Posts by CART HQ:
In November, members of the CART team picked up the items so kindly gifted by Aux Unit veteran, the late Bob Millard (http://www.coleshillhouse.com/bob-millard.php) and his family.
The image below shows Nik Millard handing over a Rum Jar (to have been used in emergencies by the Aux Units – although often ’emptied’ in advance!) to Bill Ashby.
The jar will be on display in the Operational Base at Coleshill House. The rest of the items gifted will be shown by the CART team at various events in 2019.
Bob was a great friend to CART and and his items will ensure that the sacrifice he was willing to make will never be forgotten.
. . . Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill was born.
In the early summer of 1940 Churchill would instigate the formation of the secret ‘Auxiliary Units’ due to the threat of a German invasion. ‘Irregular warfare’ was already being researched and what existed was amalgamated into a civilian network of Operational Patrols (guerillas & saboteurs) and a Special Duties Branch consisting of spies, messengers & wireless radio-operators should invasion and occupation have taken place.
Born into a well-connected family in Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire, Churchill would go on to have a contentious political and military career. He escaped from a Boer War POW camp, lectured around the world, was an artist and published historian. As an MP he held many important ministerial positions. He served in WW1 before going back to politics.
On 10th May 1940, the same day that Hitler invaded the Low Countries, Winston Churchill became Prime Minister.
Churchill’s secret ‘Auxiliary Units’ were stood-down in 1944.
It’s been a busy few days for the CART team!
Our Press Officer Andrew Chatterton delivered a talk to the Newton Poppleford Local Historical Society. Also our Devon researcher, Nina Hannaford brought along a display with information on the local patrols and Special Duties Branch which went down really well.
We already have a couple of new leads for both the Aux Units and Special Duties Branch in East Devon as a result.
Thanks to all who attended and the generous donations !
Well done to all the marchers representing the Auxiliary Units at the Cenotaph on Sunday. So poignant to have so many relatives of Aux Unit members present.
A wreath was also laid at the replica Operational Base at Coleshill – many thanks to Bob Marchant to laying the wreath and the photos.
On Sunday 11 November, the National Service of Remembrance will be held at the Cenotaph on Whitehall, London.
Starting at 11am, the service will commemorate the contribution of British and Commonwealth military and civilian servicemen and women involved in the two World Wars and later conflicts.
This year, Remembrance Sunday falls on the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War. Many of the Auxiliary Unit Patrol Leaders were First World War veterans.
At the moment there will be 14 marching (watch out for D25), a mixture of relatives and CART researchers: David Hancock, Roger Green, Charlie Hancock, Polly Hancock, Paul Jarvis, Alan Jarvis, James Miners, Michael Miners, Philip Merricks, Robert Macaulay, David Macaulay, Jim Gascoyne, Wallace John Hewett and Anita Griggs.
“We will remember them”
A nominal roll for Special Duties Operators has yet to be found. Could it still be “Top Secret” ?
Thanks to Roger Parsons of Millfield School, CART has obtained a photograph of a Special Duties Operator in Somerset
Code named ” Chirnside 5″ the wireless Out Station was in a chicken hut at Edgarley Manor Farm. Locally it is suggested a woman was the main operator. The couple are Kenneth and Dorothy Marsh. So was it Dorothy in charge of sending secret messages on the wireless ?
Having married in Kuala Lumpur the couple lived in Federated Malay States (today Malaysia). During the 1910s and 20s they often travelled backward and forward from the UK, his occupation recorded as “Planter”.
On May 14th 1942 The Wells Journal ran an article on Kenneth Marsh and his farming methods which was broadcast by the BBC.
The article records the Farm is predominantly rearing and selling poultry rather than selling the eggs. It also notes the feed is produced in vast sums from local food waste and army swill from military camps. This shows the Marshes would have frequently and freely travelled the area collecting waste and be able to monitor local situations if necessary.
Weeley OB in Essex has been found by brothers Gary and Mark Binden. They are both interested in WW1 & WW2 fortifications & regularly travel up & down the country tracking down & photographing them.
Sgt Roger Weeley, who lived in Edgewood House, Weeley Heath
Cpl Joseph J Webb
Cpl Basil G Deeks
Pte George F Wallace
Pte Reginald T Bruce
Pte Edward D Piper
Pte Frederick E Martin
Known as “Squire” Weeley, Roger shocked interviewer Ivan Cutting in 1986 when he revealed his wartime role.
Recruited directly by Andrew Croft, who had only just returned from Norway, he was telephoned on a Sunday to recruit 6 men to form the Patrol by Wednesday. They were soon issued with 2-3 hundred weight of explosives which were stored in small dumps, one in the Squire’s pigsty. In return for a couple of rabbits they “borrowed” a local digger to dig out for their OB and created an entrance through a old holly tree.
The patrol tested the local military defences many times and were always successful.
“We were taught to look after ourselves” said Squire Weeley.
Many thanks to Gary and Mark.
CART researchers have been busy, even during the recent heatwave excavating Operational Bunker (O.B.) remains. CART was granted exclusive access to this private and secret site, not previously recorded.
Many interesting features were unearthed and documented. These included evidence in the soil colour change and fill, combined with a clear line and termination of vertical corrugation indicating a metal shaft entrance.
Also unearthed was the unusual find of a section of ‘blind’ escape tunnel sat directly above the actual escape tunnel (storage?), and a length of cable exiting the shaft area (possibly linking to an Observation Post or for lighting?)…
Documenting new sites continues, can you help ?
Jim Gascoyne is the son of an Auxilier & an ATS “secret sweetie” Special Duties operator.
The talk is at Willesborough Windmill TN24 0QG. 18.45 for 19.30 start.
Jim has marched with Auxiliary veterans at the Cenotaph in memory of the Auxiliary Units.
Guaranteed to be an excellent evening !