Drellingore Patrol

County Group
Locality

The village of Drellingore lies 3 miles north-east of Folkestone.

Group Commander Lieutenant Cecil Lines may have been the original Patrol Leader of this Patrol prior to the creation of Groups.

Patrol members
Name Occupation Posted from Until
Sergeant George Albert Marsh

Engineer

14 Jun 1940 1944
Private Frederick William Castle

Police Constable

27 Feb 1941 1944
Private Keith Vaughan Dewar 22 Jul 1942 30 Oct 1942
Private Dennis Gordon Dewar

Haulier

20 Jun 1942 1944
Private Charles Henry Fayers

Boot repairer and sweet shop owner

02 May 1943 1944
Private Thomas Edward Holmans

Water engineer

10 Jan 1943 1944
Private Samuel Lloyd Osborne

Butcher and farmer

Unknown 1944
Private Geoffrey Charles Richards

Waterworks labourer

29 Jun 1940 1944
Operational Base (OB)

The Operational Base was built in woods above Drellingore. The location was originally provided by Sam Osborne to local author Roy Humphreys and subsequently recorded for the defence of Britain Project. Sam had first become aware of the site when a lady who lived in a cottage on his farm talked to him about someone sinking a "bloody Nissen Hut" in the woods behind her house. It was not actually on his land, but that of a neighbour, George Marsh. Later George approached Sam to join the Patrol.

Reportedly the OB was built by Canadians, most likely the Canadian Royal Engineers Tunnelling Company.

The OB consisted of block built entrance shaft, with a solid metal manhole cover lid with a tree stump fixed on top for camouflage. The lid was counter-weighted and could be easily moved by one man, pivoting to the side to allow entry. The shaft was at least 12 feet deep and 30 inches by 32 inches, with a 5 inch lip to support the lid.

The main chamber was a Nissen Hut like Elephant Shelter with block built end walls approximately 12 yards long. The chamber apparently contained bunks, a stove, a 50 gallon galvanised water tank, an Elsan toilet and a lamp during the war, besides their sabotage equipment and rations for two weeks. There were problems with condensation, so the chamber was lined with painted with a mixture of white paint, ground cork and white varnish.

At the opposite end from the shaft was a "bolt hole", and escape tunnel made up of concrete sewer pipes. The tunnel was L-shaped and opened on the hillside below. The exit was a rectangluar concrete opening with a wooden frame with a wooden door, covered in earth, opening outwards.

The main shelter collapsed after the war, leaving only the remains of the end wall and the corrugated iron remnants of the main chamber structure. The block built entrance shaft with rotting and now partially absent metal rungs and the concrete escape tunnel remain intact. (Site visits 1995, 2021)

Patrol & OB pictures
OB Image
Caption & credit
Entrance shaft
OB Image
Caption & credit
Looking down entrance shaft
OB Image
Caption & credit
Doorway through to main chamber
OB Image
Caption & credit
Main chamber almost entirely collapsed
OB Image
Caption & credit
Escape tunnel
OB Image
Caption & credit
Escape tunnel exit
OB Image
Caption & credit
Sketch of the Drellingore OB by Roy Humphreys based on Sam Osborne's account (Roy Humphreys)
OB Image
Caption & credit
Tappington hall old postcard
OB Image
Caption & credit
Drellingore OB 2021
OB Image
Caption & credit
Drellingore OB entrance 2021
OB Image
Caption & credit
Drellingore OB entrance and chamber 2021
OB Image
Caption & credit
Drellingore OB entrance showing rungs 2021
OB Image
Caption & credit
Drellingore OB escape 2021
OB Image
Caption & credit
Drellingore OB vent pipe 2021
OB Image
Caption & credit
Drellingore OB wall 2021
OB Image
Caption & credit
Drellingore view from OB 2021
OB Image
Caption & credit
Drellingore OB escape 2021
OB Image
Caption & credit
Drellingore OB vent pipe 2021
OB Status
Collapsed with some visible remains
OB accessibility
This OB is on private land. Please do not be tempted to trespass to see it
Location

Drellingore Patrol

Patrol Targets

The Patrol were not allocated specific targets. They did check out Hockley Sole, near Standen, a large country house they thought the Germans would be likely to occupy. They had also identified the Folkestone railway viaduct and swing bridge, together with the roads from the ports of Dover and Folkestone as suitable for their attention in the event of an invasion.

Training

Sam Osborne did not recall going to Coleshill House or even training at the Garth. He said that they went regularly to Tappington Hall near Denton for training on a Sunday. This included grenade throwing, shooting and setting booby traps.Two other groups trained there, though Sam Osborne said that he never spoke to the men, though some were familiar from local farm sales.

Weapons and Equipment

Each man had a .38 Smith and Wesson revolver, a Fairbairn-Sykes Commando knife and a brass knuckleduster. The patrol also had rubber truncheons, a Thompson sub-machine gun, Springfield .300 rifles and a .22 rifle with telescopic sight. 

They were also issued with grenades, phosphorus bombs, paraffin incendiaries, anti-personnel mines, plastic explosive and gelignite, along with detonators, time pencils and trip wires to set these off when needed.

Each man had a pair of plimsolls that they could wear to help move silently.

The grenades and some explosives were buried beneath a nearby blackberry bush. They were apparently discovered by a gamekeeper or one of the poachers often in the area, who reported their find to the police. Sam Osborne found the Police searching for the site and warned them off. However the Home Guard said he was not one of their unit and so he found himself under arrest, until Lieutenant Lines was able to secure his release.

Other information

A lady, Ida Bailey, who lived at the end of the lane, used to regularly walk her dog in the area. Sam Osborne diverted her away from the bunker on one occasion and on reporting this to Lieutenant Lines, were told she would have to be eliminated in the event of invasion. The Patrol were more inclined to put her on a bus or train out of the area if the Germans landed.

References

TNA ref WO199/3391 and WO199/3390

Hancock data held at B.R.A

Phil Evans

Adrian Westwood

Roy Humphreys

Dover at War 1939-45, Alan Sutton Ltd 1993

IWM Interview 14755/4 Sam Osborne interviewed by Stephen Sutton

Will Ward

Stuart Burbridge and James Duncan