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however, before B.H.Q. had an establishment of officers each of whom was given a special job, at any rate, on paper. I was appointed "Bombing Officer". I'm afraid I was not a very suitable man for the position, for apart from having handled a few grenades (Mills 36) in the last war my knowledge of bombs was precisely nil. However, I consoled myself that no-one else knew anything about them either. And as we did not appear to be getting any I just sat back and filled in a few Ammunition Returns and helped generally with anything that was needed. The day was not far distant when a box of twelve Mills 36 grenades, complete with detonators arrived. I put these carefully away in the cellar and did my best to forget about them. This I was not allowed to do, for very soon afterwards dozens of similar boxes were stacked in the hall of B.H.Q. and, obviously, something had to be done about them. I therefore proceeded to read all I could about bombs, grenades and H.E., and attended a Course with the 307th Holding Battalion. I also spent a very interesting week at Altcar Weapons Training School. Theoretically I was now well equipped to deal with my job.

One or two key men were selected from each Company to attend B.H.Q. once a week for instruction. These men, when proficient, were to train a nucleus in their Company in the throwing and theory of he Mills grenade. When this had been completed they were to return with their men to B.H.Q. for practice in live grenade




throwing. I had selected a site on Gretton's Farm on the left-hand side of Stillwell Lane.

There were a few "marl" pits here, and one of these served the purpose of a bombing range, for at the top of it was a piece of flat ground about 15 yards wide and then a drop of about 5 feet. The slope acted as a barricade to protect the throwers from splinters from the grenade which was thrown over the 15 yards of level land into the marl pit. Capt. Morris and I proceeded to our very rough and ready bombing range one Saturday morning to test some grenades. I was not at all happy about this, for I was rather worried as to what would happen if one of them did not explode. There were no demolition sets in those days and the live grenade could not have been left in the pit. It would also have been dangerous to disturb it. My fears, however, were unfounded for all the grenades did exactly what was required of them. Training in grenade throwing went on continuously for many months. In this way some hundreds of men passed through my hands and, although I never questioned any of them, I often wondered what was their reaction to the throwing of their first grenade. The average Britisher rather prides himself on showing no emotion whatever during a new experience, but I cannot help thinking that most of them, when they approached the throwing bay with the live grenades in their hands, must have been a little apprehensive as to what was going to happen. This feeling, if it were ever there at all, wore off rapidly after the initial throw and no doubt many of them would, when in action,