& Home Front Living History Group (Incorporating the A.T.S.)
In January 1942 the Sub District Commander Col. Massy inspected the Bicester Town defences and in February Col. Mackay, O.C. Pioneer Group, placed one Pioneer Coy at the disposal of the Town Defence Commander, Col. Fane, to help in the defence of the town in case of need.
Bicester was now classed as a 'Centre of Resistance' instead of an 'Anti-tank Island'.
In February Lt. Stevens, O.C. Steeple Aston Platoon died and Lt. Brewer took command of the platoon.
In March Launton Platoon of Bicester Coy was split into two, thus making a new Blackthorn Platoon under Lt. Simms. The Blackthorn Platoon was to come under the orders of Bicester Garrison for operations. At the same time part of the Islip Platoon was made into a new Charlton Platoon under Lt. Hart. Thus the number of Platoons in the Battalion had now become 24.
A Peyton, Lt. Colonel,
Bicester Battalion Home Guard
In February2/Lt. W. G. Eversfield was promoted Lieut.
In March Lt. J. S. Dawbarn was commissioned as Signals Officer to Battalion H.Q. Second Lt. T. T. Miller was commissioned as Platoon Officer No. 4 Coy. Battalion H.Q. moved to Chesterton Lodge.
In April 2/Lt. F. R. Goodland was commissioned to command North Aston Platoon.
In May 2/Lt. H. G. Beyfus K.C. was promoted Lieut for Interrogation Duties. 2/Lt. G.G. Green was commissioned as Platoon Officer in Woodstock Company. The following 2/Lieuts. were promoted Lieuts: R. G. Lawrence, A. G. Niblett. L. Radley, M.M. and A. W. Thornitt.
In June Lt. J. S. Dawbarn relinquished appointment of Signals Officer and assumed appointment of Intelligence Officer in place of Lt. the Rev. I. Lloyd Jones. 2/Lt. C.I. Pether succeeded Lt. J. S. Dawbarn as Signals Officer and was promoted to Lieut. Major C. H. Gander became O.C. Town Coy. 2/Lt. J. W. Bonner was commissioned as Platoon Officer Town Company.
In July Lt. the Rev. I. Lloyd Jones. Battalion H.Q. succeeded Lt. the Rev. W. L. Smith as Transport Officer and Lt. the Rev. W. L. Smith was appointed Ammunition Officer. Capt. G.H. Sibbring was appointed 2/ic of Town Company. 2/Lt. E. R. Smart was commissioned as Platoon Officer Woodstock Company.
In August Battalion Operation Instructions were revised and issued down to Platoon Commanders.
In September Lt. G. T. Launchbury was commissioned as Gas Officer H.Q. Major Sir Robert Brooke Popham resigned his commission being over the age limit. 2/Lt. C. H. Savage was promoted Lieut. Lt. G. W. Eversfleld resigned his commission on account of ill health.
In October Lt. Col. A. G. C. Fane, M.C., resigned his commission on account of ill health and was succeeded by Lt. P. H. Towersey succeeded Lt. J.S. Dawbarn as Intelligence Officer and 2/Lt. C. D. Piper was appointed Liaison Officer. Lt. J.S. Dawbarn was posted to 28th Battalion Hampshire Home Guard. Second Lt. J. D. Tyrrell was commissioned as Platoon Officer Town Company. The following 2/Lieuts. were promoted Lieuts: F. R. Goodland, E. 0. Edwards, J. L. Jones, D. Roaf and J. W. Bonner.
In November Capt. H. Graham, C.I.E. was commissioned and became 2i/c of Bicester Company. Major P. Fleming, O.C. Deddington Company succeeded Major Sir Robert Brooke Popham as 2i/c Battalion. Major A. J. Morris succeeded Major Fleming as O.C. Deddington Coy. 2/Lt. W. H. Dean was commissioned and appointed Liaison Officer to Town Coy. Second Lt. J. F. Smith was promoted Lieut. and appointed Platoon Commander Ledwell Platoon. Lt. L. W. H. Bowler was commissioned and appointed Platoon Commander Deddington Platoon2/ Lt. S. A. Slay was appointed Liaison Officer No. 5 Coy and promoted Lieut. 2/Lt. V.N. Tolley was commissioned to command Woodstock Platoon, Woodstock Company. 2/Lt. C.B. Shepperd was commissioned to command Heyford Platoon in Bicester Coy.
In December Lt. M. G. Arnett was commissioned as Ammunition Officer and posted from Woodstock Company to H.Q. Staff vice Lt. the Rev. W. L. Smith who was granted three months leave of absence.
In November Town Coy was named Bicester Coy and Bicester Coy became Hethe Coy.
In January Capt. E. Dainty, Royal Warwickshire Regt. Joined Battalion as Quartermaster vice Capt. Dadley. Lt. the Rev. I. Lloyd Jones, Transport Officer, resigned his commission on leaving the district. Capt. Sir George Schuster, 2i/c Deddington Coy transferred to Battalion H.Q. and appointed Liaison Officer vice Lt. C. D. Piper.
In March Lt. C. D. Piper was posted from H.Q. Staff to Liaison Officer with Kidlington Company. 2/Lt. A. D. Middleton was commissioned and appointed Signals Officer Battalion H.Q. vice Lt. C. I. Pether. Lt. C. I. Pether relinquished appointment as Battalion Signals Officer and was posted to Woodstock Company as Platoon Officer Woodstock Platoon. Lt. M. G. Arnett relinquished his appointment of Ammunition Officer and resigned his commission. Lt. W. M. Bond assumed appointment of Liaison Officer Town Coy vice Lt. W. H. Dean. Lt. the Rev. R. L. Boyer commissioned as Transport Officer vice Lt. the Rev. I. Lloyd Jones.
Capt. T.E. Moulsdale appointed 2i/c Deddington Coy. 2/Lt J.D. Tyrrell was promoted to Lieut. Lt. the Rev. Ward-Jackson, Pigeon Officer, resigned his commission on account of the abolition of appointment.
In April Lt. H. Wetherbee resigned his commission on account of ill health.
In May 2/Lt. L. W. Robson was commissioned as Platoon Officer No. 3. Coy. Lt. G. MacTaggart was posted from 3 Gloucestershire Battalion Home Guard to Bicester Company, Stratton Audley Platoon.
In June Lt. W. J. Carless was commissioned as Administrative Officer.2/Lt. T. G. Curtis was commissioned as Platoon Officer Bicester Coy. 2/Lt. R. Wareing was commissioned as Platoon Officer Woodstock Coy.
In July Major P. W. Douglas, O.C. No. 4 Coy (Kidlington) resigned his commission on account of ill health. Major A. W. Guest became O.C. Kidlington Company. 2/Lt. A. C. Yates was commissioned as Platoon Officer Kidlington Company. 2/ Lt. W. H. Dean was promoted Lieut.
In August W. H. Hillier was commissioned as Platoon Officer Kidlington Company. 2/Lt. T.T. Miller was promoted Lieut. and resumed appointment of Administrative Officer Kidlington Company.
In September Capt. J. Gibbs, M.B.E., Royal Warwickshire Regt., joined Battalion as Quartermaster vice Capt. E. Dainty. Lt. T. C. Hancocks was posted from 22 W'ton Battalion Staff Home Guard to Bicester Company. Capt. L. N. Pearson became 2i/c Kidlington Company.2/Lt. W. H. Hillier resigned his commission on joining the forces.
In October Lt. R. G. Lawrence resigned his commission.
On December 3rd parades were held at Bicester for Hethe, Bicester and Deddington Companies and at Woodstock for Kidlington and Woodstock Companies. The salute at each parade was taken by the Commanding Officer.
The Battalion stood down officially on 31st December 1944.
The strength on 3rdDecember 1944 was 62 officers and 1,611other ranks.
In March Capt. C.E, Scott M.C., Royal Sussex Regt., became Adjutant in place of Capt. D.N. Whitaker.
By this time all our Tommy Guns had been withdrawn and we had instead, one hundred and forty five Sten Guns. We had also begun to receive Spigot Mortars and Capt. Gander began to do practice shoots with these in May. During the summer Smith Guns were received but no firing was done as we had no practice ammunition.
In MayLt. Morgan joined Battalion H.Q. as Chief Guide, Lt. Wetherbee took charge of his Platoon.
During the summer conscription was introduced.
In June Capt. C. F. Dadley,Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry, joined the Battalion as Quartermaster and in July Col. Lloyd-Mostyn became O.C. Bicester Coy in place of Major Graham who resigned. Major White became 2i/c of the Company and Lt. Radley, M. M. became O.C. Stratton Audley Platoon. About that time Lt. Chinnery of Fringford Platoon resigned being over age and was replaced by Lt. Thornitt while in September, Lt. Simms of Blackthorn Platoon joined the Army and was replaced by Lt. Niblett.
In August it was decided that at 'Action Stations' Bicester Town Home Guard should come under the Operational control of O.C. Bicester Garrison and O.C. Bicester Battalion was therefore directed to find some other Battalion H.Q. outside Bicester. In September Air Chief Marshal Sir Robert Brooke-Popham became Liaison Officer instead of Col. Mostyn. Lt. Parsons became O.C. Tackley Platoon in place of Major Cooper who retired being over the age limit.
In October Col. Barnett O.C. Woodstock Company died. Col. Lind became O.C. Woodstock Coy, Capt. Clowser 2i/c and Lt. Lind in command of Woodstock Platoon. Sir Robert Brooke-Popham became 2i/c of the Battalion in place of Col. Barnett. Also in October Capt. Anderson and Lt. Hart, who were officers of the Royal Exchange Assurance Company, were transferred to London. Capt. Guest became 2i/c Kidlington Company. Lt. Roaf became O.C. Islip Platoon and Lt. Edwards O.C.Chariton Platoon.
In November Lieuts. Brown and Deeley of Bicester Company resigned their commissions. Lt. Lawrence took command of Heyford Platoon and Lt. Ancil of Launton Platoon.
On November 18"' Capt. W. A. Hollins, Gloucestershire Regt., joined the Battalion as Adjutant in place of Capt. Scott.
In December, Lt. Hill of North Aston Platoon resigned on leaving the district. Sgt. Field took temporary command of the Platoon. At the same time Col. Lind retired being over the age limit. Major Clowser became O.C. Woodstock Coy. Capt. Sacre became 2i/c. At the same time Major White (H.G. Capt.) 2i/c of Bicester Company retired being over the age limit. In December 2/Lt. C.A. Savage and 2/Lt. S.A. Slay were commissioned as Platoon Officers Woodstock Company.
|Deddington Company||Captain Hedges|
|Kidlington Company||Captain Thorpe|
|Woodstock Company||Captain Tighe|
Oxfordshire Home Guard
In September Sir Robert Dashwood, O.C. Deddington Company resigned being over the age limit. Major Fleming became O.C. Deddington Company, Sir George Schuster 2i/c Company and second Lieut. Cross O.C. Barton Platoon.
In October the Battalion received a consignment of rifles and revolvers, the property of the citizens of the U.S.A. who kindly gave them to this country for the Home Guard.
During the summer of 1941 an additional platoon had been made in the Bicester Company, Fritwell Platoon, under Lt. A.H. Caird and one in the Kidlington Company, Kirtlington Platoon under Lt. N.L. Pearson, while in the Deddington Company Barford Platoon had been formed under Lt T.E. Moulsdale.
In December the Bicester Town Platoon was split into two platoons under Lieuts. Morgan and Sibbring, they being under the command of Capt. Gander who was at all intents and purposes O.C. Town Coy, though higher authority would not sanction the formation of an official Town Coy.
In December, Company Medical Officers were given commissions: