AVBCW: The Duke of Farnham’s Militia

The Duke of Farnham is a royalist in charge of the defence of Chester, but as a very wealthy landowner he has estates and properties all over Britain, and that includes Herefordshire.

Politically, the Duke is a Royalist, and right wing, although he despises the upstart Mosley and the Black Shirts almost as much as he despises socialists and communists. His forces are more or less a feudal army, made up of men from his estates and lands. He uses them to protect his own interests, and is unwilling to throw them away needlessly.

The Duke served with distinction during the Boer War and the Great War, with the Cheshire Yeomanry, where he developed a prototype of the Rolls Royce Armoured Car. While in command of the regiment’s armoured cars in Egypt he won the DSO following a daring raid across the desert to rescue prisoners of war.

The Duke is hoping to develop his private militia into a fully mechanized fighting force, like the Cheshire Yeoman he commanded in Egypt, but is hampered by lack of suitable vehicles and fuel. In the mean time he has managed to secure enough trucks to begin the process. He favours light armoured cars over the sluggish tanks.

The Duke has sent is nephew (an heir apparent) to command the platoon in the battle. At the outbreak of the civil war, Lord Gerald Grover, the Duke’s nephew, was serving as a Captain with the 9th Lancers, one of the old cavalry that in 1936 had been converted to a tank regiment. At The Duke’s request Lord Grover immediately resigned his commission in the army, and took on the role as Brigadier in the Duke’s private army, the Chester Local Defense Force.

The Duke of Farnham’s mistress, as well known Parisian fashion designer, designed Lord Gerald’s striking and stylish uniform for him and it is based on his own hunting coat and jodhpurs.

Lord Henry Flashthorpe, the noted big game hunter and a close family friend, also accompanies Lord Gerald. Lord Henry, or ‘Flash’ as his friends know him, is a crack shot with his custom-made rifle. He will be acting as sniper for the company.

The force consists of

Section 1- The Household Guard (male servants from the estate- not great fighters but consider themselves elite)
Section 2 – The Dukes Own Groundsmen (made up of groundsmen off the estate- tough outdoorsmen wil shotguns)
Section 3- and Section 4- LDF Militia drawn form the tenants of the Dukes estates
They also have a Maxim HMG; a Boys ATR; an Improvised Armoured care designed by the Duke himself, and a section of light recon cars (count as MC and sidecar).

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