Churchill's British Resistance - The Auxiliary Units


Newtown St Boswells Auxiliary Unit Patrol

This page was last updated at on 12/8/16

Thank you for selecting information on the Newtown St Boswells Auxiliary Unit Patrol and their Operational Base located in Scotland. The info and below has been supplied by CART's Fife & Angus CIO, David Blair.

Research into this patrol and its training is ongoing. The information below is published from various sources and is by no means conclusive. If information is not listed below it does not necessarily mean the information is not out there but normally means CART researchers have not found it yet.

If you have any information on this patrol or can help with research in this area please do contact us.

Area Group commander Lt Joe Featherstone Number 4 Area/ Group 3a.

c 1940

Patrol Leader: Cpl J.  Crombie
Pte W. Story
Pte J.   Hunter
Pte J.   Grant

OB is in a remarkable state of preservation. It’s stood there since 1940 and all because people have not damaged anything it has stood the test of time. The interior was dry during my visit, some internal infill from above having come down into the entrance to the escape tunnel, during its modern life concrete has been poured into the hollow above and ran into the tunnel making it almost impossible to continue along the escape tunnel, the bunk beds are still in situ albeit the metal frames are, the fresh water tank is still inside and various parts of a wooden door with hinges amongst the floor debris.

A massive thank you to Fell Wanderer for sharing this excellent video with us.

Newtown St Bowell Auxiliary Unit Patrol 1

Entrance tunnel with much debris/silt having been deposited over the years, width is 570mm

Newtown St Bowell Auxiliary Unit Patrol 2

Access hatch with ladder rungs

 Newtown St Bowell Auxiliary Unit Patrol 3

Access hatch and tunnel leading to OB, running to left of camera, width 570mm

Newtown St Bowell Auxiliary Unit Patrol 4
Main door into OB, debris/silt built up over the years: note recesses in side walls, near top.

 Newtown St Bowell Auxiliary Unit Patrol 5
View towards entrance door.  Elsan chemical toilet is just visible to the right.
Width is 2.8 mtrs

Elsan Toilet

The Elsan chemical toilet is there and filled with cement, making it very heavy to lift. The OB sits near to the disused rail-line and would have been one of the targets for the patrol as well as the main road being used a main supply route north or south.

Newtown St Bowell Auxiliary Unit Patrol 6

From front door looking towards escape tunnel, blocking it is the fresh water tank and earth spill from above. The bunk bed frames still recognisable to the left, much floor debris and dust starting to fly about, hence to ‘Orbs’

Newtown St Boswell Auxiliary Unit Patrol 7
Escape hatch with tunnel, curving back into the OB, opening is 60x60cm’s (internal) to left of image is a slight incline there is a stream leading into the River Tweed, which is very close by.
Size of OB and entrance/exit: Internal:

6.4 metres in length (from entrance to escape tunnel door)
2.8 metres wide
2.1 metres high (from middle of ceiling to clear floor level)
570mm Entrance width
Escape tunnel width 570mm and hatch 600x600mm
(All dimensions are approximate due to structure age/condition)   

Orientation of OB: North – South

Observation Post: Nothing found (revisit scheduled for June 2013)

There is a horseshoe shape to tunnels to and from OB.

Main east coast rail line and A68 with other targets of an opportunist nature.

Monksford stables (Major Peter Forbes HQ: IO for Scottish Borders) Otterburn Northumberland. As well as local area near to HQ.

Thompson SMG (3) .38 S&W Revolver (all in patrol) BSA Model 12/12A (2 supplied by Forbes)
Fairbairn/Sykes Fighting Knife (all in the patrol) various homemade weapons, including a variation on the; issued Monk Garrotte.
Explosives: Time Pencils/Pressure switches /Det cord –Bickford/instantaneous (orange line) Cordtex/Primacord. Nobel 808/Plastic (most of the patrol tasks were associated with blowing rail track) other home made (IED type; in the modern sense of the word)      

Nothing currently.

My thanks to Roy, Cameron and Derek Brown for their superb on the ground research/local knowledge and hospitality during my visit. 2 others who wish to remain anonymous; both supplied information relating to training and weapons, Fell Wanderer

If you can help with any info please contact us.