Bridgerule Patrol


Though Bridgerule is a village in North Devon it is only a mile from the Cornish boarder. For administration purposes it was recorded with the Cornwall Patrols.

Patrol members
Name Occupation Posted from Until
Sergeant William Walter Bond

Railway lengthsman

30 May 1941 03 Dec 1944
Private Courtney John Bailey Andrew

Motor engineer & Garage proprietor

23 May 1941 03 Dec 1944
Private Ernest Dymond

Sub postmaster and carpenter

23 May 1941 03 Dec 1944
Private Charles Henry Gerry

Railway lengthsmen

01 Jul 1940 03 Dec 1944
Private Frank Gilbert


23 May 1941 03 Dec 1944
Private Francis William Moore


23 May 1941 03 Dec 1944
Private Robert Harris Yeo


02 Aug 1941 03 Dec 1944
Operational Base (OB)

The OB was situated in the disused Merrifield Wheel Pit housing on the old Bude Canal. It was located in the lower part of the Wheel Pit housing and a floor was fitted made from old railway sleepers. Access to the chamber was via a manhole cover well hidden by a large area of undergrowth and brambles. The location of the base was of course kept secret during the war years but Sergeant Bond took his son Austin to see it on V.E.Day. His recollection is of a timber garden shed type building erected within the chamber and a secondary tunnel escape route. The building was destroyed immediately after this - maybe by the use of explosives. 

The Merryfield Incline plane runs down the back of the farm, one field in. Power was supplied a waterwheel, built underground and housed in the wheel pit with a high brick vaulted roof. The large water wheel no longer exists.

Patrol & OB pictures
OB Image
Caption & credit
Merryfield Wheel Pit diagram (from Brian Young 2001)
OB Image
Caption & credit
Bridgerule OB entrance (from Alwyn Harvey 2001)
OB Image
Caption & credit
Bridgerule OB entrance (from Alwyn Harvey 2001)
OB Status
Largely intact
OB accessibility
This OB is on private land. Please do not be tempted to trespass to see it

Bridgerule Patrol

Patrol Targets

It is recalled the Patrol were to target a potential "Tank Run" which may have been used by the invaders at Week St Mary a few miles to the South West.

Weapons and Equipment

Kit and equipment was brought in at the Bridgerule railway station, a few hundred yards from the OB. Initially equipment and weapons were stored at Sergeant Bond's house and included 7 revolvers 7 sten guns and 1 BSA .22 rifle with telescopic sights. These were all cleaned and oiled regularly until relocated to the Units underground base which was at Merrifield Farm immediately adjacent to the former Whitstone and Bridgerule Southern Railway station.


TNA ref WO199/3391

Hancock data held at B.R.A

1939 Register

Alwyn Harvey and his work for the Defence of Britain Database.

Mrs Audrey Aylmer of Bude Old Cornwall Society

Robert Gerry and Austin Bond Auxilier's sons