May 052018
 

To mark International Conscientious Objectors Day we thought we’d offer some food for thought (and a gentle walk):

Stuart Edmonson was a Quaker. He was also the first Intelligence Officer for Devon and Cornwall:

http://www.coleshillhouse.com/devon-auxiliary-units-intelligence-officers.php

Back row: all unknown
Front row: L-R: Major John Dingley, Captain JW Stuart Edmundson, Unknown (can you help identify any of these men?)

Born in 1911, Edmundson had a Quaker upbringing before becoming a Cambridge University graduate and Royal Engineer.

He was ordered to report to 7 Whitehall Place, London on 13th July 1940 at 1100 hours where he was to become the first Intelligence Officer for Devon and Cornwall. While he was away a large delivery of explosives and fuses arrived at his house. His wife Iris directed the driver to hide the load in the grounds of a blind hospital behind their house in Yelverton. Edmundson formed the Operational Patrols of Cornwall and then Devon.

The Devon Auxiliary Units HQ was at Langstone Manor, Dartmoor, and is just a few miles from a road that was built by Quaker conscientious objectors at Princetown (known as The Conchies Road or The Road to Nowhere).

On the 15th May, 2018, a free guided walk (with local historian Simon Dell) is available along this route https://moorlandguides.co.uk/history/#1521218918009-65981e1b-c9b2

CART’s Devon & Cornwall researcher Nina, will be going along (don’t forget your cake Nina !).

Edmundson left the Auxiliary Units in November 1943 and joined S.O.E. working in the Scientific Research Section. We don’t know how he reconciled his Quaker beliefs and his Auxiliary Units work. If you have any ideas – let us know !

Apr 232018
 
Our Devon and Somerset researchers have met up with a couple connected to the fabulous Cobbaton Combat Collection (here).

“We investigated possible OB sites around Shirwell in North Devon. We still need some confirmation, so if there are any family members out there who can point us in the right direction or confirm what we have found please contact us (here).
After a great lunch (we are civilised researchers!) we moved onto Bideford.
Sadly we couldn’t find anyone to get permission to access one recorded possible OB site. That will have to wait for another day.
We went to a couple of sites where bomb stores were recorded. Perfect distance from the OB for different targets. One site has now been built on and the other is sadly a wood full of rubbish !
An Auxiliers daughter told us that explosives were also stored under the floor of the ‘Old Mission Chapel’. We found that in a bit of a sorry state but again perfect distance from the recorded OB.
A good wander around the area gave us a real feel for the Patrol movements and targets. A great day out !”

Mar 212018
 

Have just finished Laura Quigley’s highly readable South West Secret Agents: True Stories of the West Country at War. She weaves captivating threads of daring deeds that includes; “rescue operations as the exodus from France began, to the secret guerrilla army in Devon and Cornwall, this book will amaze and intrigue with the incredible stories of Jasper Lawn of N51, the Helford Flotilla and the first escape routes for POWs, agents and crashed airmen”.

Laura will be talking on the subject at Spurgeon Hall, Mutley Baptist Church, Mutley Plain, Plymouth PL4 6LB, on 24th April, 2018, 7:30pm. Free entry, donations welcome.

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

May 262016
 
On the 4th June we will be displaying at Saunton Beach in North Devon in the beautiful sunshine. We are getting North Devon information boards ready to tell you all about the Auxiliary Units and the men of North Devon. But…..
WE NEED YOUR HELP
Military
Come and find out who would have been part of a British Resistance in your area and help us find their underground bases.
Find out more about the event here.
Or on Facebook here.
Screen Shot 2016-05-26 at 10.27.17 am

C/O http://www.assaulttrainingcenterfriends.co.uk/

Saunton Beach Event 2016 - 1
Saunton Beach Event 2016 - 2 Saunton Beach Event 2016 - 3

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.

Jul 192015
 

Farringdon is a small village 6 miles east of Exeter. This patrol report has been produced by our Devon CIO Nina Hannaford.

The patrol utilised the existing structure of Farringdon House Ice House for their Operational Base.

Farringdon Auxiliary Unit 6It is possible that the “entrance” has been created post war as the blocks appear damaged at the sides. If the block wall was complete, thus sealing off the original entrance passageway to the Ice House leaving only the tunnel, this would make escape more viable.

Read Nina’s full and fascinating patrol report here.

 

Feb 242015
 

Hawkchurch SDB 2

Aux researcher Chris Perry with assistance from Nina Hannaford has today published a report on a Special Duties Out Station.

The report is about the wireless site, recorded as “Hawkchurch” Out Station, on the Devon / Dorset border (in Devon from 1896) which is actually in the nearby hamlet of Fishponds Bottom which is in Dorset on the edge of the Vale of Marshwood.

The wireless was located in a “chicken shed” at the rear of a house locally known as “Briscoe’s Farm”.

Read their detailed report here