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 !!

Aug 212019
 

Saturday the 24th August at 7pm at Pelynt Village Hall, near Looe, (Cornwall).

John Jolliffe will be giving a talk about the local Auxiliary Units. John is hugely passionate and knowledgable about the local units and is well worth listening to if you are in the area.

This may be your last opportunity to hear John as he is threatening that this maybe his last talk!

CART will be present with a small display and some pictures. The village is also preparing a memorial garden with a commemorative stone remembering the local Aux Units.

Saturday 24th August at 7pm at Pelynt Village Hall, nr Looe, Cornwall. PL13 2LP

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

Jul 082019
 

C.A.R.T. enjoyed another warm welcome and warm weather at the Steam & Vintage Show near Weymouth last weekend.

In between cups of tea and home made cake, we met plenty of great people with stories to share and some good leads for us to follow.

We met the land owner of a known Operational Patrol bunker in East Devon, and have been given permission to investigate the site further.

We chatted with one lady who, as a school girl was involved with a local history project. She was expecting a Home Guard interview from a Chickerell resident. He promptly told her that he wasn’t in the Home Guard and was an Auxilier in the local patrol, and what he was up to during the war ! He wife (who was apparently making tea in the kitchen) listened agog as it turned out she did not know, and in fact it was the first time the Auxilier had told anyone !

Local community radio station (https://keep106.com/) based in Dorchester invited us for a ‘Don’t tell them your name Pike’ interview about Auxiliary Units. The interview is scheduled to go out on the 17th of July.

We were delighted to be able to exhibit an item from Auxilier, the late ‘Bob Millard’ who did so much for C.A.R.T.

A couple of good leads also came up for possible bunkers, especially for an SD bunker that as far as we know, has not been previously recorded – watch this space…

All in all, a thoroughly good weekend.

Jun 302019
 

It’s 10 years ago this weekend that CART was set up and what amazing progress the organisation has made since then!

Much thanks to Tom Sykes – Cameraman & Accredited Drone Pilot who set up CART and made such a huge contribution to the organisation. And a huge thank you to all our volunteers and supporters who continue to commit so many hours of their own time to researching and honouring the remarkable members of the Auxiliary Units!

CART was at two events this weekend. One in Somerset and the other in Colchester, Essex. Busy times.

Next event is at the Chickerell Steam & Vintage show in Weymouth, Dorset, next weekend. Come and say hi !

Jun 302019
 

CART will be returning to this fantastic event with our ‘multi-award-winning’ display, relaxed chat and plenty of info about Churchill’s Auxiliary Units and what they would have done if Hitler had invaded in 1940. Some members of the Auxiliary Units went on to join the SAS and were dropped into France for D-Day…

https://chickerellsteamshow.uk/attractions/