Jun 162019
 

CART will be at Colchester Garrison, Essex as part of Armed Forces Day, hosted by the 16th Air Assault Brigade on Saturday 29th June.

Researchers will be on hand for a friendly chat complete with a display of equipment & information about local Auxiliary Units. Find out what they would have done if Hitler had invaded in 1940. Some members of the Auxiliary Units went on to join the SAS and were dropped into France for D-Day in 1944.

https://www.armedforcesday.org.uk/event/16-air-assault-brigade-and-colchester-garrison-show-on-armed-forces-day/

Jun 052019
 

This weekend 8th / 9th June CART is at Southwick Revival 75

Just a reminder that we will be at the Southwick Revival event this weekend (8th/9th June). CART founder Tom Sykes has been there this morning and sent us some great D-Day related images. Thanks Tom.

If you’re in the area then pop along and say hello!

See more about Tom’s work here https://www.facebook.com/cameraopuk

If you haven’t already liked us on Facebook, search for British Resistance Archive – Churchill’s Auxiliary Units. We’re sending out daily Aux reports over these momentous days.

May 262019
 

CART are delighted to announce that we will be attending one of the most prestigious 75th D-Day anniversary events, at Southwick, Hampshire on the 8th & 9th June: https://www.southwickrevival.co.uk/

Southwick House, HQ for the 1944 D-Day preparations, hosted General Eisenhower, Admiral Ramsay and General Montgomery.

The original invasion map is still on the wall…

We will be bringing our Auxiliary Units display and have information at hand. This area was hugely important in the run up to D-Day.

Drop by for a friendly chat and look over our display of Aux Unit artifacts. As Eisenhower said – “OK, let’s Go !”

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..