Churchill's British Resistance - The Auxiliary Units


Arreton Auxiliary Unit Patrol

Thank you for selecting information on the Arreton Auxiliary Unit and their Operational Base on the Isle of Wight. The info below has been supplied by our internal archive and collated by our Founder & Webmaster Tom Sykes.

This page was last updated on 11/5/17

Arreton was part of Group 9 along on the East side of the Island.

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.

The Isle of Wight Auxiliary Units were part of Hampshire and in 1942/43 all the Auxiliary Units were organised into three Battalions – 201 Scotland, 202 The Midlands and the Southern Counties became Aux 203 Bn. GHQ Reserve.
After the reorganisation the patrols became part of No.14 Area (Hampshire and the Isle of Wight). Those on the Island were formed into two Groups 9 & 10. The Island Area Commander was Captain H.C.A. Blishen
He was also Commander of Group No. 9 [East] which included the RYDE Patrol, and was assisted by 2Lt. S. G. Taylor

Group No. 9

Group C/O Captain H C A Blishen
Assist. Group C/O 2Lt. S G Taylor

The initial leader on the Island was Sammy Watson - an Estate Agent.

The White Lion © Copyright Chris Cole

The inaugural meeting was arranged in great secrecy and held at the White Lion Pub at Arreton second in command of the Island groups was Captain H.C.A.Blishen of Arreton and LT J.T.W Fisk of Brighstone. Topics discussed were sabotage and guerrilla tactics.

Captain Henry C A Blishen - “Athenry” Arreton. DOB 21/5/90. Reg no EQAB 1/1

Sergeant Frederick Buckett - “Downend” Arreton. DOB 28/12/08, Reg no EQBF 281/1

George Haywood - Park Cottage, Arreton. DOB 19/1/86. Reg no EQAA 57/1

William E Westmore - Rose Cottage, Arreton DOB18/4/02. Reg no EQAA 56/1

Martin B Moore - “Kimberley” - Arreton DOB 30/6/96 Reg no EQAA 49/1

John S C Cowley - “Homeland” Alverstone Road, Newchurch. DOB 3/10//18 Reg No EQDF 20/4

2nd Lt Sydney G Taylor - “The Firs” Forrest Road, Apse Heath and then 60 Broadway, Sandown DOB 9/7/99 Reg no EQBF231/1. 2nd Lt S G Taylor could have been in either the Arreton or Sandown patrol.

Others names connected with the patrol but not listed on official records were Leslie and Charles Holbrook, both members of the special wartime force.

Located in Arreton near Robin Hill Country Park. Two nissan huts were buried in earth with a concrete tunnel
between them covered in earth with an entrance at each end. The patrols found their own remote areas and dug their own hidden bases.

This video was uploaded in April 2014 (Unsure when it was filmed) and shows the OB. It was produced by the Isle Of Wight Archive.

These images were taken inside the Operational Base many years ago.

An Observation Post is thought to also have been onsite and was located within 570 feet of the OB.

Observation of the English Channel for German raids and the protection of vital island infrastructure including the Allies PLUTO pipe line to France.

The suspected Drill Hall used in Newport. © Copyright John M

Training was intense and took many hours. All groups were separately trained by specialised officers both on the ground and at Newport Drill Hall.

It is assumed they were issued with the standard arms and explosives.

On January 20th, 1945, a significantly historical dinner was held at the Masonic Hall, Ryde.

Gathered together for the first time in five years were the majority of the members of the Island’s Aux Patrols.

A copy of the post stand-down dinner menu for that Saturday evening offers evidence of the men involved.
Headed '203rd (GHQ Res) Bn. Home Guard. Auxiliary Units’, it shows the area group commander was Capt H. C. Blishen MBE.

Patrol leaders:
Lt T. A. Cowley, Lt E. G. Rapkins, 2/Lt S. Taylor, Sgt H. Foss, Sgt J. Blackman, Sgt A. Newman, Sgt F. Buckett, Sgt C. S. Good, Sgt W. Buckell.

Cpl A. F. Le Maitre (admin), Pte C. E. Herbert (shown as musical director for the event).

Other persons named:
Col R. E. Pickering (guest), Lt Col F. H. Fernie (guest), Maj N.V. Oxenden (guest, HQ Auxiliary Units), Lt Col F. Nevill Jennings.

The following names appear as autographed signatures on the back of the menu:
L/Cpl Jack Riddell, A. F. Maitre, C. L...., R. C. Ward, H. R. Watt, Stan Williams, J. Kennedy, W. Buckell, T. H. Farnie, E. S. Barton, N. V. Oxenden, Edwardson, H. Blishen, A. Shearwood, R. Pickering, S. Thompson, C. W. Brannon, J. Blackman, A. M. Long, A. W. Bowden, B. Keegan, R. Casson, J. W. R...., Edward Raphine, C. F. Rayner.

It appears they then repeated the event the following year.

Pictures kindly supplied by John Riddell.

Defence of Britain database complied by Dr Will Ward with contributions from Tim Butcher and Jeffrey Carson, John Riddell.

Video c/o Isle Of Wight Archive.

If you can help with any info please contact us.