Ashburnham Patrol

County Group

Ashburnham is a scattered village, 5 miles west of Battle in East Sussex.

Patrol members
Name Occupation Posted from Until
Sergeant Joe Norris

Farmer (mixed)

01 Aug 1940 Unknown
Lieutenant William Eric Wilcox

Farm bailiff

23 Sep 1940 03 Dec 1944
Private Victor Harry Dibben

Poultry & pig farmer

30 Apr 1941 03 Dec 1944
Private Ronald Charles Whitfield Hart

Dairy farmer

Unknown 03 Dec 1944
Private Douglas Henry Honeysett

Market gardener

02 Jun 1942 03 Dec 1944
Private Bernard John Honeysett

Market gardener

02 Jun 1942 03 Dec 1944
Private Eric Trehearne Johnson

Farmer, smallholder & hotel proprietor

15 Feb 1941 03 Dec 1944
Private Walter John Parsons


30 Oct 1940 03 Dec 1944
Private Harold Percy Edward Pitcher

Pig & dairy farmer

23 Feb 1942 Unknown
Operational Base (OB)

The first OB is thought to have been blown up after it was initially abandoned. Built in Pannelridge Wood off Lakehurst Lane it was abandoned due to damp and having been discovered by locals.

The second OB built by the Royal Engineers in Hogstyle Wood is partly collapsed, though the main Nissen structure of the OB is mostly intact. The main body was constructed as an underground Nissen structure. There was a 50 foot long concrete emergency escape tunnel that came out by the bank of a stream.

It is thought there were two small underground stores nearby to contain extra food and ammunition.

Patrol & OB pictures
OB Image
Caption & credit
Photo of main chamber. All OB photos courtesy of Mike Ridley.
OB Image
Caption & credit
Within main OB chamber
OB Image
Caption & credit
Overview of OB site showing emerging escape tunnel
OB Image
Caption & credit
Escape tunnel
OB Image
Caption & credit
On top of OB looking down
OB Image
Caption & credit
Trig Pillar Ninfield Reservoir
OB Image
Caption & credit
Ashburnham Plaque (Jonglew)
OB Status
Collapsed with some visible remains
OB accessibility
This OB is on private land. Please do not be tempted to trespass to see it

Ashburnham Patrol


The Ashburnham and Crowhurst Patrols were responsible for a mock attack on the Canadian Army stationed at Battle Abbey. The sentries were overpowered and the Commanding Officer taken prisoner as well as dummy charges being attached to vehicles and fuel supplies.

The Canadians were not best pleased at being made to look inept and so in revenge beat up the local Home Guard at the Chequers Inn having thought them responsible !

It is assumed they trained at the regional HQ at Tottington Manor.

Other information

After the 50th Anniversary of stand down a scheme was proposed to recognise the Auxiliary Units by adopting a Ordnance Survey trig point. As a result there is a memorial plaque on trig point near Ninfield Reservoir

The plaque reads “Trig Pillar Ninfield Reservoir, adopted by Peter and Yevette Wilcox and family, April 1995. Dedicated in appreciation of SX 203 Ashburnham Patrol of the British Resistance Movement 1940-1944, known as Auxiliary Units”

Hidden inside the pillar is a sealed time capsule bearing the names of the Ashburnham Patrol.


TNA reference WO199/3391

Hancock data held at B.R.A

1939 Register

'The Secret Sussex Resistance' by Stewart Angell

Mike Ridley.

Ashburnham Past