Kent

Kent flag
Overview

Kent Auxiliary Units were also known as XII Corps Observation Unit which was their original cover name.

The Kent Auxiliary Units Patrols can be divided into 9 Groups from lists recorded by Major Malcolm Hancock based at Coleshill House around September 1944 though some known patrols were disbanded before this was recorded.

There were some changes in Patrols and personnel over time and the Group structure did not exist earlier in the war, but it provides a useful way to look at the Patrols.

The Kent nominal rolls are a simple list of names within an area and a A-Z address book. The only way to identify which Auxiliers were in what Patrol is by their home address.

Where Patrols are close together there maybe some question over what Patrol they were part of.

Known code names given to Kent Patrols but as yet unable to be allocated to a location are :
Artichoke, Endive, Beetroot, Pineapple, Potato, Cabbage, Rhubarb, Cauliflower, Cucumber, Quince, Beetroot and Mulberry.

Headquarters

The same Headquarters at The Garth in Bilting was in use from the earliest formation of Kent Patrols until closed down on 26 September 1944. After that Kent was adminstered from Bishops Waltham as part of Area 3.

 

Intelligence Officers (IO)
Role Name Posted from until
Intelligence Officer Captain Frank Stuart Platten 1944 26 Sep 1944
Intelligence Officer Captain Robert Peter Fleming 02 Jul 1940 17 Dec 1940
Intelligence Officer Captain Norman John Lascelles Field 01 Jan 1941 09 Dec 1941
Intelligence Officer Captain George Robertson McNicoll 09 Dec 1941 1943
Scout sections

The Kent Scout Sections were the model for the rest of the country. Known as XII Corps Observation Unit, they were in existence before Auxiliary Units was properly formed. Colonel Gubbins referred to Regular Army units in Kent in a paper, written for Prime Minister Winston Churchill, describing how Auxiliary Units were being set up. This meant that there were some differences in the arrangements in Kent compared to other areas.

The first Scout Section was formed from the Lovat Scouts, which recruited in the Highlands of Scotland. It is thought that this came about through Peter Fleming seeking help from his brother Richard, a Captain in the Lovat Scouts.

Subsequently further Scout Sections joined XII Corps Observation Unit. The Lovat Scouts left, leaving behind a couple of instructors, but it appears were replaced by a London Scottish Scout Section in East Kent and subsequently the Buffs, the Royal East Kent Regiment as an East Kent Scout Section. There was also a West Kent Scout Section formed from the Royal West Kent Regiment. In April 1943 a reductiin in personnel led to mergers and a single Combined Kent Scout Section.

The picture is also complicated by the presence of a number of "Battle patrols".

Battalion