Abbot's Wood Auxiliary Unit Patrol
This page was last updated at 7:09pm on 7/2/13
Thank you for selecting information on the Abbot's Wood Auxiliary Unit
Patrol located in Sussex. The info & images below has been compiled by Stewart Angell.
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
Patrol included in Group No.2, Sussex being Area 13. County Parish of Folkington, Jevington, Lullington and
Formed around July/August 1940
The Auxiliary Units Nominal Roll gives the following names for this patrol / locality:
Patrol Leader: Lt.Tom Dinnis
Patrol Members: Sidney Dumbrell, John Raymond, Percy Robinson, Bill Longhurst, Bob Wright, John Talbot. (Desmond
Dinnis, Tom’s cousin, for a short time until joining the RAF).
Initially the Abbot’s Wood Patrol were to have their OB sited within Abbot’s Wood near Hailsham however,
following a failed attempt at building the OB due to flooding issues the IO suggested building it in Folkington
Wood close to Folkington House, the family home of the IO Capt. John Gwynne. The wood is oval in shape, positioned
just below the escarpment of the South Downs with commanding views across the Weald. Two disused chalk pits remain
within the wood and the more centrally positioned one was chosen to site the OB adjacent to it. A small footpath
ran past this chalk pit which allowed a passage either way to the main paths running up the edge of the wood one
being on high ground looking North and the other on a level with grassland used for grazing. Most foot traffic
followed the main paths avoiding going anywhere near the OB.
Abbot's Wood Patrol Collapsed OB
Field boundary’s, ditches and additional wooded areas gave cover to allow movement to their main targets.
Orientation of OB: In line with North/South axis
Condition of OB: Totally collapsed in the mid 1970’s
Size of OB and entrance/exit etc: Approx 15 x 10 feet, entrance via trapdoor hatch (Southern
end), emergency exit tunnel (Northern end). Built by the Royal Engineers out of wood and corrugated iron. This had
a flat roof construction with an additional lining of wood around the inside walls.
Any other info about the patrol or OB etc: Food rations, hurricane lamps and water stored in
milk churns contained within OB. OB very uncomfortable and cramped being visited only as part of their training
sessions, where included.
Observation Post: Located over 300 yards to West of OB. Constructed from wood and corrugated
iron sheeting, measuring approximately 6 feet x 4 feet. Only ever expected to have one person inside at any one
time. The OP was connected to the OB via a telephone line.
Abbot's Wood Patrol OP Remains
Main targets were Sherman Bridge which crosses the Cuckmere River (nearly two miles North West from OB) and
Polegate to Lewes railway line (nearly a mile North from OB).
Localised training undertaken with East Sussex Scout Patrol included night manoeuvers over the Downs and many
trips to Tottington Manor, regional HQ in West
Sussex. All patrol members went to Coleshill for initial training.
Explosives training undertaken in a chalk pit near Firle Patrol’s OB, along with the Firle patrol members. Also
a wood in
Robertsbridge was visited at one point near the East Sussex/Kent border to practice with various explosive
Known to have plastic explosives, weapons and ammunition and would generally have the weapons shown here
Stewart Angell; Personal interview with former patrol member Sidney Dumbrell, Bill Webber’s diary., 'The Secret Sussex