1st Battalion, Chippenham

Wiltshire Home Guard

Living History Group

1ST BATTALION, CHIPPENHAM

Date Raised

16 May 1940

Commanding Officer

Col. The Hon. Malise Hore-Ruthven, C.M.G., D.S.O.;

then Brig.-Gen. C.R.B. Carrington

Approximate Strength

2,366 men (highest reached 2,800) [at stand down 2,782]

Companies

10

Stand Down Parade

3 December 1944, John Cole's Park, Chippenham; c.1,400 Battalion members attended

Salute Taken By

Gen. Sir Alexander Godley, G.C.B., D.S.O.

Stand Down Parade Band

R.A.O.C., Corsham

COMPANIES

 

 

Battalion H.Q.

D: Box & Colerne

H: Sutton Benger

A: Compton Bassett

E: Chippenham

J: Admiralty Underground Works

B: Calne

F: Fossway

 

C: Corsham

G: Kington Langley

 

Battalion H.Q.

Commander: Capt. H. Wayte Smith

Approximate Strength: over 100 men [at stand down 101]

SECTIONS - Commander/s

Supplies:

Lt. H. Wright

Signals:

Lt. F.G. Hunt (transferred from E Coy.)

Intelligence:

Lt. C.F. Burdge (transferred from 4 Pl., E Coy.)

Transport:

Lt. Dyke

Security & General Duty:

Sgt. Perry

OFFICERS

Lt.-Col. C.R.B. Carrington, D.S.O., O.BE.

Lt. C.F. Burdge

Maj. Hon. C.M. Hore

Lt. H. Wright

Maj. C. Wade

2/Lt. F.A. Wheeler, M.M.

Maj. T. Briscoe (M.O.)

2/Lt. T.A. Deykes

Capt. E.C. Barnes

2/Lt. W.E. George

Capt. H. Wayte Smith-Ruthven, C.M.G., D.S.O.

2/Lt. J.A. Winter

Lt. F.G. Hunt

2/Lt. E.P. Awdry, M.C., T.D.

A Company (Compton Bassett, later Whitehorse)

Commander: Hon. Maj. R.A. Addington; Approximate Strength: 354 men [at stand down 329]

PLATOONS - Strength & Commander/s

Hilmarton

51

Mr. Chamings

Compton Bassett

41

Capt. Guy Benson; Lt. Devening

Cherhill

76

Mr. House; Lt. Ayres

Calstone

40

Mr. Maundrell

Heddington

32

Mr. Perett

Pewsham

114

Maj. Lysley (age retired); Lt. Palmer

OFFICERS

Maj. Hon. R.A. Addington

Lt. H. Ayres

Capt. J. Benson

Lt. Rev. B.C.D. Palmer

Lt. J. Fulluck

2/Lt. E. Davis

Lt. J.R. Maundrell

2/Lt. F. Gardiner

Lt. L. Perrett

2/Lt. Holman

Lt. H.R. Channings

2/Lt. O. Freegard

Lt. R. Devening

2/Lt. F. Freegard

AWARDS

Commander-in-Chief Certificate of Merit

Sgt. F. Merritt

Sgt. S.J. Stafford

Sgt. A.O. Wrintmore

B Company (Calne)

Commander: Capt. M.E. Cook, M.C.; Approximate Strength: 248 men [at stand down 255]

PLATOONS - Strength & Commander/s

Northern

67

Mr. R.T. Harris; May 1942 Lt. A.G.L. Good

Centre

91

Mr. C.G. Higgens

Southern

60

Mr. C. H. Batch; Lt. Rawkins; 1 October 1943 Lt. E.J. Beynon;

2 December 1943 Lt. S.A. Marsh

Harris Bacon

30

[ ]

Do you know who the Commander/s was/were for Harris Bacon Platoon?

OFFICERS

Maj. M.E. Cook, M.C.

Lt. F.W. Smith

Capt. A.K. James (M.O.)

Lt. A.S. Mittell, M.M.

Capt. C.H. Balch

Lt. A.G.L. Good

Lt. A.B. Granger

Lt. C.G. Higgins

Lt. G.C. Barnett

2/Lt. S.A. Marsh

AWARDS

Commander-in-Chief Certificate of Merit

Maj. M.E. Cook, M.C.

Sgt. F. Dutton

Sgt. M. Mason

C Company (Corsham)

Commander: Lt.-Col. Waterworth; Maj.Pay; Maj. Skrine, M.C.;

Approximate Strength: 270 men [at stand down 293]

PLATOONS - Strength & Commander/s

Lacock

76

Lt.-Col. Jackson

Hartham

15

Mr. Tucker

Gastard

44

Capt. Harris; 1942 Lt. Gale

Neston

53

Col. Fuller (age retired); Mr. N. Stainer;

1944 Lt. The Hon. A. Methuen

Corsham & Pickwick

82

Capt. Harris; Maj. Pay; Lt. Curry; Lt. Gough

OFFICERS

Maj. W.V.D. Skrine, M.C.

Lt. R.P.H. Hopkins

Capt. A.R. Wheeler (M.O.)

Lt. A.R. Gough

Capt. I.A. Currey

Lt. R.A.H. Stainer

Lt. E.W. Gale

2/Lt. H.J. Tucker

Lt. M.A. Jackson

 

AWARDS

Commander-in-Chief Certificate of Merit

C.Q.M.S. Dyke

Sgt. J.R. Jefferies

Sgt. A. Watts

Sgt. R. Pritchard

Pte. F. Gray

D Company (Box & Colerne)

Commander: Maj. Morley; Approximate Strength: 288 men [at stand down 195]

PLATOONS - Strength & Commander/s

Box (4 sections)

89

Mr. W. Martin; Capt. Skrine, M.C.

Ditteridge*

35

Mr. F. Goulstone

Kingsdown*

24

Mr. H.D. Ancell

Wadswick*

18

Mr. B.W. Gibbon

Colerne*

122

Mr. F. Bedford

*These platoons were merged into one platoon under Capt. Skrine M.C.; Mr. Henderson; Mr. Thompson; Mr Henderson

OFFICERS

Maj. J. Morley

Lt. H.G. Russell

Capt. G.R.C. Soutar

Lt. McEwen

Capt. J.G.S. Thomas, M.C. (M.O.)

Lt. J. Browning

Lt. W. Thompson

Lt. W. Cameron Mackintosh

Lt. J.E. Cope

Lt. W.J. Philpott

Lt. C.H. Fildes

 

AWARDS

Commander-in-Chief Certificate of Merit

Sgt. C. Field

Sgt. J.V. Pope

Sgt. T.W.B. Ward

E Company (Chippenham)

Commander: Capt. Oxford; June1940 Brig. C.R.B. Carrington; July 1940 Capt. C.S. Williams, M.C.;

Approximate Strength: 532 men [at stand down 836]

 

E Coy. always had a strength in excess of 500. When it was suggested it become a Battalion in its own right, its Commander chose to remain as part of 1st Bn. Due to its size it was organised as a battalion and had a band, 4 infantry companies (known as battle companies) commanded by Captains, an infantry troop with

60-pounder Smith Guns and 2-pounder anti-tank guns, a signal section and a bomb disposal squad commanded by Capt. C.R. Lewis. Many of their specialists were transferred to H.Q. Bn.

PLATOONS - Commander/s

No 1 (S.E. Section)

 

Mr. S. Perry; Mr. C.M. Townsend

No 2 (W. Section)

 

Mr. Northover; Mr. Hawser

No 3 (N.W. Section)

 

Mr. Wentworth; Mr. C.B. Jamieson

No 4 (N.E. Section)

 

Mr. J. Price; May 1942 Lt. Sheard

Westinghouse Block

 

Capt. C.S. Williams, M.C. (1 July 1940 took over command of company following reorganisation)

OFFICERS

Maj. C.S. Williams, M.C.

Lt. J.W.T. Hauser

2/Lt. H. Church

Capt. F. Berryman

Lt. C.A. Rowley

2/Lt. T.S.E. Palmer

Capt. J. Shipway, D.C.M.

Lt. H. Noble

2/Lt. E.W. Church

Capt. N.G. Cadman

Lt. F. Jordon

2/Lt. J.R. Laidlaw

Capt. A.L. Williams

Lt. G. Goward

2/Lt. G.G. Hathaway

Capt. L.H. Shrago (M.O.)

Lt. S. Waite

2/Lt. J.W.G. Kershaw

Capt. G.B. Jamieson

Lt. P.V.F. Gray, M.M.

2/Lt. H.J. Reckless

Capt. C.M. Townsend

Lt. W.H. Graham

2/Lt. A.V.G. Hichisson

Capt. C.R. Lewis

Lt. W.J. Jackson

2/Lt. H.A. Strange

Lt. C.U. Parson, M.M.

Lt. A.G. Drayson

2/Lt. S. Silcox

Lt. A.W. Hill (seconded)

Lt. W.J. Sheard

2/Lt. J. Bushnell

Lt. L.H.B. Tufft

2/Lt. A.J. Dyke

2/Lt. F.V.R. Petley

Lt. H.S. Dickinson

2/Lt. G.S. Harris

2/Lt. R.H Dunster

Lt. W. Davey

2/Lt. R.G. Ferris

2/Lt. H. Griffin

Lt. P.W. Edwards

2/Lt. F.J. Wade

 

AWARDS

Britsh Empire Medal

Commander-in-Chief Certificate of Merit

Sgt. F.W. Hood

Maj. M.E. Cook, M.C.

 

Capt. F. Berryman

 

S/Sgt. W.J. Jackson

 

Sgt. F.W. Wood

 

Sgt. F.W.E. Clark

 

Sgt. F.E. Hulbert

F Company (Fossway)

Commander: Capt. Russell Wood; Maj. Allen; Approximate Strength: 320 men [at stand down 302]

PLATOONS - Strength & Commander/s

Chippenham Without*

14

Capt. Somerset

Biddestone

40

Mr. Gunton; 1943 Mr. Travers

North Wraxall

40

Mr. Clark

Ford & Slaughterford

28

Mr. Pearce

Burton & West Kington

54

Mr. Brown

Grittleton

41

Mr. Harding

Littleton Drew

27

[ ]; 1942 Mr. Slade

Castle Combe

37

Lt. Maurice

Yatton Keynell Platoon

39

Mr. Blythe

*Subsequently merged into G Coy., Langley Burrell Pl.

Do you know who the original Commander was for Littleton Drew Platoon?

OFFICERS

Maj. R.H. Allan

Lt. A.E. Grant

Capt. P.J.H. Gunton

Lt. W.G. Pearce

Capt. W.H. Royal (M.O.)

Lt. R. Travers

Lt. E.G. Harding

Lt. H.W. Brown

Lt. S.G. Blythe

Lt. W. Clark

Lt. J.R. Hannam

Lt. R.G. Maurice

Lt. T.P. Morris

2/Lt. T.W. Wildin

Lt. M.G. Slade

2/Lt. A.G. Brackenbury

AWARDS

Commander-in-Chief Certificate of Merit

C.S.M. S. Edridge

Sgt. J. Neate

Sgt.A.H. Ross

G Company (Kington Langley)

Commander: Lt.-Col. Miles, M.C.; 1943 Capt. Soames; Approximate Strength: 152 men [at stand down 164]

PLATOONS - Strength & Commander/s

Kington St. Michael

44

Maj. Malcolm Thompson; Lt. Soames

Kington Langley

46

Maj. Phillips; Mr. Kendzior; Mr. Reeves

Langley Burrell

32

Capt. Reid; Mr. Fairclough; Mr. Short

Stanton

30

Mr. H. Jones; Mr. Jones Jnr.

OFFICERS

Maj. A.A. Soames

Lt. H. Adams

Capt. H.I. Fairclough

2/Lt. J. Short

Capt. E.B. Hickson (M.O.)

2/Lt. G. Tordoff

Lt. R. Reeves

2/Lt. Donithorne-Clark

Lt. R. Jones

 

AWARDS

Commander-in-Chief Certificate of Merit

C.Q.M.S. G.H. King

H Company (Sutton Benger)

Commander: Lt.-Col. Fishe, D.S.O., January 1941 Maj. M.S.D. Day, M.C.;

Approximate Strength: 202 men [at stand down 213]

 

Specialised in mobility (except Malford & Sutton Benger Platoons who had static key locations)

PLATOONS - Strength & Commander/s

Brenhill

40

Mr. Clive Hillier

Foxham

32

Mr. E.A. Bryning; early 1941 Mr. R.V. Pegler

Christian Malford

48

Mr. A. Heale; Mr. H. Good; September 1943 Lt. Woodcock

Tytherton & Spirthill

32

Mr. R.S. Baker (age retired); January 1942 Lt. F.E. Birtell

Sutton Benger & Draycott

50

Rev. E.A. Newberry (retired); 1942 Mr. M.H. Hughes

OFFICERS

Maj. M.S.D. Day, M.C.

Lt. L.C. Woodcock

Capt. W.G. Ayres (M.O.)

Lt. R.V. Pegler

Capt. H. Gold

Lt. F.E. Birthill

Lt. D.A.C. Hillier

2/Lt. W.H. Gardener

Lt. M. Hughes

 

AWARDS

Commander-in-Chief Certificate of Merit

Sgt. J. Gregory

Corp. H. Hatt

C.S.M. W.J. Way

J Company (Admiralty Underground Works, nr. Pickwick) - formed in 1943

Commander: Maj. A. Lambert; Approximate Strength: 90 men [at stand down 94]

  • 9x 20mm Hispano Guns on anti-aircraft mountings
  • Administered by the Battalion, but under A.A. Command for training and operational duties
  • Efficient unit allowed to wear the A.A. arm badge on their battle dress

OFFICERS

Maj. A. Lambert

Lt. P. Rogers

Lt. S. Chambers

2/Lt. W.A. Tolley

AWARDS

Commander-in-Chief Certificate of Merit

Sgt. E. Harris

IMAGES

If you recognise anyone in these images, we'd love to hear from you

A Coy., Compton Bassett Pl.

www.comptonbassett.com

D Coy., Box Pl.

http://www.boxpeopleandplaces.co.uk/

ted-hulbert.html; Bottom Row. 2nd Right F.E. Hulbert

G Coy., Langley Burrell Pl.

http://www.gazetteandherald.co.uk/news/2184178.tales_of_dads_army/

ACTIVITIES

Road-blocks;

Patrols;

Observation Points;

Defended Villages;

Check Points;

Tank Islands;

Centres of Resistance;

A Nuisance at Bottleneck Road Centres.

 

Demonstrations on the 3rd & 4th anniversary of the Home Guard, particularly at Chippenham, Calne & Corsham: Parade and march past, displays of platoons in battle action including pyrotechniques and capturing the enemy.

TRAINING

Rifle Drill;

Marching Drill;

Unarmed Combat and other fighting methods by Capt. Dogson of Royal Tank Corps, Tidworth plus his P.T.I.s;

Rifle Practice;

Demonstrations with Tanks;

Methods of Warfare;

Mock Battles;

Field Training;

Bombs and their throwing (petrol/tar bombs) by Capt. Benson of Compton Bassett Coy.;

36 Grenades by Sgt. Pritchard of Corsham Coy. (he received his Commander in Chief Certificate of Merit after stand down following his actions during a training incident)

WEAPONS ON STAND DOWN

60-pounder guns

4x 2-pounder anti-tank guns

14x Smith guns & trailers

56x Spigot mortars

27x Northovers

10x Browning automatic rifles

3x Lewis machine-guns

3x Browning machine-guns

5x Vickers machine-guns

662x Sten guns

1395x .300 rifles (including

106 fitted with E.Y.s)

9x 20mm Hispano guns

60x .22 rifles

BATTALION COMPETITIONS

4 May 1941

Throwing Molotov &

No 36 Grenades:

Cherill Pl., A Coy.

 

4 October 1942

Lewis Guns,

Blacker Bombards &

Northover: C Coy.

 

8, 15 & 22 October 1944

Rifle: Lacock Pl., C Coy.

Smith Gun: Foxham Pl., H Coy.

Grenade: Calstone Pl., A Coy.

Sten Gun: H.Q. Pl., B Coy.

Spigot Mortar: Heddington Pl, A Coy.

Lewis Gun: Northern Pl, B Coy.

Browning Automatic Rifle: Centre Pl., B Coy.

Browning Machine Gun: W. Battle Pl., E Coy.

E. Y. Rifle: Gastard Pl., C Coy.

 

November 1944

Best All Round Men at Arms* (Rifle shooting, 36 & 74 grenades including tests and general knowledge, bayonet fighting over a course): Corp. G.W. Green - B Coy. (244/300 in rifle shooting)

* Cup donated by Maj. Hon. R.A. Addington of A Coy. Cup subsequently competed for by 10 rifle clubs belonging or formed in the Battalion area. Won in 1945 by Sgt.-Maj. Larkham, Kington Langley Rifle Club.

SOURCES

Data: Company and Platoon data derived from The History of the Wiltshire Home Guard 1940 - 1944, Major E.A. Mackay, T.D., D.L., J.P., published 1946

Compton Bassett platoon images: www.comptonbassett.com

Box platoon image: http://www.boxpeopleandplaces.co.uk/ted-hulbert.html

Langley Burrell platoon image: http://www.gazetteandherald.co.uk/news/2184178.tales_of_dads_army/

Please note that all images on this website are low resolultion and not suitable for printing.

Unless stated otherwise, images are copyright to the Wiltshire Home Guard living history group and the photographer.

Images donated to the Group for use on the website are copyright to the donor.

If you would like to use any image, please send a request to info@wiltshirehomeguard.co.uk