Hoveton Auxiliary Unit Patrol and Operational Base
This page was last updated 20/11/13
Thank you for selecting information on the Hoveton Auxiliary Unit Patrol and
their Operational Base in Norfolk. The info and images below have been supplied by Aux researchers Evelyn Simak and
The patrol formed part of Norfolk Group 4 consisting of Hoveton patrol, Neatishead patrol
? Ludham patrol
Group CO: Lt LS Harris (1940 – 1943), schoolteacher
It is currently unknown when the patrol was formed.
Sgt. J.R. Howes, Briggate Old Hall (Farm), Honing
Cpl. B.C. Durrant (Hoveton Estate)
Pte. Vic Allen (Station Road. Hoveton)
Pte. W.S. Collinge (Two Street Fruit Farm, Hoveton)
Pte. J.G. Nash
Pte. C.J. Colchester (joined 12.12.40)
The site is located in the grounds of Hoveton Hall and
The OB is situated not far from a rural lane leading to Ashmanhaugh, near Kidney Lake, a pond with viewpoints
that forms one of the features in Hoveton Hall’s gardens, which are open to the public on certain days.
The main chamber is believed to be intact but is inaccessible. The length of the OB is 6.40m and it is
orientated roughly N/S – 16ft ASL (approx)
We were taken to the site by Chris Allen, the son of Pte
Victor Allen, one of Hoveton patrol’s members.
Mr Allen sen. never mentioned his wartime activities to his family but his two sons later managed to find the
OB, as well as an observation post nearby. The latter was described to us as having been a square hole in the
ground, about 1.50m deep, with a section of corrugated iron as roof. We found no trace of it.
On occasion of Chris Allen’s last visit, about 10 years ago, the OB was accessible and in good condition and it
still contained the original bunks.
We found the entrance shaft collapsed (or filled in). The emergency exit passage is approx 5m long, believed
A long depression in the ground at the other end (facing towards the lake) indicates that the emergency exit
passage has also collapsed.
A slight depression in the ground, running along the southern edge of the main chamber, indicates that the
structure has sagged on the south side, presumably because the corrugated sheets have corroded at the base.
A field drain emerges somewhat lower down, about 6m to the SW of the entrance. By prodding the ground we were
able to establish that the pipe was not laid in a straight line but in a curve. We believe that in all probability
it contained a wire that connected with the release mechanism of the entrance cover.
(Above) Looking into a rabbit hole we spotted the joint of a similar pipe several metres down the slope, NE of
the emergency exit.
We found a single brick and two small brick fragments lying on the ground near the exit, next to two small
pieces of broken roofing slates. We also found the fragment of a Victorian dinner plate. (Above)
The following photos were taken by Chris Allen (son of Hoveton patrol member Victor Allen) in the late 90's. The
first three pictures show the since collapsed drop-down entrance shaft of the OB.
The next two photos are of the OB as it was at the time the pictures were taken.
We would like to thank Chris Allen for providing these images which he holds the copyright
A Hoare, Standing up to Hitler” (2002), Chris Allen, Stephen Lewins, CART
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