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.
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.
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.
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.
“We investigated possible OB sites around Shirwell in North Devon. We still need some confirmation, so if there are any family members out there who can point us in the right direction or confirm what we have found please contact us (here).
After a great lunch (we are civilised researchers!) we moved onto Bideford.
Sadly we couldn’t find anyone to get permission to access one recorded possible OB site. That will have to wait for another day.
We went to a couple of sites where bomb stores were recorded. Perfect distance from the OB for different targets. One site has now been built on and the other is sadly a wood full of rubbish !
An Auxiliers daughter told us that explosives were also stored under the floor of the ‘Old Mission Chapel’. We found that in a bit of a sorry state but again perfect distance from the recorded OB.
A good wander around the area gave us a real feel for the Patrol movements and targets. A great day out !”