Churchill's British Resistance - The Auxiliary Units

 

Symonds Yat "Shadrach" Auxiliary Unit Patrol

Thank you for selecting information on the Symonds Yat "Shadrach" Auxiliary Unit and Operational Base. The info and images below have been supplied by our internal archive and other sources.

This page was last updated at 7:26pm on 28/12/13

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.

Symonds Yat is a village in the Forest of Dean straddling the River Wye.

Herefordshire formed part of area 19 which also included Worcestershire ( Groups 1a and 1b), Monmouthshire (Group 3) and latterly from 1943 part of Glamorganshire (Groups 4a and 4b).

The first intelligence officer was Captain John Ellerman Todd who had been a London stockbroker before the war. Known to be a character but dressed as the country gent it is believed he lived at Llanfihangel Crucorny in Monmouthshire. Recruited to SOE, Todd was replaced by Captain Christopher Sandford and the area headquarters became Eye Manor near Leominster.

A later Intelligence Officer included Captain Lloyd Bucknell RA.

Symonds Yat,“Shadrach” Patrol was part of Herefordshire Group 2 which consisted of six Patrols: Letton (“Adam”), Leominster  (“Abednigo”), Bromyard (“Jacob”), Wall Hills (“Mechach”), Dinedor (“Caleb”) and Patrols.

Area Group Commander was Captain Geoffrey S E Lacon of Bircher near Leominster
Group commander of these Patrols was Captain J.H.“Hughie” Hall  and Assistant C.Q.M.S. Albert Thomas Pettifer.

Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Monmouthshire Patrols were given Biblical code names. It is assumed this was an initiative of Todd to prevent the use of patrols locations names. 

Currently unknown though thought to be the latter part of 1940.

Sergeant Frank W Green of Symonds Yat          
Corporal Harry E Sainsbury of Overton     
Private John B Sainsbury of Eccleswall  joined Sept 1942
Private Guy O Sainsbury of Ross-on-Wye          
Private Edward R “Ted” Price of Yatton                   
Private W.A. Winch of Ross-on-Wye (Discharged early)    

Harry, Guy and John Sainsbury were brothers and all farmed land in the area. Guy Sainsbury was a Special Constable in the Police at the start of the war, a job he had to relinquish when joining the patrol.

Ted Price was also a farmer.

Hereford Auxiliers

Back Row - J F RYAN, J RHYS-THOMAS, J B SAINSBURY, W R ROBINSON, N D O CAPPER, G O SAINSBURY, J E POTTER, G MORGAN-JONES, V BEACH-THOMAS

Next Row - J F HARTWRIGHT, E LEWIS, E F BARNETT, L J HODELL, G GRIFFITHS, J TURNER, H E SAINSBURY, E C TISDALE, G P THOMAS, F J HANCORN, G H CHAMBERS

Next Row - D HOWARD-SMITH, A T PETTIFER, M G HOOTON, G S E LACON, J H HALL, F W GREEN, R E HOLFORD, A BECK

Front Row - D T WENT, J CLELAND, W F PUDGE, J THORNTON, E R PRICE, L EVANS, R G H BROOKS, F MAYO

Photograph by VIVIANS

Photo Copy - Brian JONES Collection Album 2 BJ59

[Source: http://www.old-ledbury.co.uk/Military.htm#mil2]

Currently unknown but thought to be on Coppett Hill close to Symonds Yat.

Coppett Hill

View from the top of Coppett Hill down the River Wye © Copyright Gordon Hatton and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Assumed targets are the nearby Symonds Yat and Welsh Bicknor railway tunnels.

Symonds Yat Railway Tunnel

Symonds Yat railway tunnel. © Copyright Stuart Wilding and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Hereford Patrols trained at Holmer Grange, the home of Captain “Hughie” Hall. Auxiliers had memories of a large lake with a pontoon bridge over. An exercise was to run over the pontoon with all their equipment, missing the part of the bridge that was primed to collapse. If they didn't fall in, the instructors pushed them in anyway. A stuffed dummy mounted in a doorway was used for silent killing practice.

A competition between all six patrols took place at a farm at Holmer. Each Patrol had to place a magnet with the Patrols name attached on some farm equipment stored in a yard. Getting in and out without being spotted the victor was”Jacob” Patrol.

Unknown, but it is assumed that they had the standard weapons and explosives issued to all patrols.

Along with other patrols from around the country “Shadrach” Patrol were recruited to defend the Isle of Wight in June 1944 during the time of D-Day. Here is a story of others experience of D-Day on the Isle of Wight.

Herefordshire patrols had their first reunion dinner on 26th January1945 at Booth Hall in Hereford.

TNA WO199/3389 & transcripts from Stephen Lewins. Hancock data held at B.R.A. The Mercian Maquis by Bernard Lowry & Mick Wilks

If you can help with any info please contact us.