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.

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.

Mar 232018
 

It is with sadness we report the passing of Auxilier, Victor Stemp.

Victor was part of the Great Bealings Patrol.

Their training was carried out by regular army soldiers based at Framlingham, including Capt Hoberton, Sgt Barry and four privates. They learnt about setting booby traps and how to move about without being seen. Victor also remembered training with grenades at GHQ Coleshill.

Our condolences to his family.

We understand that his funeral is on Tuesday at Great Bealings and his daughter has kindly arranged for any donations to be made to the BRO (British Resistance Org) Museum

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

 

Mar 232018
 

We are saddened to report the untimely death of Jack Northover before Christmas.

Jack was the last surviving member of the Wrackleford Patrol near Dorchester, Dorset. His father and brother were also involved in the Patrol. An Aux Memorial Plaque was unveiled in the village of Stratton in May 2017 attended by Jack in good health.

Jack said: “I am honoured that what we have done is being remembered in this way. I appreciate the number of people turned up. It means everything to us to be recognised like this.”

Follow this link to the Wrackleford Patrol including video interview and Memorial unveiling

According to Jack, the aerodrome at Woodsford, RAF Warmwell, was a target. During an exercise, he and other Auxiliers crawled across the airfield in the dark, past the guards. They attached tags to the planes, all fighters, to show they were “hit”. The CO was so mad, that he cancelled all passes for a week!

Our condolences to his family.

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

Mar 192018
 
CART will be at the West Somerset Steam Railway on Sunday 25th March, 2018 at Minehead Station (TA24 5BG). This is part of their Spring Gala, and new Military event (22nd – 25th March). This event also includes a genuine WW2 military steam train with military vehicles on WD flat and box wagons (a rare thing to see), as well as military vehicles at Minehead, and other displays / stands on the station platform. http://www.west-somerset-railway.co.uk/
Look out for more upcoming events throughout 2018

Mar 192018
 

Tom Sykes has been running the CART site for nearly 9 years. His vision and enthusiasm for Auxiliary Unit research has been outstanding. He has decided to step down from the daily running of CART. Tom’s inspiration has provided a platform for researchers and the general public alike, seeking out the stories of the brave men and women of the Auxiliary Units. CART has become a well known and respected organisation that continues to be invited to events all around the country educating people about this important aspect of our history. Thank you Tom.

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

 

Jul 282016
 

Taunton Auxiliary Unit Patrol 22

After months of detailed research by Chris Perry and Nina Hannaford we are pleased to be able to publish a report on the Taunton Auxiliary Unit.

This is the most accurate and detailed account of the patrol ever published. Our thanks go to many people who helped with this report including Neil Bent son and nephew of Group Commanders Lt. Bent.

Read the full report here.

Feb 022016
 

In Grievous TimesA new fictitious novel inspired by Auxiliary Unit research in Sussex.

M. H. Lowe’s In Grievous Times takes the reader to the heart of English country village life at a turning point in Britain’s history: the era of evacuees and air raids, sudden death from the skies and the expectation for every man and woman to do their patriotic duty. When Clement, a country vicar, is summoned to London by an old friend to be involved in a covert “suicide mission” to thwart the impending German invasion, his world changes forever. Priorities shift and every aspect of his life is called into question as he is forced to make choices that affect a great many lives. And when members of his secret, carefully-chosen team are one by one discovered dead, Clement finds himself at the centre of a far more complex situation than he had realised…

The drama and intrigue of In Grievous Times, played out against a seemingly innocent rustic backdrop with superb characterisation, keep the reader hungry throughout for the next piece of the puzzle. A riveting read.

The book is available in hardback or paperback.

Buy from our shop today. 

Feb 022016
 

Tawstock Auxiliary Unit Patrol 4Today we have added a very detailed report on the Tawstock Auxiliary Unit Patrol in Devon.

The report has been compiled by Nina Hannaford, our Devon CIO with help by our Somerset Researcher, Chris Perry.

The report provides great insight into the men behind the patrol, their training and targets, not to mention a very unusual Operational Base.

See more the report here.