Morton at war: 1942

Written by Mr Arthur Southey and added to this website with his permission:

I suppose it would be around 1942 one Saturday morning when my village of Morton, Derbyshire was awakened by the unusual sound of lorries driving slowly past our rows of houses at Station Road. We kids were soon dressed and out to see what the commotion was all about.

We followed the lorries and they drove into Morton Pit yard. This convoy of army lorries was carrying soldiers armed with their rifles.

We then saw other soldiers in uniform that we knew; they were known to us as the ‘HOME GUARD’, they were my mates’ dads who worked at Morton Colliery.

Us kids were kept away from these soldiers and Home Guards but we could see they were planning something.

The Home Guard soldiers then left and went behind the Pit tip towards Pilsley. What we later learned was the Home Guards were acting as ‘resistance fighters’ and the regular army were acting as the army of occupation, they had given the resistance fighters (Home Guards) over an hour to hide, and the objective of the exercise was for the regular army to hunt them out and capture them. Eventually when the regular army moved off in search of these resistance fighters us kids were kept in the Pit yard. Several hours later, ‘Nothing’. Apparently the army were experiencing great difficulty in locating our heroes, the Home Guard. They had hunted far and wide and not one resistance fighter was captured, it was becoming an embarrassment. The regular army was returning in small groups back to their army lorries in the Pit yard and it was now late afternoon.

Fortunate for them, a straggling group were just coming back up Morton past the Corner Pin pub when they caught sight of a couple of the resistance coming out of the pub to the outside urinal and they swooped, at a very inconvenient moment in time, these resistance fighters were half way through a domino handicap and whose participants were well inebriated.

On the day the regular army had won, but the would be domino handicap resistance team could claim no such decision; the untimely interception had robbed them of this result.

In reality these one-day resistance heroes were a greater danger to our village of Morton than Hitler’s Nazi regime.

They were the original ‘DADS ARMY’, thank goodness they didn’t let any of them near a rifle or an explosive or our likely lads would have blown Morton off the map.

© Arthur Southey