Duntish Court, Dorset

Used between 16th March 1943 and 18th May 1944.

Duntish Court, Buckland Newton, was the final training headquarters for the Auxiliary Units in Dorset. Units from all over Dorset would go there to be trained by Lieutenant Weaver and the Scout Section or Major Darwell-Smith (later Captain Hubbard), the Dorset Intelligence Officer.

Most of the training happened in the stable block (right of the picture) or in the grounds. The phone number was Buckland Newton 49

Duntish Court was a large house with a 2000 acre estate of its own. Supposedly it had been on the short-list when the Royal Family were looking for an estate for the Prince of Wales in 1862, being overlooked for Sandringham instead. Since the death of the head of the family, John Holford, an officer in the 12th Lancers, in a road accident in 1940 shortly after his escape from France via Dunkirk, the estate had been underused.

It is thought that the Auxiliary Units occupied the substantial stable block (now several private residences) and made use of the surrounding estate for training. Miss Holford remianed in the house with a small staff.

After the war the main house fell into disrepair. The house was photographed and recorded by the Royal Commission on Historic Monuments in 1951, and was completely demolished in 1965. A bunglalow now stands on the site.




Property Purpose
Auxiliary Units County Headquarters
Duntish Court
Buckland Newton
Role Name Posted from Until
Intelligence Officer Captain Randle Frederick Hicks Darwall-Smith 12 Dec 1942 13 Aug 1943
Intelligence Officer Captain Archibald Douglas Hubbard 22 Apr 1944 14 Jul 1944

50.854126, -2.435826


Ref TNA WO199/3265

War in the Countryside, David Edelsten, Country Life 27th April 1995