Auxiliary Unit Patrol

'Churchill's Secret Army', a network of secret volunteers based in secret underground bunkers along the south and east coasts of England, recruited from the local Home Guards in 1940, had 30 patrols in Lincolnshire of which one was in Wold Newton. Its function was to fight a rearguard action after an invasion force had swept inland from the coast. The Lincolnshire patrols were split into 7 groups. Wold Newton was part of Group 2 under the command of Captain D.S. Parker.

Group 2 consisted of:

Patrol 2A South Kelsey

Patrol 2B Grasby

Patrol 2C Wold Newton

Patrol 2D Hatcliffe

Patrol 2E Kirmington

Patrol 2F Thornton Curtis.

The Wold Newton patrol is listed in records at the Public Record Office as comprising:

Sergeant H. Robinson

Corporal R. Franklin

Private B. Wright

Private W.E. Wright

Private J. Fawcett

Private J.E.Q. Bingham

Private H.Hunter.

The existence of the patrols, the identities of those who served in them and the location of the bunker were all secret and known only to the members of the unit themselves and a single liaison officer, although in the case of Wold Newton, at least, one or two locals seem to have rumbled it. Unsurprisingly, there were eye witness accounts of young lads who, despite the security and intended secrecy, witnessed the Royal Engineers putting the bunker in place albeit over a period of only a few hours.

Most bunkers were constructed from Nissen huts but Wold Newton's, in common with several others in the north Lincolnshire area, was made from pre-fabricated concrete panels.

The members of the patrols were recruited secretly and not formally enrolled as soldiers in order to protect their anonymity in the event of invasion. For all that, their life expectancy should they have to swing into action, was reckoned to be only a few weeks.

The network was disbanded in November 1944. Its existence was not acknowledged until April 1945.

The Wold Newton bunker, the floor level of which was 15 feet beneath the ground and reached through a hidden hatch leading to a shaft and then a tunnel, had mattress supports for four bunks. Its ventilation shafts were cleverly positioned along a hedge line so as to disperse the inevitable water vapour which would otherwise have given them away on cold days.