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15 October 2014
WW2 - People's War

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Conscription to join the Home Guard

by RhydycarWW2Day

Contributed by 
People in story: 
Terence Sands
Location of story: 
Merthyr Tydfil
Background to story: 
Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
29 March 2005

I was a pupil in Quakers Yard Municipal School during the 1930's. I had just completed my CWB and had done extremelly well with my educaiton. However, due to being part of a large family I had no opportunity to go to college. Instead, I trained to become a mechanic working for the local bus company.

Soon afterwards, I was conscripted to join the Home Guard and my two uncles joined with me. One of my first experiences of the war was greasing cases of 3.00 calibres weapons for the American soldiers during the war.

Another occured a few years later when the idea that the German paratroops were going to parachute down over the Brecon Beacons and land in the reservoirs that provided water for the Valleys. The Germans were going to bomb the dams (pull the plug) and flood Merthyr Tydfil Valley. For the plan to work they needed cover and this is where the plan would fail. The German planes were far less superior than the British planes and when the time came to strike the Hurricane and the Spitfire was too strong for the German planes to cope with and so the Germans abandoned their plans. Instead the German bombers bombed the cities of Cardiff and Swansea and an Oil Refinery in Pembroke.

I was a runner for the Home Guard and was regarded as a good athlete, I spent most of my time running errands and messages around Merthyr Tydfil.

Later on as a seventeen year old in 1941, I went to visit Doctor White in Merthyr Vale to apply for the Air Crew. The doctor gave me a thorough examination, I failed the examination because of a heart murmur. I was extremely disappointed at the time. One or two years later the RAF did not see heart murmurs being problematic and signed people up for the Air Crew. In the end, I wasn't disheartened about this, because years later, I lost six of my close friends that signed up for the Air Crew - they died in battle.

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