Churchill's British Resistance - The Auxiliary Units

 

Mullion Auxiliary Unit Patrol and Operational Base

This page as last updated at 7:51pm on 3/1/14

Thank you for selecting information on the Mullion Auxiliary Unit Patrol and their Operational Base in Cornwall. The info below have been supplied by CART's Devon CIO, Nina Hannaford.

If you can provide any more info please email cartdevon@gmail.com

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.

Mullion is a village and Parish on the West coast of the Lizard Peninsular in South Cornwall.

From the very first meeting in Whitehall in 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The IOs were being withdrawn from around August 1944 leaving the Area and Group Commanders.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. Mullion was part of Group 2 along with Manaccan, Porthleven and St Keverne. They were under the Group Command of Lieutenant Walter Eva and 2nd Lieutenant Leslie Bawden both from Manaccan.

The Area Commander was Captain H W Abbiss from Truro. In January 1945 Captain Abbiss  was awarded the MBE ( Military Division)

The four Patrol Sergeants met once a week at Porthleven.

Manaccan Officers

Officers and NCO'S in the Lizard Area.
Back L-R : Sargent Harry Moore, Sargent Frank Strike, Sargent John Gilbert and Sargent Sinclair James. Front L-R; 2nd Lt Leslie Bowden, IO Captain John “Jack” Dingley and Lt Walter Eva.

Currently unknown.

Sergeant John Gilbert, a farmer. OB was positioned on his land at Clahar Farm
Corporal Willie Casley, a mason working for a local builder
Marcel Plantin a Frenchman.
John Hatton, a market gardener.
Sydney Williams, delivery driver for local shop.
Aubery Harris, a farm worker

Patrols from the Lizard, Cornwall

Patrols from The Lizard.
Back Row L-R: Hubert Hicks, Reg Lyne, Walace Rogers, Marcell Plantain, Leslie Roberts, Gilbert Richards, Freddy Chegwiidden, Eric Bennetts, Melville Peters.

Middle Row: ? , William Leggo, ? , Harry Tressider, ?, Gerald Lee, ?, Sidney Williams.

Front Row: John Gilbert, Frank Strike, Leslie Bawden, Capt John Dingley, Walter Eva, Sinclair James, Harry Moore.

The OB was located at Newells Field, Clahar Garden Farm on A3083. Around a mile away from Mullion Village in a wooded valley.

Mullion Auxiliary Unit Patrol 1

Facing West, OB entrance in bank on left side

Mullion Auxiliary Unit Patrol 2

From field above looking down on OB

Mullion Auxiliary Unit Patrol 3

In field above bank. Looking down on flat surface above the OB which has now been filled in.

Mullion Auxiliary Unit Patrol 4

Facing bank where entrance was hidden

Mullion Auxiliary Unit Patrol 5

Facing East in field used for rifle practice. OB entrance in bank on right.

Size of OB and entrance/exit etc:  When intact the entrance was tunnelled into the bank of a field and an area of 10ft deep x 20ft long x 8ft deep excavated. It is not known how the OB was completed. The OB was built by the patrol themselves. After the war the roof was removed, leaving a pit. Today that pit has been filled in.

Observation Post/s: Currently unknown

RAF Predannack was an obvious target very close to the Patrol's area.

RAF Dry Tree

Copyright IWM (HU93043)

RAF Dry Tree, a Chain Home Radar Station on Goonhilly Downs seen in an RAF photograph circa 1941 was a known target for all of group 2.

Shooting practice was carried out in the flat part of the field below the OB and the Patrol regularly met at Marcel Plantin's house for training.

Training took place at Porthpean in St Austell Bay. It was run 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.

Ammunition and explosives stored in the sheds and stores of Marcel Plantin at Moorlands, Mullion. The patrol were expected to dispose of these themselves at stand down. It is assumed they had access to the usual weapons and equipment seen here.

Derek Watts was evacuated to Mullion in 1940 aged 7 and lived with Marcel Plantin and his wife.

He was regularly used as a “dummy” for first aid training and would sometimes go with the patrol training on a Sunday.

Derek thinks he may well have become a link between the patrol and the village in the event of invasion.

Marcel Plantin was French and was originally told he could not join the Home Guard because of this. He arrived in Mullion from Jersey before the out break of war. He had been wounded during the First World War but obviously was still fit enough to be an Auxilier.


The very kind help of Derek Watts. All information and photographs were kindly supplied by Derek Watts. 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 contact us.