Dinas Powys Patrol

A.K.A. (nickname)

Dinas Powys (the modern-day standardised spelling - it was previously also spelt 'Dinas Powis') is a large village in the Vale of Glamorgan in South Wales which takes its name from the Dinas Powys hillfort that dates from the Iron Age. The village is 5.5 miles south-west of the centre of Cardiff and conveniently situated on the A4055 Cardiff to Barry main road.

Patrol members
Name Occupation Posted from Until
Sergeant H. Matthews Unknown Dec 1942
Second Lieutenant Norman Albert Richards


Unknown 03 Dec 1944
Sergeant Cecil William John Williams

Mill assistant

10 Dec 1942 03 Dec 1944
Private Sydney Henry Britton Unknown 1943
Private William Trevor Hughes

Coal trimer

10 Dec 1942 03 Dec 1944
Private W. James 10 Dec 1942 Unknown
Private David C. Jones

Estate agent

Unknown Unknown
Private George Orchard

Architect and Chartered Engineer working for the War Department

Unknown Unknown
Private William Ernest Taylor 07 Sep 1943 Unknown
Operational Base (OB)

Auxilier Sydney Britton recorded that his Operational Base was in the woods at Cwrt-yr-Ala.

The OB is in Parc Wood, Cwrt-yr-Ala and is in a dangerous condition. It looks to have been dug into a slope where some of the removed stone was then reused in the OB walls. The OB is slowly being crushed from one side. The vent pipe that was found was metal, and no ceramic vent pipe was found. The entrance appears to be through a concrete vertical shaft. There was evidence of a short escape tunnel / trench the other end of the bunker that was lined with metal.

Patrol & OB pictures
OB Image
Caption & credit
Depression and collapsed roof
OB Image
Caption & credit
Collapsed elephant shelter
OB Image
Caption & credit
Moss on corregated iron
OB Image
Caption & credit
Inside view with stone wall and concrete end wall with vent pipe
OB Image
Caption & credit
Concrete vertical entrance shaft with lip for hatch
OB Image
Caption & credit
Concrete and vent pipe
OB Image
Caption & credit
Metal vent pipe through concrete wall
OB Image
Caption & credit
Inside OB
OB Image
Caption & credit
Dinas Powys Patrol OB location and nearby airfield (Tony Salter)
OB Status
Collapsed with some visible remains

Dinas Powys Patrol

Patrol Targets

Nothing substantiated, however it is highly likely that the Barry Railway that ran through nearby Wenvoe would have been a target. It had many tunnels and bridges. The railway brought coal from the South Wales valleys to the port of Barry (which unusually the railway company owned). In 1913 Barry Docks held the world record for the amount of coal exported (over 11 million Ton). Other close railway lines went in and out of nearby city of Cardiff and port.

The A48 E/W main trunk road is another possible target.

Wenvoe Commercial Aerodrome was nearby, and although it closed in 1939 could have been useful to the enemy.

The large house at Cwrt-yr-Ala could have been requisitioned by German officers, which would then have become a target.


Sydney Britton was aware of other Patrols in the area. The unit HQ was at Porthcawl, which was likely also a training centre.

Weapons and Equipment

The Patrol had a .22 rifle which was carried by Sydney Britton since he was familiar with the type. It is assumed that they had the standard weapons and explosives issued to all Patrols.

Other information

It seems possible that Lt Norman Albert Richards was the first Patrol Leader, before promotion to Assistant Group Commander. By 1944, Cecil Williams had been promoted to Sergeant and was Patrol Leader.

Sydney Britton was an early member of the Patrol, but by 1943 was serving with the Commandos at the Anzio landings in Italy. (No. 9 Army and No. 43 RM Commando were the units involved).

Sydney Britton recalled he was to stab anyone that was badly wounded in the neck to finish him off in case he would talk. He remembered that he had some deadly tablets to hand out if capture was inevitable.


TNA ref WO199/3389

Interview with Sydney Britton

Hancock data held at B.R.A

Tony (Scallywag) Salter

Airfields of Britain

Barry Railway