Chirnside Patrol

A.K.A. (nickname)
Blackadder Patrol

Chirnside is a hillside village 7 miles east of Duns and 9 miles west of Berwick upon Tweed in the Scottish Borders. A number of main and minor roads, east - west and north - south pass through or near to the village making it an important crossroads.

Patrol members
Name Occupation Posted from Until
Second Lieutenant Alec Calder 1941 Unknown
Second Lieutenant Jim Hastie 1941 1944
Corporal J. Robertson 1941 1944
Private R. Blackie Unknown Unknown
Private W. Cowe 1941 1944
Private Jim Dixon 1941 1944
Private G. Dixon 1941 1944
Private J. Nicol 1941 1944
Private A. Paterson 1941 1944
Operational Base (OB)

The Patrol had their OB built in the cellars of the ruins of Blackadder House. This was to the east of Chirnside close to Allanton. Major Peter Forbes also had his own OB in the same ruins.

The Patrol had to go up a rock face and pass through a waterfall to enter a long vaulted tunnel to reach where their hideout was constructed. Since the war the waterfall has gone as has the rock face with tons of rubble from the local farm now piled against the ruins.

The OB was the one that held a dinner party for the Coleshill top brass.

A lot of the cellar and associated rooms that made up the OB site have now been blocked by collapsing walls making it hard to work out what was the site and also dangerous to enter. There was a surface trap door to gain access but this seem to be lost now.

Patrol & OB pictures
OB Image
Caption & credit
Remains of stables and courtyard below Blackadder House (from James T.M Towill)
OB Status
Collapsed with few visible remains
OB accessibility
This OB is on private land. Please do not be tempted to trespass to see it

Chirnside Patrol

Patrol Targets

Local targets would have included the crossing points on the Whiteadder and Blackadder rivers.

Military targets would have included RAF Charterhall, a number of large country estates in the area all possible German H.Qs and the Polish army camp.



The Patrol trained at the OB at weekends and nights as well as he Stables at Monksford House the Auxiliary Units Headquarters and at Otterburn Ranges in Northumberland with the army and Cupar in Fife.

Some members went to Coleshill House for specialist courses but this stopped in mid 1942 as it was decided that it was too far and took to long to travel to Coleshill. Written and practical tests were therefore sent out for the patrol to take under the eye of the Intelligence Officer or Group Commander.

Weapons and Equipment

Weapons issued to the Patrol included .45 Colt pistols, Thompson sub Machine Gun and Sten Machine Gun.

Other information

The Patrol probably went to Balmoral to guard the Royal Family and to the Isle of Wight as part of the Island garrison at the beginning of June in 1944.


Major Peter Forbes

David Blair

The National Archives in Kew WO199/3388, 

Hancock data held at B.R.A

James T.M. Towill