Posted: 18th August 2021
Welcome to part four of ‘North Lincolnshire on the Home Front in World War Two’ focussing on Barton upon Humber. This blog series will focus on how different towns and villages of North Lincolnshire operated on the Home Front of the Second World War.
We would like to thank the source providers and individuals who have shared their stories on the Home Front. Without them, the experiences of the Home Front would not have been possible to share with North Lincolnshire and its citizens.
As with all major counties and villages in England, Lincolnshire was heavily involved in the War, especially North Lincolnshire.
Lincolnshire itself contained plenty of military and naval targets so air defence measures were immediately put into effect. Many North Lincolnshire villages contributed: Scunthorpe, Brigg, Southend, Barton upon Humber are just a few examples of involved communities. However, most of these villages each had something which made them unique to others. While Scunthorpe was prime for its defences, Brigg was more well known for its Prisoner of War camp and Barton Upon Stather specialised in making tanks!
Barton upon Humber
Unlike Scunthorpe and Brigg which maintained the 4th Lindsey Battalion to protect the Home Front, Barton Upon Humber maintained a variety of lookout posts and HQ’s for auxiliary units. Barton still did have a Home Guard unit but was more well-known for its HQ operations. Unlike the Home Guard, auxiliary units were more extreme in their methods. Their tasks were to establish underground operational bases (OBs) around Lincolnshire and were trained in silent killing, setting booby traps and bomb making. Over thirty patrols were in Lincolnshire with around 200 members.
Barton Upon Humber maintained a Zero Station which allowed for received orders to be passed onto via or distributed by patrol leaders. Alongside this Barton also maintained the 383rd Coy of the 46th Searchlight Regiment at Butts Road drill hall in 1939. The Searchlight Regiment was essential in places such as Burton as it allowed for soldiers to check the night sky for enemy attacks before GL radar had been developed. Overall, Barton allowed for the more operative systems to take place in North Lincolnshire which was essential to have on the Home Front as it allowed for messages to be sent abroad.
Barton also has an operational air raid shelter at Options Applegate House which gives a real “live experience” of what air raid shelters were like during the war. It gives a good insight of what air raid shelters were like during the war with wearable gas masks and examples of the tinned food that they would eat. A link can be found here:
Images of Barton and the Home Front