Nov 142019
 

Jack was enrolled into Aux Units in 1942 at 16 years of age. Later he became a Bevin Boy in the South Wales coal mines.

CART was delighted to receive a visit from Jack when we attended the Broadmayne WW2 event in 2016. (Broadmayne was marshalling area D5 in south Dorset prior to D-Day).

The Child Okeford Operational Patrol was based in north Dorset near the military town of Blandford Forum. https://www.coleshillhouse.com/child-okeford-auxiliary-unit-patrol.php

His service will be at Poole Crematorium on Monday 25th November at 2pm. Rest in peace Jack.

Nov 112019
 

This years Cenotaph memorial march in London was attended by Jim Gascoyne, John Hewett and Stewart Bates. Our thanks to them for Auxiliary Units representation.

Here’s what Jim had to say: “We were sandwiched between WRVS ladies (charming) and RSPCA officers (funny) with RAF Police alongside and Royal Military Police a few yards behind us. The Duke of York took the salute before we dispersed from Horseguards Parade. A personal Thank You from me for ensuring that the CART slot was maintained at the RBL Cenotaph Remembrance Parade. Best regards, Jim Gasgoyne.”

CART’s Roger Green and Bill Ashby attended the memorial service at Coleshill, remembering all those from the village that gave their lives. They also laid a wreath in memory of Aux Units.

In Somerset CART’s Chris Perry laid 2 wreaths at Somerton war memorial: One to all the men and women that served in the Aux Units in Somerset, and one to Major Ian Fenwick, the late John ‘Tiny’ Kidner of Somerton & all the men that served in the SAS.

We will remember them

Nov 092019
 

Auxiliary Units were not only the Spirit of Resistance. Their contributions enabled regular soldiers to fight away from home soil, tested defences at home, and led to many joining the SAS. The secret radio network (Special Duties Branch) broadcast huge amounts of ‘radio noise’ in the coastal areas of the south east of England that helped build a misleading picture of a D-Day invasion coming from Kent to Calais. All this and not a word to anyone, and with little or no recognition.

We will remember them.

These excerpts from Auxilier Geoff Ratcliff of East Bergholt Patrol, Suffolk paint a vivid picture of what it was like to have been a Patrol member. Reading his full account will take 2 minutes: https://www.coleshillhouse.com/east-bergholt-auxiliary-unit-patrol.php

” In June 1940 I became a member of the Home Guard, L.D.V. (Local Defence Volunteer) as it was first called. Soon after I was selected for what was said to be a very special job… “

“… one was left with the impression that we were really rather special, I was seventeen and cynicism was not in my vocabulary.”

” The ground sloped away to a free flowing stream some fifty yards away. This would be our water provider, in 1940 this water could be safely drunk.”

” … if they went off when you were priming plastic explosive or a hand grenade or a sticky bomb then of course the whole lot went including you. ”

” All in all we were well equipped but no mention how stocks would be replenished if it ever happened. I suppose it was assumed one would not last longer than the supplies.”

Read Geoff’s full account here: https://www.coleshillhouse.com/east-bergholt-auxiliary-unit-patrol.php

We will remember them

Oct 302019
 

If you’re interested in learning more about Coleshill House, the HQ and training centre for the Auxiliary Units, then we have the perfect booklet for you now available from our online shop !

Auxiliary Unit members from all over the country came to learn about building and living in the underground Operational Bases, explosives, sabotage and all the skills they would need to impact any German invasion. Secret radio’s were assembled in huts around the grounds.

This 22-page colour booklet takes you through the history of the Auxiliary Units at Coleshill House, the various buildings in use (and those you can still visit), contemporary photographs and much more. A perfect guide for a day out at the National Trust’s Coleshill Estate, home of Auxiliary Units.

At £4.95 these would make great Christmas presents. Go to our shop to order yours…

Find out more here: http://shop.coleshillhouse.com/index.php…

Oct 182019
 

We are aware of unscrupulous people selling fake Auxiliary Unit Stand-Down badges.

Don’t be fooled. We’ve seen enough real badges to know the difference. Please contact us if you are unsure if a badge is genuine or not.

We sell memorial badges produced by CART in our online shop for £6.95. https://shop.coleshillhouse.com/

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.

Jul 232019
 

CART’s Somerset researcher recently laid a wreath for Major Ian Fenwick on the War Memorial and at the church in Bruton, Somerset.

Major Fenwick, a former Somerset Intelligence Officer who organised and trained Somerset Auxiliers (part of 203 Reserve Battalion GHQ), went on to join 1st SAS.

On 16th / 17th June 1944, he was dropped into Normandy a hundred miles behind enemy lines and successfully led sabotage missions against German communications. He was killed in an ambush on 7th August 1944 trying to assist his team who had been attacked. You can read a full account on the Para-Data website here: https://www.paradata.org.uk/people/ian-fenwick

Before the war Ian Fenwick was a professional cartoonist for magazines such as Punch. He had family connections and lived for a while in Bruton, Somerset.

Learn more about the Somerset Auxiliary Unit Patrols here: https://www.coleshillhouse.com/somerset-auxiliary-units-and-obs.php