We are looking forward to returning to this cracking family-friendly show with an Aux Units display and info. See you there !
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
CART will have our ‘multi-award winning display’ at Haselbury Mill on Sunday June 30th. Come along for a family fun day out and discover what Churchill’s Auxiliary Units would have done if Britain was invaded in WW2.
Verdon Besley was 16 when he joined the Sandford Auxiliary Unit Patrol in Somerset. At 18 he joined the Queen’s Royal Regiment and went all the way to Berlin where his Auxiliary training came in handy.
The Patrol’s Operational Base was inside an old lead mine in the Mendip hills. Learn more about the Sandford Patrol here: https://www.coleshillhouse.com/sandford-levy-bunker.php
Our sympathies to his family and friends. R.I.P. Verdon Besley.
A nominal roll for Special Duties Operators has yet to be found. Could it still be “Top Secret” ?
Thanks to Roger Parsons of Millfield School, CART has obtained a photograph of a Special Duties Operator in Somerset
Code named ” Chirnside 5″ the wireless Out Station was in a chicken hut at Edgarley Manor Farm. Locally it is suggested a woman was the main operator. The couple are Kenneth and Dorothy Marsh. So was it Dorothy in charge of sending secret messages on the wireless ?
Having married in Kuala Lumpur the couple lived in Federated Malay States (today Malaysia). During the 1910s and 20s they often travelled backward and forward from the UK, his occupation recorded as “Planter”.
On May 14th 1942 The Wells Journal ran an article on Kenneth Marsh and his farming methods which was broadcast by the BBC.
The article records the Farm is predominantly rearing and selling poultry rather than selling the eggs. It also notes the feed is produced in vast sums from local food waste and army swill from military camps. This shows the Marshes would have frequently and freely travelled the area collecting waste and be able to monitor local situations if necessary.
Thanks to all those who stopped by the CART display at the excellent Haselbury Mill WW2 event near Crewkerne on Father’s Day. It was a great day with lots of interest and lots of leads in the South West and also Worcestershire.
From our Devon researcher, Nina: “Though the weather could have been warmer it was a busy show and well attended. We talked to a lot of people about Auxiliary Units, many hearing about them for the first time. We were also given an amazing 10 leads on OB sites in Devon, Dorset, Somerset and Worcestershire. Going to be a busy rest of year hunting for those ! Many thanks gents. Chips were great too !”
CART will be at Haselbury Mill’s free WW2 event on Father’s Day, 17th June 2018. Take your Dad along for a little nostalgia and a chat! Haselbury Mill, Haselbury Plucknett, Nr Crewkerne, Somerset TA18 7NY
Some photos from last year: