May 032019
 

The CART team will be attending with our award-winning display of all things ‘Aux’ at Nothe Fort’s 1940’s Home Front Family Weekend 25th & 26th May: https://nothefort.org.uk/news-events/1940s-home-front-family-weekend?occurrenceID=311

Apr 212019
 

CART continued to excavate the O.B. at Ferndown, Dorset at the weekend. Locals were welcomed and very interested.

Finds included glazed ceramic ventilation pipes stamped with STOTAM, and the identification of the water-pipe (from the previously unearthed water-tank) coming into the bunker through the entrance-shaft wall.

CART Dorset (Dr. Will Ward) gave a talk about Aux Units and this Patrol bunker. ‘Bodge’ Wareham brought some of his ‘toys’ along, and we even had a visit from the Home Guard bomb disposal !

‘Bodge’ and his ‘toys’…

Apr 202019
 

Verdon Besley was 16 when he joined the Sandford Auxiliary Unit Patrol in Somerset. At 18 he joined the Queen’s Royal Regiment and went all the way to Berlin where his Auxiliary training came in handy.

The Patrol’s Operational Base was inside an old lead mine in the Mendip hills. Learn more about the Sandford Patrol here: https://www.coleshillhouse.com/sandford-levy-bunker.php

Our sympathies to his family and friends. R.I.P. Verdon Besley.

Apr 152019
 

CART was at the D-Day Centre, Portland at the weekend. Although a bit chilly, the team were kept in high spirits with mugs of hot tea and cake, while the public and re-enactors were fascinated with everything AUX Units.

Don’t worry if you couldn’t make it, CART will be displaying at Nothe Fort, Weymouth on Sat 25th and Sun 26th May, at their 1940’s Home Front Family Weekend https://nothefort.org.uk/news-events/1940s-home-front-family-weekend?occurrenceID=311

Apr 092019
 

Last weekend CART did a ‘Time Team’ on an Operational Base (O.B.) in an undisclosed site in Dorset…

Shallow trenches revealed the ‘elephant shelter’ corrugated steel, and glazed ceramic ventilation pipes
Looking down, the start of the escape tunnel can just been seen at the base of the concrete blocks
The escape tunnel with debris fill
This is a possible handle from an entrance / escape hatch
The main chamber where the patrol would have ‘gone to ground’ in the event of a German invasion
Buried water tank with protected filler tap
Cloth material covered the water tank, that on closer inspection showed to be camouflaged.

Turns out it wasn’t so secret. Every second visitor from nearby houses had played in it as a child!

The main point is that it is now recorded and will be added to the CART website.

Mar 132019
 

This July 1944 document comes from a recent, very generous donation to CART of documents from an East Anglian Group Commander. These are still being catalogued and photographed, as almost 200 pages!

We hope in due course to bring some of these things to public view, as part of our website redevelopment. In the meantime here is the document requesting numbers required from each Group Commander. Note that the men were required to pay 6d each for their badges! They were to be made available to men who had left Auxiliary Units, though in practice, few if any seem to have received one.

As can be seen, there were strict instructions that they could not be worn in wartime. The design was conceived specifically for these enamel badges and was intended for wear in “mufti” (in civies) not as part of uniform.

Our favourite example comes from a Pathe Newsreel (see picture) of the Prince of Wales presenting colours to the Royal Regiment of Wales in 1969. Legendary Welsh WW1 VC “Stokey” Lewis was an Auxilier in WW2. His medals are now in the Lord Ashcroft collection having been privately purchased. They are on display at the IWM, though we believe without the Aux Units badge

Thus the badges were produced in wartime, but with strict instructions not to be worn until the end of hostilities. Perhaps they didn’t see the ‘end’ of the war taking quite such a long time..

Mar 102019
 

2019 marks 75 years since the official Stand Down of the Auxiliary Units, and the 10th anniversary of CART research

Here are some of the events we are hoping to attend (subject to confirmation):

April 13th & 14th: Castletown at War, D-Day Museum, Portland, Dorset www.castletownddaycentre.com

April 14th: Coleshill O.B. Open Day, Coleshill House, Oxfordshire www.nationaltrust.org.uk/the-buscot-and-coleshill-estates/features/coleshills-second-world-war-secrets

May 25th & 26th: Nothe Fort, Weymouth 1940’s Weekend, Dorset https://nothefort.org.uk/news-events/1940s-home-front-family-weekend?occurrenc eID=311

May 12th: Coleshill O.B. Open Day, Coleshill House, Oxfordshire www.nationaltrust.org.uk/the-buscot-and-coleshill-estates/features/coleshills-second-world-war-secrets

June 8th & 9th: Southwick, D-Day Revival (also 75 years), Hampshire www.southwickrevival.co.uk

June 9th: Coleshill O.B. Open Day, Coleshill House, Oxfordshire www.nationaltrust.org.uk/the-buscot-and-coleshill-estates/features/coleshills-second-world-war-secrets

June 22nd & 23rd: The Axe Vale Show, Axminster, Devon www.axevaleshow.com/axevale-show-2019

June 30th: Hazelbury Mill, Military Vehicle event, Somerset http://www.haselburymill.co.uk/events-1

July 6th & 7th: Chickerell Steam & Vintage Show, Weymouth, Dorset www.chickerellsteamshow.uk

July 14th: Coleshill O.B. Open Day, Coleshill House, Oxfordshire www.nationaltrust.org.uk/the-buscot-and-coleshill-estates/features/coleshills-second-world-war-secrets

Aug 18th: The Mid Somerset Show, Somerset www.midsomersetshow.org.uk/

Sept 8th: Coleshill O.B. Open Day, Coleshill House, Oxfordshire www.nationaltrust.org.uk/the-buscot-and-coleshill-estates/features/coleshills-second-world-war-secrets

September: Coleshill WW2 weekend, Coleshill, Oxfordshire WATCH THIS SPACE – this is going to be a BIG event: Coleshill House is where the Aux Units underwent their specialist training 1940 – 1944

The whole of the Granary will be filled by CART, The Scallywags, BROM (British Resistance Organisation Museum) and The Bob Millard (Aux Patrol member) Collection, marking 75 years since the Auxiliary Units were officially stood down… more information to follow…

Mar 082019
 

Check out The Scallywags display of equipment & weapons used by the G.H.Q. Auxiliary Units 1940 – 1944.

National Tramway Museum, Crich: 21 – 22 April.
Wartime Wheels, Caldicot Castle: 5 – 6 May.
The Needle Museum, Reddich: 19 May.
Black Country Museum, Dudley: 13 – 14 July.
Blaenavon Ironworks, Blaenavon: 3 – 4 Aug.
Coleshill House, Coleshill : 22 Sept.
Papplewick Pumping Station, Mansfield: 19 – 20 Oct.

More dates may be added when confirmed.

Mar 022019
 

Social Media can be an amazing thing. Through CART Facebook (British Resistance Archive – Churchill’s Auxiliary Units), we have ‘reached’ 5,289 people and counting, (through us and those that have shared the post such as The Pillbox Appreciation Society), we’ve had 2,267 engagements, 241 direct ‘reactions’ 24 comments and 27 shares. Keep up the good work !