Peeps into the Past: A portrait of Hale’s defence against the Nazis

By Chris Shepheard   |   Peeps into the Past   |
Monday 15th June 2020 6:03 am
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No 'stupid boys' here: Hale Home Guard

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FEATURED recently on the Peeps Facebook page has been a series of local Home Guard photographs from the archive and it has caused a considerable amount of interest, resulting in new information and previously-unseen photographs appearing.

One such is this little collection relating to just one volunteer, probably in the Hale platoon of ‘F’ Company. Brian Taylor writes: “Here are some photographs and papers from my late father’s time in the Home Guard. He is in the first row standing behind the sitting soldiers on right -hand side, fifth in. He is not looking at the camera – something to his left has caught his eye. I think the person in the left group sitting on ground at the right hand end is Alf Warner.

“My father was TW Taylor (Tom Taylor) bread baker – he died in 1981. We lived in Gordon Cottages, Hope Lane, at the time of the photo. then moved to the bottom of Folly Lane – Hog Hatch Cottages, as they were then, in January 1944.”

The documents represent the whole of Tom’s service in the Home Guard; from his muster paper placing him in ‘category 2’ to report within 48 hours, through to the standing down message from Lt Col Hunt CO of the 2nd Surrey Home Guard Battalion in December 1944 (an excerpt is printed on the right) and the letter of thanks from King George VI.

Brian tells me he was just two years old when the photograph was taken in 1943. Interestingly, the mustering paper carries a printer’s code for Langham’s, publishers of the Herald dating it to June 1942.

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