Scotland, Borders and Outer Hebrides Auxiliary Units And Operational
This is the overview page for the Scottish
Please click on the areas below to see the patrols listed.
Melville House Scottish Headquarters
With just over 100 patrols formed in Scotland during the early war years, Scottish Auxiliary Units were
established as far as Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis down the east coast to the Scottish Border which stretched
from Duns in the East to Dalry in the West. The threat was coming from German forces in Denmark and Norway.
Luftwaffe reconnaissance flights pre war took hundreds of photographs of the British coastline and the bombing
raids to destroy the Forth Rail Bridge as early as the 16th of October 1939 made Scotland ever vigilant about an
enemy who were just 611 miles across the North Sea in Denmark. Captain Eustace Maxwell tasked with forming the
Auxiliary Units in Scotland had arrived pre warned about the difficulties facing him, he studied a map of East
Scotland from his first HQ near to Falkirk.
Fife looked a suitable location for a central HQ in which to run his clandestine network from. It was by chance
while visiting a building contractor and later patrol group leader near to St Andrews that Melville House was
mentioned. Taking over his new HQ August 1940 he spread north in search of suitable officers to run the north east
patrols and found Captain A.G. Fiddes-Watt of the Cameron Highlanders. He covered patrols from the Outer Hebrides
to Caithness and Ross His HQ was at Little Ferry, Golspie. Another Intelligence Officer was Captain R.A.C.
Gordon-Lennox a Scots Guards Captain and based at Blairmore House near to Glass, Huntly. Aberdeenshire was a vast
area but training was conducted at Blairmore House on a regular basis, with Scout Sections drawn from a local or
county Regular Army regiments who provided visiting patrols training in field craft and weapon handling as well as
specialist courses in demolitions and stalking. Men from all walks of life were recruited into the Auxiliary units
in Scotland, sworn to a secrecy that was official once they signed along that dotted line.
Melville House in Fife was the Main HQ for units north of the Border, a sub training establishment of Coleshill
in the South. Captain W.D. Clark was in command of patrols in Fife and Angus and some 135 men came under his
command during his time in Fife. The Scottish Borders was under the command of Major Peter Forbes Cameron
Highlanders, who successfully ran patrols the length of the Borders until he left to go down to Coleshill in 1943.
In all there were approximately just over 650 men who were in the Auxiliary units in Scotland. Men, who by day
farmed the land, tended the sheep or managed industry, and come the day would have slipped into that dark night
possibly never to be seen again………
This exciting and partly true novel is all about Duns