Brockenhurst is a village in the heart of the New Forest.
|Lieutenant Gerald Beaumont Ash||
|25 May 1940||01 Feb 1941|
|Sergeant John James Charles Kemp Slightam||
Huntsman for the New Forest Buckhounds
|27 Aug 1941||03 Dec 1944|
|Private Harry James Burt||
Farm lad & forester
|18 Dec 1942||03 Dec 1944|
|Private Frank Harold Emm||
Permanent way labourer Southern Railway
|27 Sep 1941||03 Dec 1944|
|Private Arthur Ernest Fisher||
|22 Apr 1943||03 Dec 1944|
|Private Jack Humby||
Head forest keeper HM Forestry Commission
|29 Jun 1942||03 Dec 1944|
|Private Jesse Moseley||
|09 Sep 1942||03 May 1944|
|Private Daniel Manson Sutherland||
|01 Apr 1942||Unknown|
|Private Arthur Eric Royston Warr||27 Sep 1941||09 Oct 1942|
|Private Reginald James Wells||
|27 Aug 1941||03 Dec 1944|
Jack Humby described to his family an Operational Base being built in Royden Woods, to the rear of the (now) Filly Inn, though he never gave a precise location. Apparently the Patrol had only just finished the OB when the Army moved in to the area making it very difficult to use. They ended up having to build a second OB and retrieve all their equipment and transfer it to the new structure.
Precise targets are not known but likely would have included the railway line, with Brockenhurst a major junction on the line to the ports at Poole, Weymouth and Portland.
Beaulieu airfield would likely have been a target, particularly as Jack Humby’s cottage was right alongside, with other patrol members nearby. It is likely that the Germans would have used some of the large houses and hotels in the area, such as Balmer Lawn, making these targets as well.
Jack Humby recalled travelling repeatedly to Coleshill House at weekends for training, travelling up on a Friday night and returning on Sunday or Monday. He was taught how to use explosives and firearms.
Jack Humby refers to a group of men, who were French speakers, being trained further, then sent behind the lines in France, to prepare for the invasion. Some were dropped a couple of miles offshore to row in and check the beach defences. Reportedly some men did not return.
It is not certain what this refers to exactly. There are persistent rumours of Auxiliers being sent to either France or the Channel Islands, with some being injured or killed. However, there is no firm evidence. West Hampshire Scout Section officer Lieutenant John Jenner Marchant, later served with Jedburgh teams organising the French resistance and would have been well known to the Patrol. Another member of the Scout Section, Chippy Saunders, was recruited into the SAS. John Hutchins from the West Dorset Scout Section, also from the Wiltshire Regiment, was trained to canoe into the coast to sample the beaches to assess suitability for landing. Possibly others also undertook the same role and prompted this story. Other accounts mention most of the West Hampshire Scout Section later being killed in action.