This photograph, passed on to us by Mrs. Brenda Turier, from the collection of her cousin Betty Smith (nee Culpin) shows the stand-down parade of the Home Guard at Melton Mowbray, in December 1944. Saluting at the head of the parade is Major Sandford, from Melton, who had earlier served in the regular army. Mr Edgar Culpin, Brenda’s late uncle, is the second person in the parade, also saluting. Brenda’s cousin recalls that Rhoda, Edgar Culpin’s wife (and Betty’s mum), was the Quartermaster. She had a badge and all the equipment was stored at their house, and some of it in the shed. Betty says she had boxes of hand grenades under her bed! The men regularly visited the house to sort equipment etc. We know that the ARP and Home Guard shared an office was in the building which is now used as Mr. Sid Culpin’s greengrocery, and that the Home Guard practiced shooting inside what is now the Malthouse Deli.
Can anyone identify any of the other Home Guardsmen in the photograph, or add to our information about the Home Guard and Bottesford during the Second World War?
Betty also believes she is right in saying that the last bomb of the war was dropped on Bottesford at the West End. The Germans were on their way home having bombed Nottingham. Betty saw the crater and picked up shrapnel. Can anyone add more about this well known story?