Symondsbury Auxiliary Unit Patrol
Thank you for
selecting information on the Symondsbury / Bridport Auxiliary Unit and Operational Base. The info below
have been supplied by our Dorset CIO Dr Will Ward.
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 patrol was part of Group 6 under Capt LO Brown and Lt J Woodward.
Not currently known.
||Date of Birth
|Sgt. Jack Wills
|Pte. William George Westcott
|Pte. Jack Bevis Bonfield
|Pte. Richard Samuel Shute
|| Joined in 1942 aged eighteen
|Pte. L G Hussey
||Left SNLR March 1944
|Pte. Francis Gerald Legg
|Pte Thomas Roland Ridler
This patrol has not yet been fully researched
Patrol leader Jack Wills had the OB built in his farm.
Thomas Ridler was the Baker at Chideock.
L G Hussey was discharged in 1944, his services no longer required, though it seems he was involved with Civil
Defence instead. The Hussey family are long established carpenters in the Chideock area.
Francis Legg was a farmer’s son and so in a reserved occupation. Just before the war, his father had prevented
him joining the Territorial Army, telling him to “never volunteer for anything”. However, he joined the Auxiliary
Units nevertheless when war came.
Richard Shute was the son of Samuel Shute of Park Farm.
Jack Bonfield appears on an early list of patrol members, but not in the later nominal roll, so may have left
the patrol during the war.
The OB was concealed inside a milking shed, now destroyed. The OB remains, though now partially collapsed. It is
a standard Elephant shelter type with bunk beds either side and corrugated iron end wall. The brick entrance shaft
contains the ventilation pipes. The OB is on private property and cannot be accessed without specialist
View inside the OB. The end wall is collapsing. The bunks are visible to either side, though the
rest of the debris is post war rubbish that has been dumped inside.
The ventilation shafts in the entrance shaft are blocked with earth.
Observation Post/s: Currently unknown.
This was one of a series of patrols based either side of the A35, then as now, one of the main roads out of the
southwest. Presumably the intention was to ambush and delay any German troops landing either on the Dorset coast or
There were relatively few military targets otherwise in the area. The closest airfields were some distance away.
The nearby town of Bridport might have been a landing site for German troops and a possible target, along with the
railway from Bridport to Maiden Newton.
The patrol would have attended training sessions at the Dorset headquarters at Duntish Court. The Dorset Scout Section would
have provided training to the patrol as well.
Apparently Francis Legg kept his revolver and knife in the grandmother clock in his house (where his younger
brother found it and would practice loading it). It is likely that the patrol were issued with the standard weapons.
National Archives WO 199/3390, 199/3391
Additional names and dates of death from Ancestry.co.uk
If you can help with any please contact us.