Churchill's British Resistance - The Auxiliary Units

 

Southwick Auxiliary Unit

Auxiliary Unit - Southwick

A report by Steve Mason for CART. If you can help with any info please contact us hq@coleshillhouse.com

This page last updated at 7:05pm on 7/2/13

Southwick Patrol

Auxiliary Patrol: Southwick - near Wickham (north of Portsmouth and Portsdown hill)
Patrol codename: St George.

The number of auxiliers living in the Southwick area, as recorded in the Hampshire Auxiliary Nominal Roll, brought CART's attention to this locality. But far more conclusive was the discovery, several years ago, of the Southwick Patrol Diary by local researcher Alan Watkins. And only in 2011 did information arise from a local man, who knew a patrol member, telling of the location of the patrol's Operational Base.

No detail is yet known; but the first member (Cpl Stubbington) “joined” the Auxiliary Units in 1941, with three others joining in 1942.
The Southwick Patrol Diary (see References, below) also tells us the members were initially kitted out at Bishops Waltham.

The following names are given due to their inclusion in the Auxiliary Hampshire Nominal Roll with addresses close to Southwick, others because of their inclusion in the patrol diary.

The following are the entries found in the Nominal Roll, with research notes etc, given in [  ].

Exact addresses have been removed by CART.

 Name

 Nat Reg

 Joined

DOB 

Address 

Pte.Crook P.W          EEFA 63/1    02/10/42 30/06/10 Highstreet, Southwick
Pte. Crook H.R EEFA 54/1 02/10/42 12/06/15 Highstreet, Southwick
Cpl. Stubbington L.H EBDU /22-1 17/01/42 26/04/02 Southwick Rd, Wickham, Hants [note: also a possible for a Wickham area patrol]
Sgt. Gattrall G.J EBA-1226 ?1or?/ 75 27/03/41 03/07/11 C/o Mr/?Mrs ?Kirby? St Martins ?C/Gar?ies, Hambledon Rd
Pte. Francis [note: this may be the J.H Francis (Nat Reg: EBIQ 6/1; Joined: 10/10/42; DOB: 02/12/06; address: Manor Park Avenue, Copnor, Portsmouth  “Nam…” [“Nav…” or “Nau…”]) currently listed for the postulated north Portsmouth area patrol/s ; ie: Hilsea/Cosham/Portsdown/Purbrook. But probably not K.C Francis, because his Nation Registration number starts EDIZ, like R.E Francis who’s address is given as Swanick, near Botley, Southampton. And (using a photo-edit program’s negative filter) there can be seen in the nominal roll traces of “Southampton” in the address column for K.C Francis (despite his address being erased with "Joined HM forces" ) ] 
Pte. Nince [note: not in Hants Nominal Roll]
Pte. Copping [note: not in Hants Nominal Roll; Southwick diary: “removed due to non attendance in May 1943 and replaced with…”]
Pte.Fergusson [Note: spelling of name unclear. He was originally from St.Vincent patrol – which is a codename (mention in Southwick patrol diary); no location is known for this patrol but perhaps it was proximate to St. Vincent’s college in Gosport.]

Additional members might have been: 

 Name

 Nat Reg

Joined

DOB 

Address

Bouch,J.A EQDM204/2          25/06/43 13/07/24 Porchester [note: although, as his address is about equidistant between Southwick and Cosham patrols, membership of either is possible; also not to be discounted is this man’s membership of a possible Portsdown patrol.]

Possibly, Southwick Priory. Source: Elliott Cowton (resident of Porchester) who knew Mr Gattrall (now deceased), about 12 years ago, and was told where his OB was.

The Southwick Patrol diary reports that the Patrol had an OB and Ammo dump (the latter being large enough for all members to use 'comfortably' and built by the patrol in March 1943). The OB was taken over on the 15th November 1942 from Hampshire Scout Section. It had a wooden floor, corked lined corrugated iron with a Paraffin stove.

Observation Post/s:

Currently unknown. 

The main NE-SE road from the road hub at Wickham to Cosham where the arterial A3 ran north from/to Portsmouth. Wickham had the A32 arterial road running north to Bishops Waltham and Corehampton in the north of the area, and south to Fareham and the dock at Gosport. The Southwick Patrol would also have been well placed to interdict the myriad of the minor roads through its zone, should a German landing occur in Portsmouth harbour and attempts be made to advance north behind Portsdown hill inland. Another task, later in the war, may have been to patrol the grounds of Southwick House, which became the command HQ for the highest D-Day planning officers.

Detail is currently unknown, but the diary lists several locations with the type of training conducted there:

• Baddesley (Bombing training)
• Chalkpit on Portsdown hills (preparation for No.5 Group patrol competition),
• Hipley Copse (Explosives training),
• Hole Farm (Explosives training),
• Rookesbury Hall, Newton (Unarmed combat)
• Soberton Chalkpit (Weapons practice)

Exercise locations:
• Ashlands Corner
• Broad Halfpenny Downs (Hambledon)
• Chandlers ford
• Dean Farm (county patrol competition)
• GHQ Swindon (for Sgt’s course)
• Glenville woods (Hambledon)
• Goat House Hill (Newtown)
• Hambledon (demo by Scout Section)
• Hoe Gate, Shoot hill (Newtown)
• Southwick chalkpit
• Wallops wood
• Wickham.
 

Probably, the Worcester Regiment of regular army (as per Chalton Patrol), who were generally billeted at Bishops Waltham; although some, perhaps as Auxiliary Scout Patrols, may have been billeted nearer to hand, perhaps somewhere nearby; like Wickham.

The Patrol was part of Group 5.*  The HQ of Group 5, the diary says, was at Hillcrest. This may well be the “Hillcrest” recorded as the wartime address of Mr R. J Elch, a Soberton village auxilier.

*Note: In every county, after about 1942, local clusters of around 3 to 5 auxiliary units were each composed into a numbered "Group," together for the purposes of command and control under the command of two Auxiliary Units officers; much the same as a regular army Platoon or Company.

Other patrols directly identified in the diary (all as part of No.5 Group, Hampshire – although some may be different names for the same patrol):

• Soberton
• Newtown
• “St. Vincent” (probable codename, not geographical location)
• “Barbados” (probable codename, not geographical location)
• “Martinique” (probable codename, not geographical location)
• No. 1 Patrol
• No. 2 Patrol
• No. 5 Patrol.

The diary also has the signiatures of several known and some curretly unknown officers:

• Lord Glanusk (Commander in chief of the Aux Units!)
• Major Clive (Hampshire Aux Units Intelligence Officer)
• Lt (QMS) Peterson
• Lt Allan
• Lt Stokes
• Lt Marchant
• Lt Welsh (counter-signature in diary)
• Sgt Ponton
• Sgt Watts
• Sgt Lee.

Probably much the same as other auxiliary units, but any other detail is currently unknown. The diary also lists equipment issued and sub-issue to each member of the patrol, but CART does not have these details yet (although they are being sought, so that they may constitute subsequent updates of this report.)

Other Locations:

The patrol diary outlines another location known, at least to the patrol leader: Hill Forest, Newtown (near Wickham).

The patrol diary was (according to the Hampshire Records Office) 'found in Birmingham’ and was passed to Hampshire CRO via Gosport Museum. CART has no information about where or when it was found, but it appears to be an official unit diary as each entry is counter-signed by the responsible Lieutenant and section leader. Sadly, the majority of the pages have been cut or torn out for an unknown reason leaving just a total of 32pages (entries are from: October 1942, 1st to 21st; August 1943; 24th Oct '43 to 20th Jan '44; and 18th to 28th February '44; with the final entry of 12th March '44; then all subsequent pages are removed). The entries mention training, establishment of OBs/OPs (no exact locations), No.5 Group patrol competition in preparation for County and then national competitions, meetings of patrol leaders (no names or itineraries), and day and night exercises.

Southwick Auxiliary Diary          Rubber stamp

See image of the front cover (Above, Left). Interestingly there was a rubber stamp impression for one of the entries (Hillcrest dated 8/2/44) unfortunately the surname isn't visible (possibly Major Clive; see Military Liaison, above) and was worded (Above, Right): Major G.S. HQ Auxiliary Units Hampshire.

a) Southwick Patrol Diary, held at the Hampshire Records Office, Winchester.
b) Elliott Cowton, resident of Fareham.
c) Auxiliary Hampshire Nominal Roll, held at Key, National Records Office; Copies supplied by Will Ward, now held in the CART archive.
d) David Seaton’s own research.

If you can help with any info please contact us hq@coleshillhouse.com