Jun 132017
 

Peter Potter was an Auxilier with Fingringhoe Patrol in Essex. A new book has been written about his life by his friend and Aux Researcher Hugh Frostick. 

Peter Louis Potter shares his eventful life from “clodhopper to cloud-topper and fire-stopper”. His revealing and sometimes risqué tales range from Essex farming and village life, wartime service on Lancaster bombers, working in a mental asylum, and as a fireman in Colchester.

Never short of an idea for a laugh or an adventure, and often bending the rules, Peter gives a wonderful feel for how he and his family lived and worked at Fobbing on the Essex marshes and the industrialised Thames, and farming near Colchester at Easthorpe, Fingringhoe and Mersea Island.

When war came, Peter ran away from home to volunteer for RAF Bomber Command, leading to many exciting episodes in Churchill’s Secret Army and as a Lancaster rear gunner.

Peter’s skill as a raconteur has been well captured by Hugh Frostick. This highly entertaining account gives a fascinating insight into life and war in the 20th Century.

Peter Potter now lives in Elmstead Market and is a regular attendee at Boxted Airfield Museum, where he was stationed just after the war, as part of RAF liaison to hand over the station from the USAAF.

Peter celebrated his 92nd birthday on 30th May 2017. 

Author: Hugh Gunter Frostick
ISBN: 9780995793804
Published: 16 May 2017
Price: £10 plus £2 postage to UK. Add £10 signed by Peter Potter and Author (limited availability)
Attributes: Paperback, 294 pages with 75 black and white illustrations and 6 maps. Laminated full colour cover. Dimensions approx 217mm x 150mm x 18mm, 470g

ORDER HERE

 

Jun 132017
 

CART welcomed new researcher for East Hampshire, Jon Radcliffe to the stand at the Southwick Revival event. His local knowledge was invaluable as we spoke to a number of local residents with information about Auxiliary Units sites. Two visitors had played in the Southwick Operational Base as children and were able to describe it in detail, mentioning a previously unknown escape tunnel. Others gave accounts of the patrol members they had remembered from their youth. There was also a location provided for an Operational Base near Clanfield, though this might also relate to the Lovedean Patrol.

We also had some excellent information regarding an Base in Dorset and an oral history account from Sussex previously unknown to us.

Displaying in the middle of Southwick, Coleshill expert Bill Ashby went knocking on doors using the wartime addresses of patrol members and found relatives at one of these. They are looking out some photos of the patrol members for us which we hope to be able to add to the site in due course. We also heard a great deal about the area during wartime, as many of the wooded areas hosted allied troops in the run up to D-Day and remains still exist in a number of these.

Particularly interesting was a series of Tommy gun bullets which had been extracted from a felled tree. Eye witness accounts confirm that Generals Monty and Eisenhower fired Tommy guns at the tree one evening after dinner. Nobody had believed the story at the time, but decades later, the bullets were found in the timber when the tree was being cut up and kept by a local forestry worker. It isn’t often you know who fired a particular bullet, and even less often they are so famous!

It was impressive to see how many people had made the effort to appear in wartime dress, with many impressive wartime hairstyles and at least two vintage prams for young children. Periodically the military vehicles drove through the streets in convoy, past houses with taped windows and bunting.

The Aux Units part of the village’s history came as a surprise to some, with the D-Day map room and HQ being perhaps more famous. We’ve been asked back again next year…

(Report by Dr Will Ward – CART Dorset) Images by the team. 

 

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.

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.

Jul 312016
 

_90573932_fire1
More than 50 firefighters and eight fire engines were called out to the blaze at GHQ Coleshill, at about 04:30 am this morning.

Crews were forced to work in “arduous conditions” but managed to stop the fire spreading to the rest of the building.

Group manager Kerry Blair said: “This severe fire has devastated a family-run business.”

He praised the “tireless” work of fire crews from Oxfordshire and Wiltshire and said they were working with police, paramedics, Southern Electric and the Environment Agency.

“Fire crews will be on scene all day damping down, and representatives from National Trust are already in attendance to manage the welfare of their tenants,” Mr Blair added.

[SOURCE]

CART Coleshill Office Corridor 2‘It is well known that the Admin offices which adjoin the building which burnt down are in a terrible state and largely full of junk (Left). It’s a credit to the fire service that they have managed to save these buildings which the National Trust hope to one day restore.’ says Tom Sykes, Founder and Webmaster of the British Resistance Archive.

 

 

stable yard from above-ts

The image above shows the main building that has been destroyed. The upstairs rooms were used by the Auxiliers to sleep in when they were training onsite. See a video of the inside the admin offices here. 

W-Coleshill_fire_Sot from ITV News Meridian on Vimeo.

Dec 312015
 

We have updated the following patrol reports today.

Ulceby/Kirmington (2e) Auxiliary Unit – Lincolnshire

Swaton (5b) Auxiliary Unit – Lincolnshire

Swineshead (5c) Auxiliary Unit – Lincolnshire

Thanks to Nina Hannaford for collating material in our archive and providing these updates.

Wheatley Hill Auxiliary Unit – County Durham

Thanks to Grant Holland and Stephen Lewins for this update.

Jul 242015
 

MC Tierney No TashIt has come to our attention that a person in Hampshire known as Mike Tierney, also known as Penfold, MC Tierney, Mycroft, Coastbloke or Jeromesausage is pretending to be a CART researcher.

Image copyright to Barry James Wilson

Image copyright to Barry James Wilson

He attends WW2 re-enactment events mainly in the South and is a known fraud with a very complex and historic record. http://www.arrse.co.uk/wiki/Mike_Tierney

He has told members of the public he is a CART researcher as recently as last month.

M C Tierney

He is now believed to be operating in London under the name MC Tierney and/or Mycroft Tierney and likes to frequent The Chap, New Sheridan Club and Handlebar Club where he regals all present with tales of his extensive military service.

Rather worryingly our records show that he has bought our replica Aux badges when they were first released. Based on a recent post he made on Facebook, and the fact he is a known fraudster, we would be concerned that he COULD try to pass these off as genuine badges!

We can confirm he is nothing to do with us or our research.

 

Jul 192015
 


Today we filmed a unique event. 12 vintage fighter planes flying over GHQ Coleshill.

This was part of the centrepiece of the 2015 Royal International Air Tattoo and their official commemorations marking the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain.

The planes billed to fly were,

Hurricane IIc PZ865
Hurricane LF363
Hurricane R4118
Hurricane llb BE505
Hurricane AE977

Spitfire II P7350
Spitfire IX MK356
Spitfire LF.XVI TE311
Spitfire Vb AB910
VS Spitfire XVI
VS Spitfire XVI
Spitfire PR.XIX
Spitfire IX MK912
Spitfire IX MH434
Spitfire 1 P9374
Spitfire 1 N3200

It is unclear exactly which ones flew over us.