Churchill's British Resistance - The Auxiliary Units

 

Winfrith Auxiliary Unit Patrol

This page was last updated at 7:41am on 6/5/14

Thank you for selecting information on the Winfrith Auxiliary Unit Patrol and Operational Base. This patrol report was provided by CART CIO for Dorset 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.

Group Commander was Captain Fortnum from Bloxworth, with help from Lt Quick from Wareham during the period this patrol was operating. Sgt Bridges, Grenadier Guards delivered equipment early on (prob Jan-June 1941)

Late 1940?

Name Date of Birth Occupation   Died
Sgt. Robert J House 18/12/1915 Farmer Transferred to 2nd Bn HG 5/7/1943 .
Pte. R H Smith 19/05/1912 . . .
Pte. Harry Westmacott 10/9/1889 Farm worker Transferred back to 2nd Bn HG .
Pte. R J Biles 10/11/1906 . Transferred back to 2nd Bn HG .
Pte. Edgar Cooper 05/10/1923 . Became patrol sergeant another patrol .
Pte. A Roger House 08/08/1917 Farmer Transferred to 2nd Bn HG 5/7/1943 .

Robert House and his brother Roger farmed at Fossil Farm. Harry Westmacott was Harry’s uncle and lived on a cottage at the farm. Edgar Cooper also lived there.

Moreton Sheepwalks. The exact location is unknown and an attempt by Robert House to locate it in the 1960s was unsuccessful.

Robert House’s sister Mary kept a diary during the war, which contains a couple of entries of interest.
'Monday 13 May: Mummy, Roger & I had lunch with Daddy. Bobby went to Bristol with Freddie Bedford'.
Freddie Bedford was Sgt of ….. patrol. It seems likely that this entry relates to a trip to Coleshill House for a Patrol Leaders course? He had no reason to go to Bristol with Freddie, who was a baker. Perhaps he started out on a Bristol bound train, or perhaps this was cover for the real destination?

'Saturday 7 September: Quiet night. Attacks on London.Very busy morning. Sun-bathed after lunch. Went to shop after tea, and then to dance given by "Green Howards". Roger & Raymond met me. Home Guard called out 11.30pm'.

September 7th was the night of the “Cromwell” alert, when the Home Guard was called out all over the country as an invasion was thought to be imminent.

The patrol practiced attacking the regular Army sentries at nearby Warmwell airfield. Roger House demonstrated the “commando tactics” they used to his son using a rubber knife to show him how to cut a sentry's throat!

Roger House had a Tommy gun. He thought that he and his friend Freddie Bedford from Moreton Patrol had the only two of these in Dorset. Perhaps they did when they were issued? 

In July 1943, the patrol was stood down, with the men returned to the local Home Guard battalion. It isn’t clear why this is, though sometimes new military activity in an area could make a patrol’s location untenable. Edgar Cooper was promoted to Sergeant and was given a newly formed patrol of Winfrith and Broadmayne men to command.

Correspondence with Simon House, son of Robert House and information from Philip Saunders via John Pidgeon. National Archives WO199/3390, 199/3391