Churchill's British Resistance - The Auxiliary Units

 

Alfrick 'Jehu' Auxiliary Unit Patrol

This page was last updated at 11/7/15 at 4:58pm

Thank you for selecting information on the Alfrick 'Jehu' Auxiliary Unit Patrol in Worcestershire. The info below have been supplied by our internal archive.

The biblical code name for this patrol was 'Jehu'

Research into this patrol and its training is ongoing. The information above is published from various sources and is by no means conclusive. If information is not listed above 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.

Worcestershire (Groups 1a and 1b) formed part of area 19 which also included Herefordshire, Monmouthshire (Group 3) and latterly from 1943 part of Glamorganshire (Groups 4a and 4b).

The first intelligence officer was Captain John Ellerman Todd who had been a London stockbroker before the war. Known to be a character but dressed as the country gent it is believed he lived at Llanfihangel Crucorny in Monmouthshire. Recruited to SOE, Todd was replaced by Captain Christopher Sandford and the area headquarters became Eye Manor near Leominster. A later Intelligence Officer included Captain Lloyd Bucknell RA.

Worcestershire Group 1a consisted of three Patrols: Bishampton (“David”) Patrol, Overbury Patrol and Alfrick (“Jehu”) Patrol.

Area Commander for both groups in Worcestershire was Captain Lewis E Van Moppes.
Group commander of 1a Patrols was his brother Lt Edmund M van Moppes.

It is thought that stores were held at Wolverton Hall, the home of Company Quartermaster Sergeant Thomas Dawe.

Many Auxiliers recall Sergeant Thurston Holland-Martin of Overbury Patrol as having a roll in recruiting and training.

Worcestershire,  Herefordshire and Monmouthshire Patrols were given Biblical code names. It is assumed this was an initiative of Todd to prevent the use of patrols locations names. 

Currently unknown.

A G Jeynes (obtained from CART DB)
William James “Bill” Plaskett
William James “Jim” Griffin (obtained from CART DB) – joined early 1942.
R J Crews (obtained from CART DB)
Corporal Arthur Allen (obtained from CART DB)
Pete Bussey (obtained from CART DB)

LEFT EARLY

Tony Barling. (Ledbury Reporter)

Anthony “Tony” Barling (Doctor but was medical student when recruited by Todd) – Original Sergeant Head of patrol went onto the Paras. Tony Barling would spend the week studying medicine but would return to Alfrick Court (his parents house) to spend time with the patrol. 

Company Quartermaster Sergeant Thomas Dawe was a temporary Sergeant of the Patrol between Barling and Dalley.

Sergeant George Dalley – Regular army moved to Patrol Sgt.
John Barker (left the patrol after a few months)
Chris Bullock (to join RAF)
Bill Jauncey (left early)
Reg Mason (left early)
Horace K Philips (obtained from CART DB) – replacement from Suckley HG 1941 to July 1942
Joseph  Poole (obtained from CART DB) joined very late in 1944

All were local lads who knew the area well

The patrol had 2 OB’s.  The first was a temporary facility in a small above ground farm building, which was adapted by Royal Engineers.  The building has been largely demolished but some walls remain today.  Once their underground OB had been completed a short distance away, on the west side of the hills, the first OB was an ammo store.

Jehu Patrol’s underground OB is still largely intact. The air intake was though a hole in the butt of a tree, a similar air in take design was adopted at the Langstone 'Jonah' Patrol OB in Wales.

The OB was visited by the local DoB volunteers on an organised basis and the structure was identified as a standard Royal Engineer design, with vertical shaft access, approx. ten feet deep, with an ammunition/explosives store to the right as you face the main chamber. This store was constructed with Anderson Shelter corrugated steel sections and was about eight feet long.

The main chamber is the standard Elephant Hide corrugated steel structure, of semi-circular section, and was about ten or twelve feet long. Tony Barling recalls that there were bunks provided for the patrol. This part of the OB has now collapsed. An escape route was provided for the occupants and consisted of an eighteen inch sewer pipe. This went out of the end of the main chamber, was about thirty feet long and curved according to Tony. The exit from this, which can still be seen, is out of sight of the main entrance to the hide and in the side of what appears to be a small disused quarry. Tony Barling described the cover for the main entrance as a wooden structure, covered with roofing felt. On top of this was fixed wire netting, into which was pushed branches and leaves and when the hide was vacated the margins were covered with more leaves so that it was quite invisible. This top was
counterbalanced so that it could easily be moved from the inside or outside. This cover has now gone and a temporary metal plate put over the shaft for safety. There is now no sign of the counterbalancing system or the means to climb down the shaft. The OB is on a north-south orientation, with the access at the north end and the emergency exit to the south.

In addition to the main hide, the patrol had a separate explosives store in another wood in the Alfrick area and Tony Barling could recall having to bury, close by, some Phosphorus Bombs which had started to go off.

Harass German forces passing through the operation area and also an observational role to monitor the A44 and railway line between Leomister and Worcester. Elisabeth Barling (Tony’s sister) was recruited as courier to pick up messages left by her brother in an old metal teapot placed in a hedgerow closed to the OB.  This message was then taken to the van Moppes. The patrol may have had an ambush role as they were trained in sticky bombs.

Tony Barling can remember going to Wolverton Hall for night patrols. John Barker later transferred to the Transport Platoon of the Worcester City Home Guard.  Chris Bullock can recall going to a quarry near Evesham for explosives and revolver shooting practice (this maybe the quarry on Bredon Hill?).  Horace went to Coleshill for training, traveling down with Bill Plaskett in an Army staff car.  He remembers the stables being cold to sleep in but had the best cup of tea during the wartime at Coleshill!

Tony remembered having training in the use of plastic explosive called PE, and remembers making up packages of the stuff, putting two time pencils in to make sure it went off and wrapping the package in sticky tape. He
could also recall using Bickford fuse which burned at two feet a second. Another device was an Instantaneous Fuse, presumably for booby-trap work. He was able to describe the time pencil in some detail, recalling that it incorporated a copper tube within which was a glass capsule containing sulphuric acid. The Auxiliers always put two time pencils in to ensure the explosion occurred.

Dr Barling can recall using Sticky Bombs, which had four rubber spikes to keep the tin covers away from the glue surface, and worked rather like a hand grenade, in that when you loosed the handle, a timing device came onto operation. They used to practice using these by throwing them against an old traction engine. He thought it would have been a wonderful weapon as long as you did not stick it to your clothes! Another weapon he has fond memories of was the Tommy gun issued to his patrol. He remembered it came in a beautiful wooden box and he used to practice by firing it against a brick wall at Alfrick Court. The wall still exists today and was subsequently repaired using concrete blocks.

Another private weapon of Tony's was a sleeved down Martini-Jenry Service Rifle which fired .22 bullets using an extra large cartridge. It was apparently very powerful but it is not clear whether he retained this for use in the Auxiliaries.

The Alfrick Patrol name was apparently "Jehu" a name chosen by the van Moppes because he used to drive his chariot furiously, which apparently Tony Barling also did, for he drove a TT Replica chain drive Frazer-Nash) rather rapidly. At this time Tony Barling was living at Alfrick Court with his family at weekends but working in the Birmingham Hospital during the week. He was therefore provided with petrol coupons for two gallons which was sufficient to enable him to get back to Alfrick and run his patrol. He could remember spending odd nights in his OB.

Tony Barling was interviewed by Major Todd, who, after swearing him to secrecy, asked him to lead an Auxiliary patrol in the locality.

Apparently Tony Barling's nerves were tested by Major Todd purposely dropping some plastic explosive! The patrol had eight members, one of whom was John Barker who kept the Swan Inn at Alfrick.

Tony remembers that Thurston Holland-Martin of the banking family was one of the senior organisers of the Auxiliary Units in this county. (In fact the Nominal Role shows that T Holland-Martin was the Overbury Patrol Sergeant and lived at Overbury Court). Gug van Moppes was Tony Barlings immediate senior officer and he recalls that he was the younger of the two brothers, and a very nice, easy going person. Although he was Dutch, he was apparently entirely Anglicised, His elder brother was taller, very suave and good looking. ( This must be Lewis van Moppes).

After leaving Aux Tony joining the Parachute Regiment as a Medical Officer, went to Arnhem, had lots of memorable
experiences: and then was captured. On release from the POW camp he returned to Alfrick in time to take the salute at the stand-down march past of the local Home Guard! He retired from the services as a Lt-Colonel.

The Mercian Maquis by Bernard Lowry & Mick Wilks, Steven Lewins, TNA WO199/3389
Hancock data held at B.R.A, A taped phone conversation with Dr Tony Barling on 6th July 1998, Dr Will Ward.