May 132014

Dorset Auxiliary Units

Today we have uploaded new and updated reports to the site sent to us by our Dorset CIO Dr Will Ward.

These are Ferndown, Child Okeford and Winfrith & Broadmayne.

You can see them all here

Also look out for our attendance at next month’s Broadmayne D5 event in Dorset.

Sep 262012

Tonight at 6:30pm on BBC2 is a programme called ‘How We Won The War’ presented by Jules Hudson.

‘In this episode local historian John Sadler meets Jules to reveal the story of the Home Guard’s Auxiliary units.’

Well they have already got it wrong by mentioning the Home Guard!!! Will the BBC ever read the research on our site and others before reporting!!!

This is an extract of what is in the episode,

“The units were highly trained in a radical defence strategy – the idea being that they would hold up Germans on the beaches should the Nazis invade Britain.

Men were selected from those prevented to going to war because their occupations were reserved. They’d then be organised into small, cover units which it’s believed, were issued with kill lists – identifying known German sympathisers. They were trained in how to sabotage and create mayhem behind enemy lines.

John explains how secreting the men deep in Britain’s countryside, and if necessary killing British citizens was revolutionary – and ‘dark stuff’.

The men had to keep their role secret from their families and girlfriends, and were told that their life expectancy should Germans invade would be no more than 14 days. Amongst the recruits was renowned actor Anthony Quayle.

By 1941, there were some 5,000 auxiliaries poised to tackle any German invasion – brave young men determined to help us win the war – whatever the cost.”

More info here

Sep 122012

Another brave group of men have been added to our website. This time East Yorkshire’s Cottingham NORTH Patrol.

The Operational Bunker was hidden inside a Boiler House.

Our researcher Andy Gwynne has prepared a report on the men here

Sep 042012

Today we have added a page including pictures and video on the Beverley South Auxiliary Unit Patrol from East Ridings in Yorkshire.

Andy Gwynne has made a cracking video inside the Operational Base and the full report can be seen here


Aug 292012

Next week sees the return of the next instalment of the BBC’s popular Victorian Farm and Edwardian Farm series. This time it is Wartime Farm. At least one episode feature Steve Mason, our CIO for Hampshire. Steve plays the part of an Intelligence Officer. The show also features scenes of Auxiliary Unit Re-enactors including Gerry Sutcliffe who has worked with CART a lot.


In a new eight-part series, historian Ruth Goodman and archaeologists Alex Langlands and Peter Ginn take on their biggest challenge yet – to turn back the clock and run Manor Farm exactly as it would have been during the Second World War. They will face one of the biggest challenges ever seen in the history of the British countryside – what Churchill called ‘the frontline of freedom’.

As well as tackling the trials of day to day living in volatile times, the team will be managing livestock, attempting to cultivate unused land, tackling new tools and technologies and learning the basics of civil defence, while all the time confronting shortages.

The first episode finds the farmers in a new location, a new time period and with a new team member. There is a farmhouse to modernise, strict new rules to abide by and air raid precautions to contend with.
The team begin by reclaiming land to grow new crops, whilst Peter works with a blacksmith to design a special ‘mole plough’ to help drain the waterlogged clay fields. Meanwhile Ruth and Alex get to grips with a troublesome wartime tractor – and must plough through the night to get the wheat crop sown in time.

During World War II farmers were tasked with the massive job of doubling food production,

but their detailed knowledge of the landscape also made them ideal recruits for one of the war’s most secret organisations – the ‘Auxiliary Units’, a British resistance force trained to use guerrilla tactics against German invasion.

Wartime Farm was co-produced with The Open University. (Source: BBC)

Aug 182012

We have added information to the site on the Middleton Auxiliary Unit from Norfolk.

Their Operational Base was built by the patrol members themselves. All building materials were ‘borrowed’ from local sources. The roof was constructed from railway sleepers and corrugated sheeting covered with roofing felt.  Roadside kerbstones were used for building the walls.

See the full report here