Charles Mitchell, Home Guard

The dimming of lichts on streets an movin motors an the blacken oot o lichts in hooses an ither building was ti mak it as dufficult as cud be enemy pilots fleeing over toons an roads tae see lichts an tae be guided tae they lichts, a kind o like moths fleeing roond the lichts in yer hoose.

In this day at the present time its no aisy yo think thur might be a puckle enemy pilots in their planes hain a bit flee round in the nicht time jist ti see if they cud find ony thing tae share ar, or ti drop a bomb on, weel that wis the wy it happened aven in quiet country places whaur this was lickts tae be seen wis whin a decoy aereoplane runway wis lichted up hoping the enemy wid cum along and drop their bombs there and so save the real aeroplane runways.

Whit I am trying ti say is as food seemes ti git a bit scarce, ferms and fowk that worked there, got a bittie mair noticed, so the ferm lads started to fei a bit mair pay (wages) this wis reflected in the bairns coming tae the schule better cled than afore the war, I kane that cus whar I happened to be wurkin the village and shule wis kind a in the missle o the ferm land and wi wid be passin the schule whiles whan wi were working, an seein the bairns playin aboot if it happened to be meen ities or dinner times.

Askin fae volunteer

The Government are now askin fae volenteer tae band together (you might say) ti defend thir local bit o the country against an invasion bi the German ermy, wha seem ti hae the ba ut thir feet, an seemed they cud jist aboor gine as har they liked.

So nae buddy kante whaur the invasion wis gaena tak place, so the call for the LDV.

There must hae been some planning going on a kent the scenes, cuz thir wis already a chappie appinted wha wis ti be the head o the volunteers at St Cyrus whar I wis ti be based.

Guid lad

The heed man hid been a sodger on the First World War so he kent a bit aboot whit he speekin aboot, ab ge wis guid lad as weel. I see fae this scroll I kin here, I hid found the LDV on the 7/7/1940 an if the heed man kent something aboot defence, weel I kente nuthin, hoo ever a wis ti learn as time wis ti tell.

Thur wasna jist a great rush to jine in this defence force, at the start thur wis jist ten fellows what we caad a section. Fortunatly thir wis ither man wha hid been a sodger an he wis made section leader, an a strange as it may seen I wis made Deputy Section Leader. O coorse thir wis nae pay (money) fae been in the LDV your service wis for free, thir wis ither voluntary organisations for which fowk got payed, such as plane spotting.

We now set aboot gittin some sort o order in tae oor section, oor section ladies hid ti start dreelin each ither so that we wid be able ti dreel the section in ti some sort o shape. I ma sell hid a bit o bather gitting oot o the sloo step an cheenain in tae a quicker step like a sodger.

Hale platoon

Mair lads keep comin alang ti volenteer thir service so it was na that lang maybe twa three weeks when we hid as mony blokes as mak up a hale platoon. This of coorse ment we hid ti hae three sections, so that meant thir hid ti be anither twa section laders, also thir deputy lsders. Noo this ment mair dreelin ti get the new laders in tae the hang o the thing. We cud only dae lict dreel like left turn, richt turn, quick merch an halt.

The wye am sayin that is be cus we hid nae rifles or guns o ony kind at the start nae uniform jist a band ti ware on yer erm, wi LDV printed on ti the band which wis pinned on ti the sleeve o yir outer garment jist dependin on whit yer wis wearin at the time. We wid meet twice a week, one evening of a week day and then Sunday fore nane maybe twa oors in the week day whin wi wid dae somne sort o traenin in the hall, actually it was an unused kirk which wis oor heed quarters, an the pub wis jist across the road, if yi happened ti want a pint efter the meetin wis feenished…

In the mean time oor plattoon had got one 303 rifle and some blank cartridges and also a clip of five live rifle rounds, we had also got one .22 rifle and one ordinary twa barreled shot gun. Now we hir one 303 rifle and blank rounds we kin a hae a shot a boot a lernin ti load the thing, also a wee bittie o slope erms, it wis a slow job but better than nowt.

Road block

Ony wey we did na kane whit the reason was but oor section lader ma sel anither boke wur caad oot late one evening, we hid ti man one o the road blocks. The section leader hid the 303 rifle and the five live rounds, I hid the bouble barrel shot gun but nae smmunition, the fellos hid the .22 rifle also wi nae ammunition. We hid ti bide there a nicht.

It micht worth a mention even if we hid been oot o nicht we still hid ti turn up at yo kin time for oor usual work, an of ccorse we wid na hae ony sleep that nicht. An I best further mention that if thir hid been an invasion we wid jist hae ti bide awa fae oor work, cus shairly fowk wid understand yi cood na have aff fightin an invasion jist tae git ti yer work. The ither rasins of coorse is that a fellow micht hae been wounded or worse still … deed!

As it so happened one o the ‘big shots’ o the LDV unknown tae us, hid passed through block, the result o that wis at oor next meetin he wis there ti tell us that we hid the block the wrang wye, cus hid hanks cum alang they wid hae jist puched the blocks an they wid hae roaed o thir road, an that is jist whit the blocks wur na meant it day! The blocks should hae been placed wi the end o the block facin the traffic, so that the tanks wid hae ti clime our the tap o them or stop. Weel on that occasion thir wis nae tanks nor ony ither enemy traffic come alang, an once again we ‘Thanked the Lord’ for that.

As it so happened it [the Home Guard was] never pittin ti the test but as I keep on saying that we didna kane that at the time Hoo ever thur come a Seturday evening whan we railly thockt the balloon wis gaen ti gine up an oor nerve an trainin wis gine ti be put ti the test, cus apparently, invasion by the enemy o this country wis imminent.

The Home Guard wir a caad oot ti man oor road blocks, wi the few lads at heed quarters of coorse. I canna gie yir ony date for this ca oot but it was certainly in the first six months o the Home Guard. We wid be a at oor post bi seven o clock in the evening an the day licht wid na be a fadin until a tween ten an eleven o clock in the evening, and up ti that time it wis very quite an nae buddy aboot, keep in mind it wis a Seturday nicht. Noo on this occasion the warnin wis si serious thit al the buses wur stopped movin aboot, so that they cud be gotten handy ti move troops an the Home Guard people ti whar the wur needed.

The settin up o the new plattoon lands me inti some thing that I hid na planned, cus the fowk that has set it a goin, ask me ti come an jine them, which I did, cus we hid already sade the ‘heed quarters’ wur quite near ti oor hame. The ‘heed quarters’ this time wasna an unused kirk as at the twa places I hiv spoken aboot earlier wur, this time it wis the local schule which wus still bein yased. I hiv jist teen a thocht we must a moved the desks, as we sometimes did dreel in the schule an held lectures an demonstrations.

Dreelin in the playgrund

Of coorse if it wis day licht we yased the playgrund for dreelin. I wis ti tell yi whit I wis landed in ti dayin. Be thus time, I wid a been nearly twa year in the Home Guard. In this tilme of courseI hid lerned jist aboot athing thir wis ti lern, except of coorse, the new things that wis still ti come alang. So noo I hid ti pass on a this lernin ti the new lads, a thing wis dune in a freendly sort o wey, thir wis nae buddy pushed around, sort o sodger wise am meanin. A buddy that wis there, wis there cus they wanted ti be, and ti be able ti help in an emergincy, if such a thing happened ti come alang, an that cud asey happened, cus we are no oot a the wid yet, the enemy are still lookin greedily across the the water at us, an as far as we kant we hidna gotten ony thing new ti hud them back.

The lads wi caa the Major is really a regular sodger retired. An in the regular ermy he wis a Colonel, funny it sounds Ceernel.

Commander o a Regiment in the Home Guard he hid ti be content as a Major. Thir wis nay pey whit ever yer rank in the Home Guard. The reason I hiv been made a Second Lieutenant is cus wi hiv noo got ovwer mony neen at Logie Pert, so we noo an ither platoon at Craigo. The heed quarters o the Craigo platoon is also a schule which is also still in use, as a schule … We noo need twa new Sergeants plus a Corporal and a Lance Corporal for each section, this means each platoon his a Sergeant wha of coorse is in charge o the hale platoon next ti the Second Lieutenant. El raither an unusual set up cus next morning we a cud be a Jock Tamsons biarns nooin neeps the gether.

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