A couple of photos have introduced the topic of the Home Guard in Alresford in WWII: was your Dad a member at that time? The picture below shows the Alresford Home Guard in WWII, and is from the Alresford Museum collection, waiting for names to be added. Len Strong has identified his Uncle, Bert Strong, the younger looking guy at the end of the middle row on the right.
Pat Young (nee Strong) has identified several more: on the back row from the left there is Jim White, Dennis Biggs, Mr Kemp, Unknown, Geoff Small, Unknown, Harry Meadows, Unknown, Mr Tremeer, and Andrew Duffy. The middle row has: Unknown, Unknown, Mr Clift, Unknown, Reg Faithful, Unknown, Archie Livingstone, and Bert Strong. The front row is more difficult, but fourth from the left, sort of in the centre position, is Trevor Childs.
Added in April 2013: this photo was found in Arthur Stowell’s book called “The Story of Alresford”, and Arthur had identified most of the people and their occupations/addresses. So starting on the back row again we have Jim White, Dennis Biggs (Hankins Garage), Arthur Kent (The Dean), Dick (or Joe) Brazier (The Dean), Geoff Small (Painter/decorator, West Street), Unknown again, Harry Meadows (Grange Road), Bill Haslett (brother-in-law to old Tom Bennel), Tremeer Baker (The Dean), and Billy Smith (Van driver, The Dean – different to the above list!). MIDDLE ROW: Here we have Mr Curtis, Chappie Blake (World Stores, East Street), Cliff Baker (Blacksmith’s son, T M Bean), Harry Radbourne, Reg Faithful (Elinham’s Bakers, The Dean), Unknown, Mr Strong, Ceril Strong (Pound Hill). FRONT ROW: Here is Mr Miles (Spring Lane), George Allen (West Street), Freddie Sayle (Hankins Garage, South Road), Trevor Childs (Miller, The Dean) Dickie Dymond (School Inspector, Jacklyn’s Lane),Peter Cheyney (West Street),Russel ? (New Farm Road) and Mr Lawson (West Street). (These are not necessarily all correct, because they only represent what Arthur was told by someone in the 1990s).
Peter Chalk was a member of the Army Cadets, which typically offered training for 12-18 year old boys in those days, and in the picture below he can be seen sitting with crossed legs at the very front at the right hand end of the group. Audrey Chalk thinks this photo was taken in the grounds of the Old Rectory at the top of Sun Hill: second from the right seated on the chairs is Harold Young, who says this must have been after 1945, because he didn’t get a uniform until then!
Harold and Pat Young have managed to identify all the people on this picture: on the back row, left to right, there is Maurice Russell, Jim Hunt, Ken Smith, Alan Miles, Nobby Clark, John Stevenson, Gordon Taylor, John Groves and Barry Young. Middle row is Tony Curtis, Cyril Bennett, Tony Smith, Frank Hazelgrove, Taffy Williams, Stan Williams, Harold Young and Ron Rustell. Seated cross-legged on the left is Ron Carver, who was an evacuee from Portsmouth.
On the http://www.AlresfordHeritage.co.uk website, there is another picture from 1940 which shows an anti-tank gun next to a pile of scrap metal being collected for the war effort. The gun was mounted on some concrete bases, positioned at the top of Pound Hill, next to the Perins school entrance: it was pointing down the Avenue, with the idea of defending the town against a German invasion and tanks coming from the Winchester direction.
What remains today are some of the concrete pillars that presumably prevented the gun recoil sending it down Pound Hill, and the concrete for the gun base, with a plaque. The inscription says “1940-45 – All that remains of Alresford’s anti-tank defenses against the expected German invasion after the Dunkirk withdrawal from Europe in May 1940. These defenses were manned by the Alresford Home Guard”.
Another photo of the Alresford Cadets in the late 1940s has been found by Pat and Harold Young, seen below. Here we have, on the back row: Harold (Chub) Young, Geoffrey Porter, Punch Kempster, Jimmy Hunt, Tony Curtis, Tony Page, Denis Smith, and John Groves.
In the second row: Gordon Taylor, John Stevenson, Nobby Clark, Les Strong, Maurice White, Tony Smith, Barry Young, and Len Lewer. In front of them there is: Maurice Russell, Stan Williams, Unknown, Mr Pullen, Ken Young, Peter Young, and Michael Wilson, an evacuee. In front there are Ken Moore, Cyril Bennett, Harvey Young and Mousey Hayes.
With thanks to Audrey Chalk, Pat and Harold Young, http://www.museum.alresford.org/gallerries/hist_images.htm and http://www.alresfordheritage.co.uk for the photos