Nacton Auxiliary Unit Patrol
This page was last updated at 10:05am on 13/8/12
Thank you for selecting information on the Nacton Auxiliary Unit Patrol and
Operational Base in Suffolk. The info and images below have been supplied by Aux researchers Evelyn Simak and
The patrol formed part of Woodbridge Group which also included
Woodbridge Patrol, Debach (aka Clopton & Otley) patrol, Dalinghoo (aka Pettistree and Bredfield) patrol, Eyke patrol and Great Bealings patrol
CO Capt David Walter Beeton, Woodbridge
Started work at Churchman’s in Ipswich and later as a travelling salesman for the Danish Bacon Company. The
latter gave him an excuse to run a small car.
2nd Lt M Roy Taylor, Hasketon Hall, Woodbridge
He farmed at Hasketon Hall
Sgt Bill S Milne – Clerk of the Works at Nacton Estate; lived at Seven Hills; died 1993
Cpl Alfred Edward “Ted” Farrow [Joe Farrow] – estate worker
JS “Tim” Mann – estate worker
William R “Bill” Mann – estate worker (F Mann’s half brother)
Ted G Buxton – he was the husband of the school mistress at Nacton
Pte Frederick H Brown – estate worker (2nd Nov 1910 – 1st Feb 1979). The family lived at Lady Wood where the OB was
located and he worked on the Orford Park Estate moving to the house at Lady Wood, Nacton in about 1939.
Left to right (back row): Tim Mann, Ted Buxton
Left to right (front row): Bill Mann, Fred Harry Brown, Bill Milne (Nacton), Joe Farrow (Levington)
Noel Feather (see references) has a copy of the same photograph and it is entitled the "363 Nacton Special Defence
DoB and the BRO Museum at Parham are agreed on the OB having been
situated to the north-east of one of the lakes within Lady Wood, a private woodland on Orwell Park Estate, near
Home Farm. However, both the manager of Orwell Park Estate and Michael Beeton, the son of Woodbridge Group
Commander Capt Walter David Beeton, who has visited the OB site many years ago when it was still accessible, state
that the OB was situated approximately 160 metres south-west of this location, on the south side of the lake.
Be that as it may – any attempts to establish the exact location of the site have been blocked by the manager of
Orwell Estate – presumably in agreement with the owner - who outright refuses to allow access onto their land. In
fact, this is the only landowner we have come across in the whole of Norfolk and Suffolk who apparently does not
wish for the sites used by these brave men to be recorded for posterity.
Mrs Gillian Bence-Jones of Orwell Park Estate recalls that the main chamber was built with green wood and had
always been a concern to her and the family because the children used to play in it. When the ponds were dredged
for the fishing club she ordered that the digger give the roof a good ‘thump’. This order was carried out and it
collapsed quite easily.
For many decades the location of the OB site was marked by corrugated sheeting, protruding from the ground where
the main chamber hidden underneath it had collapsed. According to the estate manager, the woodland was extensively
damaged during the Great Storm in 1987, leaving only six trees standing. The hideout was further damaged by heavy
machinery during tree clearance work, and subsequently removed. The hole was filled in and nothing remains on the
ground. According to Michael Beeton, the OB was an elephant shelter, with its drop-down entrance concealed under a
bush near the edge of a pond.
According to our information, the patrol’s ammunition store was situated nearby. It was believed to also have
been destroyed and the exact whereabouts of both sites are hence now lost. However, according to new
information received after our report had been published, the patrol’s ammo store was above ground and housed in a
wooden shed – in the Milner family’s beach hut, no less!
The beach hut had been brought back from Felixstowe beach especially for this purpose and planted in the woods
not far from the OB but a little nearer to the road. After stand-down it was taken back to its original place where
it can still be found. (Many thanks to John Milne (son of Sgt Bill S Milne) who after reading our report called
from London, especially to share with us this nugget of information.)
Nacton WWII Decoy Invasion Embarkation Site with army vehicles. Nacton, Orwell Park (R5) WWII D-Day Marshalling
Area Camp R5
Nacton airfield, which flew Blenheims, Tiger Moths, Spitfires, Martinets, Hurricanes, Barracudas and Vengeance
and, interestingly, a “Free French” Squadron, 340 (F) RAF flew Spitfire Vbs from this grass airfield
Michael Beeton, Woodbridge (son of GCO Capt Walter David Beeton);
Gillian Bence-Jones (tel interview); Robert Gosling (estate manager, Orwell Park Estate); DoB (Dr Will Ward); BROM
Parham; Stephen Lewins CART CIO Northumberland
If you can help with any info please