Churchill's British Resistance - The Auxiliary Units

 

Bruton Auxiliary Unit Patrol

This page was last updated at 9:15am on 4/1/15

Thank you for selecting information on the Bruton Auxiliary Unit Patrol and their Operational Base in Somerset. The info and images below have been supplied by our Devon CIO Nina Hannaford.

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 parish of Bruton is situated on the present day A369 between Frome and Yeovil.

Alan Crick was one of the original Intelligence officers that were sent out on reconnaissance. He surveyed Somerset and Dorset.

Captain Ian Fenwick (KRRC) was the first Intelligence Officer covering the county of Somerset along with the City of Bath.

During his command he was billeted near Taunton with a HQ in Bridgewater. He went on to join the SAS and was killed in action in France in August 1944.

By August 1942 Captain L Strangman (RAOC) was Somerset's IO based at Sherwood House, Goathurst near Bridgewater. A move of HQ to The Lodge at Bishops Lydeard preceded a change of IO to Captain J W Holberton who was, in turn, succeeded by Captain J M Martin in February 1944.

At a meeting held in July 1944 it was decided to group all the counties into 4 regions. The Somerset Patrols became part of “Region 4” under the command of Major W W Harston based in Ashburton, Devon. As the final Intelligence Officer, Harston's command would cover the whole of the South West and South Wales.

The IOs were being withdrawn from around August 1944 onwards leaving the Area and Group Commanders.
After 1941 a “grouping” system was developed where various patrols within a demographic area would regularly train together under more local command.

Bruton was part of group 3 along with Longleat Patrol under the Group Command of Captain A Hunt who was also the area Commander of Groups 3 and 4.

Currently unknown.

Captain Albert H “Dickie” Hunt of Dropping Lane Farm, Bruton
2nd Lieutenant Edward “Ted” Smith of Burrowfield, Bruton
Sergeant Edward “Ted” A Edmondson of Bruton
Corporal Albert “Bert” E Baker of Shepton Mallet.
Robert Francis of Bruton
Thomas “Tom” Luffman of Burrowfield, Bruton
Archie J Robert (s) of Shepton Mallet.
George Hutching (s)


Other names that have been thought to have been in the patrol but are not recorded on the Nominal Roll are:
John Steeds and Tom Symonds.

The OB was thought to be at Raggs Copse on Dropping Lane Farm, South of Bruton. This was the home of area and Group Commander Captain “Dickie” Hunt. There was a Observational Post nearby.

It is also thought the patrol had a second base at Milton Clevedon, North of Bruton, at Milton Woods.

Sergeant Ted Edmondson remembered using the Operational Base at Creech Hill though this has been recorded as the North Somerset Scout Section base. As the OB was very large it would have made sense for the Bruton Patrol to have made use of the structure especially after the Scouts had been disbanded in late 1942.

Ascending Discove Hill Looking East. Dropping Lane to the left © Copyright Graham Horn.

Currently unknown but the nearby Relynch Park was a known target for the area as it was home to the Royal
Northumberland Fusiliers and later the Guards Armoured Division and later American forces.

Currently unknown but as the North and East Scout Section had their OBs within the same area it is assumed they worked closely with Bruton Patrol.

Currently unknown but it is assumed they had access to the standard arms and explosives.

The Patrol produced an impressive pyrotechnic display for VE Day which managed to deafen a local piano tuner.

 

 

 

 

Sergeant Ted Edmondson was a Yorkshire man who moved to Bruton aged 19 in 1933.

His job of driving a timber lorry meant who knew the area very well.

Ted was finally awarded the Defence Medal in 2002.

Donald Brown and his research for “Somerset vs Hitler”
TNA references WO199/3390 and WO199/3391
Hancock data held at B. R. A.
“Bruton Remembers”

If you can help with any info please contact us.