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15 October 2014
WW2 - People's War

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Forming the Home Guard: In Ilchester, Somerset

by streetlibrary1

Contributed by 
People in story: 
George Stephens; Jack Masters; Dennis Coomb; Captain Boxall
Location of story: 
Ilchester, Somerset
Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
18 May 2004

This story was submitted to the People's War site by Somerset Libraries Arts and Information on behalf of George Stephens and has been added to the site with his permission. The author fully understands the site's terms and conditions.

My father was in the home guard and I helped before I joined the army. Three of us, Jack Masters (who was later killed in action), Dennis Coombe and I, were detailed to be on look out on the top of Ilchester Church Tower. But we used to go down to the Belfry and play cards all night instead. We used to put a stick across the door so that if Captain Boxall came in he would rattle the door rather than opening it. Once he came in he was always waving a revolver and we thought that he must be afraid of coming up in the dark.

When the first bombs were dropped in Somerset we were on top of the tower (for once). They were trying to bomb Yeovilton Camp. We watched the dog fight overhead and our planes turned back the enemy bombers. We watched them go off in the direction of Yeovil and as they just got out of Ilchester they dropped three bombs in an open field near old Dick Day's farm. Only two exploded, so the following day the bomb disposal squad came to take the third bomb out. It exploded, killing one soldier who was the first bomb disposal unit man to be killed in the war in England.

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