Creech Patrol

Locality

The Creech area lies at the foot of the Purbeck Hills, 3 miles south of Wareham.

Patrol members
Name Occupation Posted from Until
Sergeant Frederick James Simpson

Farm Worker

15 Jun 1940 03 Dec 1944
Sergeant Wilfred John Wise

Locomotive Engine Driver

10 Jun 1940 1942
Private Douglas Frank Green

Farm Worker

10 Jun 1940 03 Dec 1944
Private Leslie Cyril Green

Clay miner

10 Jun 1940 03 Dec 1944
Private Harold Arthur Hatchard

Clay Minor Underground Heavy Worker

10 Jun 1940 03 Dec 1944
Private Harold John Hatchard

At school with parents

11 Mar 1943 02 Feb 1944
Private Eli Frank Kitcatt

Clay worker. Drove clay train

30 Sep 1942 03 Dec 1944
Private Wilfred Robert Stockley

Clayminer

02 Feb 1942 03 Dec 1944
Operational Base (OB)

The Patrol built their own base to begin with but it collapsed and they built another. The location of these is not known.

Eventually the Royal Engineers were sent to build a more substantial OB. The remains survive just off a footpath and can be easily visited. Map ref SY939828. The main entrance shaft had a hatch operated by a remote cable. The first chamber contained the equipment and tables. There was a second chamber, unusually set at an angle with a short connecting tunnel, apparently to deflect blast, though it isn’t clear if this would have worked. The second chamber held naval type hammocks in a star pattern suspended from the centre. At the end of this chamber was the escape exit. What survives is the entrance shaft and the walls of the two chambers, though the corrugated iron roofs have collapsed.

Patrol & OB pictures
OB Image
Caption & credit
Entrance shaft
OB Image
Caption & credit
Entrance shaft and doorway
OB Image
Caption & credit
Composite of inside first chamber
OB Image
Caption & credit
Looking out towards escape tunnel
OB Image
Caption & credit
Inside OB concrete hallway
OB Image
Caption & credit
One of the ventilation pipes
OB Image
Caption & credit
Entrance shaft
OB Image
Caption & credit
The map on the sign shows the general location of the OB
OB Image
Caption & credit
Memorial Stone
OB Image
Caption & credit
Information board
OB Status
Collapsed with some visible remains
OB accessibility
The OB site is publicly accessible
Location

Creech Patrol

Patrol Targets

These included the railway from Swanage to Wareham and the main line from Weymouth which passed through Wareham. They also practiced infiltrating the Holton Heath munitions factory.

Training

Apart from training to attack the above targets, they also regularly travelled to the Dorset HQ at Duntish Court, Buckland Newton for training. Fred Simpson reckoned to make a small profit on the journey as a mileage allowance was payable. He also recalled going to Coleshill at least once.

In 1944 the Patrol was mobilised to provide a week’s guard for the underground bunkers of the radar station near Worth Matravers. This was part of the defences against possible German counter raids around the time of D Day. Another Patrol took over from them.

Other information

In 2009 a memorial stone was erected near to the OB. It lists the men involved and an information board alongside has pictures of the men and a rough plan of the layout of the OB. It was erected by the Royal British Legion.

This video was kindly supplied by Tony White (Son of Fred White, Patrol Leader from Langton Matravers Aux Unit):

 

For much more information about this Patrol, we can recommend Ken Williams' book published by CART member John Wareham, and John's accompanying website: https://thecreechbarrowseven.simdif.com/

References

http://www.dorsetecho.co.uk/news/8124391.Purbeck_s__secret_seven__were_…

http://www.dorsetlife.co.uk/2009/11/staying-behind/

Audio tape made by Fred Simson (CART archives)

Tony White

Martyn Allen for some of the images

Ken Williams & John Wareham

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