Acrise Patrol

County Group

Acrise is a parish 6 miles north of Folkestone.

Patrol members
Name Occupation Posted from Until
Sergeant Charles Richard Godden

Dairy farmer

03 Sep 1941 03 Dec 1944
Private Kenneth Albert Hobbs

Motor lorry driver & fitter

03 Sep 1941 03 Dec 1944
Private Richard William Hobbs

Farmer assisting father cattle lorry driver

03 Sep 1941 03 Dec 1944
Private Stanley M. Martin

Cowman later coal merchant

03 Sep 1941 03 Dec 1944
Operational Base (OB)

The OB was in the woods (Pillars Wood or Acrise Wood) near to Winterage Farm, which belonged to the Patrol Leader, Charlie Godden. The trap door was a lump of hazel coppice and the whole thing would rise vertically. There was a small gap to squeeze through and then down a ladder into the bunker. The escape tunnel was packed with explosives so was never used. Cattle were allowed to trample the area to hide any footprints.

It was an elephant shelter design which are quite rare in Kent. The main shelter is still standing but unfortunately entrance and escape tunnel have collapsed.

In the 1980s the OB was found by David Wilkinson: "I was an officer in a cadet unit. Some of the cadets were camped in Souge Wood when one of them asked me why there was an old metal ladder buried in the ground and in the roots of a tree. I went over and it was embedded in the roots but there was a hole it went into. The first time I went in it was fairly clear inside, just like a large Anderson shelter that went in to a smaller second room with what I thought was a chimney at one end but this turned out to be another entrance/exit that I could get out of. The floor at that time had quite a few bricks laying around but it was dry inside. The walls, some were ordinary brick whilst the main one was breeze block. From what I recall there were no beds or frames down there but there were rusty old fittings on the wall but I just wondered what they were rather than recognise or identify them. Over the next couple of years I remember it getting more filled up with bricks and breeze blocks to about knee-waist high making it more awkward to get in it. After about 4 years from first finding it, I was reading about Auxiliary Units and saw a sketch of a typical bunker and realised just what it was".    

Interactive 360 Tour

Click the hotspots inside the image to start the interactive virtual tour.

Click the hotspots inside the image to start the interactive virtual tour. For a more accessible version, open the accessible virtual tour.

OB Status
Collapsed with few visible remains
OB accessibility
This OB is on private land. Please do not be tempted to trespass to see it

Acrise Patrol

Patrol Targets

The designated target during an invasion was Hawkinge Airfield, where they were to destroy the fuel dumps and aircraft.


Richard Hobbs recalled; “For practice we used to attack the regular army units based at Winterage Farm. We called the exercises Operation Cow Dung. We did have a code name but I cannot remember it. I kept my revolver under my car seat. We trained at The Garth and Tappington Hall (which belonged to Cecil Lines), mainly the use of explosives and sniping. Cecil lost a thumb during a grenade practice. I remember it was always raining and being thoroughly wet all of the time. We made dummies out of sacks and straw in the woods. During the night or dim light we patrolled the woods and would practice shooting our Stens and Thompsons from the hip. I remember Ken Hobbs was a great bowler and grenade thrower."


TNA ref WO199/3391 and WO199/3390

Hancock data held at B.R.A

Phil Evans, Bryan Badham, Jim Gascoyne

Adrian Westwood

David Wilkinson