Alby / Calthorpe Auxiliary Unit Patrol and Operational
This page was last updated at 12:18pm on 23/12/12
Thank you for selecting information on the Alby / Calthorpe Auxiliary
Unit Patrol and their Operational Base in Norfolk. The info and images below have been supplied by Aux researchers
Evelyn Simak and Adrian Pye.
The patrol is sometimes referred to as Alby patrol or Thorpe Market Patrol. It formed part of Norfolk Group 3
Matlaske Patrol, Stody Patrol, Baconsthorpe
Patrol, North Walsham Patrol, Aylsham/Oulton Patrol
and possibly Ingham Patrol
CO Lt P N Neave
2nd Lt A G Abel
Capt Duncan took over from Lt Neave as CO
It is currently unknown when the patrol was formed.
TRJO 31/1 Sgt Alec Scott, Common Farm, Thwaite (Erpingham)
TRJO 43/34 Cpl John
Everett (Thwaite Hall)
TRJO 26/1 GH (“John”?) Wostenholme, Church Farm, Alby
TRJO 98/2 David Mackie/MacKay c/o S Everett, Goose Lane, Alby
TRJQ 71/1 Raymond Buller (Timmy) – joined later
Max Cremer (from Calthorpe) – joined later
See our obituary to Cpl John Everett here
The OB is near a disused track
through Old John’s Wood, about 120 metres south from Top Hill Road. Old
John’s wood is a private woodland forming part of the Gunton Estate.
The OB was described to us as
having had a flat roof, with the inside lined with corrugated sheets and supported by heavy timbers. It had Calor
gas lighting, a medical kit and iron rations.
The entrance was a drop-down shaft
lined with corrugated sheets. The escape tunnel was about 10 metres long and had a
Following directions given to us
by former patrol member Cpl JP Everett, we found a clearly defined rectangular depression at about 1.50 to 2 metres
below the upper edge of a disused sandpit located within the woodland.
Scattered about at the site are
numerous shards from ceramic field pipes. We found no trace of corrugated iron sheets or wooden
The evidence on the ground
suggests that the flat roof of the structure has collapsed some time ago and that the remains are now lying at the
bottom of the main chamber, covered with layers of sand. We were unable to determine if the structure was
perhaps deliberately covered with sand/filled in, in order to block
Post/s: Currently unknown
There was also a dead ‘letterbox’
at the foot of the telegraph pole by Hagon Beck bridge.
John Everett, the patrol's corporal, was not aware of any specific targets but Gunton Hall might have been one
if taken over by the enemy in the event of an invasion.
Trained 2-3 times a week in the use of explosives by various specialists in the Army.
Sten or Thompson submachine guns, Fairbairn-Sykes fighting knives and .38 revolvers plus a variety of
explosives, detonators and fuses would have been standard issue.
The following items were found in John P Everett’s (Corporal of Alby Patrol, Norfolk Group 3) Auxiliary Units
‘tool kit’. Our thanks go to Shirley, John’s widow, for her kind permission to photograph and publish these
with John’s own descriptions, taken from his memoirs.
Release switch for booby trap use. A percussion cap was fitted into the hole, when fired it ignited an
Tin of copper tube ignitors - used to put onto Bickford Fuse, ignition of the ignitor being by striking it like
A selection of .45 and long and short .22 rounds.
Pull (above) and pressure switches. Pull switch for trip wires – when sprung it fired off a percussion cap
which in turn ignited a fuse which was attached to it.
Pressure switch, when the button (on the opposite side of the splint seen at bottom right corner) was depressed
by the weight of a man or vehicle, it would sever a holding wire and start off a chain of events: fire percussion
cap, ignite fuse, detonate charge.
Pull and pressure switch and a magnet used to tie explosive onto or mould RDX explosive around, then attach to a
The adjuster/anchor end of a trip wire or long garrotte. The wire was wrapped around a tree, threading the
anchor/adjuster through the loop in the end of the wire. The wire was ten run across the road again, wrapping
it around a post or tree. The adjustor was then used to pull the wire tight and then wrapped over the wire to
secure it. [This item was also found in John’s tool kit but he did not mention it in his memoirs. The
above information relating to its use comes from Stephen Lewins]
Mr Everett mentioned an ammunition and explosives store nearby. He believes that it still contains a number of
phosphorous bombs in bottles that were originally kept in a wooden crate. We failed to find the location which was
described to us as a depression in the ground.
We did, however, find a small round depression in the ground about 45 metres to the north-west of the OB
The top of a 40-gallon drum is only just visible amongst the leaves gathered there. We removed some of the
leaves in order to get a better view. The drum is much corroded. We preferred to not try and find out if this might
have been the explosives store.
A Hoare, Standing up to Hitler”(2002); Patrol member Cpl John
Everett, formerly of Thwaite Hall, now Blakeney (personal interview); Stephen Lewins CART CIO Northumberland,
Jeremy Norman; John George Seaman (leader of Baconsthorpe Patrol, died June 2011)
If you can help with any info please contact