Churchill's British Resistance - The Auxiliary Units

 

St. Juliot Auxiliary Unit Patrol

This page was last updated at 1:00pm on 31/5/15

Thank you for selecting information on the St. Juliot Auxiliary Unit Patrol and Operational Base. The information below has been supplied by our Devon CIO Nina Hannaford.

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 contact us.

St Juliot is a rural parish in North Cornwall.

Captain G H Sergeant from Liskeard was also the area Commander for this and group 5.

From the very first meeting in Whitehall on 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The IOs were being withdrawn from around August 1944 leaving the Area and Group Commanders.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 Juliot was part of group 6 along with Morval (Looe), Launceston, Liskeard, St Germans, Pelynt, Lansallos, Menheniot, St Keyne, Coads Green and Bridgerule (now in Devon). They were under the group command of Captain G H Sergeant from Liskeard along with Lieutenant W Critchton (discharged May 1944 due to ill health) and 2nd Lieutenant J F William Mewton.

Captain G H Sergeant from Liskeard was also the Area Commander for this and group 5.

Currently unknown

Sergeant George Henry Reed, a threshing machine owner of Tresparrett.
Corporal (as of March 1943) Herbert Edward Jenkins a farmer of St Gennys.
William “George” Dawe, a stonemason who was 61 in 1940 of Warbstow.
Reginald Ronald “Curls” Sandercock a farm worker and his cousin.
John “Jack” Arthur Mitchell, a farmer of Tresparrett.
Edward Roulty Elson another farmer of St Juliot.

Philip Henry Cornelius discharged as medically unfit 31/1/44 was a carpenter and builder.

Back L-R: “Jack” Mitchell, Edward Routley Elson, “Curls” Sandercock, “George” Dawe.
Front L-R: Sgt. George Reed, Cpl Herbert Jenkins
Missing is Philip Cornelius.

This photograph was taken outside the Tresparrett Sunday School building, just opposite the Methodist Church. At some stage the door has been partially blocked to create a window. The group photograph above was taken by what is now the middle window.

The picture above was kindly supplied by John Jolliff from the son of Joe Northcott from Pelynt Patrol.
It is thought to show the Cornwall Group 6 patrols which consisted of St Keyne, Morval, Menheniot, St Germans, Pelynt, Lansallos, Liskeard,St Juliot, Coads Green, Launceston and Bridgerule.

Back row far left: Reg Wakeham (Pelynt), Joe Northcott (Pelynt) rest unknown
Middle row far left: Ned Broad (Pelynt) rest unknown
Front row far left : Ralph Webber (Pelynt), Charlie Barrett ( Liskeard), unknown, unknown, Sgt.Jack Bickford, rest unknown.

BOTH THESE OB'S ARE ON PRIVATE LAND

The St. Juliot Auxiliary Unit had two Operational Bases. One was built by Royal Engineers in the remote location of a small disused quarry in woodland near Anderton Ford, about half a mile south west of Tresparrett.
It was built above ground by the side of a stream and was constructed from green painted sheet metal. This OB was discovered by local children who followed the soldiers to the location when it was being built. Nothing remains at the site today.

First OB site by the side of the River Valency.

As a consequence, a second OB was built in Helsett Wood, about half a mile to the south east. The location of this OB is only approximate and its surviving condition is unknown.

Looking up towards Helsett Wood on the hillside.

Please contact us if you can get permission to search Helsett Wood for any remains.

Currently unknown but assumed local targets would have included the railway at Otterham Station. Blocking
the junction of the A39 (main road leading north and east) and the A395 (main road towards Launceston) would hinder supply routes through north Cornwall.

The nearby RAF Davidstow Moor airfield opened in 1942 and could also have been a target.

Control tower of RAF Davidstow Moor.

Some of the buildings now house the excellent Cornwall at War Museum which is worthy of a visit.

Currently unknown

Unknown but it is assumed they had access to the normal weapons and equipment seen here.

The Patrol often met at “Jack” Mitchell's house at Trewannion near Tresparrett which was just on the hill above the OB.

Comments were made by locals on the weapons and amount of ammunition the men had when they turned up each year for the annual rook shooting competition in May.

The IO Jack Dingley moved to the nearby Crackington Haven after the war. He remained firm friends with the Patrol.

   

The “informant” for this Western Morning News article was thought to be Sergeant George Reed describing the Auxiliers wartime roll and the sites of the Patrol's OB locations.

This has to be one of the first journalist interviews with an Auxilier as it was printed on 10th July 1945.

Alwyn Harvey recorder for Defence of Britain Database who credits:
Research and assistance by Mrs. Audrey Aylmer - Bude Old Cornwall Society and Mr E J Elson
TNA ref WO199/3391
Hancock data held by B. R. A
1939 Kellys Directory
Newspaper articles at Findmypast.co.uk

If you can help with any info please contact us.