The youngest member of the Patrol, at 17, was Alan Chester. He was originally a member of the Sissinghurst Home Guard before moving to Wye.
Alan Chester: “I didn’t know much about the operation as a whole. I think I was recommended by Jack Long as I worked for him, as did Peter Leonard and Traviss Lockwood. I only knew them slightly by face as I never worked with them on the farms. I remember Peter Leonard was a ‘playboy’ who had quite a bit of cash to spend. He would smoke his pipe in the ice house OB and knock it out on the boxes of explosives. Our supplies were dropped off at night in the fields near the Devil’s Kneading Trough between Wye and Hastingleigh. We would then manhandle them across country to the OB. I don’t think there was much organisation behind the whole thing.
When the first Doodlebugs came over we had no idea what they were, so Captain McNicholl sent me on my bicycle to follow and see what happened to it.
I do not remember training at Coleshill or The Garth, although I used to walk by The Garth every day going to and from work or while courting. I never knew it was the HQ.
My brother, Joseph Alfred Chester, was in the Crundale Patrol, but again I did not learn of this until 2000. He never ever mentioned it to anyone, nor did I; until now. At Stand Down we handed our weapons and explosives in at Taylor’s Garage in Wye.”
|Unit or location||Role||Posted from||until|
|Hastingleigh Patrol||Patrol member||16 Jun 1940||25 Feb 1944|
Left Auxiliary Units to rejoin 1st Battalion Home Guard 25th February 1944. Alan was awarded the Defence Medal at stand down.
TNA ref WO199/3390 & 1
The late Alan Chester