Ashill Patrol

County Group

Ashill village lies approximately mid-way between Swaffham and Watton.

Patrol members
Name Occupation Posted from Until
Sergeant John Kenneth Walter Broadhead

Farmer & owner of butchers shop

Unknown End of 1943
Corporal Sydney William Burroughes

Farmer & agricultural contractor

Unknown Unknown
Private Reginald Herbert Clutterham

Tractor driver & farm labourer

1941 Unknown
Private George Dewing


Unknown Unknown
Private David John Fake

Farm worker

Unknown Unknown
Private Samuel Edward Mortimer

Garage proprietor then Publican

Unknown Unknown
Private Douglas Hamilton Sanderson

Dairy & mixed farmer

Unknown Unknown
Operational Base (OB)

The OB was located on private land at Bury’s Hall Farm (now Hannover Farm), adjoining Bury’s Hall. We had a look around Hannover Farm by kind permission of the farmer, Mr S Hancy. Many thanks also to Josie and Tor Stangeland of Bury’s Hall who kindly permitted access so we were able to see the part of the shed complex that remains on their property.

The Patrol’s OB is described by Patrol members Reginald Clutterham and David J Fake (published in: A Hoare) as having been situated on the farm adjoining Bury’s Hall, both of which were owned by Patrol Leader Sergeant Broadhead’s family in the 1940s. The OB is described as having been constructed by the 250th Special Tunnelling Company Royal Engineers under the floorboards of a farm building next to the cart shed situated to the south-west of the Farmhouse.

The emergency escape exit, which had a trap door, was in an adjoining cart shed. The OB had bunks on each side. The explosives were stored underneath the bunks as well as on shelves.

The OB had electric lighting and was equipped with a toilet, and an field telephone. A drainpipe emerging on the side of the building provided the ventilation.

The Farm was sold decades ago, resulting in the complex comprising cart or carriage sheds, tack room and workshop now belonging in part to the Farm and in part to the Hall. To complicate matters further, the entrance to the shed that had the OB under its floorboards is situated in the grounds of the Hall. A dividing wall, built after the Farm had been sold, divides the building with the OB underneath its floor, part of it belonging to the Farm and part of it situated on the side of the Hall. The emergency exit was in the corner of yet another adjoining cart shed, now belonging to the Farm.

Permission was obtained from both owners in order to see the buildings from both sides. However, all floors have long since been concreted and the sheds have been put to other uses.

If the OB is still in place it is no longer accessible. All that remained for us to do is to take a few photographs of the location.

The Patrol had an Observation Post, described to have been in a hollow oak tree beside the road, opposite the Hall. It was accessed through a trapdoor in the bottom. Old oaks still line the road here but none of them has a hollow trunk.

Patrol & OB pictures
OB Image
Caption & credit
Burys Hall Ashill
OB Image
Caption & credit
Ashill Patrol OB site
OB Image
Caption & credit
Ashill Patrol OB site
OB Image
Caption & credit
Ashill Patrol OB site
OB Status
Largely intact
OB accessibility
This OB is on private land. Please do not be tempted to trespass to see it

Ashill Patrol

Patrol Targets

Local targets would have included Great Eastern railway line along with aerodromes at Marham and Narborough.


Training was done by Scout Section experts at Leicester Square Farm, Syderstone often under live fire. They sometimes testing security on airfields. One night mission was to test the security on Marham Aerodrome, all the Patrol got under the fence and made it to the Mosquitos parked on the runway. A second raid a week later ended in capture

After a weekend course, Auxilier Clutterham returned to his home waking up his sleeping wife who he frightened by his blacked out face

Weapons and Equipment

Auxilier Clutterham recalled that each Patrol member had a revolver. He had a Thompson machine gun with 1300 rounds of ammunition; another member had a Sten. The ammunition he kept under the bed and the Tommy gun up the chimney.

He later admitted he took a small amount of explosive to uproot a tree stump.

Other information

The Patrol appears to have been disbanded before the end of 1944 because all its members are listed as being transferred from the nominal roll and were returned to their local Home Guard unit.

Norfolk Group 8 Stand-down photo [Original owned by Desmond Neville, son of Patrol member Deryck Neville]


TNA ref WO199/3389

Hancock data held at B.R.A

Evelyn Simak and Adrian Pye

Reginald H Clutterham and David J Fake in: A Hoare, Standing up to Hitler; David Fake, Ashill Patrol member (pers comm.);

Josie and Tor Stangeland, Bury’s Hall (personal interview);

Mr S Hancy, Hannover Farm (personal interview);