feature of H.G. throughout has been the changing ideas on
Defence systems. Up to this time we have had three changes
and there are more to follow. As soon as a new area has been
taken over and defence works sited (sometimes dug) a change
occurs and we start all over again. Despite our frequent grouses,
we realise that it is giving us excellent experience.
The Platoon is asked to lecture and demonstrate to Sector
School on personal camouflage and concealment, and a series
of demonstrations is carried out covering all of the officers
of the sector. All of the platoon take part, including new
recruits, and illustrate quite effectively the many points
which can save life in action - the use of shadow, close
background, the fold in the ground, slow movement, and the
camouflage of equipment and personnel. Many of the points
brought out are ideas put forward by members of the platoon
from personal experience on our local exercises and training.
Compulsion is introduced and all volunteers have the opportunity
to resign. We all deplore this step, but find in practice
that it makes no difference. No one takes advantage of the
opportunity to part company with the H.G. and, as the Platoon
gets no directed men, we remain volunteers in thought and
action to the end.
A further revision of the defence arrangements involves
the use of reinforcements from the 37th (Darlaston) Battalion
and we are to receive two platoons.
Previously, in common with most H.G. units, we have been
attempting to cover ground with one platoon that really
requires a battalion or brigade. Darlaston visit us on several
occasions and join with us in training and exercises, including
one full week-end stunt.
We take part in numerous exercises in attack
and in defence, sometimes on a platoon scale, but more frequently, nowadays,
with a much bigger formation, and on some of these big exercises
units see no action and become exceedingly "browned
off". The usual trouble persists as to who is dead
and who isn't, a question which will only be answered when
they issue ball ammunition on these stunts. We all shall
remember the Battalion attack on Walsall earlier on, and
of the milling mass of men, defence and attack, concentrated
in the final stages around Sector H.Q.
Training still is keenly followed, mainly
on revision nowadays, with new training introduced as and
when circumstances demand. One such requirement is the Sten
now on issue, which is taught to all, and gas equipment,
which with respirator, eyeshield, cape, detectors and personal
decontamination, require several hours to put over. Parade
attendances remain good and over a six months' average each
man on paper strength attends two parades per week in addition
to guard duty.
Platoon guards have been dropped in favour
of company guards, and this gives a very welcome relief
: the period of guards