Walkern Home Guard, 1940

by janet on 17 October 2012 · 4 comments

Walkern Home Guard, summer 1940

This photo was found in a drawer of the St Mary?s Parish Office where it had evidently been for some time. The photo had a note with it identifying the people, though it is hard to really put each name to each face. Can anyone help positively put the names to faces? The note says?

Left to right: Joe Keeling, Lew Carter, Joe Cordell, Norman Shepherd, ? Fuller, Jack Shepherd, Jack Swain, Walter Sworder, Bert Parker, R Squary, Fred Reynolds, ? Moore, Tim Carter, Bill Winfield, Jack Fuller

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Elisabeth Bond October 14, 2015 at 9:29 pm

I can confirm that the officer on the right is Robert Owen Squarey – my grandfather. It was lovely to read that Terry Breeds has such happy memories of his time at the Old Rectory during the war. I have too although I was only six when we left and moved to Dorset.
(I have many photos of the Old Rectory taken 1937-1955 and, bizarrely, the front door key!)


Tom McCall May 22, 2013 at 2:53 pm

I think the chap mostly obscured behind Bert Parker could be my Great Grandfather Albert Beadle.
I know of a funny tale he told about one night when he was on watch with Lew Carter at the Mill Bridge.
On hearing a rustling coming from some nearby bushes, they challenged whoever was approaching in the dark to halt and identify themselves. Still they heard the rustling and got no response to the second challenge of ‘halt, who goes there’. Again no response so this time Lew Carter fired his rifle in the direction of the rustling, which was immediately followed by an almighty pain filled mooing sound, as he had just shot a cow in the backside.
I would loved to have seen their faces when they realised what they had done!


Terry Breeds March 31, 2013 at 11:22 am

I can confirm that the C.O. was a Major Squarey. His wife was Mary and they lived in The Old Rectory at Walkern during the war. Mary’s brother ( a Mr. Gardner) also stayed there at that time. I know of this because I was one of four 12 year-old boys from Hastings that were evacuated to Walkern in June 1940. We had a wonderful time there until the August of that year when the four of us moved to St. Albans to join the Hastings Grammar school which was sharing the Abbey school there. The Squarey’s daughter had been evacuated to Canada. I kept in touch with them for several years after the war, and they eventually moved to the Bournemouth area.
I still have al letter from them which was sent to my mother in 1940 and we found amongst her bits and pieces when she died. The Old Rectory is a wonderful place. From Google Earth you can still make out the area of their tennis court where we boy’s used to launch our model (Frog) aeroplanes. Hope this is of some interest. Walkern, Major, and Mrs. Squarey, mean a lot to me and I have some very happy memories.


BRIAN ALBON November 3, 2012 at 3:06 pm

I can identify one of the Home Guard in the above photograph. This is my grandfather Bertie Parker, then living at 20 Totts Lane, Walkern. He is the soldier seen between the two officers who are in front of the group by the fence.

I was told some years ago that the commanding officer of the Walkern Home guard was a Mr Squarey and that he lived at “The Rectory ” in the war years . A Robert Owen Squarey living at The Old Rectory, Walkern appears in the 1933 Kelly’s directory on the WHS website but I can only assume this is the same man.


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