Boston A Patrol

A.K.A. (nickname)
County Group

Boston is a town and small port in Lincolnshire. It is the largest town of the wider Borough of Boston local government district.

It appears that many of the men had previously been ARP Wardens in Boston.

Patrol members
Name Occupation Posted from Until
Sergeant Norman Newton

Agricultural accountant

Unknown 03 Dec 1944
Corporal William Eric Adcock

Agricultural bookeeper

1943 03 Dec 1944
Private Frank William Bell


1940 1942
Private Stanley Hayes


1940 1943
Private John Kenrick

Poultry farmer

Unknown 03 Dec 1944
Private W. Lowe 1943 03 Dec 1944
Private John Stanley Sargeant

Trustee Savings Bank Manager

Unknown 03 Dec 1944
Private J. Stewart 1943 03 Dec 1944
Operational Base (OB)

The Patrol's first OB was on St Johns Road. A row of cottages had been demolished for slum clearance and pile of rubble was left. The Patrol approached it through the graveyard between Skirbeck Road and St Johns Road. The OB was built inside this, with its floor at ground level, not dug in at all. It was constructed of concrete pre-cast arch sections, bolted together. There was escape exit, with a false door, opened by pulling a cord. The whole structure was covered with the rubble. Frank Bell recalled; "That bit of a thing that we called an Operational Base, believe me it was dog rough". Reportedly a member of the Pioneer Corps died during its construction, with the inquest held in secret so as not to betray the Patrol's existence.

Frank Bell recalled having to spend nights down there; "We hated it, it was so uncomfortable. Sitting around on the big boxes of explosives. I can still recall the smell, a mixture of paraffin, damp and smoky candles". It is not thought the men expected to sleep in the OB as there were no bunks.

The second OB, built around 1943, was just three minutes walk from the dock gates in a wooded area in Bath Gardens - now the lorry park. School children found the OB in the 1950s and finding ammunition rounds inside they threw them at a nearby wall.

Both sites have now been developed and the OBs completely destroyed

OB Status

Boston A Patrol


Frank Bell recalled the difficulty in local training; "Now it was very difficult. Now you can imagine an urban situation. You were a quarter of an hours walk away from the market place, the cinemas were still open, people were walking about. When we first started the Queens Regiment were on the docks guarding bridges so it was a problem, you could have got shot. Now you can't get into Boston without crossing the water. There was an air - sea rescue unit on the dock and there was a Navy unit. The OB was 3 minutes walk from the dock entrance and people were passing all the time".

During weapon training they would go down to the Kiddystacks, Frampton Marsh on an old Territorial Army range on the south bank of the river. This was also used by the Home Guard. 

Weapons and Equipment

Frank Bell recalled that all the men had .38 revolvers, but no holsters, so they had to wear them stuffed in their belts. The also had knives, grenades Tommy Guns and a heavy machine gun (most likely a Browning Automatic Rifle).

Some explosives were stored in Frank Bell's shed at Witham Place. He recalled an air raid 11 April 1941 where 2 incendiary bombs were dropped on the house next door missing the shed by yards.

The Patrol was issued with a rubber dinghy, most likely a reconnaissance boat, a small 2 man craft, also used by the Scout Sections. On their first exercise with it crossing Bargate Drain (Maud Foster Drain) the boat developed a puncture. Boston is effectively surrounded by water, so the boat would have been an important way to get in and out.

They also had a roll up ladder.

Other information

There were two Patrols based around the town of Boston.

Frank Bell mentioned a reunion around 1950 in an upstairs room at the Peacock & Royal Hotel, Boston.


TNA ref WO199/3389

Hancock data held at B.R.A

Colin Hayes