Kibblesworth Auxiliary Unit Patrol
This page was last updated at 8:28am on 7/1/14
Thank you for selecting information on the Kibblesworth Auxiliary Unit and
Operational Base. The info and images below have been supplied by CART's Northumberland CIO Stephen Lewins.
The patrol was part of Area No. 3 commanded by Captain A C J Burningham of 26 Alviston Avenue, Low Fell he was
also a member of 2nd County Durham Home Guard (Chester le Street). Commissioned as 2LT 17/7/41.
Former Hetton le Hole patrol leader Sgt. J West was promoted to Lt. and was 2 I/C for the No. 3 Area. He lived
at 34, Colebank Terrace in Hetton le Hole.
The I/O’s were Major H L F Bucknall and Captain A D Hubbard.
Formed in 1941 though could be slightly earlier. The patrol is part of Area No. 3 Durham and North Riding
Sgt A Robinson, Gateshead
Sgt J S Ormston, Kibblesworth
Cpl J Falloon, Kibblesworth
Pte J W Hodgson Ravenhurst, Lamesley
Pte J Scorer, Kibblesworth
Pte C Moody, Kibblesworth
Pte E V Morton, Birtley
Pte J Harker, Kibblesworth
Joe Harker who was a colliery engineer said that when he was first recruited to the Auxiliary Units he had to
travel by train to Sunningdale between Bracknell and London. Here he was given an initial briefing about what was
required by him in the AU. There were three other new recruits on his train from Newcastle.
OB was in woodland known as Ridley Gill to the west of Hedley Hall farm. The
site is north of the Beamish Open Air Museum. We had access with the land owners permission but the
land is private property.
The OB has partially collapsed. Some corrugated tin sheet still in place. Both end walls and a ventilation pipe
still visible. It is a standard “Elephant” shelter as built by 194th Special Tunnelling Coy. R.E. Completed between
22/5/42 and 30/8/42.
Kibblesworth Bombing Decoy site, the railways at Tanfield and the Sunderland – Consett line with the East Coast
main line a secondary target. Several railway viaducts. The local road infrastructure and the Royal Ordnance
factory at Birtley, the same target was also high on the Birtley patrol’s hit list. The Tyne and the port area
would also have come into play if the Germans had taken it over as this would be a major route for bringing in
supplies and troops.
Locally and at Middleton on the Wolds. There
is some anecdotal evidence of training taking place on some weekends at Cocken Wood, Finchale near Durham. There
were a couple of training sessions at The Green Howard’s training centre at Castleton North Yorkshire.
Unknown, but it is assumed that they would have access to the “standard” Auxiliary weapons of a Browning Automatic Rifle, a Thompson Machine Gun and two
Enfield rifles. These were delivered to the Home Guard store depot at Northallerton.
National Archives. Interview with Joe Harker and John Maneer. Operational Base photos from Jennifer Morrison
(received with many thanks)