BBC HomeExplore the BBC
This page was last updated in February 2012We've left it here for reference.More information

18 April 2014
Accessibility help
Text only
WW2 - People's War

BBC Homepage
BBC History
WW2 People's War Homepage Archive List Timeline About This Site Print this page 

Contact Us

Like this page?
Send it to a friend!

 

Had Hitler known!

by CSV Solent

You are browsing in:

Archive List > United Kingdom > London

Contributed by 
CSV Solent
People in story: 
Mr C Humphreys
Location of story: 
Truro, Cornwall
Background to story: 
Civilian Force
Article ID: 
A5297628
Contributed on: 
24 August 2005

This story has been added to the People's war website by Marie on behalf of Mr Humphreys with his permission. Mr Humphreys fully understands the sites terms and conditions.

Early in 1940 - aged 18 - I had just left school and was in temporary employment, realising that sooner or later I would be in the military. Near to my parent’s home was the HQ of the newly formed Local Defence Volunteers. I joined this and was soon involved in drill etc - but of greater significance was the various patrol duties we undertook on a rota basis. I was paired with a neighbour - a mature man. He was issued with a WW1 Lee Enfield rifle and five rounds of .303 whilst I was entrusted with a large pitch fork!

The main railway line through Cornwall passes through a longish tunnel just before crossing two viaducts into Truro Station. Our four hour patrol stint involved defending this tunnel and/or the viaducts against impending enemy saboteurs. With my pitch fork over my shoulder and my adult companion with his rifle (and five rounds) we patrolled the dark tunnel, leaping into side refuges as the steam trains thundered through. Next day my mother was faced with the smoke/soot soiled clothes I’d been wearing.

So it was that the (then) Great Western Railway was defended against Hitlerian hazards!

Later in 1940 I took employment for four months in Coventry - to experience the November 14th blitz on that city; my job fell apart and I joined the RAF in March 1941.

© Copyright of content contributed to this Archive rests with the author. Find out how you can use this.

Archive List

This story has been placed in the following categories.

London Category
icon for Story with photoStory with photo

Most of the content on this site is created by our users, who are members of the public. The views expressed are theirs and unless specifically stated are not those of the BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of any external sites referenced. In the event that you consider anything on this page to be in breach of the site's House Rules, please click here. For any other comments, please Contact Us.



About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy