Fowey Auxiliary Unit
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Thank you for selecting information on the Fowey Auxiliary Unit Patrol and
Operational Base. The information below has 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
Fowey is a market town and port at the mouth of the Rover Fowey in South Cornwall.
From the very first meeting in Whitehall on July 1940 the Intelligence Officer for Devon and Cornwall (named
Auxiliary Units SW Area) was Captain (later Major) J W Stuart Edmundson an officer in the Royal Engineers. He
liaised with the regular army and received supplies and equipment and formed all the Patrols. He was assisted by
Lieutenant (later Captain) John “Jack” Dingley who became IO for Cornwall in 1943 though he may have assumed the
roll before that.
In November 1943 Devon and Cornwall were separated and
Edmundson was succeeded in Cornwall by Captain John Dingley and in Devon by Major W W “Bill” Harston who would remain in command until near stand
down. At the end of Harston's command he would cover “No 4 Region” being the whole of the South West Peninsular and
The IOs were being withdrawn from around August 1944 leaving the Area and Group Commanders.
After 1941 a “grouping” system was developed where some patrols within a demographic area would train together
under more local command. Fowey was part of group 5 along with St. Blazey under the group command of Lieutenant Arden Harris
The area Commander was Captain G H Sergeant from Liskeard.
Sergeant Percy Robbins
Corporal Albert C Hones
Albert C Robins who was Percy's brother
Bernard G Roberts who lived at Little Pinnock
Ernest J Williams who lived at Great Pinnock
William J Farley who was transferred to the 14th Home guard Battalion in February 1943.
The OB was located close to a farmhouse called Great Pinnock, around a mile from the town of Fowey. The cottage
is now holiday accommodation and can be seen here. This is PRIVATE
The area of the OB.
When the Defence of Britain database was being recorded the landowner at the time had noticed a hole appear in
the ground revealing the framework for a two tiered bunk bed and a block dividing wall. Any further investigations
are currently unknown.
Other physical remains nearby:
An Auxiliary Unit rifle range was located at Little Pinnock Farm which was reported to have had butts. This
was the neighbouring farm to the Operational Base built by the Fowey Auxiliary Unit on farmland at Great Pinnock.
At the time of the Defence of Britain survey, the site was found to have been destroyed.
Fowey being a busy, sheltered, deep watered, working port would have been an ideal invasion location.
Regional training took place at Porthpean in St Austell Bay. It was ran by Captain Robin Williams who is
remembered as a tall, dark, thin man, full of life and enthusiasm.
There were weekend training courses for setting explosives and grenade throwing.
Unknown but it is assumed they had access to the normal weapons and equipment seen here.
TNA ref WO199/3390
Alwyn Harvey recorder for Defence of Britain Database.
Hancock data held by B. R. A
1939 Kellys Directory
If you can help with any info please