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Tollesbury - Village of the Plough and Sail

Weapon Issue - Pitchforks

My Dad was a Sergeant in the Home Guard. We were living down Old Hall when the War began. On Sunday mornings the Home Guards met on the Square and my Dad drilled them there. The Vicar wasn't very pleased as my Dad had a loud voice and his commands could be heard throughout the service and eventually they had to change their meeting place for drilling to the Recreation Ground.

My Dad was a cowman by day. At night he would blacken up his face and set off with the weapon he had been issued with - a pitch fork. So, had a well-disciplined, well trained, well equipped, German Army landed in Tollesbury (and at one time this was a definite possibility) they would have been met by a uniformed group carrying pitch forks.

Later on my Dad was supplied with six rifles, only six rifles for twenty eight to thirty men. he was really worried about how these should be distributed, and I remember my Mother saying "Let them all take a turn" And that is what happened for some time - the Home Guards were prepared to face the German Invasion and defend their village and their country with pitch forks, or If It was their "turn" with a rifle.

©Peggy Moss (Thomas), WW2 People's War
Reproduced under the following terms

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