Churchill's British Resistance - The Auxiliary Units

 

Stoke Holy Cross Auxiliary Unit Patrol

This page was last updated at 6:05pm on 28/10/14

Thank you for selecting information on the Stoke Holy Cross Auxiliary Unit Patrol and their Operational Base in Norfolk. The info and images below have been supplied by a variety of sources.

The patrol formed part of Norfolk Group 2 which also included

Kirby Bedon Patrol, Fundenhall Patrol and Carleton St Peter Patrol
 

CO Capt. H.W.R. Mitchell, The Vale, Kirby Bedon

It is unknown when the patrol was formed.



Sgt. Arthur William Dickerson "Dickie" from Post Office, Shotesham St Mary
Cpl. Percy Albert Winterbone a farmer from Lathgreen Farm, Shotesham. Original Cpl discharged to Norwich HG 31/1/44
Cpl Herbert William “Pitman” Lynes from Saxlingham Green
Roy "Dick" Benjamin Allen from Maidens Lane, Shotesham. A farm worker at Abbot's Farm
Gerald Roy Allen from Shotesham All Saints
S G Sexton from 10, Council Houses. Shotesham discharged to HM forces 15/4/43
Geoffrey Arthur Edward Newman from Shotesham All Saint
John E Sayer 

Stoke Holy Cross Auxiliary Unit 5

Original pictures courtesy of the family of Geoffrey Newman

The OB site is located on (strictly private) land belonging to Shotesham Hall and was accessed by kind permission.

The OB site is located on Skeet’s Hill, an area of disused sand and gravel pits surrounded by farmland to the west of Norwich Road, south of Stoke Holy Cross.

Stoke Holy Cross Auxiliary Unit 1

Stoke Holy Cross Auxiliary Unit 2

Stoke Holy Cross Auxiliary Unit View from the OB in 1940

A picture taken in the 1940s showing the view from the OB - © Chris Sutton

The OB appears to have been removed quite some time ago. It was built into a small, disused sandpit situated on the brow of a hill, with the location affording wide views to the south, west and east. A depression can be seen scooped out of the side of the pit where the OB once was. We failed to find information concerning the building materials used. Nothing remains in the ground and the pit is much overgrown with brambles.

Stoke Holy Cross Auxiliary Unit Quarry

A larger sand and gravel pit (above) adjoins the site in the north and a patrol member’s son told us that the men used it for target practice.

RAF Stoke Holy Cross Chain Home Station, Hethel airfield; Norwich to London railway line and bridges in the vicinity

Unknown, one of the Allen brothers, the other Allen brother, Sgt. Dickerson, and maybe Percy Winterbone. Preparing to blow over a tree

Sgt. Dickerson 1st left. Geoffrey Newman 4th from left with the Allen brothers either side. Maybe Percy Winterbone far right. Having blown over the tree.

The nearby sand and gravel pit was used for target practice.

Two meetings per week in the Drill Hall, Wymondham and parades, drill and weapon training on weekends. Many weekends from Friday to Sunday at Leicester Square Farm, Syderstone. Special army units taught the latest methods. Duties during the week included to test (at night) security at searchlight units and other military establishments based in the area.

Currently unknown but it is assumed they had access to the standard weapons and equipment.

 

Born in January 1922, Geoffrey Newman was working as an Engineering Draughtsman apprentice at Laurence Scott and Electro-motors (LSE) in Norwich and living in Shotesham during his time in the Auxiliary Units. 

At over 6 ft he was a tall man but a real gentleman and hugely patriotic.

Even though he was gently teased by his family in later life for is involvement in “Dad's Army” he never revealed his Auxiliary past or training.
He must have remembered his time fondly though as he retained his “202” shoulder insignia, his Auxiliary Unit lapel badge (awarded after stand down) and two stand down letters written to Auxiliers by General Franklyn and Colonel Douglas.

 Geoffrey Newman  

Geoffrey Newman's Insignia and lapel badge

He also cut out and kept two newspaper articles from The Daily Sketch dated Sat 14th April 1945. The headlines of “The “mystery” H.Gs were British Maquis” and “Secret Civilian Army Stood by for Invasion” must have concerned him regarding his commitment to the official secrets act.

A keen photographer he took many photographs of the Patrol, the above photos coming from his collection. Many others are in the process of restoration.

He was also a keen “radio ham” and joined the Royal Signals (TA) for a few years after the war.


Evelyn Simak, Adrian Pye, Nina Hannaford, Simon Mitchell (son of Group CO Capt. H.W.R. Mitchell), Kirby Bedon; Ethel Lynes (widow of patrol member Cpl Harry Lynes), Newton Flotman; Peter Allen (son of patrol member Roy B Allen), Framingham Earl; Lynne Lambert (daughter of patrol member GAE Newman), Mulbarton; Chris Sutton (brother in law of patrol member JE Sayer), Shotesham; Mark Watson, gamekeeper at Shotesham Park; Stephen Lewins CART CIO Northumberland, Major Hancock data held at B.R.A, Fran Luxton, the family of Geoffrey Newman.

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