Launceston Auxiliary Unit Patrol
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Thank you for selecting information on the Launceston Auxiliary Unit Patrol
and Operational Base. This patrol has also been recored as Lezant Patrol. The information below has been supplied
by our Devon CIO Nina Hannaford.
Research into this patrol and its training is ongoing. The information below is published from
various sources and is by no means conclusive. If information is not listed below
it does not necessarily mean the information is not out there but normally means CART researchers
have not found it yet.
If you have any information on this patrol or can help with research in this area please do
Launceston is a market town close to the River Tamar that marks the boarder between Cornwall and Devon.
From the very first meeting in Whitehall on July 1940 the Intelligence Officer for Devon and Cornwall (named
Auxiliary Units SW Area) was Captain (later Major) J W Stuart Edmundson an officer in the Royal Engineers. He
liaised with the regular army and received supplies and equipment and formed all the Patrols. He was assisted by
Lieutenant (later Captain) John “Jack” Dingley who became IO for Cornwall in 1943 though he may have assumed the
roll before that.
In November 1943 Devon and Cornwall were separated and Edmundson was succeeded in Cornwall by Captain John
Dingley and in Devon by Major W W “Bill” Harston who would remain
in command until near stand down. At the end of Harston's command he would cover “No 4 Region” being the whole of
the South West Peninsular and Wales.
The IOs were being withdrawn from around August 1944 leaving the Area and Group Commanders.
After 1941 a “grouping” system was developed where some patrols within a demographic area would train together
under more local command. Launceston was part of group 6 along with Lansallos, Morval (Looe), Liskeard, St Germans,
Pelynt, St Keyne, Menheniot, St Juliot, Coads Green and Bridgerule (now in Devon). They were under the group
command of Captain G H Sergeant from Liskeard along with Lieutenant W Crichton (discharged May 1944 due to ill
health) and 2nd Lieutenant J F William Mewton.
Captain G H Sergeant from Liskeard was also the area Commander for this and group 5
Sergeant George H Sanders
Corporal Alfred C Mounce and his older brother
Reginald R Mounce
Albert E Pauling
Richard H Wearing
Thomas H Trewin
The picture above was kindly supplied by John Jolliff (the son of Joe Northcott from Pelynt Patrol)
It is thought to show the Cornwall Group 6 patrols which consisted of St Keyne, Morval, Menheniot, St Germans,
Pelynt, Lansallos, Liskeard,St Juliot, Coads Green, Launceston and Bridgerule.
Back row far left: Reg Wakeham (Pelynt), Joe Northcott (Pelynt) rest unknown
Middle row far left: Ned Broad (Pelynt) rest unknown
Front row far left : Ralph Webber (Pelynt), Charlie Barrett ( Liskeard), unknown, unknown, Sgt.Jack Bickford, rest
The OB was within a silver mine in Greystone Woods next to Greystone Bridge over the River Tamar to the South of
It is unknown if any structure of the OB is still intact or in situ as the mines are capped. It is also unclear
which of the many mine shafts were used but pictured is the largest which also has man made trenches around it that
could have made escape more possible. Please note this OB is on private
Size of OB and entrance/exit etc: All that is currently known is that there was a corrugated
iron structure placed within the silver mine.
Capped Silver mines with trenches between
Looking down into a mine.
It is known that the patrol pre-drilled holes in Greystone Bridge to to use to destroy the bridge if
Greystone Bridge. Cornwall looking over at Devon
Unknown but it is assumed they had access to the normal weapons and equipment seen here.
Alwyn Harvey recorder for Defence of Britain Database
TNA ref WO199/3391
Hancock data held by B. R. A
1939 Kellys Directory
Mrs G Perry
If you can help with any info please