|| 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
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
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.