Dersingham Auxiliary Unit Patrol
This page was last updated at 5:03pm on 9/1/15
Thank you for selecting information on the Dersingham Auxiliary Unit
Patrol and their Operational Base in Norfolk. The info and images below have been supplied by our internal archive
and by Aux researchers Evelyn Simak and Adrian Pye.
The patrol formed part of Norfolk Group 7 which also included Snettisham Patrol and Ringstead Patrol
It is unknown when the patrol was formed.
Area Group Commanders of Areas 6-11 were:
Capt Walter George Gentle,MC, of 33 High Street, Brandon (Q)
Capt Edward John Robinson of 140 Wotton Road, Kings Lynn (A)
Group Commander: Lt Richard Ralph Stanton of Manor House, Dersingham
2nd Lt John Young
Lt William Newstead of 1 High Street, Cley
||Manor Cottage, Dersingham
||3 Centre Vale, Dersingham
||Dodds Hill, Dersingham
||Dodds Hill, Dersingham
||Chapel Road, Dersingham
||Manor Road, Dersingham
All worked at Manor Farm, Dersingham.
In A Hoare’s book (
Standing up to Hitler), the patrol’s OB is said to have been located somewhere in Sandringham Woods. According
to the published account given by GRE Stanton (son of Group CO RSS Stanton), one of the rhododendron bushes
flowered later than all others because it had been dug up and replanted after the OB had been built.
We found the OB site not far from one of the public footpaths that traverse Jocelyn’s Wood. The main chamber was
an elephant shelter. Its glazed ceramic ventilation pipes were hidden between tree roots. Jocelyn’s Wood forms part
of the Sandringham Estate, owned by HM Queen Elizabeth II. The woodland is open to the public and traversed by many
Wire-mesh fencing surrounds one end of the rectangular dugout which, seen from above, is an abrupt 2m deep drop.
The drop is down a sheer cut into the natural rock that appears to be a deposit of carstone – carstone is much in
evidence in this area and many of the cottages are built from this material. The wall measures about 2.50m (W) by
2m (H), and stands at the south end of the structure. It is orientated NNW/SSE.
Access into a small cavity or crawl space, at the foot of the end wall, has been blocked. One rumor has it that
there was a tunnel leading from here to Sandringham House further to the south, whereas another takes it to Rising
Castle and a third to the Docks at Kings Lynn. Peeking down the gap however reveals that the cavity extends to
about 0.70m depth and appears to end there.
The ground rises towards the other end (north) and the bottom of the dugout can easily be accessed by walking
into it from there. A much shallower depression of similar width, partially obscured by rhododendron bushes growing
in it, immediately adjoins.
A close inspection of the ground immediately adjoining (north) revealed a gully-like depression of about 10m
length, leading away from the site and terminating in what appears to be a disused pit close to the road. We
believe that this was the patrol’s emergency exit route.
Judging from the remains still discernible on the ground it appears that the structure used as the patrol’s OB
has been removed and that the remaining hole was filled in, creating a slope that ends by the natural carstone
wall. The entrance opening would have been located at this end. No trace remains.
The location was confirmed to us as having been the site of Dersingham patrol’s OB by RF Goff, the son of patrol
member F Goff.
Observation Post/s: Currently unknown
LNER (King’s Lynn to Hunstanton railway line); Sandringham House (in case it would have been taken over by the
Syderstone, Leicester Square Farm (North Creake)
GRE Stanton (son of Group CO RSS Stanton in: A Hoare,
Standing up to Hitler (2002); R.F Goff (son of patrol member F Goff (personal interview), EN Stanton (son
of GCO Lt RR Stanton (personal interview)
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