Arundel Patrol

County Group

Arundel is a market town in a steep vale of the South Downs, West Sussex.

Patrol members
Name Occupation Posted from Until
Sergeant Francis Percy Penfold

Agricultural engineer owner

08 Jul 1941 03 Dec 1944
Private David Blackwood

Tractor driver & farm labourer

22 Jun 1940 03 Dec 1944
Private George Clifford Burch

Haulage contractor & dairy farmer

22 Jun 1940 Unknown
Private Lancelot George Francis Cross

Forestry commission ganger

28 Jan 1942 03 Dec 1944
Private James Lee B.E.M


23 Feb 1942 03 Dec 1944
Private Herbert Charles Richard Phillips

Timber feller

03 Jul 1942 03 Dec 1944
Private Ernest Dick Pudduck

Farm stockman

27 Aug 1942 03 Dec 1944
Operational Base (OB)

The Patrol’s OB was sited at Houghton Forest and contained bunk beds, water, food, ammunition and two metal dustbins full of explosives of various sorts.

An emergency exit tunnel about 50ft long ran out from the hideout. Some 50 yards to the south was a small underground lookout, connected to the hideout via a direct telephone line.

In June 2019 Mike Kallaway and Brian Tomkinson of Chichester & District Archaeology Society created a survey and report of the site.

They have also provided us with additional images.

Patrol & OB pictures
OB Image
Caption & credit
Looking towards entrance
OB Image
Caption & credit
Main chamber
OB Image
Caption & credit
OB Image
Caption & credit
Escape tunnel
OB Image
Caption & credit
Vent pipe
OB Image
Caption & credit
OB Image
Caption & credit
Escape tunnel end (from the Penfold Family) 2017
OB Image
Caption & credit
Remaining bunk (from the Penfold Family) 2017
OB Status
Collapsed with some visible remains
OB accessibility
The OB site is publicly accessible

Arundel Patrol


Localised training took place in the surrounding area with live grenade practice in Blackhurst chalk pit, and what the Patrol termed “thuggery” was practised on Long Down near to Goodward Patrol's hideout. Often training involved neighbouring Patrols. One combined mock attack took place on the radar station at nearby Poling.

Weapons and Equipment

Former Patrol Leader Frank Penfold described the various weapons which his Patrol acquired during its operational years. They had two Colt automatic pistols; a .35 and the larger .45. Frank recalled the .22 silenced rifle which they were told was for sniping at German Commanders. In his opinion it would have been better used on the tracker dogs sent to find the men.

After the Patrol was stood down, Frank kept his fighting knife, the “Fairbairn Dagger”. When the men of Arundel Patrol were issued with these knives, they found the handles too narrow, so wound them round with plastic tape to build up the grip to a desired thickness. This is now in The Imperial War Museum.

Other information

On 12 Dec 1946 the West Sussex Patrols had a re-union at the Seven Stars, Brighton. The top of the menu is taken from the training manual The Coutryman's Diary; "Highworths Fertilisers - Do their stuff unseen until you see results".

At the bottom a joke advert for the OBs up for sale reads "For disposal, several desirable BASEMENT FLATS in the choicest parts of W. Sussex. All inaccessible and with every modern inconvenience. Running water, tradesmen's entrance and air conditioning plant. Beautiful weekend retreats. Apply O.C/O.B Small Dole". Link here:

In 2018 Frank Penfold's son John was interviewed by Arundel Museum and recalled his knowledge of the Arundel Patrol and his Father. It can also be listened to here:

This OB featured in our contribution to 2020 Festival of Archaeology


TNA reference WO199/3391

Hancock data held at B.R.A.

The Penfold Family

Mike Kallaway and Brian Tomkinson of Chichester & District Archaeology Society

Arundel Museum