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15 October 2014
WW2 - People's War

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High Jinks in the Home Guard

by stoke_on_trentlibs

Contributed by 
stoke_on_trentlibs
People in story: 
Colin Chesworth
Location of story: 
Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent
Background to story: 
Civilian Force
Article ID: 
A2642744
Contributed on: 
17 May 2004

This story was submitted to the People's War website by Stoke-on-Trent Libraries on behalf of Josephine Chesworth and has been added to the site with her permission. The author fully understands the sites terms and conditions.

I remember Chamberlains radio broadcast saying we were at war. Everyone was shocked.
Thefirst air-raid siren, we went down to a shelter. After that I decided that really we weren't in that much danger and so I stayed in bed. We lived in Bryan Street. Before the war we could always see the red glow of Shelton Bar but it must've been dampened down.
I joined the Home Guard. I was a pianist so I got roped into being involved in a pantomine that the regular Army Captain had written.It was at Shelton Barracks(bottom of Broad Street) There was the regular army, us and ATS girls. It was really good. We had a Regimental Sargeant Major who could always be found dancing when off duty - you would never beleive it was the same chap!
In the Home Guard we did have rifles.I remember the American 303. I was paid 3 shillings a night for subsistence - at the same time I was working at Hanley Deep Pit in the offices. we would spend half the night playing cards - usually pontoon, then we would settle down to sleep in the horsehair mattress only to be woken 30 minutes later by a sergeant.

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