Suffolk

Suffolk flag
Overview

In 1940, Intelligence Officer Captain Andrew Croft set up Patrols in Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk. The first Patrols were created in the areas deemed most likely for a German invasion force to land first and hence being the most vulnerable: Essex, and the area of Suffolk south of Woodbridge. In the following year each of the three Counties was appointed its own own Intelligence Officer.

In 1941, 180 men had been recruited and 28 Patrols had been formed, with one more Patrol in the planning. Each of these Patrols had their own OB, with one in the process of being built and another wanted. Five Group Commanders had been appointed. Woodbridge Group Commander Captain David W Beeton's list (undated) mentions 35 patrols.

The 34 Suffolk Auxiliary Units Patrols were divided into 5 Groups from lists recorded by Major Malcolm Hancock in late 1944. At stand down Suffolk was recorded as Area 10.

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 Suffolk Nominal Roll only records the Auxilier's surnames, initials and National ID number created in 1939. The 1939 Register has been used to record their address but it should be noted that they may have moved before joining Auxiliary Units. The allocation of men to patrols has been on the basis of accounts provided by Auxiliers and their relations. Many of these were recorded by the British Resistance Organisation Museum at Parham in Suffolk.

Headquarters

The initial base for both Suffolk and Essex was The Vicarage, Kelvedon, Essex. As this was home of the father of Intelligence Officer Captain Croft, oit is likely that this changed when he left at the end of 1940. By late 1941 it is known that the Mill House, Cransford, near Woodbridge was in use as the Headquarters.On 16 June 1944, a combined East Anglian Headquarters was opened at The Masonic Hall, Framlingham. From 27 September 1944, Suffolk became part of Area 2 and was administered from a Headquarters at North Bar Within, Beverley, Yorkshire.

Intelligence Officers (IO)
Role Name Posted from until
Intelligence Officer Captain Noel Andrew Cotton Croft 15 Jul 1940 12 Dec 1940
Intelligence Officer Captain William Welchman Harston 12 Dec 1940 02 Apr 1941
Intelligence Officer Captain John Walcot Holberton 01 Apr 1941 04 Sep 1943
Intelligence Officer Captain Lawrence Strangman 04 Sep 1943 1944
Scout sections

As Suffolk and Essex were a single area initially, there was only one Suffolk Scout Section. In April 1943 as part of manpower reductions in the Regular Army component of Auxiliary Units, it was mostly likely halved in size and merged with the Essex Scout Section to create a Combined Essex and Suffolk Scout Section, based on what happened in other areas. However, no evidence has been found to confirm the existance of this Scout Section. It appears that for a short period in 1944 there was an East Anglian Scout Section that would travel across the region providing training to Home Guard patrols. Other counties were left with just four men to supervise training, but in East Anglia these appear to have been used together as a unit.