Warsash/Hook Auxiliary Unit Patrol
This page was last updated on 29/4/16
Thank you for selecting information on the Warsash Auxiliary Unit
Patrol located in Hampshire. The info below has been compiled by Tom Sykes with help from Stephen Lewins
and the general public.
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
This patrol is located in the borough of Fareham in Hampshire. The area of operation was Hook, Warsash and Locks
Heath. As all but one of the members lived in Warsash we have named the patrol Warsash Patrol.
Hook Patrol was part of number 6 group in Hampshire. Lead by Capt. A.C. Boyd and Lt A.A. Hilton.
Joined Home Guard
Nat Reg Number
|Joseph A Bolwell (Patrol Sgt)
|Ronald G Browning
|William C F Foy
|Peter J Fuller
||Chilling, nr Warsash
|William T Swatheridge
|James Street (Patrol Cpl)
|Other Members. (See below)
(Listed from left to right) Click
image for larger view.
Bill Swatheridge, Bill Foy, Ron Browning,
Peter Fuller, Sergeant Joe Boswell from Hamble, Corporal Jim Street and George Hill.
The building with the chimney in the background (above) was
a dairy, with the cottages named Dairy Cottages, Peter Fuller lived in one as a boy, they are long gone now.
The brick outhouse now demolished was in 2 Madeira Villas, now
No 59 Newtown Road. Jim Street lived there.
In the initial forming of the unit Ken Swatheridge (Not pictured) was one of the seven, but not for long. He was
called up in the army and served he served with 1st SAS from 1944 as well as the Parachute Regiment. His father Bill
Swatheridge, who is in the picture, took his place.
Bolwell may have become Company Sergeant Major by 1944 so
possibly involved at HQ level. The Hancock File has him as CSM.
He served with 1st SAS from 1944 as well as the Parachute Regiment. Thank you to his son Paul for allowing us to use the image.
Their Operational Base was built at Hook near the gamekeeper's cottage, with a concealed entrance and an escape
tunnel. There were stores for food, weapons, ammunition, explosives and bunks. The OB was dismantled after the
Showing area of operation including OP and OB sites. Click on image for larger
An Observation Post was half a mile from the beach and had a great view of the coast. The farm land
directly in front of it was used as a private airfield for golfers coming to play at the nearby course. The OP was
constructed at Hook Farm Cottages in a wood near 'Pink Cottage' overlooking the sea.
Unknown at this time.
It is known that the patrol trained at Coleshill.
Ken Swatheridge recalls; after an all night exercise, the squad returned to the OB and someone carelessly
left a loaded Sten on a stool (in single shot mode) Ken sat back onto the
stool in the dim light – the round grazed Ron Browning’s boot then exited through the corrugated iron sheet wall
lining. Years later the dugout was dismantled and the sheeting used as a garden shed. The bullet hole
prominently marked out as a war story!
The patrol would generally have the weapons shown here
In the patrol image above you can see the patrol have modified Sten Guns. Weapons Adviser to CART Richard
Ashley adds the following comments. The Stocks have been made locally. The Mk.3's haven't been modified to push
through cocking handles or seam hole and slot for upper sling mounting but the second lad in from the left has a
nickel plate hilted FS knife sewn to his denims.
They look very fit and that cottage in the background with building behind with a large door and a chimney,
a Blacksmiths shop perhaps? The fellow in the centre with revolver has well set up brasses to his belt, these are
purposeful chaps, if someone had them down to Army or Royal Marine Commando, nobody would argue. No regular unit
would allow the modified Sten stocks unless they still had their originals for arms inspections. All slightly
different shape. The Thompson carrier is interesting, it would be useful to read this was taken in 1943. Thompsons
had officially been exchanged for Mk.3 Stens by mid 43.
Ken Swatheridge recalls; Regarding the wooden butt additions, 'I remember my brother fitting a teak butt to
his stem (he was a boatyard joiner). Ken's son Paul has contacted us to say 'the wooden additions to the guns were probably made by Peter Fuller who was the boat builder within the group.'
Prior to the completion of their hideout they stored a very large amount of ammunition in a shed on the
allotments and in an outhouse of a house in Newtown Road, Warsash, to which the local boys had access. We suspect
this was Holly Cottage were George Hill lived as this backs on to the allotments. (Allotment photo from Geograph by
Ken was originally notified to compulsory conscription. He attended the recruiting office in Portsmouth
but adamantly refused recruitment as he had signed the official secrets act on “special duties”. So could not
say why he should not be called up. Weeks later he was officially told by post that he was exempt for
the duration of emergency and sure enough as soon as Hitler went into Russia, Ken was called for the military
service! That’s when his Father, Bill, took his place as he was too old for national military
Email correspondence with Denise Cousins & Bryan Woodford, Stephen Lewins, Weapons adviser Richard Ashley,
Hancock Files held by the BRA, George Fuller brother of late Peter Fuller, Ken & Paul Swatheridge.