Reveals The Forgotten Platoon
Source: Gloucestershire Gazette, 28th June 2002
supported two sections of Local Defence Volunteers during the
Second World War following an appeal made after the Dunkirk landings.
Early in 1941,
the volunteer force was reorganised, and the two Wotton sections
became platoons. A photograph of one of these has been published
in various places such as Geoffrey Masefield's book, Wotton-under-Edge:
A Century of Change.
But that picture was not taken until 1944, a few months before
the Home Guard was disbanded nationwide,and does not reflect the
platoon's former strength.
platoon, based in Synwell, has not had as much publicity. Now
the record is being amended a little.
80, who was born and raised in Synwell, sent this picture to The
Gazette. He borrowed the original from Cyril Elliot, pictured
third from the left in the front row. Mr
Goulding joined The Royal Marines in 1942, and lived in London
after the war. He said: "This photograph does not appear
in any of Wotton's historical publications and I did not come
across it during my research of thousands of Gazette records,
in the Gloucester Record Office."
many familiar Wotton surnames amongst these soldiers, including
Chappell, Workman, Sims, Perrett and Cornock. Charles Pearce was
the platoon commander - he is sixth from the left in the second
row in the picture.
who can be seen on the far left on the back row, told The Gazette:
"The photograph does not reveal the platoon's full complement.
most members employed on essential war work it was rarely, if
ever, possible to get a full muster.
roll of 50 is recalled but numbers fluctuated, with most of the
young men seen here leaving in due course to serve in the armed
platoon was formed under the command of Sgt Russ Witts (pictured
on the far right of the second row), who was then promoted to
become a lieutenant.
platoons, along with other units from North Nibley to Hawkesbury
Upton, were in G Company, Sixth Battalion, South Gloucestershire
Home Guard. The company commander was Col Picton-Turberville,
from Wortley, formerly with Seaforth Highlanders.
command was Katharine Lady Berkeley School headmaster Capt Cyril
Fiske - he had been a captain in the Royal Field Artillery during
the First World War. The company's sergeant major was 'Jock' Hickey
(seen to the right of Charles Pearce), formerly with Argyll and
units had their armoury and headquarters at Baden House, now a
private house between The Royal Oak and the former police station
in Haw Street/ Bradley Street.
Synwell Platoon, Wotton-under-Edge Home Guard, 1941.
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