Churchill's British Resistance - The Auxiliary Units

 

Admiralty 5, Newton Park Auxiliary Unit Patrol

This page was last updated at 8:03am on 21/4/13

Thank you for selecting information on the Admiralty 5, Newton Park Auxiliary Unit Patrol and their Operational Base in Somerset. The info and images below have been supplied by our Devon CIO, Nina Hannaford.

Research into this patrol and its training is ongoing. The information below is published from various sources and is by no means conclusive. If information is not listed below it does not necessarily mean the information is not out there but normally means CART researchers have not found it yet.

If you have any information on this patrol or can help with research in this area please do contact us.

When war was declared a section of the Admiralty headquarters were moved to Bath. Initially scattered around the city making use of requisitionedhotels, they eventually moved into more suitable locations such as at Fox Hill and purpose built military hutments at Ensleigh, Landsdown Road.
Most of those working with the Admiralty were billeted locally, either with families or in hostels.

There were five Admiralty patrols, Number 1 at Kelston Park, 2 at Langridge, 3 at Warminster Road, 4 at Prior Park and 5 at Newton Park, Newton St. Loe.

All five Admiralty Patrols were recruited from those working for the Admiralty so there was a high turnover of patrol members as men were posted elsewhere through work.

Thought to be formed by at least September 1940

Alan Crick was one of the original Intelligence officers that were sent out on reconnaissance. He surveyed Somerset and Dorset.

Captain Ian Fenwick (KRRC) was the first Intelligence Officer covering the county of Somerset along with the City of Bath. During his command he was billeted near Taunton with a HQ in Bridgewater. He went on to join the SAS and was killed in action in France in August 1944.

By August 1942 Captain L Strangman (RAOC) was Somerset's IO based at Sherwood House, Goathurst near Bridgewater. A move of HQ to The Lodge at Bishops Lydeard preceded a change of IO to Captain J W Holberton who was, in turn, succeeded by Captain J M Martin in February 1944.

At a meeting held in July 1944 it was decided to group all the counties into 4 regions. The Admiralty Patrols became part of “Region 4” under the command of Major W W Harston based in Ashburton, Devon. As the final Intelligence Officer, Harston's command would cover the whole of the South West and South Wales.
 
The IOs were being withdrawn from around August 1944 onwards leaving the Area and Group Commanders.

After 1941 a “grouping” system was developed where various patrols within a demographic area would regularly train together under more local command.

Admiralty Officers - Bath

Admiralty Officers.
Left to right; Lt. Jeffrey G. Spearman, Capt. Leonard A. Aves, 2ndLt Ivor M. Phillips, 2ndLt. George R.M. Hutchings.

In command of the Admiralty patrols were, initially, Captain Leonard Aves and Sergeant (later Lieutenant) Frank Bradbury. They were subsequently re-deployed by the Admiralty and were replaced by Lt Jeffrey George Spearman and 2nd Lieutenants George Richard Hutchings and Ivor MacGregor Phillips as the other officers.

Ivor Phillips, before joining the Admiralty, was a cameraman at a film studio. It is known that he filmed some training sessions but it is unknown if they survive. He was awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM) in December 1944 for “ Meritorious Service in the Home Guard”

 Admiralty 2 Langridge Patrol 1

 Copyright J Wilson ( Spearman Collection)

This picture shows Aves, Spearman and Hutchings on a return trip from Taunton, presumably from meeting with IO Captain Fenwick. The journey in the Morris 8 was broken by a refreshment stop at The Rose and Crown at East Lyng.

Earlier known patrol members

                                                                                                                                                                       

Captain Leonard Arthur Aves before his promotion to a group commander. He was later posted to 20th Essex Battalion Home Guard with the rank of Lieutenant in April 1944 

 

Ivor MacGregor Phillips who was the original Sergeant. He was later promoted to 2nd Lieutenant. Phillips was awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM) in recognition of “Meritorious Service in the Home Guard” in December 1944. 

 

Edwin A Steane was transferred to Admiralty 2 ( Langridge) Patrol on his promotion to Sergeant. 

 

Cyril J Gates was also transferred to Admiralty 2 ( Langridge) Patrol. 

 

Reginald Probst. ( see below) 

 

Eustratios Panagopoulos 

 

Patrol members who signed the Declaration on Termination of Engagement January 1945

 

Sergeant Norman E Shephard. The rank of Sergeant coming after the promotion of Ivor Phillips to 2nd Lieutenant. 

 

Lance Corporal Stanley F Phillips. 

 

John Blair. 

 

Reginald M.B Judsen. 

 

Arthur N Armstrong. 

 

John O.B. Canavan. (See below) 

 

Eric Dwane. 

 

Admiralty 5 Auxiliary Unit Patrol 1

 

Copyright J Wilson ( Spearman Collection)

 

Early and Later Members of Admiralty 5


Back row : A.N.Armstrong,   L/Cpl S.F.Phillips,   J. Blair,   R.M.B Judsen,
Middle Row : J.O.B.Canavan,   Sgt.N.E.Shepherd,    Lt. J.G.Spearman,   Sgt .E.A. Stearne,   E Dwane.
Front Row : Capt. L Aves,   2nd Lt I.M. Phillips,   2nd Lt G.r.M.Hutchings.

 

Due to the high turnover of personnel, without further information, it is impossible to record all the members in their correct Patrols. A list of patrol members, recorded for a reunion in 1950, recalls many men that cannot be allocated a certain Patrol. They are listed here.

 

The men were only brought together in Bath due to their work for the Admiralty. Post war, therefore, they have scattered around the country and even around the world.

 

 Admiralty 1 Patrol 1943 to 44

Admiralty Patrols 1-5

Photo. W.R.Bennett.Admiralty 4

Stand down picture : left to right:
Rear row: E. Dwane, A.P.James, N.J.James, W.W.Curry, J.Blair, S.R.G.Sauter, L.M.Pussey, H.D.Rees (BEM), W.F.E.Emmerson.

Third row: H. Masters, C.J.Gates, L/Cpl .R.A.Partridge, S.L.Baldery, F.N.Jermy, H.Banham, R.A.D.Heward, A.P.Morgan, P.F.Carter, T.F.Pope, L/Cpl. R.N.Reeds.

Second row. R.M.B.Judson, L/Cpl. S.F.Phillips, E.White, Sgt. E.A.Steene, Sgt. N.W.S.Baker BEM,
Sgt.N.E.Shepherd, L/Cpl .E.Roscorla,
N.Armstrong, J.O.B.Canavan.

Front row: Sgt. D.F.Stevenson, 2nd Lt. G.R.M.Hutchings, Captain L.Aves, Lt. J.G.Spearman,
2nd Lt. I.M.Phillips BEM, Sgt. R.W.Bennett.

Members of Admiralty 5 in red.

Known as the “Town Fighting Instructors”, this group contains two Auxiliers from Admiralty 5

Bath Town Fighting Instructors

Copyright J Wilson ( Russell Collection)

Back Row :  Hands,  Lester,   Hayers,   Mogg.
Front Row :  Marshall,   Miller,   PROBST,   Cooper,   Russell,   CANAVAN,   Goathard. (Highlighted are known Auxiliers from Admiralty 5)

For further information on this group see here.

Operational Base One near Pennyquick Bridge.

The OB was located in a disused mine shaft, close to a stream, on fairly low lying ground. Quite close to a hedge but still in relatively open pasture land, it would have been very impractical to come and go with any secrecy and flooding was inevitable. The OB has since been filled in.

Admiralty 5 Auxiliary Unit Patrol 2

Pennyquick Bridge.

The Admiralty patrols had a central explosives / arms store in an out building at The Royal School, Lansdown Road and Harry Banham (4 Patrol) recalls another one built into the bank of the car park of the Ensleigh Estate though that may have only been for 4 Patrol.

Operational Base Two at Newton Park

The OB was located within a bank leading down from the main house (at Newton Park) towards the main pond behind the house. It was filled in by German prisoners of war in 1946.

The land is owned by the Duchy of Cornwall, Newton Park is now part leased by Bath Spa University as a campus. Newton Park's grounds are criss-crossed by MAFF (now DEFRA) Conservation walks and are open to the public.

 Admiralty 5 Auxiliary Unit Patrol 3

 Newton Park. Newton St Loe.

Admiralty 5 Auxiliary Unit Patrol 4

OB was in the bank just below Newton Park              Looking down the bank.                     

All the Admiralty Patrols took part in a night raid on RAF Colerne. Number 1 Patrol broke through the perimeter barbed wire nearest the offices. Despite crawling on all fours Douglas Owen (1 and  2 Patrol) managed to get captured. Taken to the office of the RAF commander he was interrogated by officers before producing a pistol hidden in his trousers. He proceeded  to hold the officers hostage at gun point. 
W R Bennett of 4 Patrol remembers this raid as being “a complete fiasco. The sentries were posted at all the most  obvious approaches and it was easy to elude them. All of us detailed to do so got in and plastered aircraft with “destroyed”  notices and two adventurous youngsters actually held the station commander at gun point in his own office which was certainly not in their remit. There was a big row about it and as a result all the poor airmen had their leave jammed for a fortnight.”

Locally, along with other Admiralty and City of Bath Patrols, targets could have included the nearby railway line and bridges over the river Avon.

They often trained with all the other Admiralty Patrols and the City of Bath Patrols.

Records of a revolver shooting competition on 20th February 1944 at Monkton Combe shows Admiralty 5 came forth in both 10 and 20 yard shots though only Shepherd and Dwaine are recorded as entering.

Exercise “Lamb” was due to take place on 25th March 1944. Patrol leaders were advised ; “ Ample opportunity should be taken of reconnoitring the district of Box.” Meeting at the Fernley Hotel at 21.30 hours, the exercise would finish at 02.00 hours the following morning.

Everything was stored at the OB as the Auxiliers were not living or working in their home environment. It is assumed they had access to the regular weapons and equipment listed here

The Admiralty Auxiliary Units were recruited at the time of the Baedeker Air raids on Bath in April 1942 to search bombed buildings for survivors.

For transport, 5  Patrol acquired a large Canadian “Essex Terraplane” car that was able to accommodate seven people. Stanley Phillips was the custodian and driver.

At Stand Down: Somerset is Area 18 and all the Admiralty Patrols within the Bath area are in Group 1. In command are (now) Captain J Spearman along with Lt Hutchings and 2nd Lt Phillips.  Aves having been transferred to 2nd Essex Battalion with the rank of Lieutenant in April 44.
Captain Spearman is Area Commander of both the Admiralty Patrols and Bath City Patrols

CART CIO for Northumberland Stephen Lewins for Nominal Rolls
TNA ref WO199/3391. WO199/3390
Bob Millard
List of Admiralty Auxiliers from 1950 reunion held at B.R.A
Hancock's data held at B.R.A
http://www.bathintime.co.uk/category/6768/people-portraits-events/wartime-bath shows images of wartime Bath
Donald Brown “ Somerset V Hitler”

If you can help with any info please contact us.