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.

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

May 262016
 
On the 4th June we will be displaying at Saunton Beach in North Devon in the beautiful sunshine. We are getting North Devon information boards ready to tell you all about the Auxiliary Units and the men of North Devon. But…..
WE NEED YOUR HELP
Military
Come and find out who would have been part of a British Resistance in your area and help us find their underground bases.
Find out more about the event here.
Or on Facebook here.
Screen Shot 2016-05-26 at 10.27.17 am

C/O http://www.assaulttrainingcenterfriends.co.uk/

Saunton Beach Event 2016 - 1
Saunton Beach Event 2016 - 2 Saunton Beach Event 2016 - 3

Apr 042016
 

Article by Ray Duffill

secret-army-posterBy daytime in World War II, Charlie Mason was an aircraft engineer at Brough, but this just provided cover for his covert membership of Britain’s secret resistance organisation. Charlie’s role, in an invasion by foreign enemy troops, would be to fight the invaders from behind their own lines with a campaign of espionage, sabotage and disruption.

Charles Arthur Mason was a member of the South Cave Patrol of the secretive Auxiliary Units set up on the orders of Prime Minister Winston Churchill in 1940. This secret army was established with two key roles during an invasion by forces of Nazi Germany; to collect intelligence on invading enemy forces and to organise a guerilla offensive behind enemy lines. Nominally part of the Home Guard, this was certainly no ‘Dad’s Army’.

An exhibition at Hedon Museum, which opened on Saturday, reveals much about the secret life of Charlie Mason who along with his comrades trained and prepared to resist the invaders. Because of the secret nature of its organisation, the story of this ‘underground’ resistance army remains largely untold, and for most of his life Charlie, bound by the Official Secrets Act, kept his wartime role secret.

Jo Mulhearn with display boards about her father Charles Mason.

Jo Mulhearn with display boards about her father Charles Mason.

“He didn’t tell us much at all about his secret activities,” said Charlie’s daughter Jo Mulhearn at the Hedon Museum on Saturday. “He’d told us that he worked for a section of the Home Guard, and during the war, he said to Mother ‘if the invasion starts, let the chickens out of the coop, then go to the church and make sure the bells are rung to warn people. I’ll then be going away… and may not be back for some time.’“

During an invasion, Charlie would have made his way to his operational base, a hide-out in the countryside stocked with knives, guns and explosives from which his unit would conduct operations against the enemy. Some of those items, safely decommissioned, are on display in the exhibition.

Maggie Sumner from the Hedon & District Local History Society was particularly interested in one commando knife in the exhibition which she believes was the one that Charlie brought with him when he gave a talk to a meeting of the Society, perhaps 20 years ago. “The presentation stands out, even after all this time because of the interesting subject matter, but also because of Charlie holding this big lethal looking dagger!” Apparently, in peacetime, the knife was used for nothing sinister but merely as a gardening trowel by Charlie!

Alan Williamson, author and researcher, and Jo Mulhearn.

Alan Williamson, author and researcher, and Jo Mulhearn.

 

Alan Williamson’s book

Alan Williamson’s book

Jo Mulhearn opened the exhibition on Saturday, but introducing her was Alan Williamson who has spent 22 years researching the local Auxilary Units – work which he says is ongoing. Alan has written a book, East Ridings Secret Resistance, which was published in 2003. Much of the research for that book was undertaken by both Alan and Charlie – “Charlie was always keen to re-discover the sites of the former Operational Bases,” said Alan “he would be the first one down into any forgotten underground bunker.”

There was a real threat of invasion in the early part of the war, and whilst that did not take place, the Auxilary Units were kept in active service until finally ‘stood down’ in November 1944.

The “Secret No More” exhibition currently showing at the Hedon Museum reveals much about the membership and wartime activities of this secret army and draws heavily upon the experiences of Charles Mason (1914 – 2008) and other veterans of this most secret army.

The story of East Riding’s secret resistance army 1940-44 at Hedon Museum is open every Wednesday and Saturday, 10 am – 4 pm until Wednesday 4th May 2016. Refreshments are available. Please seek out the signs and notices in Hedon town centre to find your way to the museum which is behind the town hall complex.

A ‘must-see’ exhibition!

Mar 152016
 

Chalke-ValleyWe are very sorry to report that despite being told we could attend The Daily Mail Chalke Valley History Festival again this year, we have now been informed they do not have room for us!!

Seems 100 plus vikings have taken over…

Thank you to all who volunteered for the event and sorry to those who planned to come along and see our stand.

We will now work on attending another event that has the space for us.

Jul 012015
 

We are pleased to report that our display at the Chalke Valley History Festival went down really well.

We displayed over two days on 27th & 28th June.

The short video below gives you a flavour of what we displayed.


Hundreds of people past through our tent and we obtained many new leads.

Our display was complemented by 5 Aux re-enactors from Yorkshire and Suffolk. They showcased the weapons and explosives issued to Aux patrols and made things go bang twice daily.

Images of the event and more info can be seen here.

Jun 222015
 

Alan Open dayAlan Stewart, our Aberdeenshire CIO took part in a special open day at the Fraserburgh Heritage Centre yesterday.

Alan met a few Aux relatives including Alison Smith who provided us with the Grange Patrol diary.
Alan saw a steady stream of people over the day and a lot of people remember the names of Auxiliers from the local area.
Quite a few people thought the Auxiliary Units were the same as the Home Guard so Alan spent a bit of time explaining the difference.
Alan gave a powerpoint presentation and showed some of our research.

Jun 032015
 

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WIN: A family ticket (Two adults, three children) to The Daily Mail Chalke Valley History Festival in Wiltshire worth £40 on Saturday 27th June.

You can come and see our stand as well.

All you have to do to enter is LIKE & SHARE our post on Facebook.

May 292015
 

British Resistance March Banner 2015This Remembrance Sunday we will have the chance for twelve people to march past the Cenotaph on Whitehall again.

If you know of a surviving member of the Operational Patrols or the Special Duties Branch who would like to march or if you are related to one and would like the chance to be involved please email hq@coleshillhouse.com as soon as possible. See more here.