Churchill's British Resistance - The Auxiliary Units

 

East Linton Auxiliary Unit Patrol

This page was last updated at 1:01pm on 22/8/12

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.

Thank you for selecting information on the East Linton Auxiliary Unit Patrol and their Operational Base located at East Lothian Scotland. The info and below has been supplied by CART's Fife & Angus CIO, David Blair with assistance from Stephen Lewins and Jack Tully-Jackson's video below.

 

East Lothian Fighting Farmers - DVD

This is a short clip from a DVD made by Jack Tully-Jackson. It shows three of the East Linton Auxiliary Unit patrol. The rest of the DVD is about the East Lothian Home Guard. This documentary style film charts the important part East Lothian played in the secret war, listening into the enemy radio messages, training members of the Special Operations Executive, and also being chosen as the location for deception operations which played a vital role in the success of the Normandy landings. More info about there work can be seen here.

To order your copy please email

 

Currently Unknown

Currently Unknown



Number 4 (Border) Area:

Sgt G. Davidson
Pte Alan Middlemas
Pte Charles Spence
Pte Will Johnston
Pte Willie Oldershaw
Pte Jock Grant
Pte Jim Walt

The OB for East Linton Patrol was situated at Janefield Wood East Lothian. It was destroyed in the 70's by Bomb Disposal after the discovery of various suspect items.

Observation Post:  Currently Unknown

Road and rail links to the North and South.

Sgt G. Davidson mentions how he went to Coleshill with the Platoon for training and entered the famous Coleshill comeptions. He says they came third and this made them all very proud.

gG Davidson certificates

gG Davidson certificates6

The certificates above were awarded to George Davidson. Apparently George was a very very good
marksman. They are going to be sent to the Castle Museum in Edinburgh for safe keeping.

They were issued with sticky bombs and all the main weapons & explosives issued to the Aux Units.

Charles Spence was given ordered to shoot any other member who had been caught by the Germans.

Members of the patrol took part in addtional work on the Isle Of Wight for two weeks. They patrolled the downs on the Island to provide extra defence.

Charles Spence described in the video above how he was nearly run over by a train during training.

Charles George Spence Obituary
 
28/6/1917 – 2/7/2012

I have to announce the death of former Auxilier Charles George Spence. He was the last surviving member of his patrol. He was part of the 1st East Lothian Battalion Home Guard, East Linton Patrol, 201 GHQ Reserve Auxiliary Units No. 4 Area (Border).

He was married to Jean with children Stella, Charles and Victoria. The family originated in the Scottish Highlands and Islands, his father was Charles Thomas Spence of Unst. His father farmed at Tynefield, Dunbar and was well known for breeding varieties of potato and a keen photographer.
   
Charles George Spence was in a reserved occupation when WW2 broke out but like many of his farming and agricultural workers answered the call to defend the country made by Anthony Eden on May 14th 1940. From his Home Guard and farming contacts he was eventually selected for something altogether more dangerous and totally secret. Along with George Davidson, Alan Cockburn, Adam Middlemas, Jock Grant, Willie Aldershaw and William Johnston they became the East Linton Patrol of the Auxiliary Units. Sworn to secrecy they were part of  Major Gubbins’ “Marquis” an underground army recruited and equipped to cause as much havoc as possible if the Germans invaded. As a unit they had the best of equipment, much of which the regular army could only dream of.
  
East Lothain was seen as a major target for the Germans as the British fleet were at Rosyth Naval base just up the coast from Charles Spence and his patrols homes. Their other main target area was the main railway line down the east coast, telegraph and electrical supply poles and RAF East Fortune, an airfield the Germans would hope to capture and use as a base for bombing northern Britain and the fleet in the North Sea.

He under went training at Monksford, St. Boswells and Coleshill House near Swindon. At Coleshill they were taught the tactics they would need and how to use their large store of explosives. The patrol also featured in an inter unit shooting competition in which they finished 3rd behind Kent 1st and Sussex 2nd. George Davidson was the patrol’s best shot. Though this lead to some soul searching among the patrol who had decided that if captured Charles or George would shoot the prisoner to prevent him talking and save him from torture at the hands of his German captures. Life expectancy for the Auxiliers was less than two weeks.

Charles and the patrol were asked to volunteer for overseas action and were taken by train along with other members of the Scottish Auxilary Units south to London arriving on 6/6/44 to hear the news on the radio while having something to eat of the mass invasion by the Allies on the French coast. The East Linton patrol was then taken almost abroad to the Isle of Wight where they spent two weeks patrolling as the island’s hidden garrison. There was a fear that the Germans may use parachute troops to land on the island and start their own invasion thus upsetting the Allies plans. This did not happen and the men from East Linton returned home.

The Operations Base for the patrol was at Janefield Wood. It reached a wider audience in late 1974 when after the roof collapsed the army were called in to deal with the 30 year old high explosives left over from the war. Approximately 100lbs of high explosives and sticky bombs were blown up.

Rest in peace Charles George Spence a brave Scot’s Auxilier.

by Stephen Lewins.


Stephen Lewins (CART CIO for Northumberland), Jack Tully-Jackson, video interview with patrol members above.

If you can help with any info please contact us.