101 Rifle Club

The Laurels

Altcar Rifle Ranges

Hightown L38 7JE

Established 1945, NRA Club #1

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HISTORY of the 101

 The 101 West Lancs, Home Guard Rocket Battery R.A. was the first Home Guard Battery in the Country. Following the eight days blitz in May 1941, an appeal was made for volunteers to man anti-aircraft defences, and in one day in September 1941, more than one thousand Civilians enlisted.

 From them was built up the first Battery under the command of Major Arthur Whitaker Lowe, a chartered accountant from Liverpool. The headquarters was a blitz-shattered house in Bootle. An announcement in a local newspaper had to be stopped because the scheme was “hush hush”. The equipment was secret, but more than 1000 men volunteered.

 The second Battery was formed at the same time in Sefton
Park under the command of Major H.R.Thomas and eventually a third in Kensington under the command of Major K.M.Davies. The training was carried out by regulars of Bootle Battery commanded by a minister of the church of Scotland the first Reverend G.K.Jenkins, a field artillery officer in the First World War.

 The officers and men where assembled one night by invitation in Picton hall Liverpool, Brigadier V.R.Krohn the commander of the Mersey anti-aircraft defences gave them a lecture on the new weapon. The first full time administrator was Captain E.F.Peart R.A. a regular who saw action in France from 1915 to 1918.

 In 1944/1945 the War Office made contact with all the Home Guard Units and invited them to extend their activities, and to form indoor rifle teams.
The officers of the 172nd Rocket Battery, 101st Home Guard Regiment Royal Artillery at the time based at Bootle stadium, formed the 101 Rifle Club.

 The Rifle Club was an extension of the 101 Home Guard AA. Battery football team, playing friendly matches with other Home Guard units in the area. On the 20th November 1943 they played their first Home Guard league match against 85th “D” Company. 101 lost 7 – 2.
The 101’s first win was on the 5TH February 1944 beating of all the people, the 85th “D” Company 7 – 5. Later on they formed an “Old Comrades Association” and “Home Guard” youth club.

 The Club was first registered with the N.S.R.A. on the 23rd April 1945, as 172 H.G. [1944]. Rifle Club Reg. No. 1609, and with the N.R.A. on the 24th May 1944 Reg. No. 4441. The name was changed to the “101 Rifle Club” in August 1959 when the Home Office ordered the “Home Guard” part of the title to be dropped.