- Contributed by
- People in story:
- Frank Bagley Jack Thaker Maurice Foulconbridge
- Location of story:
- Background to story:
- Civilian Force
- Article ID:
- Contributed on:
- 12 July 2005
This story has been submitted to the People’s War-web site by CSV Action Desk Volunteer Frank Bagley.
This story was told to me by Maurice Faulconbridge who was a very good story teller. I worked at George Wilson Gas Meters, in the afternoon when we had our tea break there would be three of us who had our tea break together, myself, Jack Thacker and Maurice. Maurice had been in the army in the Airborne in gliders, he told us a lot of stories about his service in the army.
This story used to have us in fits of laughter, because we knew all the people that were in it.
It went like this, George Wilson Gas Meters had its own Home Guard Unit.
Their head quarters was in the works canteen which was apart from the main works, one night when they were on duty asleep in the canteen, Tommy Hall who was the gate keeper was on fire watching duty this night, he had worked at Wilson’s for years and when his eye sight was failing they gave him the job as gate keeper.
This night the home guard was asleep in the canteen when Tommy came banging on the door, he was in a very excitable state, when they calmed him down, he said that there was a spy in the factory. Two weeks before this incident a bomb had hit the corner of the paint shop, the roof had been covered with a tarpaulin, to keep out the weather, getting back to the story. Sgt Major Sam Faulconbridge who was veteran of the First World War, woke up the other home guard and proceeded into the factory, they had put on their tin hats and took their rifles. They could not put on any lights because of the bomb damage. Tom took them to where he had heard the noise, then this time they all heard it, Sgt Major Sam Faulconbridge said to Sgt Freddy Watts who had lost an eye in the First World War, “Put one up the spout Fred”, which meant put a bullet up the barrel ready to fire. All of a sudden there was such a noise coming from the paint shop, Freddy Ludford shouted “There he goes” so Sam fires his rifle, the bullet rebounded off the machinery hits Freddy Ludford on his helmet and he shouts “He’s shooting back at us”, “I’m off” and runs back to the canteen.
It turned out to be the tarpaulin flapping about.
I have often wondered what secrets a German spy would be looking for in a gas meter factory.
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