Churchill's British Resistance - The Auxiliary Units

 

Moffat Auxiliary Unit Patrol

This page was last updated at 6:30am on 18/1/15

Thank you for selecting information on the Moffat Auxiliary Unit Patrol and their Operational Base located in Scotland. The info and below has been supplied by Aux researcher Adrian Hunt & our internal archive.

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 contact us.

Area Group commander Lt Joe Featherstone Number 4 Area/ Group 3a.

1940 and was an Independent Group (Area Group Commander was Capt J.G. Carruthers)



Sgt  Stephen Berry (Patrol Leader) - Chauffeur to the Town Doctor.
Cpl W. McKenzie -
Pte J. Elliot - Farmer.
Pte John Laidlaw - Farmer.
Pte Robert Cranston - Dry Stane Dyker and Farm Worker.
Pte John Reive - Trader in animal feed.

It is also thought that William Rankine, a Plumber by trade, was also in the patrol. William Rankine also says that another patrol member was William (Bob) McMillan who was a Gamekeeper. Both men protected the King at Balmoral.

The OB has a completely blocked entrance which has been driven into a hill side.

The OB was sketched a number of years ago by Emilio Dicerbo.

 

The main chamber was accessible and viewed along with an escape tunnel and exit Bolt hole.

 

Access was via the exit which is in a reasonable state with the main brick surround fairly well intact including and iron grab and foot rail (above) which have been cemented into the brickwork.

The initial exit area has been mined from within and although holding at this moment in time there is a potential for collapse.

The remaining part of the tunnel, towards the main chamber is covered by corrugated sheeting. Again this is extremely rusty because of the damp conditions and could give way at any time.

On entering the OB via the exit, the tunnel chamber leads to 2 Brick built walls, which are constructed angles.

A coat rail has been lifted off the ground at some point and has brass numbers 3 -8 attached to it, as well as a single coat hook.

The remnants of the bunk beds can be seen in two corners. These have been set on fire at some point and it was interesting to note recent Graffiti on the walls.

In addition, the remnants of a work bench can also be seen as well as a water tank and a partial cooking stove.

An offshoot , leading from the main chamber towards the main entrance, appears to have given way and was only briefly viewed and photographed.

Peter Forbes who had been the IO for Scottish Borders told David Blair that while he was looking for a suitable location for an OB for this patrol in 1941 one of his Moffat patrol members showed Forbes the location of a cave, the cave in question was in an area where he played as a young lad, with some work the entrance was cleared and dug out, they (Engineer unit sent up from Coleshill) extended the cave and created an escape passage at the rear.

Escape tunnel measures approx. 5' high x 61/2' wide and is approx 20m long.

Main chamber is approx 15m long and sits at a right angle to the exit. It is approx. 8' high x 6' wide. The exit hole is approx 4ft deep and the brick tower is approx 3-4ft square. !

Orientation of OB: Entrance - North, Exit - South

A701 Main Road to Edinburgh including the bridges of Gardenholm Linn, Hollows Linn and Holehouse Linn.

Sabotage and Concealment. Moffat was utilised as a Warfare School, so the surrounding area contained numerous Military camps, training facilities and ammunition supplies.

Unknown but assume they had standard issue equipment.

The location of the OB hit the National headlines pre war when, in 1935, the body parts of dismembered bodies were disposed off by the killer in the stream at the foot of Gardenholm Linn. Following this the area was locally referred to as "Ruxtons Dump ". (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buck_Ruxton) This gruesome discovery was recorded by the Police in a sketch and is contained in Emilio Dicerbo's book " Moffat Connections". It is thought that the Police remembered how remote and secluded the area was, despite it being located so close to the road and that they may have recommended it to "Authorities " as an ideal location for an OB.

This is the stand down letter issued to William Rankine. Kindly provided to us by his son Ian.



Emilio Dicerbo - initial contact and author of the book "Moffat Connections " which includes a section on
Moffats Auxilliary units. Ian Alston (ex Forestry Commission and Moffat Hills Rescue) and guide for the day
Stuart Alston (ex Glencoe Mountain Rescue). Guide for the day and also offered advice re-safety
. Major Peter Forbes during correspondence, Ian Rankine.

If you can help with any info please contact us.