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
 

Last weekend our Somerset Researcher Chris Perry attended The Dig for Victory Show.

Chris reported a good turn out of vehicles and displays with a fair bit of interest in the stand.

Chris got talking to a lady who knew of a Operational Base site in Dorset and her information was very helpful. He also attracted new leads for our Devon Researcher.

Apr 092017
 

We have come back from displaying at the Helicopter Museum’s ‘World of War Weekend’ in Weston Super-mare.

We just attended on the Saturday and Tony’s Scallywags stand is there today.

The day went very well and you can see a short video below. We displayed more weapons and explosives than ever before and had some new info panels made up by Nina (CART Devon). The organisers were very impressed with our contribution and have invited us back next year.

Thanks to all who contributed.

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.

Sep 212016
 

lupton-house-2016-1

Over the weekend of 3rd / 4th September, some of our team displayed at the 1940s Weekend at Lupton House near Brixham, Devon. This was the back garden of the Brixham Patrol who often did training raids on the American camp in the grounds.

We had a room in the beautiful period house all to ourselves which we pretty well managed to fill with weapons, explosives, equipment and kit all issued to the Auxiliary Units Patrols.

Information and pictures on the South Devon Patrols kept the locals entertained and we even heard the occasional “wow, that was Bert who lived up the road !”

Picture boards telling the story of Bewley Down Special Duties site amazed everyone and George was a great hit especially after his make over !

Saturday was wet but busy but Sunday was such a treat to talk to so many people and educate them on the existence of Auxiliary Units, the room was often full of people !

Lupton must have thought we did a good job as we won the Best Display Award!!

lupton-house-2016-2

Thanks to Rod Hart and all at the Lupton 1940s Weekend and hopefully see you there next year.

By Nina Hannaford

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.

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 272016
 

Chirnside 1 Special Duties Branch Out Station 5

Today we have added an extensive update to the previous report on the Special Duties Branch hidden radio hide codenamed ‘Chirnside 1‘.

Thanks to the very kind new owners our team were allowed in to record this most rare of top secret WW2 locations.

Take a video tour inside the hide, hidden under an outside privy, and read the full report here. 

Our thanks to Dr Will Ward, Martyn Allen, Nina Hannaford and Chris Perry for their cracking work to get this online.

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.