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.
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
OB: NE to SW
Other physical remains
nearby: 4 hard stands for a search light battery. Part of the concrete stands for the tanks also remain
The OB was built by the 184th (S) Coy Tunnelling Coy R.E. and handed over while Quayle was
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
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
See more about this patrol here http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ww2peopleswar/stories/37/a2685837.shtml
The images above are from The Journal on July 29 2014 and show Cpl. J. Phil Robson during
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