Apr 182015
 

Joan Welborn 2 - Coleshill 2015On 11th April former ATS Cpl Joan Welborn returned to GHQ Coleshill for the first time in 72 years.

Joan was guided around the site by Bill Ashby, our Coleshill Researcher.

Joan arrived at Coleshill on May 22st 1943 and worked in the orderly room which was located on the first floor of the Stable Block above the stables.

Joan worked for Camp Commandant, Captain Benson who had an office nearby.  Although she had electricity her office was very cold and she used to type wearing woollen mitts.

We took her into the stable block to find her office.

Joan Welborn - Coleshill 2015

We wanted to take a photograph of Joan by the same gates she stood by in this picture with her colleagues.

Bill then showed Joan the replica Operational Base and she was brave enough to venture inside where she was met by National Trust Volunteer Roger Green.

Joan is one of only a few Coleshill staff members to return to the site after travelling down from Leeds.

Our thanks go to her and her family for a great day.

You can read more about Joan here. 

See a whole gallery of images of the trip here. 

Apr 032015
 
"Fyvie Castle, Geograph" by Mike and Kirsty Grundy.

“Fyvie Castle, Geograph” by Mike and Kirsty Grundy.

Today Alan Stewart, our CIO for Aberdeenshire, has published five new patrol reports.

Milltimber, Maryculter, Fyvie, Slains and Tarty.

These are very basic reports at this stage and mainly give the names of the Auxiliers involved.

We rely on the publics help to come forward and assist further.

If you can help please email cartaberdeenshire@gmail.com.

All the reports can be seen here

 

Jan 232015
 

North Somerset Scout Section 3We have added a new report on the North Somerset Scout Section to the site.

The role of the Scout sections was to assist in training the Auxiliary Unit Patrols as well as being a fighting Patrol themselves. In many places they also helped with the construction of Operational Bases and distributing concealed arms dumps.

This research was largely been carried out by Donald Brown, author of ‘Somerset v. Hitler.’ and has been updated and added to by Nina Hannaford our CIO for Devon.

You can read the report here. 

Jan 182015
 

Operation Turnip continued in Kent today despite poor weather. The team arrived just after 8 am at the Operational Base and started to clear away mud and brambles. We tweeted progress pictures throughout the day on Twitter which seemed very popular with our followers.

Turnip-Jan-2015-3

Turnip-Jan-2015-2

Once the entrance hatch was lifted it became apparent that water had flooded into the OB again. The good news is that it was only about a foot of water and it had entered through the ventilation pipes and not through the main structure.

Turnip-Jan-2015-6

The ventilation pipes were soon discovered above ground and dug out so eventually they can be made watertight.


Turnip-Jan-2015-7

Turnip-Jan-2015-8

Team two then cleared more mud and found the hatch leading down into the Escape shaft.

Turnip-Jan-2015-9

Turnip-Jan-2015-16

The scene inside the OB.

Turnip-Jan-2015-13

Our team are not put off by a foot of water and get stuck in.

Turnip-Jan-2015-14

Many many buckets later…..Note the two ventilation pipes left and right and the water tank in the middle of the room.

Turnip-Jan-2015-11

The job is done…..for now. Next stage will be to make the Ventilation pipes waterproof and then re-decorate.

Our thanks to Jamie Burton, Alec Warren and Ben Lewis who worked very hard today to help project leader Phil Evans. Follow the progress of this project here

Dec 232014
 

Christmas-Banner-2013

On behalf of all our researchers I would like to wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a happy New Year.

Thank you all for your support in 2014.

This year our County Information Officers continued to advance their knowledge of the British Resistance and shared it online with the public.

Our research is helping many relatives answer questions about their loved ones wartime activity.

We have now published 65% of all the patrols recorded nationwide with varying degrees of detail.

In 2015 we will have a new website and plan to produce a new DVD.

If you have any time spare to help with our work please do email me.

Also if you haven’t yet become a Friend of our work now is the perfect time to join. Find out more about all the additional benefits & savings here.

Thanks again for your support.

KBO

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Tom Sykes – CART Founder and Webmaster.

Dec 012014
 

James Bond Writers to Adapt Len Deighton Novel ‘SS-GB’ for BBC

[Source: Variety.com]

ssgbThe BBC has commissioned Robert Wade and Neal Purvis, the writers of the last five James Bond films, to adapt Len Deighton’s novel “SS-GB.”

The series for flagship channel BBC One comprises five one-hour episodes. It is set in an imaginary Britain controlled by the Nazis, if Germany had occupied the country. It centers on a police detective caught between the Nazis and the British resistance.

Sid Gentle Films, whose creative director is former Carnival Films exec Sally Woodward Gentle, is exec producing with Lee Morris.

It is part of a slate of projects to be unveiled later today by BBC drama boss Ben Stephenson.

Oct 282014
 

Today we published the result of many of hours of research into Captain Peter Fleming‘s involvement in the Auxiliary Units.

Peter Fleming-Steps

Bill Ashby, our Coleshill Researcher, has worked with the Fleming family to ensure the research is as accurate as possible. He has delved into our archive and been assisted by our UK wide research team.

In July this year we were invited to the Fleming family home to meet with Peter’s daughters, Lucy and Kate and we presented them with Bill’s research.

Lucy Fleming also very kindly accepted the offer of leading our march this year on Whitehall.

Read the full page on Peter

Aug 192014
 

CART Dorset Bunker Bash. A report by Dorset CIO Will Ward. 

The 3rd August 2014 saw a memorable get together of three former Dorset Auxiliers and researchers at a rather special location in the south of Dorset. Dorset Home Guard researcher John Pidgeon was the organiser, having been contacted by the landowner via The Keep Museum in Dorchester. During a visit the owner had asked if the museum knew anything about the underground structures on his land. They contacted John, who recognised the site as one described to us previously by a member of the public, during a visit to another OB site as part of the South Dorset Ridgeway project.

CART was represented by CART CIO Will Ward and West Dorset assistant Martyn Allen. A remarkable turnout of three surviving Auxiliers joined the team, consisting of Wrackleford Patrol member George Northover with his son, Abbotsbury Patrol member Gerald Dunford and 94 year old Douglas Keegan from Came Down Patrol near Dorchester. Also present was Sybil Legg, the widow of Chickerell Patrol member Leslie Legg with her son. Lloyd Dare, son of Whitchurch Canicorum Patrol member William Fred Dare and Robin and Charlie Pitcher, grandson and great grandson respectively of Long Bredy Patrol member Charlie Pitcher, came along too. Finally we were joined by Gary Sterne, who runs the D Day Museum in Weymouth, as well as Maisy Battery in Normandy, so is well used to exploring bunkers, but normally German ones instead of British!

Surviving Dorset Auxiliers

Surviving Dorset Auxiliers (from left) George Northover, Gerald Dunford and Douglas Keegan, meeting for the first time (the Aux Units in West and South Dorset did not meet up as a group ever). Photo by Martyn Allen.

We had a fascinating chat to start, with some displays of Aux Units weaponry from John and some of the CART displays from the recent Broadmayne event. The veterans talked about some of their experiences. Though Fred Dare is still alive, he still refuses to talk about his Aux Units service. His son did mention that he had described guarding some of the vulnerable sites in the Purbecks around D Day, a role we know Dorset Auxiliers were allocated. He also recalled that June 6th had seen a brief snow flurry, sufficient to turn the ground white, which goes to show what a close call it must have been to say the weather was adequate for the invasion to go ahead. George Northover was one of the youngest Dorset Auxiliers, having replaced his brother when he left for the RAF. He recalled how his OB had a hatch in a hedgerow. The plants of the hedge would rise up when the hatch was opened! Douglas Keegan did not receive his Aux Units stand down enamel badge at the end of the war. He would quite like one, but at over £300, they are a bit pricey. CART has arranged the next best thing and has given him one of our enamel badges.

Together we then headed uphill to visit not one, but two OBs on the farm. The first was built into the bottom of a disused cottage and the Auxiliers were impressed by the quality of the construction, which was much sturdier than usual. It is still in good condition, even if flooded on a regular basis.

The inside of the cottage bunker prior to pumping the water out

The inside of the cottage bunker prior to pumping the water out

We then moved a relatively short distance to a second and largely collapsed site in a small wood. This had originally been thought by the owners to relate to an antiaircraft gun site known to have existed nearby (nose cones from the shells are sometimes ploughed up in the fields). However our visited revealed all the hallmarks of a typical OB, with entrance and exit designed for hatches, not steps, the remains of bunks and shelves inside and typical Elephant shelter construction. What isn’t clear is which patrol used this OB! The patrol that used the cottage OB are said to have moved to another in a copse within site of the cottage, suggesting another patrol used this site. With no surviving members from the likely candidate patrol, we can’t be sure.

A view looking along the collapsed chamber of the second OB.

A view looking along the collapsed chamber of the second OB.

In the foreground is a collapsed wall, with concrete showing the indentations of the corrugated iron elephant shelter, and with with a square cut out in the brickwork, most likely for a ventilation pipe. Between the overgrowth in the distance can be seen daylight coming through the doorway into either an entrance or exit chamber. Just beyond the brickwork is the curved roof of the collapsed chamber. Tape measure, notebook and pencil are poised to record the site. (Secateurs and gloves are to clear the undergrowth!)

Look out for full reports on this website soon. Many thanks to John Pidgeon for making the arrangements, and to the landowner and their family for a superb visit in the summer sunshine. We all learnt a lot from an enjoyable day out.

Please note that these OBs are on private land are not normally accessible. Both are in a dangerous condition and we made special arrangements for confined space access equipment, including gas detectors and rescue harnesses, with trained operators, to be available for this visit.