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15 October 2014
WW2 - People's War

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A Home Guard training event

by cambsaction

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Contributed by 
People in story: 
Arthur Houghton
Location of story: 
Isleham, Cambridgeshire
Background to story: 
Civilian Force
Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
12 August 2005

This story was submitted to the People's War site by Mike Langran of the BBC Radio Cambridgeshire Story Gatherer Team on behalf of Arthur Houghton and has been added to site with his permission. The author fully understands the site's terms and conditions

During the Second World War I lived in Isleham Cambridgeshire and served in the Home Guard. We would meet every Sunday for drill and training sessions. At night, four to five people would be on duty at the old Institute opposite the Church. Our job was to deal with any emergency that might crop up. We had Khaki uniforms and rifles but no ammunition. We only had ammunition when we were on training manoeuvres at weekends.

On one training weekend we were in a sandpit when one of our members took the pin out of a hand grenade ready to throw but he dropped the grenade in our sandpit, a young officer Soham dived into the pit and threw the grenade out, saving us from injury.

During the day I worked on the farm. We use to have Italian Prisoners of War arrive by train each day who also worked on the farms. They would boil up dandelion leaves and eat them instead of cabbage.

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