Lt Col MacDonald’s daughter has suggested that he may have been connected to Auxiliary Units or the HOME GUARD. While searching the WEB for all things HG I found the following site http://www.home-guard.org.uk/hg/medstanddownmain.html - and came across a long list of awards. No mention of the Colonel but hidden amongst the long list of persons from HG Units I found reference to 201st, 202nd and 203rd (GHQ Reserve) Bn’s Home Guard
Are any or all of these names known to be AUXILIARY UNITS personell?
15th December 1944
The KING has been graciously pleased to give orders for the following promotions in,and appointments to, the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire in recognition of Meritorious Service in the Home Guard:
OBE Major R. G. H. Wilson, D.S.O., M.C., 203rd (G.H.Q. Reserve) Bn. Home Guard.
MBE Captain H. W. Abbiss, 203rd (G.H.Q. Reserve) Bn. Home Guard.
Captain H. C. A. Blishen, 203rd (G.H.Q. Reserve) Bn. Home Guard.
Captain W. H. L. Chattin, 202nd (G.H.Q. Reserve) Bn. Home Guard.
Captain W. G. Gardner, 203rd (G.H.Q. Reserve) Bn. Home Guard.
Captain W. G. Gentle, M.C., 202nd (G.H.G. Reserve) Bn. Home Guard.
Captain J. Robinson, 201st (G.H.Q. Reserve) Bn. Home Guard.
Captain W. K. Seabrook, 202nd (G.H.Q. Reserve) Bn. Home Guard.
Captain A. J. Thomson, 201st (G.H.Q. Reserve) Bn. Home Guard
Captain J. S. Wight, 201st (G.H.Q. Reserve) Bn. Home Guard.
BEM(M) Sergeant A. Berry, 202nd (G.H.Q. Reserve) Bn. Home Guard
Sergeant A. E. Hollingdale, 202nd (G.H.Q. Reserve) Bn. Home Guard.
Sergeant J. Lillico, 201st (G.H.Q. Reserve) Bn. Home Guard.
Sergeant J. Merricks, 203rd (G.H.Q. Reserve) Bn. Home Guard.
Sergeant A. H. Moralee, 201st (G.H.Q. Reserve) Bn. Home Guard.
Sergeant J. W. S. Mount, 203rd (G.H.Q. Reserve) Bn. Home Guard.
2nd Lt (late Sgt) I. Phillips, 203rd (G.H.Q. Reserve) Bn. Home Guard
Sergeant S. J. Quick, 203rd (G.H.Q. Reserve) Bn. Home Guard.
Sergeant L. H. M. Willett, 203rd (G.H.Q. Reserve) Bn. Home Guard.
If I recall correctly one of them is mentioned in one of the modern histories on Auxunit areas as being promoted from a patrol sergeant to an officer and awarded an honour afterwards but it was all done quietly. Interesting they were mentioned in a list, but I guess it doesn't really break any security issues because who else would know what those battalions were.
That's a good website, and I have come across that list before, but I'd forgotten where! Now I know. I'll check in Sainsbury's "Hazardous Work" if any are in there. Thats a book on Home Guard medals, not anything to do with grocery shopping.
I have found details on one of the Auxiliary Personell who were awarded the BEM or MBE (Military) in the London Gazette of 14th December 1944:
James Lillico who was a Sgt in one of the Scottish Border Operational Patrols.
I have attached a link to the 'Dix Noonan webb' web site they are an auctioneers and a great source for researching recipients of various decorations,(Take note the 2 Bill's?)) some very interesting SAS/SOE ones and as expected they went for very high prices under the hammer....The Lillico medals came up for auction in September 22nd 2000 and was Lot Number 836
Futher to the investigation into the medals/honours given to Auxiliers. From the list I have the following information:-
Sgt. A.H. "Danny" Moralee was in the West Fallodon Patrol in 201 Aux. Northumberland.
Capt. W.G. Gentle was Group 10, Brandon, Norfolk Group Commander. 202 Aux.
Capt. W.H.L. Chattin was a Group Commander in the Glamorgan Aux.,Patrol area unknown.202 Aux.
James Robinson was in the Swinhoe/Broomfield patrol , he was the only casuilty of the Northumberland 201 Aux. Killed in a Quarry near Alnwick while on a training exercise, during explosives training he was fataly injured by a rock fall.
A. Thompson I have in the Kimmerston patrol, near Wooler. 201 Aux. Northumberland, he might be your man. I can not see another A. Thompson listed in Scotland.
J.S. Wight may be G.F. Wight 201 Aux. Scotland. He is the only Wight I have listed.
I hope this info may be of use. The BEM may have been awarded for public services and not anything military.
Thats great information Stephen: Below is taken from the recommendation for his BEM:
B.E.M. London Gazette 14 December 1944. The recommendation states: ‘Sergeant James Lillico, 201 (G.H.Q. Reserve) Battalion, Home Guard. Has been a Patrol Leadersince the original formation of Auxiliary Units in the Borders, and it is entirely due to his keenness and enthusiasm that his patrol won the Border Championship in 1942, remaining consistently one of the best in the whole country. He has realised the vital necessity for efficiency in every branch of the work and through his personal example has trained his patrol to this very high standard. His work has been of the utmost value. He and his patrol have been responsible for completing, entirely unaided, their Operational Base, which entailed months of hard work and which was carried out in addition to all training programmes. A very reliable, conscientious and determined N.C.O.’
I have a document that shows Captain H. C. A Blishen, MBE was the Area Group Commander of the 203rd (GHQ Res.) Bn. Home Guard. Auxiliary Units on the Isle of Wight during the wars duration. In1946 his rank is shown as Lt-Col (and as the Late Area group Commander). I believe that in later years he was a County Councillor, etc. David Lampe's book has him listed as a Captain - residing at Arreton, Isle of Wight. The MBE may have been for services other that his wartime commitment.
Home Guard groups 201, 202, and 203, Scotland, N England and S England (both in that order) were the Resistance Groups to hide in OB's as the British Resistance in case of invasion of the UK by the Axis powers. Training was covered up by calling them Home Guard groups, but had nothing to do with the Home Guard. They were Auxiliary Personnel so secret that adjoining groups of up to six could not recognise the next group's OB so even if captured and tortured could not give away anything more than their own group. In some texts they were known as Badgers as they were unseen in daylight.