Churchill's British Resistance - The Auxiliary Units

 

Duddo Auxiliary Unit Patrol and Operational Base.

This page was last updated at 10:52am on 15/1/13

Thank you for selecting information on the Duddo Auxiliary Unit Patrol and their Operational Base in Northumberland. The info, video and images below have been supplied by CART's Northumberland CIO Stephen Lewins and Mr. Colin Hunter.

The patrol was based just north of Etal in Northumberland.

Estimated 1941

Sgt G Hedley promoted to Lt and Group Commander along with 2 I/C 2Lt Robert Teague Dryden (of the Milfield patrol) were responsible for the patrols at Kyloe/Ancroft, Sionside, Duddo, Wooler and Milfield.             

Sgt later Lt G Hedley
Cpl later Sgt R C (Bob) Reed
Pte Jim W Douglas of
Pte F N Guthrie
Pte G Hutson
Pte E Rowland
Pte Michael Brown           

Duddo-Patrol-Members-Map-web

Location of the Auxiliers in relation to the Operational Base. Click on map for larger view.

A standard “Elephant” type shelter buried on the top of a bank over looking the bend in the river Till. The B6354 passes the site only a short distance to the east where there is a farm track that also leads almost to the OB, this would give any member of the patrol an innocent looking walk to the site that would not arouse any suspicion.

The OB entrance and escape tunnel are both made of corrugated tin instead of the usual concrete pipes. This may have been due to a shortage of materials or down to the ground conditions. The OB at West Fallodon is of the same construction and it was prone to flooding.

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Condition of OB: Collapsed

Size of OB and entrance/exit etc: Standard “Elephant” type shelter approx 22’ x  !2’. Escape tunnel west towards the riverside path.

Orientation of OB: Roughly East/West as with most Northumberland OB’s.

Observation Post: Not known

Other physical remains nearby: End walls and corrugated tin sheet.

The OB was built by the 184th (S) Tunnelling Company of the Royal Engineers and completed in August/September of 1942. Their commanding officer was Major M B Hare.

The only road crossing points of the two nearby rivers, the bridges at Ford over the Till and at Coldstream over the Tweed as well as the Cornhill Branch railway and local road bridges. RAF Milfied and the Army HQ in Wooler.

Meliville House in Scotland and locally. The patrol may have trained near the Allerdean OB on Lambert Carmicheal’s farm at Scremerston Hill where a close quarters training site is said to have been set up with rope ways and pop up targets.

American Automatic pistols plus the standard issue Aux kit with the sticky bombs, grenades, .22 sniper rifle, Tommy gun an high explosives.

The other patrols on the area at Kimmerston, Kyloe andd Allerdean were in positions that would allow them to harass the Germans whether they invaded from the sea on the nearby North East coast near Holy Island or the feared airborne attack, landing on the Cheviot Hills and in Wooler. This was seen as a possible weak point, if the Germans could drop paratroopers near Wooler and capture RAF Milfield they might have been able with few troops in rural sparsely populated area split the country in two. The town of Wooler was seen as strategically important and is still ringed by about a dozen pillboxes.


The National Archive in Kew. Letter from Major B M Hare. Aux patrol members list from Capt J R Woods from the HQ at Wynyard Hall. Major Hancock’s patrol list from CART Archive.

Special thanks

I must send a special thank you to Mr. Colin Hunter for doing the leg work and providing the photographs. Without whom it would not have been possible to bring you this report until a much later date.

If you can help with any info please contact us.