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HOME GUARD DIARY

'D' Company

May 1940 - The Company was known as No. 5 Platoon (North East) of 'E' Company (Cheltenham) Local Defence Volunteer Corps. The Company commander was Colonel A.W. Malet. The Platoon was responsible for all that lying north of the High Street and consisted of No. 1 Section (East of the Evesham Road) commanded by Capt. N. Palethorpe woth Capt. A. Seaton White as 2i/c, the Squad Commanders being Capt. le Lievre, MC, Mr L. Barnett, and Mr P.E. Wiggall. No. 2 Section (West of the Evesham Road) was commanded by Capt. Hailes with Major Willoughby as 2i/c. There was also a Prestbury Section, commanded by Capt. Grice-Hutchinson with Major Inglis as 2i/c and a Whaddon Factory Section under Mr R.W. Young with Mr F. Connor as 2i/c.
A few D.P. rifles and shot-guns available and white brassards with the letters L.D.V. were issued. Much hard work was put in, digging and making defence works in the area, notably at Hunting Butts, Swindon Village and Uckington Cross Hands.

July 1940 - By 12th July the Platoon became 'D' Company of the Cheltenham Battalion L.D.V. Col. Malet departed to take over the newly formed 'A' Company, taking with him the Prestbury Section. Major Crawshay, DSO was imported from 'C' Company to command the company which now was formed into four platoons, No. 1 commanded by Capt. Palethorpe, No. 2 by Capt. M.A. Greenway, No. 3 by Capt. Hailes, and No. 4 (Recruit Training) Mr H.W. Miller.

August 1940 - Capt. W. James resigned as CQMS and was replaced by Volunteer A.A. Payne. A Hotchkiss MG Section was formed under Vol. G.E. Lane, and Vol. K.D. Marshall was appointed i/c Company transport. Section-Leader E.G. Grist was appointed Company Leader (corresponding to CSM).

Sept. 1940 - Title changed from L.D.V. to Home Guard and an Identity Card examining post was established on the Evesham Road Railway Bridge. Platoon Commander S. Cunynghame was put in charge of Company Records, Capt. Palethorpe was appointed 2 i/c Company, and Capt. Seaton White replaced Capt. Hailes, who had resigned as commander of D3 Platoon. The Whaddon Factory Section now formed an integral part of the Company and was known as V.P.A. Platoon. The Christchurch Platoon of 'C' Company was transferred to 'D' Company. Platoon Commander was Capt. Wainright with Major Capel as 2 i/c.

Oct. 1940 - Section Commander C. Thomas replaced Capt. Wainright as commander of D4 Platoon, when the latter was transferred to 'C' Company. Section Commander Charles Goldthorpe resigned.

Nov. 1940 - The first Battalion Church Parade. D1 Platoon provided an AA piquet of Browning Auto. Rifles. Work on defences continued and barbed wire was available. Capt. Greenway resigned and was replaced by Capt. le Lievre, MC as Commander D2 Platoon. Section Commander K.D. Marshall was appointed Commader of D4 Platoon. The company now found guards for the Rotunda and Telephone Ecchange as well as the Drill Hall.

Dec. 1940 - Section Commander Stephen William Daniels, D4 Platoon, was killed by enemy action while on duty on night of December 11-12th. He was killed by a bomb in Stonevill Street. He was 51 years old and had served with the Royal Horse Artillery in WWI.

Jan 1941 - A squad of 20 men were formed each night at the Drill Hall to assist the Fire Brigade if required. Section Commanders E.G. Grist and P.E. Wiggall were transferred to Battalion HQ as Sergt. Instructors.

Feb. 1941 - Capt. le Lievre, MC joined HM Forces and was replaced by Section Commander M. Hazlewood as Commander D2 Platoon. Section Commander G. Thomas was transferred to Battalion HQ as Sergt. Instructor. D5 Platoon (VPA) was disbanded.

March 1941 - A Browning MG Section was formed under Vol. G.W. Stratton.

April 1941 - Section Commanders were now called Sergeants, Squad Commanders became Corporals, and Acting Squad Commanders became Lance-Corporals. The Company Leader now became CSM. Company and Platoon Commanders were appointed to Commissions in the Home Guard. The Company was reorganized into HQ Section and 3 Platoons (D3 and D4 becoming D3 under Lieut. Marshall, with Pl-Sergt. L. Barnett as 2 i/c.

May 1941 - Sergt. D.J. Brook appointed CQMS. Sergt. F.G. Wooldridge assumed command of D2 Platoon in place of Lieut. M. Hazlewood, deceased.

June 1941 - Lieut. G.F. Ryland transferred to 'D' Coy. and took over the Browning MG Section.

Oct. 1941 - 5th Oct. HM Queen Mary visited the Town Hall. A composite Guard of Honour of 3 Officers and 120 other ranks was in attendance, under the command of Capt. Palethorpe. Major Crawshay relinquished command of the Company and was succeeded by Capt. Palethorpe, with Lieut. A.E. Bailey as 2 i/c.

Nov. 1941 - Liaison with Regular Units in the area continued, the Field Bakery supplying instructors in Bren Gun, A.T. Rifle, and unarmed combat. Lieut. Ryland went to 'B' Coy. Sergt. Sanford was commissioned and appointed to command D1 Platoon.

Jan. 1942 - C-in-C Certificate awarded to CSM Grist.

Feb. 1942 - Night exercises carried out. The term Volunteer was dropped in favour of Private.

March 1942 - Officers and NCO's of the Royal Welch Fusiliers instructed the Company in 2-inch mortars.

April 1942 - Lieuts. Bailey, Wooldridge, and Sanford qualified for SMD's Certificate to conduct throwing practice with live grenades.

June 1942 - Platoon weekend camps started, the first being at Bishop's Cleeve.

July 1942 - A Battalion Route March held. Lieut. Barnett qualified for SMD's Certificate to conduct throwing practice with live grenades. Platoon weekend camps on Coombe Hill.

August 1942 - 'D' Coy. formed Guard of Honour for Queen Mary's visit to Montpellier Gardens on 5th August. Sergt. Langley qualified for SMD's Certificate to conduct throwing practice with live grenades. Prestbury Platoon was transferred from 'A' to 'D' Company.

Sept. 1942 - Company teams of instructors formed. Musketry team - CSM Grist, Sergts. Chaplin and Anthony; Bombing team - Lieut. Sanford, Sergts Green and Pullen; Bayonet and Gas team - Lieut. Wooldridge, Sergts Anger and Hall and Corporal Jefferies. Platoons were renumbered D13, 14, 15, 16, and 17. Capt. Palethorpe was promoted to Major.

Oct. 1942 - Platoons again renumbered to D40, 41, 42, 43, and 44.

Nov. 1942 - Comany tactical route marches started.

'G' Company

Nov. 1942 - A new Counter-Attack Company was formed under Major Palethorpe and was known as 'G' Company. It consisted of G71 (St. John's), late D41 under Lt. Sanford, G72 (Pitville) late D42 under Lt. Wooldridge, and G73 (Montpellier) late C33 under Lt. Edwards. Sergt. Marsh became CSM in place of Sergt. Grist, who went to Battalion HQ. The remains of 'D' Coy. were placed under Capt. Hawling, later promoted Major. Towards the end of 1943 'D' Coy. was disbanded.

Dec. 1942 - Capt. Bailey left to command 'C' Coy. Lt. Sanford became 2 i/c 'G' Coy. Lt. Stevenson assumed command of G71 Platoon.

Feb. 1943 - Corporal E.W. Dicks appointed CQMS. Coy. HQ was moved to Essex House, Rodney Road. Sergt. Sansom was accidentally killed at work. Pte A.J. Gilder awarded the C-in-C's Certificate of Good Service.

April 1943 - Lt. Sanford promoted Captain.

Oct. 1943 - Lieut. J.E.B. Conder, Essex Regt (late D4 Platoon) won the MC in North Africa.

Jan. 1944 - Company passed the Commanding Officer's Test Exercise with honours.

Feb. 1944 - Capt. Sanford left the district and was replaced by Capt. Copeland as 2 i/c 'G' Coy. D44 (Prestbury) Platoon was transferred to 'G' Coy and became G74 Platoon, under Lt. B.R.H. Thomas.

June 1944 - Major Palethorpe appointed 2 i/c Battalion. Capt. Copeland appointed to command 'G' Coy.

August 1944 - Lance-Corporal R.A. White appointed CQMS in place of CQMS Collins, resigned on medical grounds. Lt. Wooldridge appointed 2 i/c 'G' Coy. G72 platoon disbanded and men sent to other platoons. Capt. Copeland promoted to Major, Lt. Wooldridge to Captain.

Sept. 1944 - Company Camp held at Gotherington.

Dec. 1944 - Final "Stand Down" Parade.