Churchill's British Resistance - The Auxiliary Units


Gayton Auxiliary Unit Patrol

This page was last updated at 9:31am on 13/8/12

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

The patrol formed part of Norfolk Group 8 which also included

Narford Patrol, Castle Rising Patrol, Middleton Patrol, Mintlyn Patrol and Ashill Patrol

Group CO TRT1072186 Capt Jocelyn Leslie Hardy DSO MC, Washpit Farm, Rougham, King’s Lynn
2nd YQE 379/4 Lt. Maurice Newnes (The Orchard, Gayton Road, King’s Lynn) Solicitor

It is unknown when this patrol was formed.

TRNU 199/1 Sgt Herbert “Bertie” James (Jim) Haggas
TRNI 77/1 Ernest ‘Ernie’ William Causton  (1896-1987)
TRNU 48/1 Robert ‘Bob’ W Eggleton
TRMD 174/1 George Robert Grief
TRNU 45/1 Robert William Pennell
TRNT 59/3 Harry E Shackcloth
TRNT 45/1 F Paul Welham
? TRNU 148/1 Geo Church
? TRFH 114/1 C Todd

Gayton Auxiliary Unit Patrol

From left to right:
Harry Shackloth - Robert William Pennell - Paul Welham – Sgt ‘Jim’ Haggas - Ernie William Causton - Bob Eggleton – George Robert  Grief  [This picture was taken in the garden of Sgt Jim Haggas’ farm. Our thanks go to Simon Coker for kindly letting us have a copy.]

The OB is located on private farmland owned by Julian Marsham, Earl of Romney, and was accessed by his kind permission.

Gayton Auxiliary Unit Patrol 1

Mr John Haggas (son of patrol leader Sgt HS Haggas), who farms some of Lord Romney’s land, took us to the location which we probably would not have found without his kind assistance.

The OB was removed after the war and the remaining rectangular depression in the ground is much overgrown and filled with branches and logs. The size of the depression is 5 x 2.50m and it is orientated E/W.

A short gully, pointed out to us by Mr Haggas, denotes the spot where the entrance shaft would have been.

RAF (Heavy Bomber airfield) in Great Massingham; railway lines and bridges in the vicinity

Training was done by experts; explosives course; training at Leicester Square Farm, Syderstone; sometimes testing security on airfields. Ted Pennel remembers his father telling him after the war that they used to practice, using his .22 rifle, in the gravel pits near to Haggas' Farm on the Grimston Road on Sundays. Initially they trained with wooden replicas [info: Ray Furminger].

Currently unknown

The following information was kindly provided by Ray Furminger, whose grandfather was patrol member EW Causton’s youngest brother:

Ernest Willian Causton is interred in Ashwicken cemetery, which is a couple of miles west of Gayton. I lived with him, his wife and daughter during the war in Well Hall Lane, Ashwicken. He told me a few things about his "clandestine" activities during WW2 while out on patrol. One of which was breaking into a base (Gt Massingham?) with members of his patrol and that there were "red" faces on the base the following day. This achievement particularly delighted him because as I recall he struggled to
maintain his composure while recounting the story to me sometime in the late 70's or early 80's.

Unfortunately, I did not appreciate the significance of these gems of news at the time of being told. I also remember the name Haggas being mentioned as one of the patrol members (The Haggas family had a farm at the top of Well Hall Lane). A Haggas is cited as a patrol member. Of course Lord Romney's name was mentioned several times by Ernest but I cannot recall in what specific context. 

My (Great) Uncle Ernie, as I used to call, him fought in WW1 and was in the Egyptian Expeditionary Force. He was in the Norfolk Regiment along with his first cousin Ernest Edgar Causton who regrettably was killed in battle and is buried in Palestine at the Deir el Belah War Cemetery. Unbelievably, The CWGC sent me a photograph of his headstone.
EW Causton survived the battle.

Another name on the list of patrol members is an RW Pennell. At that time he was the Licensee of the White Hart Public House in Gayton. (now no longer in existence). He was the husband of a Kathleen May Causton who was the daughter of
Ernest's older brother Robert Causton who was the licensee of the White Hart before his son-in-law (RW Pennell) became the licensee in the 1930's.

Also I think he said he was not issued with real rifles at the outset, but had in wooden replicas.

John Haggas (grandson of Sgt HJ Haggas, Gayton patrol); Desmond Neville (son of Deryck Neville, Castle Rising Patrol); Simon Coker; Ted Pennel (son of RW Pennell, Gayton Patrol); Ray Furminger (relative of EW Causton); A Hoare, Standing up to Hitler (2002); Stephen Lewins CART CIO Northumberland.

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