May 212017
 

Yesterday a memorial plaque was unveiled in Stratton, Dorset to remember the eight men of the Wrackleford Auxiliary Unit.

The event was opened with a welcome from Andrew Aylott, Chairman of Stratton Parish Council. Major General AS Jeapes CB OBE MC, former Commander of 22 SAS, then gave an introduction to the event and the role of Auxiliary Units. He then introduced Jack Northover, last surviving member of the Stratton Auxiliary Unit Patrol, who joined unofficially at 15 years of age.

During the war, Jack lost his brother George William Northover who was an original patrol member. George was shot down and killed by the Germans while flying in a Lancaster bomber with the RAF In 1943. His father George Henry Northover, the Stratton patrol commander also died later that year, and his mother died the following year.

The stone,draped in the Union flag, was then unveiled by Mr Angus Campbell, Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant of Dorset. It was then dedicated by the Rev Dr John Travell FRSA. Tributes were read by Devina Symes, consisting of a specially written poem in the Dorset Dialect favoured by some of the men. (Wrackleford is a small hamlet adjacent to Stratton where some of the men lived)


Baroness Rock of Stratton then recounted some of her childhood memories of the area.

Floral tributes were laid by family members of the men commemorated. The British Legion standard bearers were present under the command of Parade Marshall Mr Spencer Hare. The service concluded with the playing of the Last Post and Reveille by Mr Mark Downton, formally a bandsman with 13/18 Hussars and relative of patrol member Lewis Downton.

Attendees then viewed a large exhibition about the patrol, and Auxiliary Units in general, staged by our team in the adjacent village hall.

Background to the plaque

In 2015, Dorset man David Downton was writing a piece on the Dorset dialect, as spoken by his uncle Lewis. He discovered that his uncle had been part of the secretive Auxiliary Units and contacted us with a plan to erect a memorial to a group of men who role was hitherto unknown. With the help of various local residents and the families of the men, he raised the funds and arranged all the necessary permissions to erect a commemorative stone in the village of Stratton, near Dorchester in Dorset. 

READ MORE ON THE PATROL AND WATCH THE EVENT VIDEOS HERE

 

May 082017
 

Last August we had the pleasure of filming with the team from the hit BBC show ‘Escape to the Country’ and Presenter Jonnie Irwin.

We have filmed with many media organisations in the past seven years but these guys had really done their homework and came to the site fully prepped.

The small production team interviewed our Coleshill expert Bill Ashby (Above) and with the help of National Trust Volunteers Roger Green and Bob Marchant (Below) they explored inside the new replica Operational Base. You can see a short behind the scenes video of the filming here. 

The episode aired on Tuesday 9th May 2017 on BBC One at 3pm. You can watch it here. 

Apr 092017
 

We have come back from displaying at the Helicopter Museum’s ‘World of War Weekend’ in Weston Super-mare.

We just attended on the Saturday and Tony’s Scallywags stand is there today.

The day went very well and you can see a short video below. We displayed more weapons and explosives than ever before and had some new info panels made up by Nina (CART Devon). The organisers were very impressed with our contribution and have invited us back next year.

Thanks to all who contributed.

Apr 072017
 

THIS WEEKEND: Come and see us at the ‘World At War Weekend’ at the Helicopter Museum, Weston.

On Saturday 8th ONLY we will be displaying the largest ever assembled collection of Aux weaponry and you can meet our researchers and learn more about Aux Units.

On Saturday AND Sunday Tony Salter’s excellent Scallywags Aux stand will be displaying.

Find out more about the event here.

Mar 062017
 

Many of you kindly donated to our new website fund near the end of last year and we wanted to update you on the progress.

After raising the funding needed we signed a contract with an independent website developer who had been working on the planning stages of the project with us for over a year. The initial cost for a complete site rebuild was quoted between £12,000 and £30,000 but our developer was hopeful he could deliver this for the amount we had raised. As a sole trader he had very few business overheads. The original plan was that the site would be complete by November 2016.

Much progress has been made on the back end side of the website and the new patrol report took a lot longer to develop and code than anyone expected.

Last month we sadly learnt that our developer had decided to leave self employment and take on a full time role and this has left us no real choice but to transfer the development to a new company. We would like to thank him for all the unpaid work he has conducted to date and wish him all the best in his future job.

We’re hoping at this stage that a new contract will be signed by the end of March 2017 and work can continue without any additional fund raising needed.

We’re still working with the sites Graphic Designer who has come up with some really cracking new visuals.

Thank you for all your generous donations and on going support for our work. We apologise for the delay in delivering what will be be a much more user friendly, mobile friendly and lasting legacy to the men and women of the British Resistance Movement.

Nov 102016
 

p01tn3kpOn Friday 11th November we were featured on BBC Breakfast and BBC News by the BBC’s Robert Hall.

The 28 minutes of total broadcast were broken up into various broadcasts, some were LIVE. These can all be seen here. Also featured in the broadcasts was a tour of a Special Duties bunker in Devon, never before broadcast on television, and live interviews from GHQ Coleshill with our Founder Tom Sykes. You can the longest and most interesting of these below. We would like to thank Robert Hall for his outstanding contribution to this and the BBC for giving our work so much airtime.

Sep 292016
 

rest-in-peace

We are sorry to have to report the death of Auxilier Edward James Lapthorne who was always known as Jim and was formerly of Penquit. Jim was a member of the Ugborough Patrol in Devon. Jim sadly passed away on 14th September 2016 aged 93.

His funeral was held at St Peters and St Pauls in Ermington on Thursday 22nd September at 1.30.

At the going down of the sun and in the morning. We will remember them.

Sep 212016
 

lupton-house-2016-1

Over the weekend of 3rd / 4th September, some of our team displayed at the 1940s Weekend at Lupton House near Brixham, Devon. This was the back garden of the Brixham Patrol who often did training raids on the American camp in the grounds.

We had a room in the beautiful period house all to ourselves which we pretty well managed to fill with weapons, explosives, equipment and kit all issued to the Auxiliary Units Patrols.

Information and pictures on the South Devon Patrols kept the locals entertained and we even heard the occasional “wow, that was Bert who lived up the road !”

Picture boards telling the story of Bewley Down Special Duties site amazed everyone and George was a great hit especially after his make over !

Saturday was wet but busy but Sunday was such a treat to talk to so many people and educate them on the existence of Auxiliary Units, the room was often full of people !

Lupton must have thought we did a good job as we won the Best Display Award!!

lupton-house-2016-2

Thanks to Rod Hart and all at the Lupton 1940s Weekend and hopefully see you there next year.

By Nina Hannaford

Aug 122016
 

Filming with Escape to the Country 2Today we had the pleasure of filming with the team from the hit BBC show ‘Escape to the Country’ and Presenter Jonnie Irwin.

We have filmed with many media organisations in the past seven years but these guys had really done their homework and came to the site fully prepped.

Filming with Escape to the Country 1The small production team interviewed our Coleshill expert Bill Ashby (Above) and with the help of National Trust Volunteers Roger Green and Bob Marchant (Below) they explored inside the new replica Operational Base.

Filming with Escape to the Country 3

A short behind the scenes video can be seen below. It is thought the episode will air in about six months time.

Aug 012016
 

Coleshill Fire 1This morning our Coleshill researcher Bill Ashby visited the site and spoke to the fire crew and National Trust site management.Coleshill Fire 2
Luckily the fire was held back and did not spread into the end house. By entering the Commandants Offices and making a hole in the ceiling of the Typists room the Fire service were able to pour water on the fire without causing any other damage. This meant the fire was kept to the section we know as the “Accommodation Block”.

The cause of the fire is still being examined.