Our Devon CIO Nina has just added a patrol report to the site on the Porthleven Auxiliary Unit Patrol in Cornwall.
They gained access to their Operational Base through a break in an old stone wall which was concealed by a hatch which was opened by lifting the attached ivy. This led into a wood lined tunnel 6-7 feet long. There was then a drop down to the more familiar OB structure of a corrugated iron hut approximately 12 x 16 feet. A further wood lined tunnel came off the main body of the OB leading to a smaller area where some of the explosives were stored.
Thanks to Pen & Sword Military Books we have five copies of Arthur Ward’s ‘Churchill’s Secret Defence Army – Resisting the Nazi Invader’ book to give away.
This is an update of Arthur’s 1997 book ‘Resisting the Nazi Invader’.
This version has lots of new photography, a new introduction featuring interviews with CART Founder Tom Sykes, Aux writer John Warwicker, and a significantly amended chapter that includes transcripts from interviews with Auxilier Bob Millard.
In March 2013, Pen & Sword will publish an update of Arthur Ward’s 1997 book ‘Resisting the Nazi Invader’.
Arthur informs CART that this version has lots of new photography, a new introduction featuring interviews with CART Founder Tom Sykes, Aux writer John Warwicker, and a significantly amended chapter that includes transcripts from interviews with Auxilier Bob Millard.
The book is dedicated to Geoffrey Bradford who Arthur knew well and who, coincidentally, introduced him to Bob Millard in 2004.
We have recently added the Manaccan Auxiliary Unit Patrol to the site and a large update to the St. Blazey Patrol also in Cornwall. They painted the walls of their Operational Base with Magnolia paint. Presumably to make it lighter inside.
Tonight at 6:30pm on BBC2 is a programme called ‘How We Won The War’ presented by Jules Hudson.
‘In this episode local historian John Sadler meets Jules to reveal the story of the Home Guard’s Auxiliary units.’
Well they have already got it wrong by mentioning the Home Guard!!! Will the BBC ever read the research on our site and others before reporting!!!
This is an extract of what is in the episode,
“The units were highly trained in a radical defence strategy – the idea being that they would hold up Germans on the beaches should the Nazis invade Britain.
Men were selected from those prevented to going to war because their occupations were reserved. They’d then be organised into small, cover units which it’s believed, were issued with kill lists – identifying known German sympathisers. They were trained in how to sabotage and create mayhem behind enemy lines.
John explains how secreting the men deep in Britain’s countryside, and if necessary killing British citizens was revolutionary – and ‘dark stuff’.
The men had to keep their role secret from their families and girlfriends, and were told that their life expectancy should Germans invade would be no more than 14 days. Amongst the recruits was renowned actor Anthony Quayle.
By 1941, there were some 5,000 auxiliaries poised to tackle any German invasion – brave young men determined to help us win the war – whatever the cost.”
As the sun sets over Coleshill and the re-enactors pack up their tents we look back at the past 48 hours and say well done to everyone who took part.
The weekend follows months of planning by the National Trust at Coleshill and was a vast improvement on the previous event in 2010.
There were many catering retailers this year and the food options were very tasty. Entertainment was provided by the Warneford Big Band and there was plenty to do for children and families from face painting to code breaking.
On Saturday the new replica Operational Base was opened by Coleshill trained Auxilier Bob Millard and after a brilliant speech he cut the ribbon with his Fairbairn Sykes dagger before taking the time to talk to young and old about his training and service.
Crowds then queued for hours to have a sneak peak inside the unfinished building.
CART researchers wandered around the vast estate answering questions and helping people find the key parts of the site.
On both days there were three talks given. Bill King spoke about how the Auxiliers were formed. Karen Fielder spoke about the architectural masterpiece that was Coleshill House and Chris Pratt from the British Resistance Museum at Parham educated listeners on the three elements to the British Resistance Movement.
The talks were full on both days.
Auxiliary Re-Enactors brought the sites wartime use to life with weapons displays, loud bangs and hands on practical education of weapons and explosives used. Tony Salter brought his excellent mobile Aux display and fired up the children’s imagination.
The 70 year old original Operational Base set deep in the Coleshill woods was also open and National Trust volunteer
Roger Green provided guided tours and more than comfortably filled the boots of the late warden Keith Blaxhall.
There were many vintage vehicles on display with the Austin 7 club and the Military Vehicle Trust (MVT) present.
On Sunday CART researchers set up a small display in the Granary and answered many questions from the public.
Impressionist, playwright and comedian Rory Bremner even popped in and picked up a CART flyer. Later he posted on Twitter.
More information on the weekend and all the images can be found here
Thanks to all who took part and all who attended and special thanks to Keith Blaxhall who kept the Aux fire burning at Coleshill for over 30 years.