Somerley Auxiliary Unit Patrol
This page was last updated at 8:41am on 9/10/13
Thank you for selecting information on the Somerley Auxiliary Unit
Patrol located in Hampshire. The info below has been compiled by Dr Will Ward CART CIO for
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
The patrol was part of Group 1 in Hampshire, Commanded by Captain A J Champion, who was also area commander for
all the West Hampshire groups. The assistant commander of Group 1 was Lt L D C Ayles.
Not known by CART.
|C.S.M. John Harry Burrett
|Pte. Arthur William Hudspith
|Pte. William Alexander Rabbets
|Pte. R B Rowson
|Pte. F Warwick
||posted to 8th Bn Hants HG Dec1942
|Pte. S W Warwick
|| joined Gren Guards Mar 1943
|Pte. Vivian John Debben
|Pte. E Rands
|Pte. N H M Jones
||posted to 8th Bn Hants HG Mar 1943
The patrol names for the west of Hampshire and the New Forest have been identified from National Archives file
WO199/3391, but are not divided by patrol. The nominal roll gives the surname, initials, ID card number and
address, together with date of birth. The patrols have been arranged according to the addresses and ID card numbers
around known patrol leaders. This means the allocations may not be completely accurate. Additional personal
information such as first names and dates of death have been added using the 1911 census, Ancestry.com and
FreeBMD.com. Some men, particularly those from the Ringwood area where there are several patrols, could not be
allocated with any confidence to one patrol or another, so are listed here.
The men were all living on the Somerley estate near Ringwood or nearby at Blashford. It is likely that there
were other members to this patrol not yet identified. CSM Burrett would probably have been involved in the
administration of the West Hampshire Auxiliary Units, but was still listed as the patrol commander near the end of
A picture of William Rabbets can be seen here.
After the war, Arthur Hudspith emigrated to Australia.
In the 1980s, an underground bunker typical for an Aux Units Operational Base (OB) was found on the remains of
RAF Ibsley, which formed part of the Somerley estate. This has subsequently been destroyed by gravel extraction.
The airfield construction did not start until late in 1940 and it did not open until February 1941. It may be that
the OB was built before it was realised the airfield was coming. The approximate location was SU167081. This was
not on the main airfield, but nearby and part of the accommodation site for defensive antiaircraft gunsites
It is likely a second OB would have been built at this point elsewhere on the estate. There are reports of an
underground base on the Somerley estate from other Ringwood patrols on this site.
Unknown at this time.
The patrol would conduct the training practices outlined here
The patrol would generally have the weapons shown here
Mark Samson (author of The Secret Army, a book about Lincolnshire Aux Units) personal correspondence.