Churchill's British Resistance - The Auxiliary Units

 

Charborough Park Auxiliary Unit Patrol

Thank you for selecting information on the Charborough Park Auxiliary Unit and Operational Base in Dorset. The info below has come from our CIO for Dorset, Dr Will Ward.

This page was last updated on 27/7/16

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 our 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.



This patrol was a part of Group 1, which comprised patrols in the area surrounding Wimborne. Group Commander was JRN Charter.



 Currently unknown.

Name Date of Birth Occupation
Died
Sgt. Ernest Charles Hoare 31/12/1898 Chauffer
1966
Cpl. Albert Harold Webb 02/09/1902 Carpenter
1994
Pte. Henry Albert Jones 11/07/1902  

Pte. James “Jim”  William Tabberer 23/10/1909 Possibly a Poacher aka William James 1974
Pte. George G Cherrett 31/01/1894 Estate Worker
1975
Pte. Walter G Cherrett 30/03/1886

1951
Pte. Reginald Frederick Penny 27/04/1904 Gamekeeper Known as Joe 1992
Pte S M Wilson

Possibly left patrol prior to 1943

It is thought that the members almost all came from the Charborough Park estate staff. Most of them did not serve in the armed forces during World War One, most likely as their work would have exempted them from conscription. Charles Hoare was the chauffer to the owner, Admiral the Hon. Sir Reginald Aylmer Ranfurly Plunkett-Ernle-Erle-Drax, KCB, DSO, JP, DL. Admiral Drax had a long and distinguished career in the Royal Navy during both World wars, though between 1941 and 1943 had a brief spell in the Home Guard, having been officially retired, before going back to sea again as a Convoy Commodore! The estate is well known to visitors to Dorset for the long wall that runs alongside the A31 that borders the deer park. The corner entrance gate is known to Dorset residents for its 5 legged stag (though in truth the fifth leg is a support for the statue that sits high above the gateway!).

Charles Hoare had served in the Army in WW1 as had both his brothers. One brother, Vernon Frank Hoare (known as Frank) had been wounded at Gallipoli and left paraplegic as a result. He was to die two years later as result of his wounds. Joe Penny was a gamekeeper and lived in one of the estate owned houses in Almer, though this was outside of the Park itself. Albert Webb was a carpenter and lived opposite the sawmill. S M Wilson appears in Home Guard records being transferred out along with the other patrol members. He doesn’t appear in the Auxiliary Units nominal roll, which may mean that he had left the unit before it was drawn up in 1943.

The Charborough Park Auxiliary Unit pictured at the stand down meeting attended by the Wimborne group. From the left; Joe Penny, Albert Webb, Charles Hoare, Jim Tabberer and Albert Jones.

The patrol was sent a Christmas Card by Colonel Major and his staff for Christmas 1941. It isn’t clear if this was posted or delivered by the IOs in person, but does suggest that the HQ had a clear idea of how many patrols were in existence. It may even be that the list in David Lampe’s “The Last Ditch”, sourced from Col. Major, was actually his Christmas card list!

The OB for the patrol was reportedly on the large Charborough Park estate, though is thought to have been destroyed.



It is likely that Charborough House itself would have been a key target, since the German’s would undoubtedly have identified it as a likely Headquarters or as an area for a troop encampment. The patrol was also close to all the main east-west and north-south roads in the area, so it is likely that demolishing the bridges would have slowed any German advance.

Ernest Hoare kept his duties a secret both during and after the war. His daughter only knew that he was in the Home Guard and recalled him blackening his face before going out. His granddaughter was aware that he knew how to kill people, but not how he came by this knowledge, until a book about Sturminster Marshall during the war was published.

As the above photo shows, the patrol members were armed with Sten guns, with Sgt Hoare having a Tommy gun. All but Albert Jones wear pistols, with pistol lanyards visible. The pistols are worn on the left to allow a quick draw with the right hand. Sgt Hoare’s daughter recalls one occasion when he fixed a bayonet to a rifle and practised a charge, so he must have had a rifle at some point as well. Many patrols were initially issued with 2 rifles, though these were found not to be terribly useful. Most patrols were also issued with a .22 rifle often with a telescopic sight and silencer, though these could not be fitted with a bayonet.

Albert Webb’s Home Guard Stand Down certificate.



Sturminster Marshall; The War Years by Bill Coomer
Correspondence with Pamela, granddaughter of Ernest Hoare and the recollections of her Aunt, also John Pidgeon and Christine Paterson
http://www.sturminstermarshallvillagehistory.org.uk/Files/images/Aux-Home-Guard_%20special_unit_cropped.jpg
http://www.sturminstermarshallvillagehistory.org.uk/Files/images/Aux_Home_Guard_Special_Unit.jpg
http://www.sturminstermarshallvillagehistory.org.uk/Files/images/Home-Guard_Mr%20Webb.jpg
National Archives WO199/3390, 199/3391
Names and dates of death added from Ancestry.co.uk

If you can help with any info please contact us.