Churchill's British Resistance - The Auxiliary Units


Ferndown Auxiliary Unit Patrol

Thank you for selecting information on the Ferndown Auxiliary Unit and Operational Base in Dorset. The info below has come from our CIO for Dorset, Dr Will Ward.

This page was last updated at 6:05am on 11/5/14

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 our 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.

This patrol was a part of Group 1, which comprised patrols in the area surrounding Wimborne. Group Commander was JRN Charter.

 Currently unknown.

 Name Date of Birth Occupation  Died 
Sgt. John Geoffrey Tice 02/10/1907 Garage owner 1971
Cpl. Alfred Cecil Talbot 03/02/1908     .  .
Pte. Douglas Gabe 04/10/1901 Scoutmaster    .
Pte. E A May 09/04/1901     .  .
Pte. William Henry W Feltham 01/03/1903 Left July 1943 1993
Pte. P L Blick 10/12/1911     .  .

Mr Tice was the local Garage owner in Ferndown, the family business continuing to this day in the area. He had attended Brighton College. His garage had the largest air raid shelter in the area on its ground floor. Mr Blick was recalled to be a tall smart man. Doug Gabe was the local Scoutmaster both before and after the war, very popular with the local lads who had suspected that he had been up to something during the war. A number of them found the bunker after the war and cleaned it up to act as their den, clearing the vents so they could light fires and cook inside.

It was Eddie Grubb and Charlie Hayter’s recollections of their time here that lead to the identification of the site once again. Over the years it had become known as the Air Raid shelter or “Big Mac”. Lisa Dancer saw the CART website and realised that the “Air Raid shelter” she knew from her childhood was rather bigger than any other she knew and rather too far from housing to be of much use in this regard and made the link between the two sites.


Ferndown Auxiliary Unit 2

Doug Gabe, still a scoutmaster in the 1950s. (copyright Brian Davis) The Wimborne group pictured at the end of the war, including the Ferndown men. Doug Gabe standing in glasses to the left, holding his Tommy gun. 

The OB was at Belle Vue, a section of woodland behind the Angel Inn.

There was a vertical entrance shaft with hatch cover and ring to open. Inside was a large (10x12ft) main chamber with ventilation shafts. There was a 25-30 yard long escape tunnel with the exit hidden by trees and bushes behind a bank.

After the war bits of the corrugated iron escape tunnel came to surface as children played in the wood.

Ferndown Auxiliary Unit 3

The OB is (or was?) beneath this mound in what is now Poor Common Nature reserve. No remnants of the structure could be found.

Currently unknown.

As a young lad, Charlie Hayter recalled 5 Home Guards turning up at Lion’s Holt where they were camping with targets and two rifles. He and his friends were allowed to shot at the targets they had brought, as one of the men was Mr Talbot, whose son was camping with them.

Unknown, but it is assumed that they had the standard weapons and explosives issued to all patrols.

At the end of the war, Doug Gabe started the large celebration bonfire in Ferndown with an explosion. Presumably he had kept back one or two of his Aux Units “toys”.

National Archives WO199/3390, 199/3391

Ferndown the back of beyond, Brian Davis, 1999

Just a Long Weekend, Brian Davis, 2007

Correspondence with Brian Davis, Charlie Hayter and Lisa Dancer

If you can help with any info please contact us.