Manaccan Auxiliary Unit Patrol and Operational Base
This page as last updated at 6:56am on 17/9/14
Thank you for selecting information on the Manaccan Auxiliary Unit Patrol
and their Operational Base in Cornwall. The info below have been supplied by CART's Devon CIO, Nina
If you can provide any more info please email firstname.lastname@example.org
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
The parish of Manaccan lies to the South of the Helford River on the Lizard Peninsular on the South West tip of
The first of a group of four patrols in the area formed by Intelligence Officer for Cornwall Captain John
“Jack” Dingley around Autumn 1940. After D-Day Captain Dingley was sent to France to “assist “with prisoners of war
and Captain H W Abbiss ( DCM, MM) from Truro took over command. He had his own Patrol on The Roseland Peninsula. In
January 1945 Captain Abbiss was awarded the MBE ( Military Division)
Lieutenant Walter Eva being the group commander of Manaccan, Mullion, Porthleven and St Keverne Patrols, all on the South
side of the River Helford on The Lizard Peninsular, South Cornwall. His first Sargent was Leslie Bawden who was an
undertaker and carpenter. On Bawdens promotion to 2nd Lieutenant the roll of Sargent was taken over by Harry Moore
a garage proprietor at Zoar (near Coverack) Walter Eva's house had a “priority” telephone line installed.The four
patrol leaders met once a week at Porthleven.
Officers and NCO'S in the Lizard Area.
Back L-R : Sargent Harry Moore, Sargent Frank Strike, Sargent John Gilbert and Sargent Sinclair James. Front L-R;
2nd Lt Leslie Bowden, IO Captain John “Jack” Dingley and Lt Walter Eva.
Lieutenant Walter Eva a farmer
Sargent ( later 2nd Lt) Leslie Bawden an undertaker and carpenter
Sargent Harry Moore a garage owner
Wallace Rogers a farmer
Reg Lyne a farmer
Eric Bennetts a farm worker
Vernon Ward a farmer
Melville Peters an oyster fisherman
Harry Tressider a blacksmith.
Patrols from The Lizard.
Back Row L-R: Hubert Hicks, Reg Lyne, Walace Rogers, Marcell Plantain, Leslie
Roberts, Gilbert Richards, Freddy Chegwiidden, Eric Bennetts, Melville Peters.
Middle Row: ? , William Leggo, ? , Harry Tressider, ?, Gerald Lee, ?, Sidney
Front Row: John Gilbert, Frank Strike, Leslie Bawden, Capt John Dingley,
Walter Eva, Sinclair James, Harry Moore.
Unknown though thought to have collapsed. The operational base was reached by a tunnel through a hedge from an
Other physical remains nearby: A safe, dry place was needed to store the explosives so for a
time the patrol used the Iron Age Fogou at Halliggye near Trelowarren. It was moved when it started to sweat.
The original purpose for these Fogous ( Cornish word for cave) is still unknown. They could have been refuges,
storage or ritual shrines.
The Fogou is managed by the Trelowarren Estate and English Heritage and is free to enter during the Summer.
Photo English Heritage. Fogou at Halliggye
RAF ( now RNAS) Predannach airfield is on the Lizard (though closer to Mullion Patrol) and would have been a
likely target. The Patrol were told to look at the oil storage tanks at Swanvale near Falmouth though there was
some unease at this as it could cause more damage to the local population.
Training took place at Porthpean in St Austell Bay. It was ran by Captain Robin Williams who is remembered as a
tall, dark, thin man, full of life and enthusiasm.
There were weekend training courses for setting explosives and grenade throwing.
One exercise was to break into an Army camp on the St Keverne side of Zoar Garage and plant a dummy charge and
detonator. A risk, as it is assumed guards would have been armed.
Each Patrol would carry out night time exercises twice a week.
One of the later exercises of the Manaccan Patrol was to penetrate the defences of the Radar Station at
Goonhilly Down. Walter Eva's daughter remembers them gathering in the family kitchen with blacked out faces and
They left their cars on a isolated part of the Downs and cut their way through the barbed wire boundary fence.
Crawling towards the guard house they had to lay low in a ditch listening to the sentries report to an officer that
there was “nothing to report”.
The Patrol left a note in the Guard House to show they had “invaded” and returned silently to Lt Eva's
A telephone call to the Commanding Officer informed him of their nights work. After this, security was
strengthened and dogs were brought in. The Patrol were caught at their next attempt to enter the station.
The accuracy of the material on this clip has not been checked but it does show the Station during war time and
Walter Eva's daughter remembers a pistol with ammunition and a long knife. She also remembers seeing horseshoe
magnets with attachments.
It is assumed they would also have had the standard issue
firearms and explosives.
Melville Peters had a devastating fire at his house one night. All the family managed to escape through the
window in their bed clothes but the following day the house was reduced to ashes.
At the height of the fire the flames reached Melville's ammunition supply and rescuers found themselves under
fire from exploding bullets. The following day he had to search through the ashes to recover his revolver.
The patrol was featured on BBC Spotlight on 16th September 2014.
Mrs Susan Carter (Walter Eva's daughter) and her husband Mr Derek Carter.
Patrol photographs are her property.
If you can help with any info please contact