Woodbridge (Melton Park) Auxiliary Unit Patrol
This page was last updated at 7:00pm on 14/12/11
Thank you for selecting information on the Woodbrodge Auxiliary Unit Patrol
and Operational Base in Suffolk. The info and images below have been supplied
by Aux researchers Evelyn Simak and Adrian Pye.
Woodbridge Patrol was also known as Melton Park Patrol. The patrol formed part of Woodbridge Group which also
Nacton patrol, Debach (aka Clopton & Otley) patrol, Dalinghoo (aka Pettistree and Bredfield) patrol, Eyke patrol and Great Bealings patrol
CO Capt David Walter Beeton, Woodbridge
Started work at Churchman’s in Ipswich and later as a travelling salesman for the Danish Bacon Company. The
latter gave him an excuse to run a small car.
2nd Lt M Roy Taylor, Hasketon Hall, Woodbridge
He farmed at Hasketon Hall
It is currently unknown when the patrol was formed.
Sgt RJ Brooks
Cpl WHJ Brooks
George H Piper
Thomas A Piper TWNF 39/1
The patrol’s OB was built into the side of a sandpit located in the grounds of Melton Park. The park was bounded
by Bredfield Road in the west and by Pytches Road in the south. The whole area has since been redeveloped and
extensively landscaped, with a new housing estate having been built over it. No trace remains of the OB.
The OB was described to us as having been a 14ft by 8ft underground Nissen hut that was accessed through a
drop-down shaft. It had an emergency exit tunnel at the other end.
“From memory, the entry was via a vertical shaft, around 4ft x 4ft, with a hinged lid with grass growing on it.
There would be a vertical ladder for access. From the bottom of the shaft a tunnel around 5ft x 5ft led into the
buried Nissen hut. Inside the Nissen hut would be bunks/seats and a table, plus storage for food, weapons,
explosives, etc. At the far end of the bunker there would be an escape tunnel, smaller than the entrance, and
usually coming out into a hedge or similar.” (Mike Beeton)
(Above) The patrol used a mature tree, either a beech or an oak, in Love Lane (a public footpath that turns off
Pytches Road opposite of Woodbridge Clinic) as their OP. A shelf bracket on its trunk that provided a step up to
the observer’s position is believed to still be in place. There are several ancient trees growing along this
footpath but we failed to find a tree with a shelf bracket in its trunk. The location of the OP would have been
about 400 metres to the east of the OB.
The central store for weapons and explosives was at the end of Group CO Capt David Beeton’s garden in Catherine
According to Michael Beeton “The army provided all the parts for a quarter length Nissen hut, and father and
family erected it. One baulk of timber fell on my sister Bridget, but appears not to have done any lasting damage!
The explosive store was meant to be underground, but the garden was on thick clay, so a small version of the Nissen
was provided for the explosives, ammunition, etc.”
RAF Woodbridge (RAF Station Sutton Heath)
In 1944 the airfield served as the operational base for Operation Aphrodite, a secret plan for drone B-17s (BQ-7s)
to be launched against German V-1 flying bomb sites, submarine pens and deep fortifications. (Info: Wikipedia)
Trained at Framlingham by regular army soldiers, and at Holton airfield and later at Bawsey Manor where the big
RAF camp was and where they were supposed to test the security. Lt Roy Taylor went for training at Coleshill.
(Above - Image shows magnets, a pull switch and a fuse container. The fuse container held 5 x 7 second fuses
accessible from the top and another 5 x 15 second fuses accessible from the bottom.)
Mike Beeton told us that he sold lots of the magnets – they were very popular with his schoolmates - in
order to supplement his pocket money.
They were issued with Sten guns and had lots of explosives. Explosives, ammunition and weapons were collected
and returned after stand-down but other paraphernalia such as magnets were left behind.
Many thanks to Mr Michael Beeton for sharing his information and for taking us to the location.
Michael Beeton, son of Group CO Capt David Walter Beeton (personal
interviews); Mike Osborne (DOB); BROM Parham; Stephen Lewins CART CIO Northumberland
If you can help with any info please