Goudhurst Auxiliary Unit Patrol and Operational Base.
This page was last updated at 8:29am on 14/3/13
Thank you for selecting information on the Goudhurst
Auxiliary Unit Patrol and their Operational Base in Kent. The info and images
below have been supplied by CART CIO for Kent, Phil Evans.
The first I.O for Kent was Grenadier Guards Captain Peter Fleming. He was the man responsible for setting up the Units in Kent under the
name of the XII corps Observation Unit. In late 1940 he left and a Royal Fusilier Captain Norman Field then took over as I.O. At some point in Normans command he
split Kent in two. West Kent came under the command of Captain George MacNicholl and Norman commanded East Kent.
In late 1941 Norman was taken away from the Units and George MacNicholl took over as I.O. for the whole of Kent
for the rest of the war.
There were three patrols based in The Weald and under the command of John Outhwaite Foreman, a seed and corn
merchant from Headcorn. Foreman was approached by Peter Fleming and Michael Calvert in the first week of June 1940.
He knew the local farming community intimately through his commercial activities and by the end of the month had
selected three men in each area to form the nucleus of each patrol. The following names and information came from
Cyril Stears, former member of the Cranbrook Patrol, and Michael Foreman, son of John Foreman.
Ian MacDonald, Ladysden Farm, Goudhurst
W 'Ken' Larkin, Yew Tree Farm, Capel Cross
Gordon Standen, Fairfield, Sissinghurst
H J 'Peter' Highwood, Swigs Hole, Horsmonden
T S 'Stan' Levett, Etchinghill, Goudhurst
The Patrol Leader was, initially, Ian MacDonald, then later Peter Highwood.
1. Jack Skinner, 2. Ian MacDonald, 3. John Foreman, 4. Peter Highwood, 5. Murry-Wood, 6. Percy Hocken, 7. Ken
Larkin, 8. ?, 9. ?, 10. Chub Terry, 11. Dudley Harmer, 12. Ted Worsfold, 13. John Hocken, 14. Bill Hocken, 15. ?,
16. Stan Levett, 17. Gordon Standen, 18. ?, 19. ?, 20. ?, 21. Albert Saunders, 22. Ted Golding, 23. Fred
John Foreman’s son, Michael, has a photograph of 23 patrol members taken at Stand Down in November 1944 outside
Wenman’s Cottage in Angley Wood, near Cranbrook. Wenman’s Cottage was a former gamekeeper’s house and was home to a
Scout Patrol formed by Captain George McNicholl in 1942 to complement The Garth at
Bilting. The Scout Patrol was commanded by a Lt. Strangman. Cyril Stears has been able to identify 17 of the men
shown. He is not in the photograph above as he was in hospital at the time. One of the men he recognises is a Mr
Murry-Wood; although the name does not appear in War Office records.
Other members may have been W R Wilson (Pest House, Cranbrook), G T Excell (Homestead, Headcorn), C F Weller
(Stream Farm, Benenden), J C Greenwood (Bells Farm, East Sutton) and L J Bates (Waterman Quarter, Headcorn).
This patrol mainly trained at the H.Q. At the Garth.
CIO's own research and kind thanks go to Adrain Westwood for letting us use information from his website.
If you can help with any info please contact us.