Bruton Patrol


The parish of Bruton is situated on the present day A369 between Frome and Yeovil.

Patrol members
Name Occupation Posted from Until
Second Lieutenant Edward Smith

Heavy goods lorry driver

31 Jan 1941 03 Dec 1944
Private Albert Edward Baker


20 Nov 1941 03 Dec 1944
Private Richard Lewis Cox

Timber haulier

23 Jul 1940 18 Apr 1944
Private Edward Alexander Edmondson

Transport driver

31 Jan 1941 03 Dec 1944
Private Robert W. Francis


25 Sep 1941 03 Dec 1944
Private Ernest Edward Hector

General farm labourer

29 Oct 1942 03 Dec 1944
Private Herbert Frank Howard


09 Oct 1941 15 Oct 1943
Private Thomas Leslie Luffman

Baker journeyman

31 Jan 1941 03 Dec 1944
Private Archibald John Roberts

Brewers labourer

30 Dec 1941 03 Dec 1944
Private Arthur Reginald Smith

Labourer gas works

31 Jan 1941 11 Jun 1943
Operational Base (OB)

The OB was thought to be at Raggs Copse on Dropping Lane Farm, South of Bruton. This was the home of Area and Group Commander Captain “Dickie” Hunt. There was a Observational Post nearby. This copse has been enlarged, replanted and extended so it joins other copses, which makes it all a bigger wooded area making the original copse difficult to locate for sure. In 2017 there were a lot of nettles covering the ground in this area so it is hard to see anything in or on the ground. There are remains of a stone built building in this wood the use for which is unknown.

It is also thought the Patrol had a second base at Milton Clevedon, North of Bruton, at Milton Woods. After a site visit in  2017, and a previous search around 10 years before, all that was found was a hollow in the ground though the wood has full ground cover, blue bells, ivy and nettles, etc, so it is hard to see anything on the ground. The length of the hollow is approximately at right angles to the stream bed, and runs to the stream bank. The approximate South East part of the wood, is more of a possibility as it is higher, and as it has a stream with higher banks, running down this part of the wood, this would be a dryer part of the wood to site an OB, and it would give a good opportunity for a escape tunnel to run out into the stream. The stream that runs down through the wood, could have provided the Patrol with a water source, and a possible escape route out of their escape tunnel.

Sergeant Ted Edmondson remembered using the Operational Base at Creech Hill though this has been recorded as the North Somerset Scout Section base. As the OB was very large it would have made sense for the Bruton Patrol to have made use of the structure especially after the Scouts had been disbanded in late 1942.

Patrol & OB pictures
OB Image
Caption & credit
Bruton - stream in Milton Wood (from Chris Perry)
OB Image
Caption & credit
Bruton - Milton Wood with Manor Farm to right (from Chris Perry)
OB Image
Caption & credit
Bruton - Creech Hill from Raggs Copse with Bruton in the valley (from Chris Perry)
OB Image
Caption & credit
Bruton - Raggs Copse structure in woods (from Chris Perry)
OB Image
Caption & credit
Bruton target - railway bridge at Bruton (from Chris Perry)
OB Status
Location not known

Bruton Patrol

Patrol Targets

The main road and rail links were obvious targets.

The nearby Relynch Park was a known target for the area as it was home to the Royal Northumberland Fusiliers and later the Guards Armoured Division and later again American forces.


The North and East Scout Section had their OBs within the same area it is assumed they worked closely with Bruton Patrol.

Other information

The Patrol produced an impressive pyrotechnic display for VE Day which managed to deafen a local piano tuner.


Chris Perry

Donald Brown and his research for “Somerset vs Hitler”

TNA references WO199/3390 and WO199/3391

Hancock data held at B. R. A.

“Bruton Remembers”