Churchill's British Resistance - The Auxiliary Units


Copdock/Belstead Auxiliary Unit Patrol

This page was last updated at 8:35am on 24/12/13

Thank you for selecting information on the Copdock Auxiliary Unit Patrol and their Operational Base in Suffolk. The info and images below have been supplied by Aux researchers Evelyn Simak and Adrian Pye.

The patrol was also referred to as Belstead Patrol.

The patrol formed part of Ipswich Group which also included

Ipswich I Patrol, Ipswich II Patrol, Bentley Patrol, Wenham aka Capel St Mary Patrol, East Bergholt Patrol, Sproughton aka Burstall Patrol and Raydon Patrol.

CO Capt EG Pawsey, Valley View, Hadleigh Road, Ipswich,
assisted by Lt Harry Edmund Mellor, 66 Crofton Road, Ipswich and
Lt CJ Proctor, Digby Road, Ipswich who later transferred to Beccles Group.

Lt HE Mellor worked for the Alliance Insurance Co at Ipswich. He moved to Oxford after the war.

1940 - the patrols south of Woodbridge are believed to have been the first in Suffolk to have been set up by Intelligence Officer Captain Andrew Croft.

Sgt Horace Clements
Cpl Reg Airey *
Robin Cousins
Derek P Young
Ralph E Vince
Walter W Hammond
Cyril A Rudland
Frank Jarrold
? Walter Goodchild
? Hammond Betts
? Ivan Potter

Reg Airey spent some time on the IOW/Bembridge.

Copdock-Bentley Auxiliary Unit Patrol

Sgt Horace Clements can be seen at centre front row, with Cpl Reg Airey to his right. 

 Any information as to the names of the other men in the picture would be most welcome.

Ipswich Group 5 Patrols

The image above shows the Ipswich Group 5 patrols which consisted of:- Ipswich I and II Capel St Mary/Wenham, Raydon/Stratford St Mary, East Bergholt, Sproughton, Hintlesham, Copdock and Bentley.

rear L - R 6th from left is a member of Copdock patrol as is 8th and 9th from left. 10th left is Pte. Len C Wyratt (Wenham) 11th left is Pte. Charlie Goodchild (East Bergholt) and the last man is Cpl Reg Airey (Copdock)

Second rear L - R 10th from left is Pte Bill Church (Wenham) and 11th is Pte Billie Smith (East Bergholt)

Middle or third row 2nd left is Ipswich II member as is 4th from left. 10th from left is Cpl Charles A Coe (Wenham) and 11th left is Cpl Ray Abbott (East Bergholt)

Second row 1st left Sgt W R Beaumont (Sproughton) 2nd Sgt Neville Palmer (Ipswich II) 3rd is Sgt Rex Milner-Moore (Hintlesham) 4th is L E Hudson (Ipswich I) 5th is Captain John Anderton Group 2 I/C 6th is Lt Eric Pawsey Group 2I/C 7th is Lt.Cecil James Procter 8th Sgt Horace Clements (Copdock) 9th is Sgt Peter Hutton (Bentley) 10th is Sgt PJ "Jack" Chaplin (Wenham) 11th is Sgt R Neville Devonshire (East Bergholt) 12th is Sgt Dennis Johnson (Raydon/Stratford St Mary)
front row kneeling 1st left may be a Copdock member 3rd is Pte Charlie Ambrose (East Bergholt) and 4th is Pte Bill Miller (East Bergholt)

Mellor and Pawsey were promoted to Captains and 2Lt. C J Proctor who had been Group 2 I/c left and was replaced by John Anderton. The names above have been supplied by Stephen Lewins.

Copdock-Belstead Auxiliary Unit Patrol OB

The OB was situated in mature woodland, roughly in the middle between two tracks (about 65m distant from each track), and approx 250m distant from the northern edge of a wood that at the time was known as Baldrough’s Wood.  The woodland is marked on current maps as Old Hall Wood. 

The woodland has since been felled and replanted with new trees. According to information lodged at the BRO Museum in Parham, the hole was filled with tree stumps (presumably the OB had been removed or destroyed).  Small sections of tin sheets could still be seen at the time of recording in 1996.  The record supplied by DoB provides no new information.

According to an account given by patrol member Derek Young (in: Evening Star, 17 Dec 1996, page 6) the OB was built by the patrol members themselves.  No description is given as to how it would have looked or concerning the building materials used.

The whole area has been replanted, with no original trees having survived in situ.  We found several locations which appeared to have been depressions that were filled with tree stumps.  In the absence of any corroborating physical evidence such as ceramic vent pipes or corrugated sheeting, we failed to establish the exact location of the patrol’s OB, which we presume is now lost.

Raydon aerodrome (a USAAF base during the war); LNER railway line and bridges in the vicinity. A railway siding leading from Hadleigh station directly onto Raydon airfield, delivering parts of and whole disassembled planes.

Currently unknown

The patrol members had Commando knives, revolvers (either a .38 or a .45 calibre), sten gun, ammunition and lots of explosives.  Each unit had a Tommy gun.  Practice raid on RAF Martlesham. [Info: Derek Young, who joined when 17 in: Evening Star 17 Dec 1996 p 6.]  Sten or Thompson submachine guns, Fairbairn-Sykes fighting knives and .38 revolvers plus a variety of explosives, detonators and fuses would have been standard issue.

Currently unknown

Patrol member Derek Young, published in: Evening Star 17 Dec 1996 p 6; Ian Pearce, Holton St Mary; BROM Parham (1996); DoB (1997)

If you can help with any info please contact us.