Churchill's British Resistance - The Auxiliary Units


Newton Abbot Auxiliary Unit and Operational Base

This page was last updated on 3/4/17

Thank you for selecting information on the Newton Abbot Auxiliary Unit and Operational Base. The info and images below have been supplied by CART's Devon CIO Nina Hannaford.

Newton Abbot is a market town in South Devon on the banks of the River Teign.

From the very first meeting in Whitehall in July 1940 the Intelligence Officer for Devon and Cornwall (named Auxiliary Units SW Area) was Captain (later Major, then Colonel) 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The IOs were being withdrawn from around August 1944 leaving the Area and Group Commanders.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.

At Stand Down, Devon is registered as area 16. Newton Abbot is part of Group 4 along with Marldon, Brixham, Stoke Gabriel and Harberton Patrols under the command of Lieutenant (later Captin) Albert J Smith and 2nd Lieutenant (later Lieutenant) Edward J C Linscott. An earlier Lieutenant Arthur N Eversley-Green was discharged in Aug 1943 on medical grounds.

The South Devon Area Commander is Captain Cyril Wellington originally of Plympton Patrol.

Currently unknown.

Sergeant Donald W C Bird of Maidencombe
Private Ernest Balkwill of Combeinteignhead
Private Leslie G Brimilcombe of Combeinteignhead
Private John H L Robins of Stokeinteignhead
Private William E White from Newton Abbot
Private T A Taylor of Stokeinteignhead
Private Morris Walter Tucker of Maidencombe discharged Oct 1942
Private J Mitchell of Newton Abbot. He transferred from Ringwood Patrol in Hampshire in July 1944.

Currently unknown.


Currently unknown.

Currently unknown.


Unknown, but it is assumed that they would have access to the “standard” Auxiliary weapons


Sgt Don Bird had been a professional footballer before the war having played for Cardiff, Torquay United, ending his career at Southend United.


TNA ref WO199/3391
Hancock data held at B.R.A

 If you can help with anymore info on this patrol please email