Churchill's British Resistance - The Auxiliary Units


Great Bealings Auxiliary Unit Patrol

This page was last updated at on 26/5/16

Thank you for selecting information on the Great Bealings Auxiliary Unit Patrol and Operational Base in Suffolk. The info and images below have been supplied by Aux researchers Evelyn Simak and Adrian Pye and our internal archive.

Great Bealings was also referred to as Little Bealings Patrol.

It formed part of the Woodbridge Group which included
Nacton Patrol, Eyke Patrol, Woodbridge (aka Melton Park) Patrol and Debach (aka Clopton and Otley) Patrol

CO Capt David Walter Beeton, Woodbridge
2nd Lt At first he was employed by Churchman’s in Ipswich, and later as a travelling salesman for the Danish Bacon Company. The latter gave him an excuse to run a small car and to be seen around the area. 

2ns LT M Roy Taylor, Hasketon Hall, Woodbridge
He farmed at Hasketon Hall

It is currently unknown when the patrol was formed.

Sgt Henry Stemp (station master) – discharged, possibly due to railway work
Victor Stemp (son) – transferred out
Cpl E Sidney Read (Father of Ray)
Raymond Read (son) – transferred out
Barney Steward
Edward Charles “Ginger” Porter
Derek Pierce
TXDM 66/1 HG Wells
TXDM 23/1 H Finbar (transferred 29/9/40)

Most of the group were 16 or 17 when they joined.

Ray Read from Great Bealings Patrol from Evening Star 17th December 1996.

Great Bealings Auxiliary Unit Patrol 1

The OB was situated in a small square-shaped private woodland surrounded by fields on all sides.
According to information held at BROM Parham it consisted of an underground Nissen hut and had drop-down entrance shaft that was lined with tin sheets. According to a local resident the OB was built by the Royal Engineers and had an entrance shaft and an emergency exit passage or tunnel.
The OB was filled in 1948. There was an OP about 50 yards away.

Great Bealings Auxiliary Unit Patrol 2

We found no indications as to where exactly the OB would have been but its existence was confirmed to us by local residents.

We found no trace of the patrol’s OP.

Patrol member Ray Read (published in: Evening Star, 17 Dec 1996), who worked as a lorry driver for Burton Son & Sanders in Ipswich, recalls that the OB was like a submerged Nissen hut with very rudimentary air conditioning. Ray Read calls his patrol ‘Little Bealings Patrol’.

Great Bealings Auxiliary Unit Patrol 3

They were ordered on one occasion to stay in their OB for 24 hours to test it. Along with a Tilley lamp, a candle was provided to test the oxygen. If it went out oxygen would be low. After several hours, the candle kept going out and Ray was told to open the hatch to let in some air. He remembers collapsing into a bed of nettles, with other members of the patrol clinging to trees to stay upright and being sick. After this the ventilation was improved and the vent outlets hidden in hollow tree trunks.
Read also:

Debach airfield

Their training was carried out by regular army soldiers based at Framlingham, including Capt Hoberton, Sgt Barry and four privates. They learnt about setting booby traps and how to move about without being seen.Victor also remembers trainign with grenades at GHQ Coleshill.

They had .38 revolvers, a Thompson machine gun and a .22 rifle.

Victor Stemp was a Home Guard Messenger before being recruited. After his time in Aux he joined the army.

Ray Read (patrol member) in: Civil Defence Suffolk and Evening Star, 17 Dec 1996 p6; Michael Beeton;  J Pawsey; Ann Barrett; BROM Parham; Stephen Lewins CART CIO Northumberland, Dr Will Ward, Interview with Victor Stemp conducted by Chris Pratt from the Museum of the British Resistance Organisation.

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