Churchill's British Resistance - The Auxiliary Units

 

Raydon/Stratford St Mary Patrol Auxiliary Unit Patrol

This page was last updated at 5:25pm on 1/1/15

Thank you for selecting information on the Raydon Auxiliary Unit Patrol and their Operational Base in Suffolk. The info and images below have been supplied by Aux researchers Evelyn Simak and Adrian Pye and our internal archive.

The patrol was also referred to as Stratford St Mary Patrol and formed part of Ipswich Group (Group No 5 Suffolk) which also included

Ipswich I Patrol, Ipswich II Patrol, Bentley Patrol, Copdock aka Belstead Patrol, Sproughton aka Burstall Patrol, Hintlesham..

CO Capt EG Pawsey, Valley View, Hadleigh Road, Ipswich,
assisted by Lt Harry Edmund Mellor, 66 Crofton Road, Ipswich and
Lt CJ Proctor, Digby Road, Ipswich who later transferred to Beccles Group.

Lt HE Mellor worked for the Alliance Insurance Co at Ipswich. He moved to Oxford after the war.

1940 - the patrols south of Woodbridge are believed to have been the first in Suffolk to have been set up by Intelligence Officer Captain Andrew Croft.

Sgt Dennis Johnson, Holton St Mary (he owned the land during the war)
Cpl Jack Moore
Pte James Hawes
Pte G R Stiff
Pte George Rose

Ipswich Group 5 Patrols

The image above shows the Ipswich Group 5 patrols which consisted of:- Ipswich I and II Capel St Mary/Wenham, Raydon/Stratford St Mary, East Bergholt, Sproughton, Hintlesham, Copdock and Bentley.

rear L - R 6th from left is a member of Copdock patrol as is 8th and 9th from left. 10th left is Pte. Len C Wyratt (Wenham) 11th left is Pte. Charlie Goodchild (East Bergholt) and the last man is Cpl Reg Airey (Copdock)

Second rear L - R 10th from left is Pte Bill Church (Wenham) and 11th is Pte Billie Smith (East Bergholt)

Middle or third row 2nd left is Ipswich II member as is 4th from left. 10th from left is Cpl Charles A Coe (Wenham) and 11th left is Cpl Ray Abbott (East Bergholt)

Second row 1st left Sgt W R Beaumont (Sproughton) 2nd Sgt Neville Palmer (Ipswich II) 3rd is Sgt Rex Milner-Moore (Hintlesham) 4th is L E Hudson (Ipswich I) 5th is Captain John Anderton Group 2 I/C 6th is Lt Eric Pawsey Group 2I/C 7th is Lt.Cecil James Procter 8th Sgt Horace Clements (Copdock) 9th is Sgt Peter Hutton (Bentley) 10th is Sgt PJ "Jack" Chaplin (Wenham) 11th is Sgt R Neville Devonshire (East Bergholt) 12th is Sgt Dennis Johnson (Raydon/Stratford St Mary)
front row kneeling 1st left may be a Copdock member 3rd is Pte Charlie Ambrose (East Bergholt) and 4th is Pte Bill Miller (East Bergholt)

Mellor and Pawsey were promoted to Captains and 2Lt. C J Proctor who had been Group 2 I/c left and was replaced by John Anderton. The names above have been supplied by Stephen Lewins.

The OB site is located in a long-disused sandpit on private farmland, which was accessed by kind permission of the landowner who discovered the OB site during tree clearance work. During the 1940s the whole area was populated by mature trees, many of them elms that later fell victim to the Dutch elm disease and have long since been felled.

The entrance shaft has since collapsed.  The corrugated sheeting lining its earthen walls can still be seen at ground level.

The main chamber has silted up and much of it has collapsed, leaving a small cave-like area behind one of the sidewalls which can be accessed through a hole in the wall where corrugated sheeting is missing.

Raydon Auxiliary Unit Patrol OB 2 

Raydon Auxiliary Unit Patrol OB 3

Raydon Auxiliary Unit Patrol OB 4

Raydon Auxiliary Unit Patrol OB 5

Much of the corrugated sheeting that forms the roof and lines the earthen sidewalls is still in place, some of it is badly corroded or has deteriorated. The roof was supported by sections of railway line or disused Ipswich tram line, resting on a variety of sturdy posts, one appearing to be a telegraph pole. The corrugated sheeting lining the walls is held in place by a wooden frame.

A glazed ceramic field pipe protrudes from the ceiling at an angle, no trace could be found of its exterior end and perhaps it has slipped further down into the soil when the structure collapsed.

A tin pipe of about 7.5 cm diameter is still in situ beside the collapsed entrance shaft. It appears to run all the way down the wall within the main chamber. Extending upwards and through the roof, its exterior end is capped with an elbow, also still in its original place by the entrance shaft. Presumably it served as a flue pipe for a stove that the patrol kept in their OB. Layers of sand have trickled into the chamber over time, covering what may still be in place at the original floor level.

The OB was recorded in 1996 by volunteers of the BRO Museum in Parham and described in their files as partially collapsed, with a large area of the main chamber, including an air pipe, still in place. 

According to information lodged at DoB the OB has been destroyed (recorder: Dr Will Ward, 1997).

Neither BROM nor DoB mention the existence of the patrol’s OP or their ammunition store.

An old photograph on exhibit at the BRO Museum at Parham – it is titled “Raydon Patrol” – actually depicts the members of Wenham (aka Capel St Mary) Patrol.

The OB is a flattop construction that in all likelihood was built by the patrol members themselves, using a variety of materials available to them: sections of railway line, wooden timbers and posts, corrugated sheeting and what appears to be a length of telegraph pole.

Raydon Auxiliary Unit Patrol OB 1

According to Mr AM Johnson (son of patrol leader Sgt Dennis Johnson), who played in the OB as a child, its entrance shaft was lined with corrugated sheets and had rungs nailed across the corner supports. The OB had an approx 1.20 x 1.20m square and about 1.20m deep hole in the floor which was used to store small quantities of ammunition and fuses etc. The patrol’s main ammunition store was situated in another disused pit about 500 metres further to the north-east. Mr Johnson also mentioned that there was an emergency escape exit on the upward slope and a very short passage that adjoined it.

Size of OB and entrance/exit etc: Flat-top construction, collapsed.  Exact dimensions not known
Drop-down entrance shaft at southern end; emergency escape exit with short passageway at opposite (north) end

Orientation of OB: N / S

Other physical remains nearby: corrugated sheeting on timber frame

Raydon Auxiliary Unit Patrol OB 6

 
 

Observation Post: (left) The patrols’ Observation Post was situated 65m due east from the OB in what at the time would have been the upper edge of mature woodland, immediately inside a modern stock fence that was erected along the field/woodland boundary. The OP was a square dugout of approx 1.20 x 1.20m, originally hidden within a large hollow tree trunk of approx 2.40m height and discovered by the landowner only after the tree trunk had deteriorated and fallen on its side. A small part of this trunk remains in situ.

 

 

Ammo Store: No trace remains of the patrol’s ammunition store which was situated about 500 metres further to the north-west in another disused pit. It was approx 1.50 x 1.50m square and dug approx 1.80 m deep, with a flat roof constructed from corrugated sheeting.

Raydon aerodrome; LNER railway line and bridges in the vicinity, and the railway siding that was especially constructed, running from the Hadleigh line into Raydon Wood, delivering even whole, disassembled aircraft to the base.  


 
Trained locally in the disused sandpits in the vicinity of the OB.  “Attacks” on Raydon aerodrome which was USAAF base during the war which greatly displeased the staff there.

They had 303s which had been adapted (sleeved) to take 202 ammo for practice. A couple of Sten guns, Grenades, and each had a .38 Smith & Wesson revolver and a Commando knife. Sten or Thompson submachine guns, Fairbairn-Sykes fighting knives and .38 revolvers plus a variety of explosives, detonators and fuses would have been standard issue.

Currently unknown

Patrol member George Rose, Stratford St Mary (personal interview); Ian Pearce, Holton St Mary (personal interview); AM Johnson, Holton St Mary (personal interview); Will Ward (DoB, 1997); BROM Parham (1996); Stephen Lewins CART CIO Northumberland

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