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Friday 29th May 2020  

Quorn Home Guard 1942

The Home Guard were originally known as the LDV (Local Defence Volunteers) and were formed after Winston Churchill became prime minister in 1940. Despite being volunteers they were part of the army and their objective was to defend the home district.

Quorn Home Guard was the 13th Platoon (Quorn), D Company of the 10th Leicestershires. They met for regular training sessions and every night they patrolled vulnerable areas such as the railway station and Swithland Reservoir.

This photograph was taken outside the Bulls Head (now the Quorndon Fox), on High Street in 1942. The names (left to right) are:

Back row: Private E Gartshore, Lance Corporal R Fletcher, Private G Young, Private P Sutton, Private S Hope, Private E R Soper, Private D Coghill, Private G Blackshaw, Private A J Bown, Private H Pick, Private T A White, Private O Hall, Private S E Bayliss, Private G Brown, Private T Pepper, Private P Butteriss, Private H Moore

Middle row: Private C F Firr, Private E Turner, Private E Bull, Private R Hallam, Private D Brookman, Lance Corporal A G Hopcraft, Corporal T H Poole, Lance Corporal G Pick, Corporal Cecil Benjamin Fewkes, Corporal D H Bream, Private Charles Edward Cockain, Private A Fletcher, Private H Prereton, Private K Howlett, Private R Owles, Private W Batty, Private G Ward

Front row: Lance Corporal W H Webster, Corporal J Sykes, Lance Corporal S J Waterfield, Sergeant C H Teagle, Sergeant W Woolley, Sergeant T W James, 2nd Lt. S H Astill, 1st Lt. Charles Walter Thornton (Commanding Officer), OC Sergeant J H Leavesley, Quartermaster Sergeant F R Facer, Sergeant T G Holmes, Sergeant P J Ottey, Corporal S Duffell, Lance Corporal F Hope

Front row seated on ground: Cadet J H Poole, Cadet Harry Cook

You may need to click 'ENLARGE' to see the faces more clearly.

Many of the home guard were veterans of WW1 and one of these was Cecil Benjamin Fewkes (middle row), who was born in March 1897 and died in April 1980 (buried in Quorn churchyard). He would have been 45 or 46 years old at the time this photograph was taken. Cecil lived with his wife and two sons at 31 Leicester Rd Quorn, he served throughout WW1 and was wounded twice. His parents had emigrated to Canada in 1910, so when war broke out Cecil joined the Canadian Expeditionary Force (the CEF), 49th Edmonton Battalion, known colloquially as the’ Loyal Eddies'. He was badly wounded on the Somme near the village of Courcelette in September 1916, however he recovered and returned to his Battalion in 1917. He was again wounded near Tilloy village in 1918.
The family returned to Quorn in 1925.
With his WW1 experience Cecil was appointed as bombing instructor for Quorn Home Guard, showing the men how to fuse and throw various hand grenades. Apparently there was a number of incidents and close shaves with some of the unit who had difficulty with the short fuse delay time. Fortunately everyone survived! One of the regular places that the Quorn Unit guarded was Rabbit Bridge near Swithland Reservoir, presumably because of both the railway and the water supply.

Can you provide any more forenames or more information about individual men?

 missing information Missing information: Can you provide any more forenames or more information about individual men?
Please email us at: team2020@quornmuseum.com
 Submitted on: 2019-10-01
 Submitted by: Sue Templeman
 Artefact ID: 2234

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