Admiralty 2 (Langridge) Patrol


Langridge is a parish 4 miles north west of Bath railway station.

Patrol members
Name Occupation Posted from Until
Sergeant Douglas Lyall Owen

Civil servant Admiralty signalman RNVR

01 Oct 1942 01 Feb 1943
Sergeant Edwin Alfred Steane

Admiralty draughtsman

02 Feb 1943 03 Dec 1944
Sergeant Cecil A. Trowell 1940 01 Oct 1942
Lance Corporal Robert Nicholas Reeds

Electrical engineer

05 Sep 1941 03 Dec 1944
Private Patrick John Fox Barrett 24 May 1941 10 May 1943
Private Pierce Bracegirdle 12 Feb 1940 28 Sep 1942
Private Peter Francis Carter

Civil engineer Ministry of Transport

Unknown 09 Jun 1944
Private Kenneth Philip Cleary


27 Aug 1942 15 Dec 1942
Private William Francis Edward Emmerson

Admiralty engineering draughtsman

20 Jun 1940 03 Dec 1944
Private Cyril John Gates

Draughtsman marine engineering

25 Jul 1942 03 Dec 1944
Private Ronald Charles Hatchard 27 May 1942 18 Apr 1943
Private Frank William Jermy

Admiralty 2nd class draughtsman

22 Jun 1940 03 Dec 1944
Private Sydney Robert George Saunter

Boilermakers apprentice

26 Feb 1942 03 Dec 1944
Operational Base (OB)

Auxilier George Hutchings recalled the early OB as being in Bamfields Wood between Lansdown Road and the village of Langridge. Ron Hatchard recalled the first OB was dug out by the Patrol. It was unsuccessful as the ground was too wet. He left Auxiliary Units before the Royal Engineers built the eventual OB.

Auxilier Douglas Owen recalls this Patrol creating a new OB near the Ensleigh hutments at Lansdown Road. His Patrol started to dig a hole in the corner of a field, by a hedgerow, which was completed by the Royal Engineers in early 1943.  A type of Elephant  shelter was buried and camouflaged to serve as an OB. He was transferred away before the OB was completely finished.

The Admiralty Patrols had a central explosives / arms store in an out building at The Royal School, Lansdown Road and Auxilier Harry Banham (4 Patrol) recalls another one built into the bank of the car park of the Ensleigh Estate. As this is so close to Admiralty 2's OB it is assumed that they would have used this as well.

Patrol & OB pictures
OB Image
Caption & credit
Aves, Spearman and Hutchings on a return trip from Taunton (J Wilson Spearman Collection)
OB Image
Caption & credit
Car park and bank at the Ensleigh Estate used by the Admiralty. Shows one of the huts where the Patrol members worked.
OB Image
Caption & credit
View from around the area of the OB of Admiralty 2 looking towards Bath
OB Image
Caption & credit
Signed termination of engagement letter 1945
OB Status
Location not known

Admiralty 2 (Langridge) Patrol

Patrol Targets

Locally, along with the other Admiralty and City of Bath Patrols, targets could have included the nearby railway line and bridges over the river Avon.

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


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.”

Douglas Owen remembers sometimes training at Coleshill during his time with Admiralty 1. He recalls 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 all the other Admiralty Patrols and the City of Bath Patrols.

Records of a revolver shooting competition on 20th February 1944 at Monkton Combe shows Admiralty 2 came third, behind Admiralty 4 and 1 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 Fernley Hotel at 21.30 hours, the exercise would finish at 02.00 hours the following morning.

Ron Hatchard remember training in unarmed combat on Bath Recreational Ground.

Weapons and Equipment

Everything was stored at the OB as the Auxiliers were not living or working in their home environment.

Other information

The Admiralty Auxiliary Units were recruited at the time of the Baedeker Air raids on Bath in April 1942 to search bombed buildings for survivors.

In an interview in 1996, Auxilier Cleary recalled how the local children knew something was not quite right. They would shout at him in the street “Hey Mister, you're not proper Home Guard”. The fiction did not fool the young lads of Bath, who knew the Home Guard did not carry around Thompson sub-machine guns!

Cleary recalled that there was one per Patrol and they were to take it in turns to take it home for a week to practice handling it. He was never comfortable “wandering through the streets with this gangster gun”. The  rumour in the Patrols were that Colonel Gubbins had a friend in the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and the Tommy Guns had been seized from Prohibition gangsters.


The kindness and patience of Auxilier Douglas Owen.

TNA ref WO199/3391. WO199/3390

Stephen Lewins

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.

Donald Brown's book 'Somerset v Hitler',

Mail on Sunday 9 Nov 1996,

Auxilier Kenneth Cleary.