|| on the land he
had farmed all his life. His sons, three of whom were members
of the Home Guard, will carry on the farm, but their father
will be missed for many a day and his and Mrs. Foden's kindnesses
will long be remembered among the Home Guards based on Foden's
Farm. The School was a great success and did good work, and
credit goes to Lieut. Richards, who spared no pains, time
or personal expense to make it go from the start.
As Fox is the present holder of the appointment, I feel
that I cannot do better than leave him to complete this
article in his own words. He says : The Weapons Training
Officer's is, without doubt, the best job in the Battalion.
It has interest, variety, change of scene and faces and
just that spice of risk that gives the right amount of kick.
The W.T.O. probably meets more keenness than any other specialist,
for we all are boys at heart and love making loud bangs.
One incident stands out in my mind. I had always been insistent
upon recruits having thorough preliminary training before
going on to the "live" bombing range. On this
occasion, I was conducting a practice on the Chuckery Range
during which recruits were to throw live 36 M. grenades
for the first time. A recruit had primed his two grenades
and was in the throwing bay with a P.S.I. who was preparing
him to throw. Though showing no particular signs of nervousness
the recruit was doing a lot of fumbling and the P.S.I. couldn't
get him to
place his hands into the right position.
At last he got a bit out of temper and said to the recruit
rather sharply: "Come on, come on, haven't you been
shown how to hold the b----y thing?"
"No," replied the recruit naively, "I haven't
seen one before this morning!" He had been detailed
for the Rifle Range and had got on the wrong 'bus.
There are many who will remember, with varying emotions,
the Bombing Parties at the Chuckery, Pheasey, Darlaston
and Stubber's Green ranges, S.M. firing at Mill Green and,
above all, our big day at Highgate Common, where we fired
over 120 live rounds and where "Jerry" our Catering
Officer, and Dainty our Pioneer Officer, excelled themselves
in the Commissariat department. Those of us who were fortunate
enough to attend the Command School at Altcar will share
some very special memories.
Looking back on these two years, my outstanding impression
is of meeting so many good fellows amongst the bombing fraternity.
The "A" Coy. team has already been mentioned and
others coming readily to mind are Lieut. Davies, also of
"A" Coy., Lieut. Sadler of "C", Lieut.
Norris of "D", Lieut. Barber and Sgt. Rigby of
"E", Lieut. Mycock of "F", and Lieut.
E. J. Richards and Sgt. Arblaster of "G". There
were also my opposite numbers in the other battalions whom
I met at our monthly meetings under Major Hodgkin. I cannot
complete this record without paying tribute to the assistance
given to me at all times by the Coy. Commanders.