Churchill's British Resistance - The Auxiliary Units

 

Ashill Auxiliary Unit Patrol and Operational Base.

This page was last updated on 20/11/13

Thank you for selecting information on the Ashill Auxiliary Unit Patrol and their Operational Base in Norfolk. The info and images below have been supplied by Aux researchers Evelyn Simak and Adrian Pye.

The patrol formed part of Norfolk Group 8 which also included

Narford Patrol, Castle Rising Patrol, Middleton Patrol, Gayton Patrol and Mintlyn Patrol

CO Lt LN Brock

It is currently unknown when the patrol was formed.

Sgt John Kenneth Broadhead (Bury’s Hall)
Reginald Herbert Clutterham (farm worker) Holme Hale
David John Fake (Holme Hale, Ashill)
Sgt Stanley William Burroughs (Carbrooke)
George Dewing (Bradenham)
W Sanderson (Bodney Hall)
Samuel Edward Mortimer (Saham Toney)

The patrol appears to have been disbanded before the end of 1944 because all its members are listed as being transferred from the Aux list, ie they were returned to their local Home Guard unit.

Burys Hall Ashill 1

The OB was located on private land at Bury’s Hall farm (now Hannover Farm), adjoining Bury’s Hall. We had a look around Hannover Farm by kind permission of the farmer, Mr S Hancy. Many thanks also to Josie and Tor Stangeland of Bury’s Hall who kindly permitted access so we were able to see the part of the shed complex that remains on their property.

The patrol’s OB is described by patrol members Reginald H Clutterham and David J Fake (published in: A Hoare) as having been situated on the farm adjoining Bury’s Hall, both of which were owned by patrol member Sgt JK Broadhead’s family in the 1940s. The OB is described as having been constructed by the 250th Special Tunnelling Co RE under the floorboards of a farm building next to the cart shed situated to the south-west of the Hall.

Burys Hall Ashill 3  Burys Hall Ashill 2

The emergency escape exit, which had a trap door, was in an adjoining cart shed.
The OB had bunks on each side. The explosives were stored underneath the bunks as well as on shelves.

The OB had electric lighting and was equipped with a toilet, and an field telephone. A drainpipe emerging on the side of the building provided the ventilation.

The farm was sold decades ago, resulting in the complex comprising cart or carriage sheds, tack room and workshop now belonging in part to the farm and in part to the Hall. To complicate matters further, the entrance to the shed that had the OB under its floorboards is situated in the grounds of the Hall. A dividing wall, built after the farm had been sold, divides the building with the OB underneath its floor, part of it belonging to the farm and part of it situated on the side of the Hall. The emergency exit was in the corner of yet another adjoining cart shed, now belonging to the farm.

Permission was obtained from both owners in order to see the buildings from both sides. However, all floors have long since been concreted and the sheds have been put to other uses.

Burys Hall Ashill 4

If the OB is still in place it is no longer accessible. All that remained for us to do is to take a few photographs of the location.

Observation Post/s: The patrol had an Observation Post, described to have been in a hollow oak tree beside the road, opposite the Hall. It was accessed through a trapdoor in the bottom. Old oaks still line the road here but none of them has a hollow trunk.

Great Eastern railway line; aerodromes at Marham and Narborough

Training was done by experts; explosives course; training at Leicester Square Farm, Syderstone; sometimes testing security on airfields. Each patrol member had a revolver. There was also one Thompson machine gun and a Sten.

 Currently unknown

 Currently unknown


Reginald H Clutterham and David J Fake in: A Hoare, Standing up to Hitler; David Fake, Ashill patrol member (pers comm.); Josie and Tor Stangeland, Bury’s Hall (personal interview); Mr S Hancy, Hannover Farm (personal interview); Stephen Lewins CART CIO Northumberland.

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