|| treat their grenades
with the same assurance and confidence that they would show
when using their rifle. I would like to mention here the valuable
help given by Sgt.-Major Nutting D.C.M., of "G"
Company. Nutting was with me at all "live" grenade
practices and he was responsible for the priming bay.
The next type of bomb to arrive was the No. 73 grenade.
In appearance this resembled a thermos flask, was unwieldy
and difficult to throw. It contained T.N.T. and, unlike
the Mills, relied entirely on "blast" for its
effect. This type was afterwards withdrawn.
The C.O. and I took some of these grenades to our range
one winter's evening. They were duly detonated and thrown.
The first two exploded with what seemed to be comparatively,
a terrific blasting effect. Unfortunately the third lodged
in a small bush at the bottom of the marl pit. We could
not get a demolition set anywhere near it and the only solution
seemed to be to shoot at it with a rifle from a convenient
distance. It was now rapidly getting dark and by the time
the rifle and ammunition arrived from B.H.Q. it was difficult
to see the grenade. Owing to the bad light the first two
shots missed and the grenade was then covered with a white
handkerchief, and this time no mistake was made. The explosion
caused the marl dust to be scattered for a radius of many
yards and the Colonel and I were both smothered in dust.
| Boxes of grenades
No. 36, No. 68 and No. 73 were rapidly arriving at B.H.Q.
These were distributed to Company H.Q's. by the courtesy of
Major Goode, who loaned us the Streetly Works lorry.
There were two other officers associated with weapons training,
viz. Bond, who was the machine-gun specialist, and Sheldon,
the Musketry Officer, both of whom took an active part in
I was now transferred to "G" Coy. as O.C., and
an interval of some weeks followed during which period B.H.Q.
was minus a W.T.O. We were, however, favoured by fortune,
for Lieut. (now Major) O. H. Hodgkin was transferred to
us from the 24th (Tettenhall) Bn. Hodgkin had enormous resources
both in size and energy. He was appointed Weapons Training
Officer and immediately entered into the work with surprising
vigour. The accumulation of bombs and grenades in the cellar
were conveyed to the various companies. This presented difficulties
for at that time we were without any official transport
and it was surprising what qualms some officers had about
conveying explosives in their cars.
There now started an ever-increasing flow of grenades and
weapons, including the first spigot mortars - minus (of
course) training pamphlets, tools and ammunition - which
led to the long history of "changes in drill"
on the Blacker usually terminating in sharp and sometimes
adverse reports from Burnhill Green.