This is a page within the Staffordshire Home Guard website. To see the entire site contents, please go to SITE MAP.

comments from the farmer that his prize Jersey herd is eating it and that yew is poisonous to cattle.

A battalion exercise is arranged. We are to represent paratroops dropped at Hobshole Spinney with orders to attack and hold Aldridge. We get through easily by infiltration and hold the position until "Stand down", losing some men in the counter attacks. We have quite a party when a neighbouring company, brought up to reinforce the defence, march to within 30 yards of our strongly held island in column of threes.

More general training on rifle, bayonet,   36 M., B.A.R., Lewis and Bren, Molotof, Tommy-gun, S.I.P., dealing with German incendiaries, dannert wiring, test mobilisation, route marches, field works and gas, but with emphasis now moved to battlecraft, platoon in attack, and patrols. We take part in a Battalion night exercise as paratroops again, attacking the Company H.Q. at "The Boot Inn", after approach marches by map and compass of varying distances of two to four miles. We work to a well-defined plan and, with the exception of one section which contrary to orders started a private war and were promptly scuppered, get through to the objective unopposed, and at zero hour make a sudden surprise attack on the H.Q. with Mills and fire bombs after covering all exits with rifle and L.M.G. fire. A complete wipe-out of the unfortunate company who were working under the disadvantage of having, without prior warning, to mobilize their men from the local pubs shortly before 10 o'clock on a Saturday night! Counter attacks continue for three hours, and plenty of fifth-column activity, but we manage to hold commanding positions until stand down. We learned a lot and taught a lot that night.

We concentrate, temporarily, on the platoon in attack and achieve, as we think, a fairly good standard. We are asked by the C.O. to take part in a Zone competition, and duly make our attack over a mile of Sutton Park in a mid-June blistering heat. Movement, timing and synchronisation of a final pincers movement are excellent, but we lose in the first round due to a poor recce. One of our members, a sixty-year old, almost prostrate with the heat and unable to keep up, falls well behind his swiftly moving section, but replies to the umpire's query about his role that he is the rearguard of the section and gains a few marks for the platoon. This attack remains in our memory as the day on which Russia is invaded. We are no longer alone.

We acquire, privately, tin hats. The steel helmet is given by an old member, and we purchase liners, chin straps, etc. from platoon funds. Our Platoon Sergeant spray-paints the assembly at his garage. Another member provides camouflage nets. After going to a lot of trouble we find that an official issue is to be made immediately.

The Battalion Commander comes back from a course convinced on the effectiveness of well-laid ambushes and asks the




(Images of the Platoon can be seen on this page)