Churchill's British Resistance - The Auxiliary Units


Narford Auxiliary Unit Patrol

This page was last updated at 4:15pm on 12/9/12

Thank you for selecting information on the Narford 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

Castle Rising Patrol, Gayton Patrol, Mintlyn Patrol and Ashill Patrol

Group CO TRT1072186 Capt Jocelyn Leslie Hardy DSO MC, Washpit Farm, Rougham, King’s Lynn
Assisted by Lt. Maurice Newnes ,The Orchard, Gayton Road, King’s Lynn, a solicitor

It is unknown when the patrol was formed.

  Sgt George Frederick Attwood, Estate Manager
  Cpl Dennis Sneezum (ex Royal Artillery)
  Pte Ralph Ronald “Ron” Bennett 
  Pte Robert Joseph Mallett  
  Pte William Welham, gamekeeper    
  Pte GW Howard 

According to Ray Mallet, the patrol consisted of seven men: four farmers, a tractor driver, a gamekeeper and one other (published in A Hoare).  Some of the patrol members are depicted in the stand-down photo (below).

Norfolk Group 8 Auxiliary Unit Patrols

Norfolk Group 8 Stand-down photo [Original owned by Desmond Neville, son of patrol member Deryck Neville]

Back row left to right: Aubrey Brown (Mintlyn Patrol), EW Causton (Gayton Patrol), Jack Masters (Castle Rising Patrol), unknown, Dick Libbey (Mintlyn Patrol), Edwin Seaman (Mintlyn Patrol), Ray Mallett (Narford Patrol), Ron Bennett (Narford Patrol), Rex Robin (Middleton Patrol), Bob Eggleton (Gayton Patrol), Deryck Neville (Castle Rising, later transferred to Middleton Patrol), GR Grief (Gayton Patrol)

Middle row: Stanley Warren (Castle Rising Patrol), Sgt Walter Garner (Castle Rising Patrol), Sgt Harold Spreckley (Mintlyn Patrol), Capt EJ Robinson (promoted from Castle Rising Patrol to A & Q Group 11 Norfolk AU, Capt JL Hardy (GCO), Lt Maurice Newnes (assist. GCO), Sgt H Haggas (Gayton Patrol), Sgt GF Attwood (Narford Patrol), Cpl Cheddar Walker (Mintlyn Patrol), Cpl D Sneezum (Narford Patrol)

Front row: Archie Hudson (Castle Rising Patrol), unknown, Ernie Drew (Castle Rising Patrol), RW Pennell (Gayton Patrol), Bill Ely (Mintlyn Patrol), Ted Welham (Gayton Patrol), Sgt H Shackcloth (Gayton Patrol), Ted Masters (Castle Rising Patrol)

Any additional information, especially the names of the unidentified men in above picture, would be greatly appreciated.

According to the information published in A Hoare’s book (see references below), the OB is situated in the grounds of Narford Hall, with its roof now collapsed (2002). Mr Ivan Sneezum, the son of patrol member Cpl Dennis Sneezum, says that the Narford OB is in one of the woods opposite Narford Hall, near the 7th tree – but which, and where exactly, we were unable to guess.  A number of woodlands, all adjoining each other, can be found opposite the Hall.  Interestingly, some of these woods are named after battle ships (Indomitable and Royal Oak) that former owner and naval ADC to King George V, Vice Admiral Charles Andrew Fountaine, perhaps served on.

Narford Auxiliary Unit Patrol OB Area

The current owners know nothing of an underground structure on their estate but very generously permitted access onto their land so that a search could be conducted.  A year later and despite a number of extensive searches - accompanied by the owner’s sons and on one occasion also by Gerry Sutcliffe, an Auxiliary Unit re-enactor who has worked with CART a lot - the OB site could not be located.  On occasion of a guided tour, kindly given to us by Carlo Fountaine, we were shown structures dating from WWII, when Narford Lake was used for floating tank training; we saw a small underground structure of unidentified purpose, but certainly not AU, near one of the estate’s farms; a generator bunker that once formed part of a so-called starfish site and we even allowed to inspect the Victorian ice house.  But we found nothing at all which could be associated with Auxiliary Units.  We also failed to find living patrol members or relatives who would have been able to assist.

Lynn and Dereham Railway (Opened 1846 the railway operated between Dereham and King's Lynn and was closed in 1960.) and probably Narford Hall in case it would have been taken over by the enemy.

Currently unknown

Sten or Thompson submachine guns, Fairbairn-Sykes fighting knives and .38 revolvers plus a variety of explosives, detonators and fuses would have been standard issue.

Currently unknown

Adrian Hoare, “Standing up to Hitler”; 2002, Stephen Lewins; David Bennett; Ivan Sneezum

If you can help with any info please contact us.