Churchill's British Resistance - The Auxiliary Units


Coads Green Auxiliary Unit Patrol

This page was last updated at 8:59am on 24/12/13

Thank you for selecting information on the Coads Green Auxiliary Unit Patrol and Operational Base. The information below has been supplied by our Devon CIO Nina Hannaford.

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.

Coads Green is a rural village to the East of Bodmin Moor.

From the very first meeting in Whitehall on July 1940 the Intelligence Officer for Devon and Cornwall (named Auxiliary Units SW Area) was Captain (later Major) J W Stuart Edmundson an officer in the Royal Engineers. He liaised with the regular army and received supplies and equipment and formed all the Patrols. He was assisted by Lieutenant (later Captain) John “Jack” Dingley who became IO for Cornwall in 1943 though he may have assumed the roll before that.

In November 1943 Devon and Cornwall were separated and Edmundson was succeeded in Cornwall by Captain John Dingley and in Devon by Major W W “Bill” Harston who would remain in command until near stand down. At the end of Harston's command he would cover “No 4 Region” being the whole of the South West Peninsular and Wales.

The IOs were being withdrawn from around August 1944 leaving the Area and Group Commanders.

After 1941 a “grouping” system was developed where some patrols within a demographic area would train together under more local command. Coads Green was part of group 6 along with Morval (Looe), Launceston, Liskeard, St Germans, Pelynt, Lansallos, Menheniot, St Keyne and Bridgerule (now in Devon). They were under the group command of Captain G H Sergeant from Liskeard along with Lieutenant W Crichton (discharged May 1944 due to ill health) and 2nd Lieutenant J F William Mewton.

Captain G H Sergeant from Liskeard was also the area Commander for this and group 5.

Currently unknown

Sergeant Walter Tucker
A Douglas Murray
S Jack Gribble
W Leonard Brent
S Jack Creber joined H M Forces April 1943
F Alan Gillbard
Arthur F Harris
and possibly Sydney T Palmer

The picture above was kindly supplied by John Jolliff (the son of Joe Northcott from Pelynt Patrol)

It is thought to show the Cornwall Group 6 patrols which consisted of St Keyne, Morval, Menheniot, St Germans, Pelynt, Lansallos, Liskeard,St Juliot, Coads Green, Launceston and Bridgerule.

Back row far left: Reg Wakeham (Pelynt), Joe Northcott (Pelynt) rest unknown
Middle row far left: Ned Broad (Pelynt) rest unknown
Front row far left : Ralph Webber (Pelynt), Charlie Barrett ( Liskeard), unknown, unknown, Sgt.Jack Bickford, rest unknown.


Operational Base One

In an interview given to The Western Morning News (8th July 1999) Walter Tucker describes the original OB location as at “Trebartha House”.

Coads Green Auxiliary Unit Patrol 2

Trebartha Hall copyright of Jack Hall from revival heritage

The gardens are occasionally open to the public under the National Gardens Scheme seen here.

They may have moved from this location due to the Hall being used as a RAMC hospital. The Hall was demolished in 1948 and replaced with a more modern house.

Operational Base Two

The second OB is located in an old quarry at Kersbrook Farm near Coads Green. The Defence of Britain database records this OB as being built by the Patrol in 1943. It was 15ft x 12ft and made from wood and curved corrugated sheeting.

It is unknown if it's still standing.

Other Sites Nearby

The Patrol used the upper rooms of the village shop as a bomb store. Situated on the main ( B3257) through the village, it is now a private residence.

Coads Green Auxiliary Unit Patrol 1

The old village shop.

Currently unknown

Currently unknown

Unknown but it is assumed they had access to the normal weapons and equipment seen here.

In 1999, after 55 years, Walter Tucker was finally awarded the Defence Medal. Although delighted he felt sad it had taken so long : “When the war ended, I thought we might have had a bit of an acknowledgement, as we did work very hard and had an awful lot to learn”

Exempt from the Army because of his work both on the land and repairing vital machinery, Walter was soon singled out for his secret service after volunteering for the home guard. “Everyone used to say 'They belong to the Secret Service'. That is what they thought...I used to quite enjoy it” 

Walter Tucker recalled how two men did head off to war but were sent back as their potential role within the Auxiliary Units was considered more important. At one point he was told they could be sent to France but as that did not happen they continued with their training.

Other memories he recalled included how one night Arthur Harris, their dispatch rider, went to the pub and using specially designed pockets sewn into his coat, smuggled more than 20 bottles of beer back to the OB for the boys.

When the cook, Jack Creber, used to do his morning fry-ups, the men all joked that if Hitler invaded he would soon find them all once he smelt the bacon cooking !

The Defence of Britain database made extra notes on these locations and they are stored at English Heritage in Swindon.

Alwyn Harvey recorder for Defence of Britain Database
TNA ref WO199/3391
Hancock data held by B. R. A
1939 Kellys Directory
Western Morning News 8/7/1999

If you can help with any info please contact us.