Churchill's British Resistance - The Auxiliary Units

 

Symondsbury Auxiliary Unit Patrol

Thank you for selecting information on the Symondsbury / Bridport Auxiliary Unit and Operational Base. The info below have been supplied by our Dorset CIO Dr Will Ward.

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.

 

The patrol was part of Group 6 under Capt LO Brown and Lt J Woodward.

 

Not currently known.

Name Date of Birth  Occupation  Notes Died 
Sgt. Jack Wills   01/01/1909  
Pte. William George Westcott    08/10/1898   1980
Pte. Jack Bevis Bonfield  03/03/1913      1999
Pte. Richard Samuel Shute  11/01/1924 Farmer    Joined in 1942 aged eighteen 2000
Pte. L G Hussey  07/03/1905   Left SNLR March 1944 
Pte. Francis Gerald Legg   22/02/1917 Farmer     1999
Pte Thomas Roland Ridler  20/06/1903    Baker 1955

This patrol has not yet been fully researched

Patrol leader Jack Wills had the OB built in his farm.

Thomas Ridler was the Baker at Chideock.

L G Hussey was discharged in 1944, his services no longer required, though it seems he was involved with Civil Defence instead. The Hussey family are long established carpenters in the Chideock area.

Francis Legg was a farmer’s son and so in a reserved occupation. Just before the war, his father had prevented him joining the Territorial Army, telling him to “never volunteer for anything”. However, he joined the Auxiliary Units nevertheless when war came.

Richard Shute was the son of Samuel Shute of Park Farm.

Jack Bonfield appears on an early list of patrol members, but not in the later nominal roll, so may have left the patrol during the war.

The OB was concealed inside a milking shed, now destroyed. The OB remains, though now partially collapsed. It is a standard Elephant shelter type with bunk beds either side and corrugated iron end wall. The brick entrance shaft contains the ventilation pipes. The OB is on private property and cannot be accessed without specialist equipment.

 

View inside the OB. The end wall is collapsing. The bunks are visible to either side, though the rest of the debris is post war rubbish that has been dumped inside.

 

The ventilation shafts in the entrance shaft are blocked with earth.

Observation Post/s: Currently unknown. 

This was one of a series of patrols based either side of the A35, then as now, one of the main roads out of the southwest. Presumably the intention was to ambush and delay any German troops landing either on the Dorset coast or further southwest.

There were relatively few military targets otherwise in the area. The closest airfields were some distance away. The nearby town of Bridport might have been a landing site for German troops and a possible target, along with the railway from Bridport to Maiden Newton.

The patrol would have attended training sessions at the Dorset headquarters at Duntish Court. The Dorset Scout Section would have provided training to the patrol as well.

Apparently Francis Legg kept his revolver and knife in the grandmother clock in his house (where his younger brother found it and would practice loading it). It is likely that the patrol were issued with the standard weapons.

Nothing currently.

National Archives WO 199/3390, 199/3391
http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ww2peopleswar/stories/33/a3943433.shtml
http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/rd/ea69b5bf-523f-44ca-b553-7a525b9cb5d0
http://archiver.rootsweb.ancestry.com/th/read/DORSET/2013-01/1358970805
http://www.myheritage.com/names/lilian_bonfield
Additional names and dates of death from Ancestry.co.uk

If you can help with any please contact us.