Northumberland

Northumberland flag
Overview

Lists recorded by Major Malcolm Hancock based at Coleshill House around September 1944 record Northumberland was Area 5. There were 21 Auxiliary Unit Patrols in Northumberland, within 5 groups.

The nominal roll is written in Patrol order.

Researcher
Headquarters

Captain Torrance used Inverurie Camp near Aberdeen as his base while scouting, though he presumably stayed somewhere more local while recruiting Patrols. Captain Quayle used Shielow Castle, north of Belford as his Headquarters and Captain Gough used Belford Hall and Middleton Hall as well as an unknown house in Berwick. Captain Thouron used a house in Alnwick and Doxford Hall.

Training was at Melville House, Ladybank, Cupar, Fife as well as locally. A small arms and assault course was set up near the Allerdean OB at Scremerston Hill farm, to the south of Berwick on Tweed. The patrols also did training with the regular army at Otterburn Ranges.

The stores for Northumberland and Durham were at Northallerton, North Yorkshire, 202 Battalion area. Though the Quartermaster used the Northallerton Home Guard stores as cover. Fast communications with Northern Command based in York and the Home Guard stores based in Northallerton was done via the Post Office next to Chathill railway station. This meant that stores could be ordered by phone and then dropped at Chathill station in less than a couple of hours.

From 27 September 1944, the Headquarters was at 6 Queen Street, Perth, Scotland as part of Area 1. Commanding officers were Major G R McNichol and Capt A Fiddes-Watt.

Intelligence Officers (IO)
Role Name Posted from until
Intelligence Officer Captain John Anthony Quayle 1941 1942
Intelligence Officer Captain Victor Albert Gough 1942 1943
Intelligence Officer Captain John Rupert Hunt Thouron 1943 1944
Scout sections

The was only one Northumberland Scout Section.

The names of the members are unknown apart from Captain Victor Albert Gough who was I/O for the Auxiliary Units and may have been in the Scout Section as well though there is a possibility that Captain Richard John "Victor" Goss from the Grenadier Guards ran the Scout Section until he went to North Africa.

The Scout Section Corporal was Robert Stephens (5679847) born 1916 and died 2002

One Private is known, Private Louis Henry Baker (5665934) nicknamed "Brock", born 9 Nov 1904 and died November 1988. He had later joined the SAS, in 1 SAS "B" Troop "B" Squadron.

The Scout Section were based at some buildings at Kyloe close to the Auxiliary Unit I/O at Sheilow Castle. A couple of O.B sites have come to light including one near Shilbottle and one mentioned by Captain Anthony Quayle at Warden Hill near Hexham. This site is a long way west form the Auxiliary Unit patrols but it makes some sense as it is roughly half way between the east and west coasts of northern England. The military planners had a fear of an airbourne attack with coastal support in the north Northumberland/Scottish Borders area that could quickly cut England and Scotland into two areas and having Scotland cut off and out of the war.