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Early in 1942, largely through the efforts of Major (later Lieut.-Col.) G. B. Partridge, "H" Sector were able to open a Grenade Range at the Chuckery, near WalsaIl. I may add that the Chuckery was not given its name by the Battalion wag, as so many appear to believe. After some instruction in the various weapons, parties were paraded for "live" throwing, chiefly of the Mills grenade, but also, to a certain extent, of such excitements as Sticky bombs and "73" grenades. These practices resulted in the bulk of the Battalion strength having thrown their quota of live bombs.

Speaking of the Chuckery recalls one incident which happened there and which might only too easily have had a tragic sequel but for the presence of mind and bravery of C.S.M. (later Lieut.) Mark Harris of "A" Coy. One of the details in the throwing bay, where Harris was on duty, was rather nervous. In throwing the grenade (which was fitted with a 4-second fuse) he fumbled and slipped, cutting his forehead on the revetment of the bay. The grenade landed on the edge of the parapet and the thrower fell to the ground, making it impossible for Harris to carry out the drill and clear the bay. Harris then picked up the grenade and was about to throw it clear, when the man started to rise and in so doing knocked the grenade out of his hand on to the floor of the bay. Again Harris picked it up and threw it clear, at the same time forcing the other to keep below the parapet. The grenade exploded some four feet from the bay whilst still in


the air and, unfortunately, some fragments  lodged in Harris's arm. This was the only injury sustained in what might easily have led to fatal casualties, and for his action on this day Harris received a certificate for gallantry from the G.O.C. Western Command.

C.S.M. Harris was a most useful "aider and abetter" throughout Major Hodgkin's service with the Battalion, and it would be difficult to find a better instructor. In addition to his Company duties he gave much time to helping with bombing and other weapon training throughout the Battalion, in which his thorough knowledge and outstanding personality achieved noteworthy results.

In the early part of 1942, a fairly liberal supply of sub-artillery had been received, and to try and encourage interest, especially in spigot mortars, it was decided to hold a Battalion Competition for drill on the Blacker at the end of July. The opportunity was taken by Major Hodgkin to give the Battalion a first-class demonstration of all the gadgets at that time available. The Battalion marched in a body through Walsall to the Chuckery range, where the salute was taken by the Sector Commander. There followed the spigot mortar drill competition, which was narrowly won by "B" Coy. The rest of the morning was taken up with the firing of mortars. Although only inert ammunition could be used on this range, even this was quite a thrill, as many of the teams had never fired before. In the afternoon a team from the original "G" Coy, in charge of Lieut. Hooper, gave a demonstration of