Morval (Looe) Auxiliary Unit Patrol
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Thank you for selecting information on the Morval (Looe) 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
Morval is a rural parish containing the village of Sandplace. It is next to the village of St Martin's and North
of the South coast town of Looe.
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 Wales.
The IOs were being withdrawn from around August 1944 leaving the Area and Group Commanders.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. Morval was part of group 6 along with Lansallos, Launceston, Liskeard, St Germans,
Pelynt, St Keyne, Menheniot, St Juliot, Coads Green and Bridgerule (now in Devon). They were under the group
command of Captain G H Sergeant from Liskeard along with Lieutenant W Crichton (discharged May 1944 due to ill
health) and 2nd Lieutenant J F William Mewton.
Captain G H Sergeant from Liskeard was also the area Commander for this and group 5
Sergeant Arthur W Julian
Corporal John S Hill
George R Serpell
and maybe Tommy Vellace and
Bernard 'Henry' Le Page both joined HM forces in 1943.
The picture above was kindly supplied by John Jolliff (the son of Joe Northcott from Pelynt Patrol)
It is thought to show the Cornwall Group 6 patrols which consisted of St Keyne, Morval, Menheniot, St Germans,
Pelynt, Lansallos, Liskeard,St Juliot, Coads Green, Launceston and Bridgerule.
Back row far left: Reg Wakeham (Pelynt), Joe Northcott (Pelynt) rest unknown
Middle row far left: Ned Broad (Pelynt) rest unknown
Front row far left : Ralph Webber (Pelynt), Charlie Barrett ( Liskeard), unknown, unknown, Sgt.Jack Bickford, rest
The Defence of Britain database records that relatives of the unit recalled it was in St Martin's Wood on Morval
Estate near Looe. The wood does have a public footpath running through it though it is PRIVATE LAND.
Looking up the East Looe River. St Martin's Wood is beyond the buildings on the
Orientation of OB: Currently unknown
Observation Post: Currently unknown
Other physical remains nearby: CART has been told there could have been a bomb store near to
Sandplace Railway Station.
It is assumed the the bridge between East and West Looe would be a prominent target along with the Looe Valley
Unknown but it is assumed they had access to the normal weapons and equipment seen here.
Alwyn Harvey recorder for Defence of Britain Database
TNA ref WO199/3391
Hancock data held by B. R. A
1939 Kellys Directory
If you can help with any info please