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