Admiralty 1 (Kelston Park) Patrol


Kelston Park is located in the village of Kelston, approximately 3 miles from Bath.

Patrol members
Name Occupation Posted from Until
Second Lieutenant Frank Bradbury

Clerical officer Civil Service

31 Jul 1940 31 Dec 1943
Sergeant J. G. Cutler Unknown 1941
Sergeant Douglas Frederick Stevenson

Marine engineer & turner in dockyard

12 Jul 1940 03 Dec 1944
Corporal Stanley William Hailstone

Admiralty civil servant

Unknown Unknown
Private Alfred Henry Edwin Bamsey

Civil servant, ships accounts

Unknown Sept 1941
Private C. C. Clark Unknown Unknown
Private Alec Phillip James

Admiralty electrical draughtsman

11 Jun 1942 03 Dec 1944
Private Norman John James

Engine fitter & turner, apprentice HM Dockyard

17 Jul 1940 03 Dec 1944
Private William Harold Leigh

Civil servant

12 Jan 1942 12 Jul 1942
Private Frank Heny Mawer

Clerk DNA Department, Admiralty

Unknown 1942
Private Philip McAlory Unknown Unknown
Private Cyril A. Morgan

Civil service

21 Aug 1943 03 Dec 1944
Private Arthur Picton Morgan

Electrical fitter apprentice

03 Apr 1942 03 Dec 1944
Private Douglas Lyall Owen

Civil servant Admiralty signalman RNVR

05 Jul 1940 01 Oct 1942
Private Robert Arthur Partridge

Heavy worker from Briars Works apprentice

25 Apr 1941 03 Dec 1944
Private Thomas Francis Pope

Engineering draughtsman

30 Jun 1940 03 Dec 1944
Private Walter Alfred Snelling

Deputy clerical officer HM Customs

07 Aug 1940 06 Apr 1944
Operational Base (OB)

The OB is located in the Kelston Park ice house, Kelston, near Bath. The house is used as business offices and the grounds are PRIVATE. The images have been very kindly supplied by the landowner.

The ice house is at the top of some stone steps leading down into woodland where the land slopes steeply away to the River Avon in the valley below. A wooden cover, flush with the ground concealed the entrance under thick bushes. No escape tunnel was present or was built by the Army or the Patrol. The original structure was not altered.

Frank Mawer was interviewed by David and Jonathan Falconer for their book, Bath at War, The Home Front. In it he recalls; They were issued with pistols and told the OB would be at Kelston Hall. Frank recalled the Army telling them "You are now within 25 yards of the entrance to your hideout. Find it !" They couldn't and the response was "Aren't you glad you couldn't find it !" Frank recalled; "Then we were taken down to this place where we saw they had staked out for us a floor, some bunks, and all the Mills Bombs and plastic explosives that, at the time, the Army hadn't even got themselves, including time pencils. Later we were taught how to use this ammunition".

Not yet discovered, the Admiralty Patrols had a central explosives / arms store in an out building at The Royal School, Lansdown Road and Harry Banham (4 Patrol) recalled another one built into the bank of the car park of the Ensleigh Estate.

Patrol & OB pictures
OB Image
Caption & credit
Back row: Bill Hailstone, Douglas Owen, Frank Mawer, ? C C Clark. Front row left to right: Bill Leigh, Sargent J G Cutler, Frank Bradbury, ? Walter Snelling.
OB Image
Caption & credit
Back row: P M McAlroy, Ted Bamsey and Bill Leigh. Front row: Frank Mawer, Bill Hailsone, Sergeant Frank Bradbury, Douglas Owen.
OB Image
Caption & credit
Kelston House
OB Image
Caption & credit
Kelston Ice House
OB Image
Caption & credit
Kelston Ice House
OB Image
Caption & credit
Kelston Ice House entrance
OB Image
Caption & credit
Kelston Ice House entrance
OB Image
Caption & credit
Kelston Ice House entrance
OB Image
Caption & credit
Signed termination of engagement letter 1945
OB Status
Largely intact
OB accessibility
This OB is on private land. Please do not be tempted to trespass to see it

Admiralty 1 (Kelston Park) Patrol

Patrol Targets

In the valley directly below Kelston Park there are two railway lines and New Bridge carrying the main A4 which could have been targets.

All the Admiralty Patrols took part in a night raid on RAF Colerne.


Douglas Owen remembered sometimes training at Coleshill. He recalled the whole Patrol being taken straight there in an Admiralty transport van and returning to Bath the same way.

They took part in night exercises locally and had shooting competitions between them and other Patrols. Target practice with revolvers and rifles on moving targets took place, sometimes at night. They often trained with the other Admiralty Patrols and the City of Bath Patrols. Frank Mawer recalled training in two woods above Sham Castle. Frank's group were told they would have opposing them a Company of the Admiralty Home Guard that would be armed but without ammunition. Frank's group would be unarmed apart from a Ross rifle used for signalling. He recalled "We were told: 'Your task is to get rid of those people in the wood, and we'll se how long it takes you'. We cleared the wood in 10 minutes, which showed us it could be done. I remember our officer just managed to catch a butt from one of the Tommy guns. But they were so frightened."

Records of a revolver shooting competition on 20th February 1944 at Monkton Combe shows Admiralty 1 came second, behind Admiralty 4 in both 10 and 20 yard shots.

Exercise “Lamb” was due to take place on 25th March 1944. Patrol Leaders were advised ; “Ample opportunity should be taken of reconnoitring the district of Box.” Meeting at the the Fernley Hotel at 21.30 hours, the exercise would finish at 02.00 hours the following morning.

All the Admiralty Patrols took part in a night raid on RAF Colerne. Number 1 Patrol broke through the perimeter barbed wire nearest the offices. Despite crawling on all fours Douglas Owen managed to get captured. Taken to the office of the RAF commander he was interrogated by officers before producing a pistol hidden in his trousers. He proceeded to hold the officers hostage at gun point. 

Auxilier Bennett of 4 Patrol remembers this raid as being “a complete fiasco. The sentries were posted at all the most obvious approaches and it was easy to elude them. All of us detailed to do so got in and plastered aircraft with “destroyed”  notices and two adventurous youngsters actually held the station commander at gun point in his own office which was certainly not in their remit. There was a big row about it and as a result all the poor airmen had their leave jammed for a fortnight".

Weapons and Equipment

Everything was stored at the OB as the Auxiliers were not living or working in their home environment. Douglas Owen did not remember being issued with sticky bombs or any kind of hand knife.


The patience of Auxilier Douglas Owen

Bath at War, The Home Front by David and Jonathan Falconer who were able to interview Frank Mawer

TNA ref WO199/3391. WO199/3390

Auxilier Bob Millard

List of Admiralty Auxiliers from 1950 reunion held at B.R.A

Hancock's data held at B.R.A

Images of wartime Bath.