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Home Guard In N Ireland

Discussion in 'United Kingdom' started by bigalni, Sep 3, 2004.

  1. bigalni

    bigalni Junior Member

    Has anyone any information on the Home Guard in N Ireland?
    I need any info available on Battalions,Commanding and other Officers..numbers involved,locations used.Ideally Unit nominal rolls would be great.
    In particular im interested in the Cookstown and Dungannon areas but all and any information on the subject is welcome!

    Alan :D
     

    Attached Files:

  2. angie999

    angie999 Very Senior Member

    I know nothing about this subject, so can't help, but if you already have some information I would be very pleased to read it.

    My father was in the Army in Northern Ireland up to the end of 1943 and it was where he met my mother, who was managing the NAAFI at the time where he was based.
     
  3. BeppoSapone

    BeppoSapone Senior Member

    Originally posted by angie999@Sep 22 2004, 01:24 PM
    I know nothing about this subject, so can't help, but if you already have some information I would be very pleased to read it.

    My father was in the Army in Northern Ireland up to the end of 1943 and it was where he met my mother, who was managing the NAAFI at the time where he was based.
    [post=28309]Quoted post[/post]


    Angie

    Over in the "Baker Pals" I posted two or three times in reply to this query. If you need me to I will condense the information down into one post and add it here.

    Cheers

    "Joe Soap"
     
  4. BeppoSapone

    BeppoSapone Senior Member

    I found that I had a bit of spare time this morning, so here is the promised information on the Northern Ireland Home Guard, which comes from the late Len Whittaker's book on the Home Guard, entitled "Stand Down".

    "Like so much else in Northern Ireland, its Home Guard was a special case and its recruitment was quite different from that in the rest of the United Kingdom. On the mainland no fifth column group existed but in Northern Ireland there was the Irish Republican Army, ever ready to exploit any advantage to its cause that the war might bring. Indiscreet issues of arms and ammunition might easily become very acceptable free gifts to the IRA. It was deemed safest to raise a Local Defence Volunteer force for the province by organising it as a wing of the Special Constabulary. Thus, the Specials took on the responsibility for home defence until the new force could be trained and equipped. Starting with 12,500 Specials, enrolments increased the strength to 26,000 by August 1940.

    The men were issued with denim uniforms that were meant to be green but, by some incompatibility of the dyeing process with the cloth, they came out black. When they were combined with khaki greatcoats, Republican elements were not slow to make propagandist comment on the 'return of the Black and Tans' - a British force hated and reviled during the Troubles. This spectre was not exorcised until April 1941 when matching khaki battledress became available.

    In 1942, to bring it into line with the rest of Britain, the force was renamed the Ulster Home Guard. Which was when a technical difficulty was discovered regarding these Ulster 'soldiers'; they had all been enrolled as auxiliary constables and had not in fact attested for military service. So new regulations were hurriedly introduced in March 1942, requiring them to reattest and declare their willingness to serve under military law,

    The Ulster Home Guard at the end of March 1944 totalled 29 battalions with a strength of more than 30,000 men. Although it did not include any rocket batteries it did have artillery units, but they were organised differently from their mainland counterparts. Ulster's seven HAA troops remained sub-units of companies within the GS battalions, which is why the majors commanding those companies appear in the order of battle as HAA troop commanders; an HAA troop commander usually being a captain. An MT company and a motor boat patrol, whose vessells patrolled the whole coast of Northern Ireland, were raised as sub-units of Belfast battalions."


    Ulster Home Guard

    1 Antrim (Ballymoney) Bn - Lt Col V Unsworth MC
    2 Antrim (Ballymena) Bn - Lt Col A O Chichester OBE MC
    3 Antrim (Carrickfergus) Bn - Lt Col J A McFerran
    4 Antrim (Antrim) Bn - Lt Col A C Herdman OBE

    1 Armagh (Lurgan) Bn - Lt Col J Morton
    2 Armagh (Portadown) Bn - Lt Col A Walls
    3 Armagh (Bessbrook) Bn - Lt Col H A Whiteside
    4 Armagh (Armagh) Bn - Lt Col R J Tamplin DSO

    2 Belfast (East) Bn - Lt Col J D Nichol OBE MC
    3 Belfast Bn - Lt Col R S Drean MC
    4 Belfast Bn - Lt Col J N Fulton OBE
    5 Belfast Bn - Lt Col The Rt Hon H G H Mulholland MP

    1 Down (Newtownards) Bn - Lt Col J Bagwell MVO MC
    2 Down (Downpatrick) Bn - Lt Col J A Jaye
    3 Down (Newry) Bn - Lt Col A Turkington
    4 Down (Banbridge) Bn - Lt Col M W Edmunds OBE TD

    1 Fermanagh (Irvinestown) Bn - Lt Col R J Clifford
    2 Fermanagh (Linaskea) Bn - Lt Col H C Butler MBE
    3 Fermanagh (Enniskillen) Bn - Lt Col G E Liddle OBE

    1 County Londonderry (Limavady) Bn - Lt Col F S N Macrory DSO
    2 County Londonderry (Garvagh) Bn - Lt Col W Murland
    3 County Londonderry (Magherafelt) Bn - Lt Col W L Lennox-Conyngham HML
    1 Londonderry City Bn - Lt Col R B W Irwin OBE MC
    2 Londonderry City Bn - Lt Col J I Mclaughlin

    1 Tyrone (Castlederg) Bn - Lt Col R H Todd MBE
    2 Tyrone (Omagh) Bn - Lt Col W H Fyffe MBE
    3 Tyrone (Cookstown) Bn - Lt Col R R A Darling
    4 Tyrone (Dungannon) Bn - Lt Col W J Hall MM
    5 Tyrone (Augher) Bn - Lt Col W A McKay

    Ulster Home Guard HAA Troops - Parent Unit in Brackets

    N Troop (B Coy, 2 Belfast Bn) - Major J Kerr MBE
    O Troop (A Coy, 4 Belfast Bn) - Major S P Beggs
    P Troop (D Coy, 1 Down Bn) - Major A P McConnell
    Q Troop (C Coy, 2 Belfast Bn) - Major W R White MC
    R Troop (E Coy, 3 Belfast Bn) - Major G E Wainwright
    S Troop (E Coy, 5 Belfast Bn) - Major T J Marshall
    T Troop (F Coy, 3 Antrim Bn) - Major A E Holmes

    Maybe some people have come across the names of these Lt. Cols and Majors in their studies? If so, it would be interesting to learn some more about them.
     
  5. angie999

    angie999 Very Senior Member

    Thanks for the info.

    My father told the story of being at a local dance when he was stationed at Limavady.

    A small group of men with rifles in strange looking uniforms came in, sat at the back, had a couple of pints and left. They didn't look like police or soldiers, so he asked someone who they were. "Oh, its only the Specials out on patrol".

    Sounds like the early version of the Home Guard you referred to, but I know this was later than 1941, probably 1942. Perhaps some of the units were still wearing the old uniform and perhaps the name "Specials" had stuck after the army took them over.
     
  6. bigalni

    bigalni Junior Member

    Angie......
    there are still pubs near Limavady where on occasions you can still find strange men with rifles sitting at the back drinking beer! Ha! Ha!

    ( I live just down the road from Limavady)

    Although a place most of the world will never have heard of... Limavady......a small country town about 1/2 hr from Londonderry in N Ireland......was a busy place during WW2 with Limavady airfield seeing much activity aswell as nearby Ballykelly airfield,Eglinton airfield,Maydown airfield aswell as Lisahally and Londonderry naval bases extremely busy with convoys,surrendering German U Boats etc etc.
    Even the infamous Maze prison about an hour or so away was in its previous life a wartime airfield.
    Looks like it could soon be the site of a new N Ireland international sports stadium.
    (You would think they had enough fun and games in that place in recent years!}

    Alan :D
     
  7. BeppoSapone

    BeppoSapone Senior Member

    Alan

    I am not being allowed to post some scans of the backs of photos once owned by a British soldier who was based near you in WW2, interesting unit stamps etc.

    Send me your email address and I will send them to you.
     
  8. sydnlm

    sydnlm Junior Member

    I found that I had a bit of spare time this morning, so here is the promised information on the Northern Ireland Home Guard, which comes from the late Len Whittaker's book on the Home Guard, entitled "Stand Down".

    "Like so much else in Northern Ireland, its Home Guard was a special case and its recruitment was quite different from that in the rest of the United Kingdom. On the mainland no fifth column group existed but in Northern Ireland there was the Irish Republican Army, ever ready to exploit any advantage to its cause that the war might bring. Indiscreet issues of arms and ammunition might easily become very acceptable free gifts to the IRA. It was deemed safest to raise a Local Defence Volunteer force for the province by organising it as a wing of the Special Constabulary. Thus, the Specials took on the responsibility for home defence until the new force could be trained and equipped. Starting with 12,500 Specials, enrolments increased the strength to 26,000 by August 1940.

    The men were issued with denim uniforms that were meant to be green but, by some incompatibility of the dyeing process with the cloth, they came out black. When they were combined with khaki greatcoats, Republican elements were not slow to make propagandist comment on the 'return of the Black and Tans' - a British force hated and reviled during the Troubles. This spectre was not exorcised until April 1941 when matching khaki battledress became available.

    In 1942, to bring it into line with the rest of Britain, the force was renamed the Ulster Home Guard. Which was when a technical difficulty was discovered regarding these Ulster 'soldiers'; they had all been enrolled as auxiliary constables and had not in fact attested for military service. So new regulations were hurriedly introduced in March 1942, requiring them to reattest and declare their willingness to serve under military law,

    The Ulster Home Guard at the end of March 1944 totalled 29 battalions with a strength of more than 30,000 men. Although it did not include any rocket batteries it did have artillery units, but they were organised differently from their mainland counterparts. Ulster's seven HAA troops remained sub-units of companies within the GS battalions, which is why the majors commanding those companies appear in the order of battle as HAA troop commanders; an HAA troop commander usually being a captain. An MT company and a motor boat patrol, whose vessells patrolled the whole coast of Northern Ireland, were raised as sub-units of Belfast battalions."


    Ulster Home Guard

    1 Antrim (Ballymoney) Bn - Lt Col V Unsworth MC
    2 Antrim (Ballymena) Bn - Lt Col A O Chichester OBE MC
    3 Antrim (Carrickfergus) Bn - Lt Col J A McFerran
    4 Antrim (Antrim) Bn - Lt Col A C Herdman OBE

    1 Armagh (Lurgan) Bn - Lt Col J Morton
    2 Armagh (Portadown) Bn - Lt Col A Walls
    3 Armagh (Bessbrook) Bn - Lt Col H A Whiteside
    4 Armagh (Armagh) Bn - Lt Col R J Tamplin DSO

    2 Belfast (East) Bn - Lt Col J D Nichol OBE MC
    3 Belfast Bn - Lt Col R S Drean MC
    4 Belfast Bn - Lt Col J N Fulton OBE
    5 Belfast Bn - Lt Col The Rt Hon H G H Mulholland MP

    1 Down (Newtownards) Bn - Lt Col J Bagwell MVO MC
    2 Down (Downpatrick) Bn - Lt Col J A Jaye
    3 Down (Newry) Bn - Lt Col A Turkington
    4 Down (Banbridge) Bn - Lt Col M W Edmunds OBE TD

    1 Fermanagh (Irvinestown) Bn - Lt Col R J Clifford
    2 Fermanagh (Linaskea) Bn - Lt Col H C Butler MBE
    3 Fermanagh (Enniskillen) Bn - Lt Col G E Liddle OBE

    1 County Londonderry (Limavady) Bn - Lt Col F S N Macrory DSO
    2 County Londonderry (Garvagh) Bn - Lt Col W Murland
    3 County Londonderry (Magherafelt) Bn - Lt Col W L Lennox-Conyngham HML
    1 Londonderry City Bn - Lt Col R B W Irwin OBE MC
    2 Londonderry City Bn - Lt Col J I Mclaughlin

    1 Tyrone (Castlederg) Bn - Lt Col R H Todd MBE
    2 Tyrone (Omagh) Bn - Lt Col W H Fyffe MBE
    3 Tyrone (Cookstown) Bn - Lt Col R R A Darling
    4 Tyrone (Dungannon) Bn - Lt Col W J Hall MM
    5 Tyrone (Augher) Bn - Lt Col W A McKay

    Ulster Home Guard HAA Troops - Parent Unit in Brackets

    N Troop (B Coy, 2 Belfast Bn) - Major J Kerr MBE
    O Troop (A Coy, 4 Belfast Bn) - Major S P Beggs
    P Troop (D Coy, 1 Down Bn) - Major A P McConnell
    Q Troop (C Coy, 2 Belfast Bn) - Major W R White MC
    R Troop (E Coy, 3 Belfast Bn) - Major G E Wainwright
    S Troop (E Coy, 5 Belfast Bn) - Major T J Marshall
    T Troop (F Coy, 3 Antrim Bn) - Major A E Holmes

    Maybe some people have come across the names of these Lt. Cols and Majors in their studies? If so, it would be interesting to learn some more about them.
    Thanks for this info. Best so far on my fathers involvement in the Ulster Home Guard Antrim). If you ever come across more, say pictures of the same - just let me know. Best wishes,
    Paddy Doyle
     
  9. phylo_roadking

    phylo_roadking Very Senior Member

    Paddy...and Big Al, if you're still around -

    What you're looking for is David R. Orr's "Duty Without Honour: The Story Of Ulster's Home Guard In The Second World War And The Cold War" from Redcoat Publishing, ISBN 978-0-9538367-2-7.

    (Redcoat have a communication address in Newtownards)

    It was published in 2008, and isn't cheap at £25...but is VERY detailed and VERY well illustrated. A truly excellent book....and the ONLY book covering the UHG of the RUC in any detail worth mentioning. If you fancy a drive, you can pick it up at Page One bookshop and newsagents in Newtownards.

    It includes a full...and I mean FULL OOB for the UHG from 1942, down to platoon level!
     
  10. SimonMFoster

    SimonMFoster Member

    Hopefully someone can help me with a problem I have. Is there a nominal roll for the UHG? I suspect that my great granduncle would have at least tried to enlist, having been a 27-year veteran of both the Boer War and WW1. He would have been "only" 59 at the start of hostilities.
     
  11. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

  12. SimonMFoster

    SimonMFoster Member

  13. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    In the 1939 Register could this be him?

    Name: Thomas Cooper
    Gender: Male
    Marital Status: Married
    Birth Date: 19 Sep 1879
    Residence Year: 1939
    Address: 145
    Residence Place: Birmingham, Warwickshire, England
    Occupation: Builders Labourer

    TD
     
  14. SimonMFoster

    SimonMFoster Member

    Quite possibly. He was a labourer while in the TA in 1914. Married a Jane Gray on 15NOV1910. It would be an interesting development, as I had thought that all his family stayed in Belfast.
     
  15. SimonMFoster

    SimonMFoster Member

    Quite possibly. He was a labourer while in the TA in 1914. Married a Jane Gray on 15NOV1910. It would be an interesting development, as I had thought that all his family stayed in Belfast. Would your records show the name of his wife? My Thomas Cooper was buried at Belfast City Cemetery (Glenalina Extension) on 29NOV1955.
     
  16. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Inferred Spouse: Catherine Cooper
    Inferred Children: Lilian Cooper

    TD

    Name: Catherine Cooper
    Gender: Female
    Marital Status: Married
    Birth Date: 8 Jun 1889
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2018
  17. SimonMFoster

    SimonMFoster Member

    Interesting - to say the least. Is there a wedding date indicated anywhere in the information?
     
  18. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    There is no marriage date as it is just the Register of 1939, and not a census, so I have attached whats available for you to read through

    1939 England and Wales Register
    Name: Thomas Cooper
    Gender: Male
    Marital Status: Married
    Birth Date: 19 Sep 1879
    Residence Year: 1939
    Address: 145
    Residence Place: Birmingham, Warwickshire, England
    Occupation: Builders Labourer
    Schedule Number: 111
    Sub Schedule Number: 1
    Enumeration District: QBCM
    Registration district: 384 - 7
    Inferred Spouse: Catherine Cooper
    Inferred Children: Lilian Cooper
    Household Members:
    Name
    Thomas Cooper
    Catherine Cooper
    This record is officially closed.
    Lilian Cooper
    Edith C Cooper
    tna_r39_5550_5550e_009.jpg

    The name alteration against Lilian & Edith shows their married names at certain dates as noted

    TD
     
  19. SimonMFoster

    SimonMFoster Member

    Why would a record be officially closed? Would it be because of a death in the family?
     
  20. SimonMFoster

    SimonMFoster Member

    Actually, I found the answer.
     

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