Churchill's British Resistance - The Auxiliary Units

 

Havant West Auxiliary Unit

Auxilliary Unit - Havant West

A report by Steve Mason for CART. hq@coleshillhouse.com

This page last updated at 11:00am on 24/8/13

Thank you for selecting information on the Havant (West) Auxiliary Unit Patrol and Operational Base.

 

Please click on the map above to view a larger version.

Havant - West / Bedhampton area - see map
After a lead via CART's contacts network there emerged in early 2011 an apparently completely unheard of patrol in this locality in east Hampshire. A surviving Auxilier - Mr Sydney Adlam - had been located via his son's interest in the Auxiliary Units and Sydney was interviewed. With his help many new details of the area's auxiliary units history came at last into the light. Indeed, Sydney's information gave new impetus to current local research and propelled many new lines of enquiry.

Patrol Inauguration

This was probably in late summer 1940 (see the four men with earliest joining dates, below). Mr Adlam describes being interested in athletics when young, and he attended physical fitness sessions at Court Lane Club in Cosham in the evenings, which was run by a Mr Brownlee. After a few months Sydney was approached by Brownlee to join the auxiliary units. Then Sydney’s evenings were spent at Brownlee’s house in the kitchen (see Training, below). He recalls signing some secret document there (probably the Official Secrets Act). It is likely that the other members met Brownlee and were recruited by similar means.

Patrol Members

Sydney Adlam recals some other possible work colleagues and his friend “Curly” also being a member, but cannot recal their names.

Identified in the photo by Sydney are: Lt Sawtell (a farmer in Lovedean); Lieutenat Donald Brownlee (Group leader, from east Cosham. See here).

The following names are given due to their inclusion in the Hampshire Auxiliary Nominal Roll with addresses close to Bedhampton and the west side of Havant. Research notes etc, are given in [  ].

Name

Nat Reg

Joined 

DOB

Address

Adlam S. G  GBEX164/3         10/04/42 18/10/23 Wymering, Porstmouth
Burrows W. EDQN 275/3 01/07/40 02/03/17 Havant
Sgt. Brixey B.J EDQN 112-4 12/09/40 24/06/16  Havant
Wiggins E.J EDQW 331/3 03/10/40 19/10/20 Havant
Whittle F.P        EDQS 340/1 05/06/40 07/08/06 Bedhampton [Note: has a red line through usually used to denote having left the Auxilliary Units or deceased, possibly killed in action.]

Source: The Auxiliary Units Nominal Roll.

This is an video interview with Sydney Adlam of this patrol.

Operational Bases

Location 1: Little park wood, Bedhampton, Havant, Hampshire. “Among pines at top of hill” (S. Adlam). (see map - yellow circle)

b) Others: Sydney recalls no other OBs for his patrol. Although, there is possibility of other OBs connected with Havant patrols, as locale people interested in Hants Aux Units report other OBs near the current A3M north of Havant near Rowlands Castle or Horndean, but have as yet not shared their locations.

Sydney Adlam

CART CIO Steve Mason interviewing Sydney in 2011. Image kindly supplied by Martyn Cox.

Sydney recalls his patrol not using their OB very often for fear of its discovery. At least once they were spotted appearing in the woods thereabouts by local people, but luckily not while exiting their OB. Sydney also reports their OB was damp and cold if stayed in overnight. They stored their explosives and equipment in the OB. He doesn’t recall any other external stores.

Patrol Targets

“Mostly railways and transport” (Sydney Adlam). Note how the Havant West OB was inside a triangle outlined by roads (map - yellow circle). CART's analysis of period maps shows the OB was well placed for the patrol to interdict the following routes:

* the A27 east-west arterial route along the entire central south coast (map - red crosses).

* The road junctions in Bedhampton (map - red oval). Here the current B2177 Portsdown Hill road (blue cross) running east from Wickham and Southwick through Portsdown near Purbrook to Bedhampton, thus links up with the wartime A27 (now B2149) through Havant’s West Street (red crosses). Note: all the above villages had patrols, and were hubs of other roads, so clearly the Hampshire Intelligence Officer and planners thought these were important routes inland from likely invasion areas on the coast.

* The Hulbert Road B2150 (orange cross) connecting Bedhampton to Waterloovile and the A3 arterial route between Portsmouth/Cosham and London (grey cross). The B2150 also connected at Waterlooville with routes cross-country to Wickham and Bishops Waltham (both main road hubs).

* The Petersfield Road B2149 (yellow cross), only half a mile away though Havant, connected northwards with the A3 to London (at Horndean).

* The Horndean Road B2148 (green cross), about a mile east of the OB, running north from the small port of Emsworth to join the Petersfield Road, north beyond Havant at Rowlands Castle (see training, below).

* The main south coast railway east from Portsmouth (map - black lines), running just south of Bedhampton, and the same extending north direct to London through Havant’s east side.

Patrol Training

* Initially, theory and assembly of explosives, time pencils and switches and the theory of grenade use was given at their [?group] officer’s house in east Cosham (Lieut. Brownlee).

* Later, the patrol would walk to a derelict mortuary in Havant to assemble their explosives and other equipment. They would then walk to a gravel pit near Barton’s Road crossroad with the Horndean Road (map – blue circle) to practice setting their explosives on old cars in the pit.

* The patrol also had the usual exercises, unarmed combat, camouflage and weapons and explosives training at Coleshill headquarters. Sydney recalls visiting the latter twice, each over one weekend.

* Sydney (and perhaps other members of his patrol?) attended weekly at the naval New Barracks in Gosport for 18 months of Judo and unarmed combat lessons.

* Shooting practice happened in a valley at Butser Hill (including the Thompson sub machine gun) near Petersfield.

* Night exercises were held on Portsdown Hill (map - orange circle), and with regular troops perhaps “near Aldershot” (S.A), travelling there by truck.

Military Liason

Yet to be confirmed, but likely to be the Warwickshire regiment. Some of these regular troops were based at Bishops Waltham, and may have provided men to constitute the Hampshire Auxiliary Scout Section/s (Source: J. Budden’s memoir).

Weapons & Equipment

Probably the usual for a patrol: each man having a .38 calibre revolver, one .22 silenced bolt-action rifle, perhaps a Thompson Sub-machine Gun, or in later years a Sten SMG. Each man would also have a Fairburn-Sykes fighting knife or its equivalent.

References

a) Secret War interview with Sydney Adlam recorded by Martyn Cox (copy in CART archive).
b)  John Budden memoir of Chalton North Patrol (near Horndean) held at Parham Museum (copy in CART archive). c) The Hancock Files (BRA/CART)

Our thanks go to Sydney Adlam and his family for helping us with this page.