Churchill's British Resistance - The Auxiliary Units


Dunbar Auxiliary Unit Patrol - (Little Spott Farm) East Lothian, Scotland

This page was last updated on 22/2/16

Thank you for selecting information on the Dunbar Auxiliary Unit Patrol and their Operational Base located at East Lothian Scotland. The info and below has been supplied by CART's Northumberland CIO, Stephen Lewins.

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 group Intelligence Officers were Major P R A Forbes mid 1941 to mid 1943
Captain Douglas Clarke mid 1943 to the re-org in 1944 (ex Argylls)
Captain Benson mid 1944 until stand down.

Set up in mid 1941 by Major Forbes (one of twenty patrols he set up). The patrol was part of 201Bn. GHQ Home Guard Auxiliary Units, No. 4 Area The Scottish Borders.

SKIN 94/1 2Lt. Glenn W. Aitken Local Teacher
SCOS 133/1 Cpl. George Thorburn Garage Manager
SCNT 2/1 Pte. Francis R. (Bertie) Strang Farmer at Little Spott
SCPS 53/2 Pte. Gavin Strang Farmer
  Pte. Alan Cockburn Farm Worker
SCMP 52/1 Pte. Jack Denholm Banker
  Pte. Jimmy Sives Trapper
  Pte. John Sives Trapper
  Pte. Bert Raeburn  
SCOS 45/2 Pte. R. Anderson  
SCMS 36/1 Pte. D Ross  

Cpl. Thorburn became the patrols Sgt. Then later replaced 2Lt Aitken who suffered serious phosphor burns to his thigh and was discharged from the AU. Gavin Strang later became the patrol Sgt.

The Nominal Roll shows the patrol as Aitken, Thorburn, Ross, Denholm, Strang, Strang and Anderson.

Pte Jimmy Sives in his new uniform taken just before leaving for guard duty at Balmoral.

Pte Jimmy Sives in his new uniform taken just before leaving for guard duty at Balmoral.

Lt. Glenn Aitken in uniform wearing Glenngarry hat.

  Sgt Geore Thorburn in uniform with lanyard and pistol.

(Above right - Lt. Glenn Aitken in uniform wearing Glenngarry hat. Above left - Sgt Georre Thorburn in uniform with lanyard and pistol.)

The OB was between Little Spott farm and Pleasence. The site is approximately two and a half miles South West of Dunbar. The land at the time the OB was built belonged to Little Spott farm. The land was later sold to the neighbouring farm. The OB was built into rocky ground on the site of a quarry.

It was originally bricked up at one end by Bertie Strang. The other entrance was covered with a large boulder. The site is now covered by field stones from ploughing and nothing remains visible.

Size of OB was roughly 20’ x 12’ and an “Elephant” type shelter.

Observation Post:  On higher ground by a stone wall above the OB

Main East Coast Railway line and the A1 main England/Scotland road.

Other targets were RAF East Fortune and RAF Lennoxlove (A secret RAF base for hiding surplus aircraft). These were also targets for the East Linton AU patrol. The beaches at Belaven Bay and nearby beaches were thought to be possible landing grounds for the German seaborne attack.

Locally on Little Spott farm and the beaches at Dunbar along with visits to Melville House

Usual issue of Explosives. Sniper Rifle, pistols etc.

The Sives brothers went to Balmoral as part of the Royal Family guard. Gavin Strang went to the Isle of Wight as part of the D-Day garrison for two weeks.

The patrol had no contact with the local Home Guard and operated independently.

A big thanks to Jack Tully-Jackson who has been a great source of information. Anne Wright (Bertie Strang’s daughter) and Balfour Strang. Other info from Major P.R.A. Forbes

If you can help with any info please contact us.