May 202018
 
France 1944 – Operation Bulbasket was largely an ex-Aux Units Operation, with some ex-desert SAS, and a few other new recruits. Dorset, Norfolk and Scotland Aux Units provided the bulk of the men.
A small group from the local Royal British Legion  Poitou-Charentes branch in France are recreating the cycle ride undertaken by Lt Tomos Stephens as part of Op Bulbasket in 1944. Disguised as a Frenchman and riding a pre-war pushbike, he rode from Sazas near Montromillion to the railway marshalling yard at Chatellerault to gather information about fuel tankers stored there. It was a 120km (75 mile) round trip in a single day, an incredible feat. The intelligence was supplied to the RAF who bombed the fuel stored at the railway yard, significantly slowing the 2nd SS Das Reich Panzer Division who lacked enough fuel for their move north towards Normandy. Sadly Lt Stephens was shot after capture, having given himself up so a young maquisard could escape, hoping that his uniform would mean he would become a prisoner, whereas the Maquis were always executed. That young man witnessed Lt Stephens death from his hiding place (and recorded this a few years ago – the story differing from that given by the Bulbasket survivors who were told third hand he had been beaten to death). Lt Stephens was buried in a family vault in nearby Verriéres.
The ride is on Sunday June 10th this year. You can help by sponsoring them through their JustGiving page. This branch funded the erection of memorials at the St Sauvant and Verriéres sites in recent years. They also provide the standard bearers for ceremonies at Rom and Verriéres each year.
There is more information here:
Their JustGiving online donation page is here:
(It also covers other events he is doing).
Money raised goes to the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal.
Do support them if you can. Or even just send a message of support and tell your friends. This RBL branch are doing what they can to keep alive the memory of the men lost on Operation Bulbasket.

May 092018
 
CART will be at Chard Museum on Sunday 20th May, with a small Auxiliary Unit display as part of the Museum’s ‘Military Day’. If you’re in the area why not drop in for a friendly chat with CART’s Somerset researcher, Chris Perry.
Chard Museum, High street, Chard TA20 1QB. Open from 10.00am.

May 072018
 

Tony Salter’s ‘Scallywags’ Auxiliary Units display was at Caldicot Castle over the scorching bank holiday weekend. A very well supported event in a unique location. As always, he put on a first class display and along with Tony’s wealth of information, plenty of CART fliers were also taken away.

 

May 052018
 

To mark International Conscientious Objectors Day we thought we’d offer some food for thought (and a gentle walk):

Stuart Edmonson was a Quaker. He was also the first Intelligence Officer for Devon and Cornwall:

http://www.coleshillhouse.com/devon-auxiliary-units-intelligence-officers.php

Back row: all unknown
Front row: L-R: Major John Dingley, Captain JW Stuart Edmundson, Unknown (can you help identify any of these men?)

Born in 1911, Edmundson had a Quaker upbringing before becoming a Cambridge University graduate and Royal Engineer.

He was ordered to report to 7 Whitehall Place, London on 13th July 1940 at 1100 hours where he was to become the first Intelligence Officer for Devon and Cornwall. While he was away a large delivery of explosives and fuses arrived at his house. His wife Iris directed the driver to hide the load in the grounds of a blind hospital behind their house in Yelverton. Edmundson formed the Operational Patrols of Cornwall and then Devon.

The Devon Auxiliary Units HQ was at Langstone Manor, Dartmoor, and is just a few miles from a road that was built by Quaker conscientious objectors at Princetown (known as The Conchies Road or The Road to Nowhere).

On the 15th May, 2018, a free guided walk (with local historian Simon Dell) is available along this route https://moorlandguides.co.uk/history/#1521218918009-65981e1b-c9b2

CART’s Devon & Cornwall researcher Nina, will be going along (don’t forget your cake Nina !).

Edmundson left the Auxiliary Units in November 1943 and joined S.O.E. working in the Scientific Research Section. We don’t know how he reconciled his Quaker beliefs and his Auxiliary Units work. If you have any ideas – let us know !

Apr 192018
 

Check out Tony Salter’s excellent ‘Scallywags’ Auxiliary Units display around the country this year:

Caldicot Castle May 6 – 7
War in the Vale Evesham June 16 – 17
Violet Szabo Museum Hereford June 24 (SOE)
Black Country museum Dudley July 14 – 15
Bleanavon Ironworks Aug 4 – 5
Papplewick pumping station Nottingham Oct 20 – 21

Next event: Caldicot Castle, Church Road, Caldicot, NP26 4HU, Wales

Image result for tony salter Scallywags auxiliary unit display

Image result for tony salter Scallywags auxiliary unit display

 

Apr 082018
 

This was a well attended, highly enjoyable 2-day event. We supplied a joint display of Operational Patrols (including local Patrol info) and Special Duties Section items and video. We had plenty of visitors, interest and a few leads as well.  ‘Johnny’ Johnson (the last surviving Dambuster) was guest of honour. Thanks all.

Mar 282018
 

CART will be at the Castletown D-Day Centre, Portland, Dorset (DT5 1DB), on Saturday 14th & Sunday 15th April, 2018. This is part of their Living History weekend, a very ‘hands on’ experience. Includes military vehicles, weapons displays and much more..   http://www.castletownddaycentre.com/

This is a new fixture and one that we hope will become a regular event. Pop by & say hi.