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15 October 2014
WW2 - People's War

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Balancing life between work and the Gresford Home Guard

by wxmcommunitystudio

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Archive List > Childhood and Evacuation

Contributed by 
People in story: 
Geoffrey Lea
Location of story: 
'Caergwrle, Wrexham' 'Bryneglwys, Wrexham' 'Gresford, Wrexham'
Background to story: 
Civilian Force
Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
31 January 2006

My name is Geoffrey Lea. I’m 92.
I was always working on the land, and when the war came, I had to stay on the land. I was born on a big farm, but that went wrong, so I was working on another farm. This area covered anywhere between Caergwrle, and Bryneglwys, right up in the mountains, so I covered a lot of ground. During those days, I would be about 29-30 roughly. Being as I was working on the land, and I had to stay in this country, we had to join the Home Guard. So, with that, after a day’s work, you had to do different things for the Home Guard. Like climbing Gresford Church Tower, to watch for any Germans that might come by parachute, or anything like that. That would be sometimes at night, sometimes in the morning, but it had to be done. It did keep you busy. I thought that I’d have liked to have joined the airforce, but they wouldn’t let me, because I already worked on the land, so there I had to stay.
It was a very big farm, so I had lots of experiences on the farm, down in the lowlands, and up in the mountains. All weathers. It was hard work. And then you always had to do your Home Guard duties too. They would be very very long hours. In the end, I did break down, but I got over it. I think it was exhaustion, most likely. It was very tough going. You had to learn all these different firearms. How to use a gun. Bombs. And everything like that. (How many of you were there in the Home Guard?) In our Home Guard, in the Gresford Home Guard, it was in the teens. And you’d have to have exercises with other villages. I was working all over the shop. It had to be done, tough or not, and you had to be good at what you did. Very good.

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