Churchill's British Resistance - The Auxiliary Units


Nacton Auxiliary Unit Patrol

This page was last updated at 10:05am on 13/8/12

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

The patrol formed part of Woodbridge Group which also included

Woodbridge Patrol, Debach (aka Clopton & Otley) patrol, Dalinghoo (aka Pettistree and Bredfield) patrol, Eyke patrol and Great Bealings patrol

CO Capt David Walter Beeton, Woodbridge
Started work at 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. 

2nd Lt M Roy Taylor, Hasketon Hall, Woodbridge
He farmed at Hasketon Hall


Sgt Bill S Milne – Clerk of the Works at Nacton Estate; lived at Seven Hills; died 1993
Cpl Alfred Edward “Ted” Farrow [Joe Farrow] – estate worker
JS “Tim” Mann – estate worker
William R “Bill” Mann – estate worker (F Mann’s half brother)
Ted G Buxton – he was the husband of the school mistress at Nacton
Pte Frederick H Brown – estate worker (2nd Nov 1910 – 1st Feb 1979). The family lived at Lady Wood where the OB was located and he worked on the Orford Park Estate moving to the house at Lady Wood, Nacton in about 1939.

Nacton Auxiliary Unit Patrol

Left to right (back row):  Tim Mann, Ted Buxton
Left to right (front row):  Bill Mann, Fred Harry Brown, Bill Milne (Nacton), Joe Farrow (Levington)
Noel Feather (see references) has a copy of the same photograph and it is entitled the "363 Nacton Special Defence Unit".

DoB and the BRO Museum at Parham are agreed on the OB having been situated to the north-east of one of the lakes within Lady Wood, a private woodland on Orwell Park Estate, near Home Farm. However, both the manager of Orwell Park Estate and Michael Beeton, the son of Woodbridge Group Commander Capt Walter David Beeton, who has visited the OB site many years ago when it was still accessible, state that the OB was situated approximately 160 metres south-west of this location, on the south side of the lake.

Be that as it may – any attempts to establish the exact location of the site have been blocked by the manager of Orwell Estate – presumably in agreement with the owner - who outright refuses to allow access onto their land. In fact, this is the only landowner we have come across in the whole of Norfolk and Suffolk who apparently does not wish for the sites used by these brave men to be recorded for posterity.

Mrs Gillian Bence-Jones of Orwell Park Estate recalls that the main chamber was built with green wood and had always been a concern to her and the family because the children used to play in it. When the ponds were dredged for the fishing club she ordered that the digger give the roof a good ‘thump’. This order was carried out and it collapsed quite easily.

For many decades the location of the OB site was marked by corrugated sheeting, protruding from the ground where the main chamber hidden underneath it had collapsed. According to the estate manager, the woodland was extensively damaged during the Great Storm in 1987, leaving only six trees standing. The hideout was further damaged by heavy machinery during tree clearance work, and subsequently removed. The hole was filled in and nothing remains on the ground. According to Michael Beeton, the OB was an elephant shelter, with its drop-down entrance concealed under a bush near the edge of a pond.

According to our information, the patrol’s ammunition store was situated nearby. It was believed to also have been destroyed and the exact whereabouts of both sites are hence now lost.  However, according to new information received after our report had been published, the patrol’s ammo store was above ground and housed in a wooden shed – in the Milner family’s beach hut, no less! 

Beach Hut Ammo Store

The beach hut had been brought back from Felixstowe beach especially for this purpose and planted in the woods not far from the OB but a little nearer to the road. After stand-down it was taken back to its original place where it can still be found. (Many thanks to John Milne (son of Sgt Bill S Milne) who after reading our report called from London, especially to share with us this nugget of information.)

Nacton WWII Decoy Invasion Embarkation Site with army vehicles. Nacton, Orwell Park (R5) WWII D-Day Marshalling Area Camp R5

Nacton airfield, which flew Blenheims, Tiger Moths, Spitfires, Martinets, Hurricanes, Barracudas and Vengeance and, interestingly, a “Free French” Squadron, 340 (F) RAF flew Spitfire Vbs from this grass airfield

Not known.

Not known.

Not known.

Michael Beeton, Woodbridge (son of GCO Capt Walter David Beeton); Gillian Bence-Jones (tel interview); Robert Gosling (estate manager, Orwell Park Estate); DoB (Dr Will Ward); BROM Parham; Stephen Lewins CART CIO Northumberland

If you can help with any info please contactus.