Churchill's British Resistance - The Auxiliary Units

 

Warsash/Hook Auxiliary Unit Patrol

This page was last updated on 29/4/16

Thank you for selecting information on the Warsash Auxiliary Unit Patrol located in Hampshire. The info below has been compiled by Tom Sykes with help from Stephen Lewins and the general public.

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.

This patrol is located in the borough of Fareham in Hampshire. The area of operation was Hook, Warsash and Locks Heath. As all but one of the members lived in Warsash we have named the patrol Warsash Patrol.

Hook Patrol was part of number 6 group in Hampshire. Lead by Capt. A.C. Boyd and Lt A.A. Hilton.

Approx 1940.

Name

Location

Joined Home Guard

DOB

Nat Reg Number

Joseph A Bolwell (Patrol Sgt) Locks Heath 28/5/40 9/5/20 EDJB 107/4
George Hill   Locks Heath 21/7/40 8/1/23 EDID 25/3
Ronald G Browning Warsash 10/6/40 19/2/21 EDIC 181/3
William C F Foy   Warsash 17/6/40 27/10/22 EDIC 266/3
Peter J Fuller Chilling, nr Warsash 22/5/41 5/5/23 EDID 66/3
William T Swatheridge Warsash 10/7/40 12/4/02 EDJC 229/1
James Street (Patrol Cpl) Warsash 17/6/40 3/3/01 ECPA 265/1
. . . . .
Other Members. (See below) . . . .
Ken Swatheridge Warsash . . .

Locks heath Auxiliary Unit Patrol

(Listed from left to right) Click image for larger view.

 

Bill Swatheridge, Bill Foy, Ron Browning, Peter Fuller, Sergeant Joe Boswell from Hamble, Corporal Jim Street and George Hill.

 

The building with the chimney in the background (above) was a dairy, with the cottages named Dairy Cottages, Peter Fuller lived in one as a boy, they are long gone now.

 

The brick outhouse now demolished was in 2 Madeira Villas, now No 59 Newtown Road. Jim Street lived there.


In the initial forming of the unit Ken Swatheridge (Not pictured) was one of the seven, but not for long. He was called up in the army and served he served with 1st SAS from 1944 as well as the Parachute Regiment. His father Bill Swatheridge, who is in the picture, took his place.

 

Bolwell may have become Company Sergeant Major by 1944 so possibly involved at HQ level. The Hancock File has him as CSM.

 

 

Ken Swatheridge

 

He served with 1st SAS from 1944 as well as the Parachute Regiment. Thank you to his son Paul for allowing us to use the image.

 

Their Operational Base was built at Hook near the gamekeeper's cottage, with a concealed entrance and an escape tunnel. There were stores for food, weapons, ammunition, explosives and bunks. The OB was dismantled after the war.

Click image for larger view

Showing area of operation including OP and OB sites. Click on image for larger view.

An Observation Post was half a mile from the beach and had a great view of the coast. The farm land directly in front of it was used as a private airfield for golfers coming to play at the nearby course. The OP was constructed at Hook Farm Cottages in a wood near 'Pink Cottage' overlooking the sea.

Unknown at this time.

It is known that the patrol trained at Coleshill.

Ken Swatheridge recalls; after an all night exercise, the squad returned to the OB and someone carelessly left a loaded Sten on a stool (in single shot mode) Ken sat back onto the stool in the dim light – the round grazed Ron Browning’s boot then exited through the corrugated iron sheet wall lining.  Years later the dugout was dismantled and the sheeting used as a garden shed.  The bullet hole prominently marked out as a war story!

The patrol would generally have the weapons shown here

In the patrol image above you can see the patrol have modified Sten Guns. Weapons Adviser to CART Richard Ashley adds the following comments. The Stocks have been made locally. The Mk.3's haven't been modified to push through cocking handles or seam hole and slot for upper sling mounting but the second lad in from the left has a nickel plate hilted FS knife sewn to his denims.

They look very fit and that cottage in the background with building behind with a large door and a chimney, a Blacksmiths shop perhaps? The fellow in the centre with revolver has well set up brasses to his belt, these are purposeful chaps, if someone had them down to Army or Royal Marine Commando, nobody would argue. No regular unit would allow the modified Sten stocks unless they still had their originals for arms inspections. All slightly different shape. The Thompson carrier is interesting, it would be useful to read this was taken in 1943. Thompsons had officially been exchanged for Mk.3 Stens by mid 43.

Ken Swatheridge recalls; Regarding the wooden butt additions, 'I remember my brother fitting a teak butt to his stem (he was a boatyard joiner). Ken's son Paul has contacted us to say 'the wooden additions to the guns were probably made by Peter Fuller who was the boat builder within the group.'

Locksheath Auxiliary Unit 2

Prior to the completion of their hideout they stored a very large amount of ammunition in a shed on the allotments and in an outhouse of a house in Newtown Road, Warsash, to which the local boys had access. We suspect this was Holly Cottage were George Hill lived as this backs on to the allotments. (Allotment photo from Geograph by Basher Eyre)

Ken was originally notified to compulsory conscription.  He attended the recruiting office in Portsmouth but adamantly refused recruitment as he had signed the official secrets act on “special duties”.  So could not say why he should not be called up.  Weeks later he was officially told by post that he was exempt for the duration of emergency and sure enough as soon as Hitler went into Russia, Ken was called for the military service!  That’s when his Father, Bill, took his place as he was too old for national military service. 

Email correspondence with Denise Cousins & Bryan Woodford, Stephen Lewins, Weapons adviser Richard Ashley, Hancock Files held by the BRA, George Fuller brother of late Peter Fuller, Ken & Paul Swatheridge.