Churchill's British Resistance - The Auxiliary Units


Morval (Looe) Auxiliary Unit Patrol

This page was last updated at 09:38am on 4/6/15

Thank you for selecting information on the Morval (Looe) Auxiliary Unit Patrol and Operational Base. The information below has been supplied by our Devon CIO Nina Hannaford.

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.

Morval is a rural parish containing the village of Sandplace. It is next to the village of St Martin's and North of the South coast town of Looe.

From the very first meeting in Whitehall on July 1940 the Intelligence Officer for Devon and Cornwall (named Auxiliary Units SW Area) was Captain (later Major) J W Stuart Edmundson an officer in the Royal Engineers. He liaised with the regular army and received supplies and equipment and formed all the Patrols. He was assisted by Lieutenant (later Captain) John “Jack” Dingley who became IO for Cornwall in 1943 though he may have assumed the roll before that.

In November 1943 Devon and Cornwall were separated and  Edmundson was succeeded in Cornwall by Captain John Dingley and in Devon by Major W W “Bill” Harston who would remain in command until near stand down. At the end of Harston's command he would cover “No 4 Region” being the whole of the South West Peninsular and Wales.

The IOs were being withdrawn from around August 1944 leaving the Area and Group Commanders.

After 1941 a “grouping” system was developed where some patrols within a demographic area would train together under more local command. Morval was part of group 6 along with Lansallos, Launceston, Liskeard, St Germans, Pelynt, St Keyne, Menheniot, St Juliot, Coads Green and Bridgerule (now in Devon). They were under the group command of Captain G H Sergeant from Liskeard along with Lieutenant W Crichton (discharged May 1944 due to ill health) and 2nd Lieutenant J F William Mewton.
Captain G H Sergeant from Liskeard was also the area Commander for this and group 5

Currently unknown

Sergeant Arthur W Julian
Corporal John S Hill
Leslie Roberts
George R Serpell
Frank Penter
and maybe Tommy Vellace and
Bernard 'Henry' Le Page both joined HM forces in 1943.

The picture above was kindly supplied by John Jolliff (the son of Joe Northcott from Pelynt Patrol)

It is thought to show the Cornwall Group 6 patrols which consisted of St Keyne, Morval, Menheniot, St Germans, Pelynt, Lansallos, Liskeard,St Juliot, Coads Green, Launceston and Bridgerule.

Back row far left: Reg Wakeham (Pelynt), Joe Northcott (Pelynt) rest unknown
Middle row far left: Ned Broad (Pelynt) rest unknown
Front row far left : Ralph Webber (Pelynt), Charlie Barrett ( Liskeard), unknown, unknown, Sgt.Jack Bickford, rest unknown.

The Defence of Britain database records that relatives of the unit recalled it was in St Martin's Wood on Morval Estate near Looe. The wood does have a public footpath running through it though it is PRIVATE LAND.

Morval Auxiliary Unit Patrol 1

Looking up the East Looe River. St Martin's Wood is beyond the buildings on the right.

Orientation of OB: Currently unknown

Observation Post: Currently unknown

Other physical remains nearby: CART has been told there could have been a bomb store near to Sandplace Railway Station.

Morval Auxiliary Unit Patrol 2

Sandplace Station.

It is assumed the the bridge between East and West Looe would be a prominent target along with the Looe Valley Railway.

Currently unknown

Unknown but it is assumed they had access to the normal weapons and equipment seen here.

Currently unknown

Alwyn Harvey recorder for Defence of Britain Database
TNA ref WO199/3391
Hancock data held by B. R. A
1939 Kellys Directory

If you can help with any info please contact us.