Major Denis Houghton as a musician

‘For the officers belonging to a regiment or battery often brought with it something of the atmosphere of a club. Social distinction was always of less importance in the Territorials than the Regulars, but nevertheless class difference was a factor. One gunner described Denis Houghton, who joined in 1933, as almost ‘like the local squire’, and stated that some gunners joined specifically to follow his leadership. Houghton was a the time a solicitor based on Winkley Street, Preston. Other Territorial officers were the scions of successful local shoe and furniture businesses.’

After the loss of Major Kelly on 19th January 1941, Denis Houghton became acting Major of the 8th Brigade.

Source: Lancashire Gunners at War, The 88th Field Regiment, 1939 – 1945 by Stephen Bull, pg 5, 70.

‘In the early days POW’s had a lot of time on their hands so there were some creative ways of finding the things needed by the concert party.

And then there were other ‘creative’ ways of finding things for the concert party. As men went out to work they would try and find things they thought the concert party might need. Over the years musical instruments, including a piano and drum kit, clothes and a sewing machine found their way to the concert party. Although it was forbidden to bring these things into the camp, if the POW’s managed to smuggle them in they would be allowed to keep them.’