Churchill's British Resistance - The Auxiliary Units

 

Mautby Auxiliary Unit Patrol and Operational Base

This page was last updated at 7:56am on 21/9/12

Thank you for selecting information on the Mautby Auxiliary Unit Patrol and their Operational Base in Norfolk. The info and images below have been supplied by Aux researchers Evelyn Simak and Adrian Pye.

Lt. Harry Wharton was Group 5 CO and lived at Church Farm, Mautby. The other patrols he was in charge of were South Walsham and Wroxham?

It is currently unknown when the patrol was formed.

From what we have the Mautby patrol had the following members all from around the Runham, Mautby and Filby areas.

Sgt. G.H. Wain

Pte. E.J.Nichols
Pte. "Pop" L.eslie James Tungate  *
Pte.Arthur.J.K. Wooltorton
PTe. S.C. Locke
H.H. Nichols, The Street, Runham – discharged

* Leslie James Tungate worked for Charles Wharton and ended up as Farm Manager. He worked there from 14 years of age until retirement - 51 years [information kindly supplied by Tony Tungate, son of patrol member Leslie James Tungate].

The woodland and adjoining farmland are on private property

Mautby-Auxiliary-Unit-Operational-Base

The OB is located near the edge of small private woodland, roughly in the middle between the parish churches of Filby and Mautby. The woodland is surrounded by fields on all sides. A public footpath leads past the woodland a short distance to the north. The collapsed remains are located in a deep depression in the ground that at the time of our visit (June 2011) was heavily overgrown with nettles.

Mautby-Auxiliary-Unit-Operational-Base

The OB consisted of curved corrugated iron sheets that appear to have been set directly onto the ground (Anderson shelter ?), built into a small area of ground adjoining two disused marl pits. Corrugated iron sheeting was used to construct the end walls. The corrugated sheets have corroded from the bottom upwards, resulting in the curved roof section having fallen down, with the north-facing end almost resting on the ground, leaving only a small gap to crawl under. There is a break in the adjoining section, which is resting higher off the ground, creating a gap and a somewhat larger space underneath. All sections of roof are still covered with soil.

Mautby-Auxiliary-Unit-Operational-Base

The south-facing end is adjoined by a passage constructed from curved corrugated sheets. A piece of corrugated sheet immediately adjoining the passage ‘wall’ in the west appears to have been part of another small chamber that has long since collapsed. Sections of corrugated iron that still adhere to the earthen wall, as well as broken pieces of corrugated iron that litter the ground indicate that this passage originally used to be about twice as long as it is now.

Mautby-Auxiliary-Unit-Operational-Base

The edge of a corrugated sheet covered with soil can be seen above. Its location and the way it has been placed indicate that it extended horizontally across and was used for covering and concealing the passage underneath it. The remains of two weathered wooden posts, about 1 metre apart and 0.50 metres high, stand by the south-facing end wall.

The OB measures;

Length of depression from rim to rim: 7.50m
Chamber interior: 3.90m (L) x 2.95m (W) x 1.45m (highest point)
Passage interior: 1.80m (L) x 1.20m (W) x 1.50m (highest point)
Passage exterior: 3.35m (L) x 1.20m (W). Approximately half of the passageway is still in situ, rest is collapsed

It is orientated, N/S.

Mautby-Auxiliary-Unit-Operational-Base

We failed to find the exit opening which we believe is situated somewhere on the slope of the adjoining disused marl pit. We cannot agree on which end would have been the entrance and which the exit.
 

Mautby-Auxiliary-Unit-OB-6   Mautby-Auxiliary-Unit-OB-7

Other physical remains (Above) are 3 weathered wooden posts still in the ground by south end; broken pieces of corrugated iron on ground and adhering to earthen walls; approx. 0.80m of ceramic pipe lying in the pit to the east.

Observation Post/s: Currently unknown.

Currently unknown

Currently unknown

Currently unknown

We visited Ed Wharton at Winsford Hall, Filby. CO Lt Harry Wharton was his grandfather’s brother. Ed Wharton showed us several of his grandfather’s possessions including a tin containing 8 of tubes of Anti-Gas Ointment No. 2 and a copy of The Company Commander’s Training and Administration Pocket Book. We examined the latter for handwritten notes but found nothing.

We visited Mr Gay from Thrigby, who owns the woodland, in order to obtain permission to access and record. He knows of the presence of the OB in his woodland and told us that it had collapsed ‘many years ago’. Pictures taken about 25 years ago by Jack Grice, Gorleston, show it in better condition although it had started to collapse around that time.

Stephen Lewins, A.S. Pye, J. Grice, Tony Tungate

If you can help with any info please contact us.