Churchill's British Resistance - The Auxiliary Units


Dunnet Auxiliary Unit Patrol

This page was last updated at 8:23am on 1/8/13

Thank you for selecting information on the Dunnet Auxiliary Unit Patrol and their Operational Base. The info and images below have been supplied by CART's Fife & Angus CIO, David Blair. 

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.



Late 1940.

Sgt D. Calder (Patrol leader)
Cpl J. Calder
Pte D. Manson
Pte W. Oag
Pte J. Henderson
Pte A. Henderson

Names as at 27th October 1942 (WO 199/3388)

The location is a very open expanse of grazed grassland with peat bogs/ marshy areas underfoot.

A coastal location with Dunnet bay nearby and this leads into the Pentland Firth, main road is the A836 and the only main road.

Its advantage is the height above the surrounding countryside, affording a good vantage point, although somewhat exposed.

Virtually nothing resembling an OB exists.

Size of OB and entrance/exit etc: Difficult to gage, but measuring the inside the mound it would be 9.7 x8.2 mtrs approx, the entrance is stone lined, from original Neolithic occupants of the cairn and approx 650mm wide and 1.8mtrs long. The entrance faces south east

Dunnet Auxiliary Unit Patrol 1

Looking towards the interior: width here was 650mm and length approx 1.8 mtrs (note: pen to give scale)

Dunnet Auxiliary Unit Patrol 2

Looking towards inner chamber, you can just make out the green vegetation of the hollow against the lighter distant background. Dunnet Bay and Pentland Firth beyond near distance sand dunes. Rabbit burrowing evident centre image, exposing sea shells.

Dunnet Auxiliary Unit Patrol 3

Rabbit diggings and the debris from within.

One point of reference when looking for this OB was that the description Geoff Leet wrote in his article [I quote] ‘’and hearing that the hide had sea shells on the floor. We failed to locate the hide or sea shells.’’ [unquote] this is interesting as while exploring the surrounding mound, there; exposed by rabbit diggings were sea shells, dragged out by the rabbits as they burrowed into the side of the mound.

Another related piece taken from The Last Ditch, in which Lampe describes how one of Fiddes-Watts(Intelligence Officer for Outer Hebrides/Caithness) men fell into a Pictish dwelling, ‘and the officer looked on gloomily as hundreds of interesting looking pot sherds were simply tossed aside because this was no time to call in the archaeologists.’ It does not refer to the Dunnet OB but one near to Ness, Isle of Lewis.

This must have been a common theme for some patrols reusing such ancient cairns, the Dunnet one was no exception.

Note: Further investigation is required into this OB location and any further evidence brought to light will be updated here in due course.

If you have any knowledge of the Dunnet patrol or OB, let us know.

Observation Post: Nothing found

Other physical remains nearby: Nothing related to Auxunits, but other remains of hut circles of varying sizes.

Main Road A863. RAF Castletown.

Unknown at this time.

Unknown at this time.

My initial search stems from a field trip done by Geoff Leet and published in the Caithness Field Club Bulletin 2005.

Geoff Leet Caithness Field Club Bulletin 2005. The Last Ditch. pp107.
Dunnet Forest Management Plan 2001-06 (1.1.5) Landowners/Permissions.

If you can help with any info please contact us.