Churchill's British Resistance - The Auxiliary Units


Paxtondene Auxiliary Unit & Operational Base

This page was last updated at 9:34am on 24/12/13

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

Early 1941

Lt Alan Carmichael Group C/O
Cpl – Sgt Jimmy Green
Pte John H Rutherford
Pte Tommy Wood
Pte J Lewis Wood
Pte Hector Clark
Pte Tom Clark

All of the above are dead now but part of their story lives on with B.Ricalton who knew them all and to whom I have to thank again for his help with this project.

This Auxiliary Unit O.B. is a one off in the Northumberland area as far as I know. This due to the construction of the O.B. it is a double “elephant” shelter. Two shelters built end to end. After that the layout is the same as normal, with the O.B. being located on high ground near to a water supply and just far enough into some woods to make it hard to locate. The O.B has a good view of the surrounding slopping fields to the south and west.

Paxtondene OB 1

The site is approximately half way between Longhorsley and the main A1 road, this being the main England / Scotland route. It is located in a wooded valley which is quite hidden to its surroundings. The O.B. is at the western end of the woods and the marker for it is a “Y” shaped tree in a sparse hedge line. It can be reached on foot with some difficulty but it is possible.

The O.B. is in two differing states of repair. The north side of the shelter is totally collapsed as is the bolt hole tunnel, again wood was used for the tunnel which has now rotted away. The south side is in fair condition though with a hole in the corrugated iron roof it is just a matter of time before it collapses also. The trapdoor into the OB was still there 10 years ago but we think has now perished.

The O.B. was built as all the other Northumberland shelters were, by 184 (s) Tunnelling Company R.E. and was completed before December 1942. Capt. Anthony Quayle was at the time Officer in charge of the Auxiliary Units.

WW2 map reference qU659152, modern map reference NZ 168 947

Paxtondene OB 2

Paxtondene OB 3

Paxtondene OB 4

24/12/2013 - The Paxtondene OB recently became part of a suspected crime scene. The farm near the OB lost a cow. The police were informed as rustling was thought to have the cause of the loss of the cow. No evidence came to light so a local search was carried out. The cow was found with it’s head sticking out of the roof of the OB. It had been there for a couple of days but was luckily saved and pulled from the OB.

The OB site has now been fenced off from the nearest field. The fencers seem to have broken the brickwork on the escape tunnel end wall while putting in the posts.

Picture by Bill Ricalton and Ian Hall.

Targets were the bridge at Weldon, RAF Eshott and the supplies and Camp used by the Highland Division around Longhorsley. Two main England to Scotland roads.


Locally and at North Linton farm.  Melville House, Coupar in Fife.

 Unknown, but it is assumed that they had the standard weapons and explosives issued to all patrols.

Nothing currently.

Bill Ricalton and Ian Hall.