Jul 192015

Farringdon is a small village 6 miles east of Exeter. This patrol report has been produced by our Devon CIO Nina Hannaford.

The patrol utilised the existing structure of Farringdon House Ice House for their Operational Base.

Farringdon Auxiliary Unit 6It is possible that the “entrance” has been created post war as the blocks appear damaged at the sides. If the block wall was complete, thus sealing off the original entrance passageway to the Ice House leaving only the tunnel, this would make escape more viable.

Read Nina’s full and fascinating patrol report here.


Feb 242015

Hawkchurch SDB 2

Aux researcher Chris Perry with assistance from Nina Hannaford has today published a report on a Special Duties Out Station.

The report is about the wireless site, recorded as “Hawkchurch” Out Station, on the Devon / Dorset border (in Devon from 1896) which is actually in the nearby hamlet of Fishponds Bottom which is in Dorset on the edge of the Vale of Marshwood.

The wireless was located in a “chicken shed” at the rear of a house locally known as “Briscoe’s Farm”.

Read their detailed report here

Sep 192014

Lupton MastheadWe are displaying at the Lupton House 1940’s event this weekend.

Lupton House is a lovely historical Grade 2 listed building situated close to Brixham in Devon.

This weekend the house and magnificent grounds will once again become host to a 1940’s themed weekend.

We will display some of our research and artefacts and provide the background to the various patrols around the UK with focus on Devon.


CART County Information Officers (CIOs) from Devon and GHQ at Swindon will be on hand to answer any questions and help trace records of loved ones.

Do come along and support us at the event.

Read more here 


Aug 132014

Chirnside SD Bewley Down 2Today we have added a basic report on the Special Duties Out-Station located at Bewley Down in Devon.

The secret underground bunker, code named Chirnside 1, is located beneath an old outside privy and has recently been restored over a nine year period.

A book is the result of that project, with contributions from a team of ex-military and civilian experts assembled by the current homeowner.

Through out the renovation unique discoveries have been made such as the arrangement of the ventilation pipes in a complex pattern, including junction boxes for multiple pipes, and the range of cabling used to connect wireless sets to the aerial trees. Probably the most fascinating finds are the wide range of hidden hooks, latches and catches that operate the various concealed bolts and secret doors to access the dugout and to get into the radio room.

There are a 100 illustrations and photos throughout the 120 page book, with the images carefully aligned to the relevant text.

There is also a talk being given about this renovation and more info on this can be seen here. 

Jul 082014

Branscombe Auxiliary Unit Patrol 10Today we have added a very in-depth patrol report on the Branscombe Auxiliary Unit from Devon.

This excellent report was published by our Devon researcher Nina Hannaford with some very generous help by Ralph Cox and Sue Dymond author of ‘Branscombe’s War’ 

The Branscombe Project have kindly allowed us to use excerpts of interviews, taken over the years, remembering the Auxiliers and their actions. 

Read the full report here

Jun 232014

A new book called Chirnside 1: Auxiliary Units: Special Duties Branch Out-Station has recently been published by H.P. May, A.S.G. Blackmore, T.R.N. Walford, D. Hunt.photo 1

The blurb reads,

When an eleven year old schoolboy returned home to East Devon from boarding school in 1941, he found soldiers excavating an enormous hole in the garden next to the outside Privy. This was the beginning of an underground construction which became an integral part of a most secret WWII operation.

Named the Special Duties Branch of the Auxiliary Units, civilians were trained and exercised in gathering intelligence about enemy forces in the event of a German invasion of Britain. These civilians were supported by regular military personnel, namely ATS and Royal Signals, who assisted in operating a network of wireless stations through which intelligence details were passed to Army HQ.

This account of the restoration of a Special Duties Branch wireless station, and the outcome of five year’s research into the history of the site, has revealed previously unknown facts about a clandestine war time organisation who’s history largely remains under official secrecy.

The book can be bought in our shop here. 

Paperback: 138 pages
Publisher: Dudfield Publications (May 2014)
ISBN-10: 099291390X
ISBN-13: 978-0992913908

Jun 042014

Newton Poppleford Auxiliary Unit 3

Today we have added another patrol to the Devon page on our site.

Newton Poppleford Auxiliary Unit were located on the west of the River Otter in East Devon.

Explore their Operational Base and read more about their training here

Our thanks to Nina Hannaford, Noel Thornton, Mike Barber and Mark Taylor for their hard work researching this. 

Dec 172013

Research has uncovered that the Western Morning News, a local paper in the Devon area, exposed and outed the Auxiliary Units just 17 months after they had been stood down!

Western Morning News 1945

Just one month later the same paper published an interview by an un-named Auxilier (see below). This is fairly shocking as nearly all Auxiliers signed the Official Secrets Act which prevented them from speaking to anyone about their role, needless to say some took this more seriously than others.

The general secrecy of Aux Units during the war varied around the country with some counties being far more relaxed than others.

Western Morning News Aux Interview

But this was not the first public exposure.

In April 1945 The Times on Saturday published an article called ‘A Britain’s Secret “Underground” Invasion Spy Force Stood Down’.


If you know of any other press from this time that talks about the British Resistance please do let us know.

Aug 292013

Teignmouth Auxiliary Unit Patrol 1Nina Hannaford, our Devon researcher, has added three new patrol reports to the website this evening.

These reports are the result of years of research and investigating into these brave men.

The three reports are;

Dawlish Patrol known as ‘The Haldon Commandos’

Teignmouth Patrol known as ‘The Original Kernals Pals’

Starcross Patrol

You can read all of Nina’s reports for Devon here