and hard-worked band of helpers who made our sports the great success they proved.


There is much more I should like to say about the past, but I have a vision of the editorial blue pencil descending on my MSS, so I will bring my review to an end by turning, for one moment, to the future and its problems.