Churchill's British Resistance - The Auxiliary Units

 

Dersingham Auxiliary Unit Patrol

This page was last updated at 5:03pm on 9/1/15

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

The patrol formed part of Norfolk Group 7 which also included Snettisham Patrol and Ringstead Patrol

It is unknown when the patrol was formed.

Area Group Commanders of Areas 6-11 were:
Capt Walter George Gentle,MC, of 33 High Street, Brandon (Q)
Capt Edward John Robinson of 140 Wotton Road, Kings Lynn (A)

Group Commander: Lt Richard Ralph Stanton of Manor House, Dersingham
2nd Lt John Young
Lt William Newstead of 1 High Street, Cley



Rank

First Name

Middle Name

Surname

Address

Occupation

Sgt Fred James Burton Manor Cottage, Dersingham  
  Leonard Harry "Paddy" Batterbee 3 Centre Vale, Dersingham Thatcher
Frank   Goff Dodds Hill, Dersingham Shepherd
  Richard Robert Griggs Dodds Hill, Dersingham  
  William Herbert S Riches Chapel Road, Dersingham  
  Clarence William Todd Manor Road, Dersingham Gamekeeper

All worked at Manor Farm, Dersingham.

In A Hoare’s book ( Standing up to Hitler), the patrol’s OB is said to have been located somewhere in Sandringham Woods. According to the published account given by GRE Stanton (son of Group CO RSS Stanton), one of the rhododendron bushes flowered later than all others because it had been dug up and replanted after the OB had been built.

Dersingham Auxiliary Unit Patrol 2 Dersingham Auxiliary Unit Patrol 1

We found the OB site not far from one of the public footpaths that traverse Jocelyn’s Wood. The main chamber was an elephant shelter. Its glazed ceramic ventilation pipes were hidden between tree roots. Jocelyn’s Wood forms part of the Sandringham Estate, owned by HM Queen Elizabeth II. The woodland is open to the public and traversed by many footpaths.

Wire-mesh fencing surrounds one end of the rectangular dugout which, seen from above, is an abrupt 2m deep drop. The drop is down a sheer cut into the natural rock that appears to be a deposit of carstone – carstone is much in evidence in this area and many of the cottages are built from this material. The wall measures about 2.50m (W) by 2m (H), and stands at the south end of the structure. It is orientated NNW/SSE.

Access into a small cavity or crawl space, at the foot of the end wall, has been blocked. One rumor has it that there was a tunnel leading from here to Sandringham House further to the south, whereas another takes it to Rising Castle and a third to the Docks at Kings Lynn. Peeking down the gap however reveals that the cavity extends to about 0.70m depth and appears to end there.

The ground rises towards the other end (north) and the bottom of the dugout can easily be accessed by walking into it from there. A much shallower depression of similar width, partially obscured by rhododendron bushes growing in it, immediately adjoins.

A close inspection of the ground immediately adjoining (north) revealed a gully-like depression of about 10m length, leading away from the site and terminating in what appears to be a disused pit close to the road. We believe that this was the patrol’s emergency exit route.

Judging from the remains still discernible on the ground it appears that the structure used as the patrol’s OB has been removed and that the remaining hole was filled in, creating a slope that ends by the natural carstone wall. The entrance opening would have been located at this end. No trace remains.
The location was confirmed to us as having been the site of Dersingham patrol’s OB by RF Goff, the son of patrol member F Goff.

Observation Post/s:  Currently unknown

LNER (King’s Lynn to Hunstanton railway line); Sandringham House (in case it would have been taken over by the invaders)

Syderstone, Leicester Square Farm (North Creake)

 Currently unknown

Currently unknown


GRE Stanton (son of Group CO RSS Stanton in: A Hoare, Standing up to Hitler (2002); R.F Goff (son of patrol member F Goff (personal interview), EN Stanton (son of GCO Lt RR Stanton (personal interview)

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