Abbots Wood Patrol

A.K.A. (nickname)
Folkington Patrol
County Group

The Patrol seems to have been known by its first failed OB location of Abbots Wood which is near Hailsham.

Patrol members
Name Occupation Posted from Until
Lieutenant Thomas Henry Dinnis


12 Jul 1940 03 Dec 1944
Private Arthur Desmond Dinnis Unknown Unknown
Private Sidney Robert Dumbrell


12 Jul 1940 03 Dec 1944
Private William Arthur Longhurst

Builder's labourer

16 Mar 1942 03 Dec 1944
Private John Leonard Raymond

Dairy farmer

18 Mar 1941 03 Dec 1944
Private Percy Richard Robinson


04 Jul 1940 03 Dec 1944
Private John Daniel Talbot


16 Dec 1941 10 May 1943
Private Robert Edwin Wright

Woodman & smallholder

29 May 1940 03 Dec 1944
Operational Base (OB)

Initially the Patrol were to have their OB sited within Abbot’s Wood near Hailsham however, following a failed attempt at building the OB due to flooding issues the Intelligence Officer suggested building it in Folkington Wood close to Folkington House, the family home of the IO Captain John Gwynne.

The wood is oval in shape, positioned just below the escarpment of the South Downs with commanding views across the Weald. Two disused chalk pits remain within the wood and the more centrally positioned one was chosen to site the OB adjacent to it.

A small footpath ran past this chalk pit which allowed a passage either way to the main paths running up the edge of the wood one being on high ground looking North and the other on a level with grassland used for grazing. Most foot traffic followed the main paths avoiding going anywhere near the OB. Field boundaries, ditches and additional wooded areas gave cover to allow movement to their main targets.

The OB was 15 by 10 feet and had an entrance via a trapdoor hatch at the southern end and an emergency exit tunnel at the northern end. It was built by the Royal Engineers out of wood and corrugated iron with a flat roof construction and an additional lining of wood around the inside walls.

The OB, very uncomfortable and cramped, was only visited as part of their training sessions.

An Observation Post was located over 300 yards to the west of the OB. It was constructed from wood and corrugated iron sheeting, measuring approximately 6 feet by 4 feet as only ever expected to have one person inside at any one time. The OP was connected to the OB via a telephone line.


Patrol & OB pictures
OB Image
Caption & credit
Abbot's Wood Patrol Collapsed OB
OB Image
Caption & credit
Abbot's Wood Patrol OP Remains
OB Status
Collapsed with few visible remains

Abbots Wood Patrol

Patrol Targets

Main targets were Sherman Bridge which crosses the Cuckmere River, nearly two miles north west from the OB, and Polegate to Lewes railway line nearly a mile north from the OB.


Localised training was undertaken with East Sussex Scout Patrol included night manoeuvers over the Downs and many trips to Tottington Manor, regional HQ in West Sussex. All Patrol members went to Coleshill for initial training.

Explosives training undertaken in a chalk pit near Firle Patrol’s OB, along with the Firle Patrol members.

Robertsbridge was visited at one point near the East Sussex / Kent border to practice with various explosive charges.


TNA reference WO199/3391

Hancock data held at B.R.A

'The Secret Sussex Resistance' by Stewart Angell

Stewart Angell's personal interview with former Patrol Member Sidney Dumbrell

Auxilier Bill Webber’s diary