Home Guard in Cornwall

Discussion in 'United Kingdom' started by Skoyen89, Aug 22, 2011.

  1. Skoyen89

    Skoyen89 Senior Member


    I am researching the WWII Stop Lines in Cornwall and want to find detailed accounts of the Home Guard in Cornwall, particularly those in the Fowey - Lostwithiel - Bodmin - Wadebridge area. Any help or suggestions very welcome.

    Does anyone know whether the Conrnwall County Archives/Record Office has good records of this sort of thing?

  2. peterhastie

    peterhastie Senior Member

  3. leccy

    leccy Senior Member

    Have you seen this, it covers all ages but has a significant part towards the end about WW2

    Defended Cornwall

    A little more detailed on two areas

    Defence Area 28 PORTHCURNO

    Defence Area 74 ST MICHAELS MOUNT

    Then there is a theses available from the British Library Ethos (Electronic Theses Online Service) registration is free as is downloading.

    British planning and preparations to resist invasion on land, September 1939 - September 1940.
    Author: Newbold, David John.

    Bodmin has a useful little museum dedicated to the DCLI that may be of help as well. It has an archive section on the Home Guard.

    Cornwalls Regimental Museum

    Then on Davidstow Moor you have two museums with quite alot of local information next door to Davidstow Cheese Factory

    Cornwall at War
    Davidstow Memorial Museum
  4. Roddy1011

    Roddy1011 Senior Member

    Skoyen89 -

    I am also extremely interested in specific areas of Cornwall's WW2 history. In particular, I am looking for any help with activities - land, sea and air - around the Falmouth-St Mawes area. Home Guard were v important, esp in VP guards in support of the landward defences around both harbours. Every now and then I get the opportunity to visit Kew so would be willing to help out with looking some of the files. Let me know...

    Roddy de Normann
  5. Skoyen89

    Skoyen89 Senior Member

    Leccy - I will look up the thesis and altho I suspected the DCLI Museum may have something I haven't been there for ten years so I can feel a trip 'home' coming on! I've seen the other stuff. Thanks for the tips.
  6. leccy

    leccy Senior Member


    I will hopefully be heading off back there next week when I go home, the staff were pretty helpful last time I went. Much of the info is not on display in regards to the HG though.
  7. red devil

    red devil Senior Member

  8. Skoyen89

    Skoyen89 Senior Member

    Hi Roddy

    There is a fair amount on the defences of Falmouth and West Cornwall at Kew because the two Battalions there in late 1940 kept really great records. Although my main reason for searching on Cornwall was to build up a picture of the Bodmin Stop Line I seem to have wandered off course and have looked up some of it. The best sources are the diaries of the Worcs Regt and West Yorks battalions. There may be more to be found. Those I have are in .jpegs as I photograph like mad and then go home to read and sort!

    There is some mention in those records of HG strengths etc including detailed stuff on the number of men and weapons available at each point. Now to find the same for the Bodmin area......
  9. Skoyen89

    Skoyen89 Senior Member

    Hi Leccy
    Re: I will hopefully be heading off back there next week when I go home, the staff were pretty helpful last time I went. Much of the info is not on display in regards to the HG though.

    I would be really interested in what they have on the local HG. My main interest is to build up a picture of the Bodmin Stop Line so if you have the opportunity to ask them I'd be really appreciative. Then I could visit when I next head to Cornwall.

  10. Skoyen89

    Skoyen89 Senior Member

  11. Roddy1011

    Roddy1011 Senior Member


    Many thanks for your reply - I am off to Kew next Thursday week...

    You mentioned two Bns worth looking up at Kew - Worcs & W Yorks. Which battalions of these two regiments ?

  12. leccy

    leccy Senior Member


    I popped into the Light Infantry Museum in Bodmin and spoke to the Historian there. He has tried to find out more about the Homeguard and the Bodmin Stop line himself in the past but found relatively little.
    A couple of books that he recommended were
    Pillboxes by Henry Wills, ISBN 0-436-57360-1
    One and All by Hugo White ISBN 1873951-20-5, this has a small chapter on the homeguard in Cornwall.

    They do not have an awful lot in and he has copies of both books in the museum archive downstairs. If you are going then it is best to call first as he only comes in four days a week.

    There were 14 HG Battalions in Cornwall and some of the Unit descriptions seem contradictory in the same display.
    1st Stratton
    2011-09-16 15.03.12.jpg
    2nd North Coastal
    2011-09-14 13.59.57.jpg
    3rd Launceston
    2011-09-14 14.00.25.jpg
    4th Camelford
    2011-09-14 14.00.32.jpg
    5th St Austall
    2011-09-14 14.01.36.jpg
    6th Liskeard
    2011-09-14 14.01.12.jpg
    7th Falmouth
    View attachment 60427
    8th Helston
    View attachment 60485
    9th Camborne
    View attachment 60426
    10th Truro
    View attachment 60429
    11th Newquay
    View attachment 60430
    12th Lands End
    2011-09-14 14.02.28.jpg
    13th Bodmin
    View attachment 60432
    14th Hayle
    View attachment 60433

    Attached Files:

  13. leccy

    leccy Senior Member

    Sorry double post
  14. Skoyen89

    Skoyen89 Senior Member

    Hi Leccy

    8 Worcs
    11 West Yorks

    Good Hunting!
  15. Skoyen89

    Skoyen89 Senior Member

    Hi Leccy

    Thanks for the details on the HG units. My struggle is to understand what was actually on the ground with the Bodmin Stop Line - I have put together an outline of it from records at kew but have found nothing on the elements of it - number of pillboxes, defended positions, roadblockas, ditches etc.

    Again thanks for asking at Bodmin
    Skioyen 89
  16. leccy

    leccy Senior Member


    I asked if there was any information about the layout, etc but they could not help. I spoke to a few others there yesterday but none of them knew any more info.

    I tried some ex forces people near Tintagel as well as RBL members nearby but those that served during WW2 served away from the county and can't recall anything about the stop line, either from their family's or when on leave.

    Seems a few have looked but found little to no information locally.
  17. Skoyen89

    Skoyen89 Senior Member

    Hi Leccy

    Thanks for asking. When I next go to Cornwall I will try to walk the line and see if anything remains. And try the County Record Office. But thanks for asking.

  18. CornwallPhil

    CornwallPhil Senior Member

    See my post in Bodmin Stop Line thread as regards remains.
    I've spoken with Hugo White at DCLI Museum and he admitted I knew more about the Stop Line than he did. It seems DCLI weren't directly involved so they don't have anything in their archives that they are aware of. I'm sure that with the DCLI HQ in the Bodmin anti-tank island they must have been involved in some way! I'd be interested in what TNA has to say.
  19. Roddy1011

    Roddy1011 Senior Member

    Hi there -

    A few weeks have past, so my apologies for not getting back more quickly...TNA visit great success. 8 WORCS not so good but found 8 BEDS & HERTS quite excellent. Also found that I now need to also look at 6 DCLI who were on the St Mawes side of the Fal River. Next visit likely to be mid-November, so will post again then...

    Thanks again

  20. Skoyen89

    Skoyen89 Senior Member

    Hi Roddy

    You may be in luck. I was in Kew also ( on Saturday 22nd) and photographed interesting pages of 6 DCLI. happy to burn them into a cd and send them if you PM me your snail mail address. Not as full detailed as those further west but interesting nevertheless, especially as I was brought up in that area.

    All the best

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