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
The Staplefield Patrol consisted of seven members.
The Patrol Leader was Frank Baker, a farmer at Home Farm, Staplefield, who later went on to become the Mayor of
The other members were close friends and associates of his.
They were Cecil Mills, a gamekeeper and bailiff, who lived in Handcross.
Les Moore, a milkman from Handcross.
Gerald Cummings, a cattle farmer in Bolney. Nora Mills, wife of ex-patrol member Cecil Mills, recalled how her
husband had kept his involvement in the Auxiliary Units secret while the patrol was operational. She knew he was
training with explosives, but thought he was part of the regular Home Guard. After the War he explained what he had
Aiming to place all Auxiliers in their patrols, CART has used the home addresses recorded on the nominal roll to
Frank R Baker of Sharpthorne, W G E Parsons of Haywards Heath, D D Davie, and Eric Cattermole of Haywards Heath
Though they could have been in a nearby patrol.
The video below was provided by atlas122155 a
YouTube member. CART was not involved with the filming and did not have any knowledge of it taking place. CART
would advise anyone wanting to view any Operational Base to ensure correct permission is obtained from the
Survey by Stewart Angell
It was built by local Canadian soldiers. They were used because it was known that they would
be moving to another area after finishing the hideout, taking knowledge of its whereabouts with them, thus helping
the site to remain secret. Frank Baker's youngest son David showed the author the exact location of the hideout. On
entering the structure it soon became apparent that this was the best preserved example in Sussex, with the
original bunk beds, shelving, a table and even coat hooks still in place.
The hideout was constructed on a solid concrete base with one foot six inches high brick
built sidewalls. These low brick walls support the corrugated iron that is arched across to form the roof of the
hideout. The only entrance to the hideout was beneath an earth covered wooden hatch. When lifted this revealed a
brick built shaft with a ladder made up of scaffolding poles set into the brickwork. Beyond this two internal
walls, both with locking doors, separate the main chamber of the hideout from the entrance shaft, at the eastern
end, and the 75 feet long emergency exit tunnel at the western end.
The main chamber contained the bunk beds and storage space for essential equipment along with
an ingeniously designed drop-leaf table. One leg sat on the concrete floor while the other leg was made to be about
a foot longer and supported the whole table by locating in a purpose-built socket in the floor. The three feet wide
emergency exit tunnel ran out into the bank of a nearby pond. Its end also being concealed by an earth covered
wooden hatch. Ventilation was provided by a network of four inch diameter glazed drainage pipes that came to the
surface within the surrounding undergrowth. Although the hideout was built by Canadian soldiers it was the job of
the men in the West Sussex Scout Patrol to camouflage its existence. Former member Sidney Gaston recalls
back-filling soil over the hideout, taking great care to conceal the air vents.
Some of these had clay moulded around the end of the pipes to make them look like rabbit
holes. The men placed rabbit droppings around the holes for extra effect. As a finishing touch small trees, bushes
and general undergrowth was replanted over the top of the hideout. An escape tunnel is built into the rear of the
chamber, its 75 foot long,3 feet wide and comes out at the bank of a nearby pond.
In November 1994 the Staplefield Patrol's hideout reached celebrity status when it was seen
by millions of viewers on 'Schofields Quest' as part of the author's appeal for information concerning the
Auxiliary Units in Sussex.