Sep 252017
 

We have sadly learnt of the death of Auxilier Reginald ‘Reg’ John Shattock of North Petherton. Reg passed away on the  7th September 2017 aged 97yrs. We were informed of the news by the Shattock family via Tim Wray.

Reginald Shattock joined North Petherton Patrol (nr Bridgwater, Somerset) after leaving the local Home Guard unit that he was in. His local Home Guard Commander was unhappy with this so Reg had to leave the Operational Patrol and he was transferred to the Special Duties Branch were he was connected to Chirnside 3A at Spaxton nr Bridgwater. Lt Col John Ingram DSO was in charge of this SD Sub Out Station.

We suspect Reginald must have been about the only person that served in both branches of the Auxiliary Units. In 2016 he was interviewed on camera by the South West Heritage Trust. You can see this film here

Our condolences to his family.

At the going down of the sun and in the morning. We will remember them.

 

 

May 212017
 

Yesterday a memorial plaque was unveiled in Stratton, Dorset to remember the eight men of the Wrackleford Auxiliary Unit.

The event was opened with a welcome from Andrew Aylott, Chairman of Stratton Parish Council. Major General AS Jeapes CB OBE MC, former Commander of 22 SAS, then gave an introduction to the event and the role of Auxiliary Units. He then introduced Jack Northover, last surviving member of the Stratton Auxiliary Unit Patrol, who joined unofficially at 15 years of age.

During the war, Jack lost his brother George William Northover who was an original patrol member. George was shot down and killed by the Germans while flying in a Lancaster bomber with the RAF In 1943. His father George Henry Northover, the Stratton patrol commander also died later that year, and his mother died the following year.

The stone,draped in the Union flag, was then unveiled by Mr Angus Campbell, Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant of Dorset. It was then dedicated by the Rev Dr John Travell FRSA. Tributes were read by Devina Symes, consisting of a specially written poem in the Dorset Dialect favoured by some of the men. (Wrackleford is a small hamlet adjacent to Stratton where some of the men lived)


Baroness Rock of Stratton then recounted some of her childhood memories of the area.

Floral tributes were laid by family members of the men commemorated. The British Legion standard bearers were present under the command of Parade Marshall Mr Spencer Hare. The service concluded with the playing of the Last Post and Reveille by Mr Mark Downton, formally a bandsman with 13/18 Hussars and relative of patrol member Lewis Downton.

Attendees then viewed a large exhibition about the patrol, and Auxiliary Units in general, staged by our team in the adjacent village hall.

Background to the plaque

In 2015, Dorset man David Downton was writing a piece on the Dorset dialect, as spoken by his uncle Lewis. He discovered that his uncle had been part of the secretive Auxiliary Units and contacted us with a plan to erect a memorial to a group of men who role was hitherto unknown. With the help of various local residents and the families of the men, he raised the funds and arranged all the necessary permissions to erect a commemorative stone in the village of Stratton, near Dorchester in Dorset. 

READ MORE ON THE PATROL AND WATCH THE EVENT VIDEOS HERE

 

Sep 292016
 

rest-in-peace

We are sorry to have to report the death of Auxilier Edward James Lapthorne who was always known as Jim and was formerly of Penquit. Jim was a member of the Ugborough Patrol in Devon. Jim sadly passed away on 14th September 2016 aged 93.

His funeral was held at St Peters and St Pauls in Ermington on Thursday 22nd September at 1.30.

At the going down of the sun and in the morning. We will remember them.

Jul 082016
 

Barbara Marion CulletonWe are sad to announce the death of Barbara Marion Culleton who passed away peacefully on Sunday 19th June at Maise House, the Royal British Legion Nursing Home, Bexhill-on-Sea.

In 1933 aged 15 Barbara Culleton arrived in London on her own and found digs and secretarial work.

On the 9th September 1938 the Women’s Branch of the British Army the ‘Auxiliary Territorial Service’ was formed. Within two months Barbara had enlisted into Princess Louise’s Kensington Regiment as a volunteer (as ATS privates were then called).

The day before war was declared she was embodied into the Army and was posted to the War Station Railway Training Centre at Longmore and remembers having to help put rolling stock back on the tracks.

It was in July 1941 while she was at her next posting to 12 Field Training Regiment RA at Bordon that she was first Interviewed and told that she had been selected to become an officer. She was asked to consider being involved in training for ‘urgent, very secret and possibly dangerous’ work.

READ THE REST OF HER CAREER IN AUXILIARY UNITS HERE.

On the 3rd May 1955 Captain Barbara Culleton WRAC was awarded the Territorial Decoration for serving her Country. She continued to serve until 12 December 1968 when she reached the upper age limit and so reluctantly had to leave. Barbara Culleton had served her Country for 30 years.

We will remember them.

Jun 152016
 

Sydney AdlamWe are sad to report the death of Sydney George Adlam from Havant (West) Patrol in Hampshire.

Sydney was born on 18th Oct. 1923 and died on 27th May 2016.

Sydney was born in Portsmouth to Edmund and Elsie Adlam, the eldest of two sons.

They later moved to Cosham where Sydney attended Portsdown School.
After leaving school Sydney was apprenticed as a motor mechanic and it was at this time he was recruited into the Auxiliary Units. After the war he married his first wife Joyce, lived in Southsea and they had a son, Paul.

Sadly Joyce died at an early age and Sydney later remarried to his second wife, Iris and they had a daughter, Alison.

They moved to Baffins. Sydney and Iris remained married until Sydney died.

Aux researcher Steve Mason interviewed Sydney on camera in 2013. His report and the video can be seen here.

At the going down of the sun and in the morning. We will remember them.

 

Apr 042016
 

Trevor Miners - Ready to serve when called

We are very sorry to report the passing of dear Trevor Miners from Perranporth Patrol.

Trevor, who was 89 in January this year, died peacefully in his sleep on the morning of 4th April 2016 after a short illness.

In 1943 Trevor was 16 and was asked to sign the Official Secrets Act and found himself one of 3,500 volunteers recruited to the Auxiliary Units.

“We were sent to the Headquarters in Oxfordshire. We were trained to kill, how to use a knife to kill a man quietly. The plan was that when the invasion came our unit would hide in an underground bunker and let the Nazis roll over the top of us. Then after a month we were to come out at night and attack them, destroy their munitions dumps, railway lines, things like that.” Trevor explained to the BBC in 2013.

Trevor’s Operational Base was at Cligga Head near Perranporth.

Trevor Miners ObitTrevor Miners was told to say he was in the Home Guard when he joined the unit.

“We would never talk about what we were trained to do. One of my unit was even sent a white feather by someone who thought he was a coward for not going out to fight, but we knew different.”

Trevor Miners has been hugely influential in informing people of the Auxiliary Units existence and keeping the memory alive both within the South West and Nationwide.

He has told his story on TV on BBC Spotlight, Tales from the Snug, and WW2 Experience.

In 2013, 2014 and 2015 Trevor marched in London past the Cenotaph. “I wish my friends could be there with me,” he said.

In 2015 Trevor was asked to open a replica Observation Post at GHQ Coleshill. He then had another tour of the site he trained at and fired a Sten gun and Sniper rifle. All captured on video….

See our full report on his patrol and countless videos of the great man here.

Rest in Peace dear man and thank you for all you did and were prepared to do for us.

At the going down of the sun and in the morning. We will remember them.

Please do add your memories of Trevor below or on our social media platforms and we will share with his family. The Facebook comments are just amazing….

________________________________

Trevor was a solid man. He represented a world we are never likely to see again. He personified the Auxiliary Units in his attitude to everything. He was strong, brave, determined and full of spirit and most of all good fun and the type of man you want on your team. I had the great honour to march with him in 2013 and show him around GHQ Coleshill last year and will never forget those moments. It’s thanks to men like Trevor, the late Bob Millard and all the great Auxiliers who are no longer with us that the Coleshill Auxiliary Research Team (CART) has so many followers and such support. Thank you Trevor for giving us your time and being prepared to lay down your life when called. – Tom Sykes – CART Founder & Webmaster.

Such sad news – a really great guy he will be sorely missed. His presence on our marches at the Cenotaph made the day for all of us. He was one gutsy guy who would have given the Germans hell if they had invaded. We will remember him. – Bill Ashby – CART Coleshill.

Very sad to hear the news of Trevor’s passing. He was a great guy and it was a pleasure knowing him. I will always remember him crawling out the replica O.B. with a broad smile on his face. God bless him. – Roger Green – National Trust Coleshill Volunteer.

We’ll all miss his smile, sense of humour and cheerfulness on cold November mornings in London. But more than that, the nation has lost another brave and humble member who at a our country’s most testing hour stepped forward and was willing to make the ultimate sacrifice. Rest in peace Trevor. – Andy Chatterton – CART Press Officer.

A great loss to our heritage his story must live on, such sad news. Condolences to Trevor’s family x  Sam Dingley.

Unbelievable character so lucky to have met him his stories were something else especially hiding the weapons from his parents my thoughts go out to his family who also helped make the day. Ready to serve when called we will always be grateful for what you were willing to do.   Paul Jarvis.

It was a great pleasure to meet Trevor on two Cenotaph occasions; what a character! My condolences. – Hugh Frostick.

It was such a happy site Trevor firing the sten at Coleshill last year. I will remember that smile he had for years to come, made my weekend worthwhile. God rest you Trevor and condolences to his family – Ian Turton.

Such a lovely man. Always a funny story and a little laugh. I’ll always remember you telling me about the barrels of brandy washing up and how they ‘disappeared’ and how my dog stole your breakfast porridge still hot in the saucepan. Rest in peace. – Paul Wordley.

I’m so so sorry to read this. Such a lovely, humble man – it was a real privilege to meet him & hear his story. – Sarah Ransome (BBC TV South West).

A true gentleman and an honour to have known such a lovely man, rest in peace Trevor we all love you xx – Susanna Noonan.

Condolences to all at this sad time. Such a lovely man. – Patricia More Barnett.

What sad news, the word legend is bandied about too freely nowadays… Trevor was an absolute kind loving legend.. Will be sadly missed xx – John Mitchell.

Thank you Trevor. It was a amazing honour to have know you! Such a legend! – Jono Queen.

RIP Sir thank you for your service – Dave Wainwright.

RIP, brave Kernow warrior. –  Jon Bartlett.

A true gentleman, an inspiration to me. My condolences to His family. R.I.P Trevor. – Tony Salter.

Thank you for your service and sacrifice for the freedoms we enjoy. Godspeed Mr. Miners. – Jesse Hauskins.

An unsung hero gone from us, may you rest peacefully now Trevor, deepest gratitude and respect sir I salute you. – Neil Cox.

So sorry to learn of the passing of Trevor Miners. What a great person. It was an honour to meet him at Coleshill and talk with him about his Auxiliary experiences. Another Great Briton who will be sadly missed. – Bill King.

When I first met Trevor he was doing surf patrols when I joined the surf life saving club he was a founding member of, in 1993, and he was 66 back then. A great bloke, friend, legend, fun person to be around and a shining example to us all. R.I.P Mr Miners – Gary Perry.

It was a great honour to meet such a great gent. Sad news. – Martyn Allen.

I knew Trevor through the Surf Life Saving Club at Perranporth. He always had a smile, a chuckle and a friendly word for all, young and old. A wonderful character, often present with his side-kick in the club, Eric, tinkering with salt water challenged ancient Land Rovers, he will be sadly missed. Sending love to the Miners family; Rest in Peace dear man. – Jemma McNeill.

The volunteers at the BRO Museum were very sad to hear of Trevor’s passing.  A number of us had met him at Parham and I had the opportunity to meet him again at Coleshill last September.  He was always interesting to talk to and enjoyed talking to visitors of his time in the Aux Units. It is sometimes an overused phrase but he was a gentleman and of a generation that was prepared to stand up and be counted when the time came. May he rest in peace. – Chris Pratt Curator BRO Museum”.

READ THE EULOGY READ AT HIS FUNERAL HERE

PRESS:

The Telegraph (Web)  The Telegraph (Print Version)

BBC Cornwall Article

BBC Devon Interview (Radio)

BBC Cornwall Interview (Radio)

Jan 172016
 

Steve BulmerSteve Bulmer has lost his long 6 year battle with cancer.

Steve was an excellent Auxiliary Unit Re-enactor with the Pontefract Home Guard Living History Group who attended at least two events at GHQ Coleshill and was a respected gentlemen. He will be missed by the Aux community.

He has been a member of the Pontefract Home Guard  for 13 years.  As long as we have known him he has had a great interest in the Home Guard Auxiliary units, equipment and methods that they used. He has put on living history displays for the Home Guard, Home Guard Auxiliary and Bomb Disposal. He was an active member in the Territorial Army in the past, which gave him the knowledge to train the members in the correct military drill. 

Last year we attended the weekend display at Coleshill where he met Trevor Miners, one of the original members of the Auxiliary Units. He also visited the OB and related tales of past visits to Coleshill. After the visit to Coleshill we paid a visit to the old Post Office on our way home.

The last event that he attended was the Pickering Wartime Weekend based at North Yorkshire Moors Railway at Goathland, one of his favourites.

He will be sadly missed.

RIP Steve.

Thank you to May Benton, Pontefract Home Guard Treasurer for supplying the information. 

Jan 122016
 
Lord & Lady Ironside. July 2004. (Parham Collection)

Lord & Lady Ironside. July 2004. (Parham Collection)

Audrey, Lady Ironside, died on 3rd December 2015. Her funeral was held at The Church of St Andrew, Hingham, on Thursday 17th December. For some 10 years, she had been a patron of Parham Airfield Museum, with a notable interest in the Museum of the British Resistance Organisation.

She was a grand-daughter of Lady Kinloss and in 1950, she was married to Edmund, 2nd Baron Ironside, who survives and remains a patron of the museum.

Much of her later years was devoted to the foundation of Radiotherapy Action Group Exposure (RAGE), a charity dedicated to oversee the interests of women who suffered excessive radiation during treatment for cancer.

Lord Ironside, himself, also has a special interest in the GHQ Auxiliary Units, as a result of his father’s – the late Field Marshall Lord Ironside – career in parallel, but senior to, Colin McVean Gubbins, from as early as 1917 when they served together in the North Russian campaign. It is also most probable that it was the Field Marshal himself who, in 1940, placed before Winston Churchill Gubbins’ ideas for the Auxiliary units.

Our sympathy is sent to Lord Ironside and their son and daughter at this sad time.

Donations may be sent to the Church of St Andrew at Hingham.

Obituary kindly supplied by Chris Pratt and written by John Warwicker OBE. 

Sep 222015
 

Ron, who was a member of the Maiden Newton Patrol, Dorset, passed away on 25th August 2015. He was 92 years old and the last surviving member of his patrol. Ron recorded his memories for the Maiden Newton at war events and they were published in a special edition of the local paper as part of this.

His wife Dorothy predeceased him. His funeral service was on 8th September 2015 at Weymouth Crematorium.

Our thanks to John Pidgeon for passing on the information.

Ron Vallis, ready to serve when called. 

We will remember them….

Jul 142015
 

Margaret Jackson, who has died aged 96, was entrusted with many of Britain’s wartime secrets in her role as principal secretary to the first Commander of Aux Units & later Special Operations Executive (SOE), Brigadier (later Major-General Sir) Colin Gubbins.

Margaret JacksonIn 1940 Margaret Jackson was working for the Royal Institute of International Affairs when she was interviewed by Gubbins. He was looking for a French-speaking secretary and she joined him in Paris, where he headed the mission to liaise with resistance groups run by the Polish and Czech authorities in exile.

In Paris she was a secretary to No 4 Military Mission before being recruited to Military Intelligence Research (MIR), a small department of the War Office. After the German breakthrough, on June 17, with the French surrender imminent, she escaped from St Malo on a hospital ship and got back to England.

In London, having reported to MIR, she was told that Gubbins had been directed to form the Auxiliary Units, a clandestine civilian force which would operate behind German lines if Britain were invaded. She worked for him first in Whitehall and then at a country house in Wiltshire.

Promising recruits were found in the Home Guard and organised into patrols. They were trained in the use of explosives, including Molotov cocktails. Specially prepared hide-outs were found in woods and farm buildings, and Margaret Jackson personally took a hand in selecting these for members of the units.

In November, Gubbins was seconded to SOE, which had recently been established to wage guerrilla warfare in Nazi-occupied countries and, in Churchill’s words, to “set Europe ablaze”. Priority was given to cutting enemy communications and subverting their morale. After paramilitary training, students completed a parachute course at Ringway (now Manchester airport). Selected agents might then be sent to learn sabotage techniques or to be trained as radio operators. In early 1941 a group of so-called “finishing schools” was set up in the New Forest to provide general training in clandestine operations. SOE had its headquarters in Baker Street. Having outgrown two gloomy family flats in an apartment building, it moved to a modern office block. In the autumn of 1940 and the winter of 1940-41, everyone was working almost around the clock, and many of the staff slept in their offices. All had cover stories to match the work that they were doing, and the necessity to keep the organisation secret made it very difficult to take on new recruits.

When Gubbins and Margaret Jackson first arrived, there was not a single radio set operating in Occupied Europe. By the summer and autumn of 1941, however, more than 60 agents had been dispatched to north-west Europe, nearly half of them to France.

Gubbins was proving to be the linchpin of the organisation, and in November his responsibilities were widened: French, Belgian, Dutch, German and Austrian sections were added to the Polish and Czech sections for which he was already responsible.

Margaret Jackson’s already heavy workload increased correspondingly. Her role was to coordinate the work of the senior secretaries who had to wrestle with multiple carbon copies and manual typewriters. With large bundles of telegrams being the lifeblood of the organisation, she sifted and annotated them for Gubbins, who would read them and pass them on to section heads. Security was a priority. Posters on the wall warned against careless talk and the danger of informers. Every night papers had to be locked up or shredded, and diaries and blotters removed. In September 1943 Gubbins became executive head of SOE, and Margaret Jackson regarded him as a born leader. For his part, he was not afraid to delegate responsibility to her and to other members of his very competent staff; he would not countenance any form of discrimination against women.

SOE had to survive setbacks, mistakes, betrayals, intrigues and constant efforts to remove its independence. The battle with Whitehall for scarce resources was, at times, almost as fierce as the fight with the Germans. The “Baker Street Irregulars” were, however, buoyed up by an unshakeable conviction that eventually the war would be won.

Margaret Wallace Jackson was born in London to Scottish parents on January 15 1917 and was brought up in Argentina, where her father was in business. She was educated at home by a governess until the age of 13, when she was sent to a Methodist school in England, where the family returned to live after her father’s death in 1934.

When SOE was disbanded in 1946, Margaret Jackson was appointed MBE. She joined the Allied Commission for Austria in Vienna and took notes at the quadripartite meetings. She subsequently joined the Organisation of European Economic Co-operation in Paris and worked as its deputy secretary for about four years.

Margaret Jackson believed that many in Britain underestimated the miracle of Franco-German reconciliation. She was a passionate advocate of European unity and reconstruction, and regarded this period of her life as immensely satisfying.
She returned to England in 1952 and, having joined the Foreign Office, was posted to Melbourne in Australia as an information officer. There she became involved in Moral Re-Armament, a movement that was gaining traction among dockside workers at a time of considerable industrial strife.

When she was told to sever her association with MRA on the ground that she was dabbling in politics, she refused; the matter was dropped, but she subsequently resigned and returned to England. Back in London, she worked in a number of secretarial jobs, including nine years as PA to the secretary of the Malaysian Natural Rubber Producers’ Research Association. For eight years she served as a Conservative councillor for the London borough of Southwark.

She retired to a Methodist home at Croydon. The Imperial War Museum has a recording of an interview that she gave about her time with SOE.

Margaret Jackson was unmarried. One of her three sisters, Patricia, married Sir Patrick Dean, British Ambassador to the UN (1960-64) and to the United States (1965-69); another, Elisabeth, was the wife of Lord Roskill, the Law Lord.

Margaret Jackson, born January 15 1917, died June 2 2013

[Source: Telegraph]