Churchill's British Resistance - The Auxiliary Units


Netherwhitton Auxiliary Unit Patrol and Operational Base.

This page was last updated at 1:43pm on 10/8/14

Thank you for selecting information on the Netherwhitton Auxiliary Unit Patrol and their Operational Base in Northumberland. The info, video and images below have been supplied by CART's Northumberland CIO Stephen Lewins.

The patrol was based just north of the small village of Netherwhitton in Northumberland.

Formed late 1940 / early 1941

Capt John Anthony Quayle was I/O. Part of the group of patrols under Lt. Alan Carmichael of Todburn. His other patrols were Paxtondene, Felton, Ogle and Hebron.  The majority of the members of these AU patrols were from the farming community and many were personally known to Mr. Carmichael before the war.

Netherwhitton Auxiliary Unit Patrol

Cpl. J. Phil Robson – Netherwhitton
Pte. Matty Arkle – Gallowshawe
Pte. Harry Arkle – Healey
Pte. Ivor W. Hutton – West Lodge, Nunnykirk (Game Keeper)
Pte. Barney Smith – Ritton White House (Quarry Man)
Pte. Alf S. Stephenson – Blagdonburn (Farmer)
Pte. J “JayPee” Pringle – Bellion (Farmer)

The OB was on higher ground next to a stream that flowed into the River Font, the area has been reforested since the war and remains are lost.

Orientation of OB: NE to SW

Observation Post: Unknown

Other physical remains nearby: 4 hard stands for a search light battery. Part of the concrete stands for the tanks also remain near Nunnykirk.

The OB was built by the 184th (S) Coy Tunnelling Coy R.E. and handed over while Quayle was I/O.

The patrol had several targets near the OB. The flood-light battery near Nunnykirk, the LNER railway from Scots Gap to Rothbury (The tight curve at Ewesley a main target). This railway line was little used but during the war it was a diversion and linked England and Scotland. Much military traffic used it.

Their other main targets were the military garrison in and around Longhorsley.

Locally and some of the patrol went to Coleshill House.

Sten gun, .22 sniper rifle, Fairbairn Sykes fighting knives, garrottes, lead filled clubs. Smith and Wesson pistols plus high explosives, detonators and time pencils.

The village of Longhorsley became a military garrison during WW2. The Netherwhitton patrol covered the west side of the area with the Paxtondene patrol covering the east of the village. There was a full military camp sent up in the village with Nissan huts for accommodation. The village also got an obstacle course and slightly further west there was a tank park and on the moor near Blagdon Burn a live firing range for the tanks.

Soldiers were based in Longhorsley and at Acton Hall nearer Felton. Many units went there to train for the D-Day landings including the 51st Highland Division, The Desert Rats, Black Watch and several other regiments.

Members of the patrol also did a tour of guard duty at Balmoral while the King and Queen were there during their summer break.

The patrol members knew of the Paxtondene patrol and mixed, worked and socialised with them, but neither patrol knew where the other’s OB was. They kept the secret so if captured they could not give each other away to the enemy.

See more about this patrol here

Netherwhitton Auxiliary Unit Patrol - Phil Robson1

Netherwhitton Auxiliary Unit Patrol - Phil Robson2

The images above are from The Journal on July 29 2014 and show Cpl. J. Phil Robson during WW1.

The National Archives in Kew. Bill Ricalton who knows more about Longhorsley than most ! finally Tom Wood former member of the Paxtondene patrol, he supplied the photos though now, sadly he is no longer with us.

If you can help with any info please contact us.