A wartime vigil on the Beacon

First published in Malvern Memories

INSPIRED by recent letters in the Gazette about the cafe on top of the Worcestershire Beacon, George Burton of Lower Howsell Road remembers it in wartime.

"Early in the war, about 1941, a rumour persisted that German planes were about to drop incendiary bombs on our fields to destroy our cereal crops just as they were ripening.

"I was then a member of the Home Guard, and I and three others were detailed to occupy the Beacon Cafe overnight and keep watch for any fires which we might observe in the surrounding countryside.

"It was quite a slog getting there on foot, loaded down with pack rifles, ammunition and other essentials. On arrival the kettle was soon on, however, and to sit outside under the stars, drinking tea with a gentle breeze blowing was really something to remember. We kept watch in shifts and slept in between.

"I did this duty on two occasions and one night we did spot a fire in the Kidderminster direction. I reported this by phone to HQ and was later told that there was a fire at a Kidderminster carpet factory but was being brought under control. It’s all a memory now."

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