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Skinningrove Auxiliary Coastguards

Rocket Practise with the Skinningrove Coastguards. So far we have been told (excluding boys in photograph): Back row: Mr Wheatman, John Kennedy, ? Hart, Jim Hart, Jim Green, Jim Kennedy, ??, ??, ??.

Front row (seated): Mr Richards, Do-Do Cox, Chuck Laity, Major Lightfoot.

Skinningrove Auxiliary Coastguards were formed at the same time as the Home Guard and worked alongside each other. They comprised men too old for active service and those like miners in reserved occupations which excluded them from active service. Their role was to man the observation posts and watch out for U-boats on the surface and aircraft dropping mines also drifting mines. They used the local Gas Board wagon to transport the equipment to the cliff top. John Kennedy tells us: ”My Dad John Kennedy told me the story of when at the beginning of the war they were issued with a rifle and a box of ammunition. An argument took place between the home guard and Coastguards to who should have it. In the end they agreed that the home guard should have the rifle and the coastguard the ammunition. Mr Mainwaring springs to mind.”

The Archive requested assistance with additional names. Pat Sparkes advised: “My Uncle Major Lightfoot sitting behind the gentleman with the arm band. Standing directly behind the same man with the arm band could be my grandad John Kennedy. not positive but it looks like him.” John Kennedy further assisted with: “Pat is correct. this is a photo of the Skinningrove auxiliary coastguards Rocket practise. They used to practice firing a rocket with a rope attached. The idea being to then send a Breech’s boy to the wrecked ship to rescue the crew. They used the local Gas board wagon to transport the equipment to the cliff top. Jimmy Hewison drove the lorry. Also in the picture is Jim Kennedy,(John Kennedy’s brother and Major Lightfoot was their brother in law. Major was his name not rank) also Chuck Laity, Kruger Hart, Mr Wheatman (First Aid man) and I believe Do- Do Cox and Jim Green.”

Image courtesy of the Pem Holliday Collection and thanks to John Kennedy and Pat Sparkes for the updates.

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