Churchill's British Resistance - The Auxiliary Units

 

This page was last updated at 9:53 am on 7/1/15

Highworth Auxiliary Unit Patrol (Wiltshire)

This patrol may also be known as Stonehouse. The code name used was Mousetrap.

A report on the Highworth Auxiliary Unit Patrol by Tom Sykes. This patrol was part of Group 2 in Wiltshire along with Coleshill Patrol, Hannington Patrol and Shrivenham Patrol.

Research into this patrol and its training is ongoing 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 our researchers have not found it yet.

If you can provide any additional information on this patrol please contact us.

Southwick Patrol

Map of the area

Highworth is a market town in Wiltshire, England, about 6 miles northeast of Swindon town centre.

 

The following are the entries found in the Nominal Roll. Exact addresses may be known but have been removed to preserve privacy.

 Rank

First Name

 Middle Name  Surname

 Nat Reg

 Joined

DOB

Address 

 Pte John

 Thomas

Doe EEFA 63/1 02/10/42 30/06/10 Highstreet, Southwick
 Pte Mike

 David

Smith EEFA 54/1 02/10/42 12/06/15 Highstreet, Southwick

Additional suspected members may have been: 

 Rank

First Name

 Middle Name  Surname

 Nat Reg

 Joined

DOB

Address 

 Pte John

 Thomas

Doe EEFA 63/1 02/10/42 30/06/10 Highstreet, Southwick
 Pte Mike

 David

Smith EEFA 54/1 02/10/42 12/06/15 Highstreet, Southwick

More info here and images.

Please note nearly all Operational Bases are located on private land. We always obtain permission to access these prior to producing a report. We do not make public these locations unless they are already on very public land and or the owner has granted permission. 

Condition: Intact

The OB was built in 1940 by the Patrol, and consisted of a Nissen hut structure measuring 18ft x 12ft, built 10ft underground. It had two sections, with an entrance in one field and an emergency exit in an adjoining field. It was equipped with bunks and cooking equipment.

The OB was destroyed by fire some time after the war had ended. Local children had discovered the OB and set fire to some Molotov Cocktails they had found stored inside. Luckily nobody was injured by the blaze and the local Fire Brigade and the Bomb Disposal Squad from Plymouth were both called to the scene.
In 2000 all that remained was an indentation in the ground indicating the outline of the OB.

Today that too has been filled in and the field boundary wall reinstated.

Swindon to Highworth branch railway line was a target along with a few bridges over rivers.

A few patrol members came to Coleshill to train. Others trained locally at Smith words.

It is unknown what equipment the Auxiliers had but it is assumed they had the standard kit.

Patrol Inauguration: It is thought the patrol was formed around January 1941.

Military Liaison: From the very first meeting in Whitehall in 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. St. Mawgan was part of group 3 along with Redruth, Mabe, Perranwell, Philleigh, Truro, Perranporth, Newlyn East, Grampound, St Colomb, Constantine, Probus and St Denis. They were under the group command of Captain H W Abbiss from Truro along with Lieutenant F J Yeo and 2nd Lieutenant E K F Harte.

Captain H W Abbiss from Truro was also the area Commander for this and groups 1 to 4, covering two thirds of the county.

In 1945 Captain Abbiss was awarded the MBE (Military Division).

Other Info: Nothing Currently.

Alwyn Harvey research for Defence of Britain Project, Hancock data held at B.R.A, Denys Matthews son of Auxilier Dick Matthews, Memories of Dick Matthews and Gordon Bolitho in an undated article in The Cornishman, Memories of Gordon Bolitho in Western Morning News 18/8/1998, Research sent by Philip Hadley.

If you can help with any info please contact Tom Sykes by emailing hq@coleshillhouse.com.

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