Sep 302019
 

Firstly lots of big thanks to everyone who helped make the 75th Anniversary of Aux Units Stand Down at the National Trust’s Coleshill Estate such a resounding success. This year also marks the 10th Anniversary of CART.

The day went extremely well, even the weather didn’t put off the crowds who attended.

Jim Gasgoyne pointing out his mother who was in the SD Branch, The Scallywags & re-enactors
Radio workshop hut pads & Coleshill Estate
Original Operational Base
Special Duties Branch – chicken shed radio hide
The late Bob Millard, Scout Section / SAS, office, weapons & mock-up OB
Chris Pratt (B.R.O.M. / British Resistance Organisation Museum, Parham, Suffolk), the family of Capt. Tallents (1938 Countryman’s author)

Brilliant day – well done all !!

Sep 132019
 

Final preparations are gathering pace for the largest display of Auxiliary Units equipment ever put together, with many items never having been displayed before.

This is a large part of the National Trusts event on Sunday 22nd September marking the 75th anniversary of Auxiliary Units being stood down. Near Swindon, Wiltshire, SN6 7PT.

So much going on. See the Programme of Events and flyer below:

Come and learn about saboteurs, spies and secret messages hidden in tennis balls, designed to help thwart a German invasion…

C.A.R.T. will be set up in The Granary, so come and say hi.

Lots to explore all over the estate:

Sep 062019
 

Sunday September 22nd, 10am to 4pm. SN6 7PT

The grounds of Coleshill House are littered with Aux history. There’s the Guard House, replica SD hide, the remains of the huts where some of the men lived and worked. Grenade and rifle ranges, where they practiced on old tanks and lorries – even a piece of one of those tanks has been found.

We will be celebrating the 75th anniversary of the Auxiliers being stood down from service. These brave men and women volunteered to act as an underground resistance to the threatened German invasion in 1940.

What else ? Military vehicles, re-enactors, music & dancing, food and drink. For the kids there will be a special activity challenge trail, and code-breaking.

Replica bunker tours

Plus there are some special guests lined up too:

Malcolm Atkin: former archaeologist, military historian & professional author including these WW2 books –

Tony ‘Scallywag’ Salter: Living Historian and highly knowledgeable Aux Units enthusiast, Tony (and his lovely wife Julie) take their display all around the country educating as they go –

Auxiliary Unit talks from Chris Pratt (British Resistance Museum at Parham, Suffolk), and local historian Bill King who contributed to the book ‘With Britain in Mortal Danger’, as well as appearing in various television programmes.

Bill King & Chris Pratt

Of course C.A.R.T. will be there too, packing The Granary to the gunwales with displays of weapons, explosives and other equipment issued to the Auxiliers, a fully equipped bunker and re-creations of the wartime offices. There will be lots of items on display for first time in 75 years in this location, including numerous original documents and photographs.

This is a huge event and not to be missed.

Aug 302019
 

75th Anniversary Stand-Down event at Coleshill House, Sunday 22nd September.

Some of the exiting things to see at the big event on 22nd Sept, apart from the largest collection of Aux Units equipment ever assembled…

Researcher Bill Ashby has been busy producing a booklet about ‘Coleshill Estate in WW2 – General HQ Auxiliary Units 1940 – 1945’ that will be available at the event:

Roger Green (CART and The National Trust) has been active with a recent find in the grounds of Coleshill House which appears to be an early OB. Investigation and restoration project ongoing:

.. and we’ll have the Camp Commandant’s door to display !

tps://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/the-buscot-and-coleshill-estates/features/coleshill-underground-second-world-war-event-is-back

Who is this ? Did you know he was an Aux Intelligence Officer during the War ?

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 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.

Oct 162018
 

Weeley OB in Essex has been found by brothers Gary and Mark Binden. They are both interested in WW1 & WW2  fortifications & regularly travel up & down the country tracking down & photographing them.

As Weeley is on their doorstep they were determined to find it, so after several trips to the woods & a lot of research they have tracked it down.
Only half remains but they have kindly shared their findings with us.
We know who would have used this base but can anyone help us learn more?

Sgt Roger Weeley, who lived in Edgewood House, Weeley Heath

Cpl Joseph J Webb

Cpl Basil G Deeks

Pte George F Wallace

Pte Reginald T Bruce

Pte Edward D Piper

Pte Frederick E Martin

Known as “Squire” Weeley, Roger shocked interviewer Ivan Cutting in 1986 when he revealed his wartime role.

Recruited directly by Andrew Croft, who had only just returned from Norway, he was telephoned on a Sunday to recruit 6 men to form the Patrol by Wednesday. They were soon issued with 2-3 hundred weight of explosives which were stored in small dumps, one in the Squire’s pigsty. In return for a couple of rabbits they “borrowed” a local digger to dig out for their OB and created an entrance through a old holly tree.

The patrol tested the local military defences many times and were always successful.

“We were taught to look after ourselves” said Squire Weeley.

Many thanks to Gary and Mark.




Aug 012018
 

CART researchers have been busy, even during the recent heatwave excavating Operational Bunker (O.B.) remains. CART was granted exclusive access to this private and secret site, not previously recorded.

Many interesting features were unearthed and documented. These included evidence in the soil colour change and fill, combined with a clear line and termination of vertical corrugation indicating a metal shaft entrance.

Also unearthed was the unusual find of a section of ‘blind’ escape tunnel sat directly above the actual escape tunnel (storage?), and a length of cable exiting the shaft area (possibly linking to an Observation Post or for lighting?)…

Documenting new sites continues, can you help ?




Jul 272018
 

Jim Gascoyne is the son of an Auxilier & an ATS “secret sweetie” Special Duties operator.

The talk is at Willesborough Windmill TN24 0QG.   18.45 for 19.30 start.

Jim has marched with Auxiliary veterans at the Cenotaph in memory of the Auxiliary Units.

Guaranteed to be an excellent evening !

http://www.coleshillhouse.com/specialdutiesbranch/golding-0-special-duties-radio-zero-station.php

 




Jun 012018
 

Coleshill House (SN6 7PT) was the hush-hush headquarters of Churchill’s Secret Army, or the Auxiliers. Discover the detailed history of their training and visit some of the remaining Second World War features around the village, including the Guard House and the original prototype underground training bunker or Operational Base (OB). Plus, check out the newly built and refurbished replica “funk hole” and see the new display of artifacts including a rare copy of a Stand-Down letter.

Day Times Availability
7 June 2018 18:00 – 20:00 Available
12 July 2018 18:00 – 20:00 Available
16 September 2018 10:00 – 12:00 Available
6 October 2018 14:00 – 16:00 Available

https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/events/4cc948c4-d1f6-4b91-b911-a0e1ea3677c6/pages/details

Prices:  Adult £5.00 / Child £2.50

Contact Rachel Coltman to book on: 01793 762-209

Suitability: Children welcome (12+) / Assistance dogs welcome.
Park & meet: at the Coleshill Estate Office car park.
What to bring & wear: Please wear appropriate clothing for weather conditions. Flat sturdy shoes/boots/wellingtons advisable.
Accessibility: A fairly long, flat walk through the village, woods & fields.

Free afternoons are also available to experience the replica OB:

Day Times Availability
10 June 2018 14:00 – 17:00 Available
8 July 2018 14:00 – 17:00 Available
12 August 2018 14:00 – 17:00 Available
9 September 2018 14:00 – 17:00 Available
14 October 2018 14:00 – 17:00 Available

https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/events/74fa6412-18cc-40cd-b634-a3dcf13d9b6e/pages/details