Churchill's British Resistance - The Auxiliary Units


Somerley Auxiliary Unit Patrol

This page was last updated at 8:41am on 9/10/13

Thank you for selecting information on the Somerley Auxiliary Unit Patrol located in Hampshire. The info below has been compiled by Dr Will Ward CART CIO for Dorset.

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.

The patrol was part of Group 1 in Hampshire, Commanded by Captain A J Champion, who was also area commander for all the West Hampshire groups. The assistant commander of Group 1 was Lt L D C Ayles.

Not known by CART.

Name DOB Occupation   Died
C.S.M.  John Harry Burrett     17/04/1908 1969
Pte. Arthur William Hudspith    21/04/1910 2002
Pte. William Alexander Rabbets  01/10/1909 1985
Pte. R B Rowson   23/02/1906 Joined Feb 1943
Pte. F Warwick   14/8/1888 posted to 8th Bn Hants HG Dec1942
Pte. S W Warwick  11/09/1921  joined Gren Guards Mar 1943
Pte. Vivian John Debben     09/10/1923 2004
Pte. E Rands  07/08/1896        
Pte. N H M Jones  12/02/1896 posted to 8th Bn Hants HG Mar 1943    

The patrol names for the west of Hampshire and the New Forest have been identified from National Archives file WO199/3391, but are not divided by patrol. The nominal roll gives the surname, initials, ID card number and address, together with date of birth. The patrols have been arranged according to the addresses and ID card numbers around known patrol leaders. This means the allocations may not be completely accurate. Additional personal information such as first names and dates of death have been added using the 1911 census, and Some men, particularly those from the Ringwood area where there are several patrols, could not be allocated with any confidence to one patrol or another, so are listed here.

The men were all living on the Somerley estate near Ringwood or nearby at Blashford. It is likely that there were other members to this patrol not yet identified. CSM Burrett would probably have been involved in the administration of the West Hampshire Auxiliary Units, but was still listed as the patrol commander near the end of the war.

A picture of William Rabbets can be seen here.

After the war, Arthur Hudspith emigrated to Australia.  

In the 1980s, an underground bunker typical for an Aux Units Operational Base (OB) was found on the remains of RAF Ibsley, which formed part of the Somerley estate. This has subsequently been destroyed by gravel extraction. The airfield construction did not start until late in 1940 and it did not open until February 1941. It may be that the OB was built before it was realised the airfield was coming. The approximate location was SU167081. This was not on the main airfield, but nearby and part of the accommodation site for defensive antiaircraft gunsites nearby.

It is likely a second OB would have been built at this point elsewhere on the estate. There are reports of an underground base on the Somerley estate from other Ringwood patrols on this site.

Unknown at this time.

The patrol would conduct the training practices outlined here

The patrol would generally have the weapons shown here

Nothing currently.

Mark Samson (author of The Secret Army, a book about Lincolnshire Aux Units) personal correspondence.