Dunbar Patrol

A.K.A. (nickname)
Little Spott

Dunbar is a coastal town approximately half way between Edinburgh and Berwick-upon-Tweed.

Patrol members
Name Occupation Posted from Until
Second Lieutenant Glenn W. Aitken

Local teacher

1941 1943
Second Lieutenant George Thorburn

Local garage manager

1941 1944
Private R. Anderson 1941 1944
Private Alan Cockburn

Farm worker

1941 1944
Private W. J. Denholm


1941 1944
Private Bert Raeburn 1942 1944
Private D. Ross 1941 1944
Private Jimmy Sives


1942 1944
Private John Sives


1942 1944
Private Francis R. Strang

Farmer at Little Spot

1941 1944
Private Gavin Strang


1941 1944
Operational Base (OB)

The Patrol OB was an "Elephant" type shelter built near Little Spott Farm in a rocky area that had been a small quarry. The OB was sealed up at the escape tunnel end with bricks by former Patrol member Bertie Strang with the entrance end blocked by a large boulder. Over time the OB has collapsed under the weight of stones picked from ploughing the surrounding fields.

The Patrol had an Observation Post some 200 yards from the OB on higher ground by a stone wall with a field phone connected to the OB.

Patrol & OB pictures
OB Image
Caption & credit
Jimmy Sives, Unknown & John Sives Dunbar Patrol at Balmoral
OB Status

Dunbar Patrol

Patrol Targets

Targets included the main East Coast Railway line and the A1 main England/Scotland road.

Other targets were RAF East Fortune and RAF Lennoxlove (a secret RAF base for hiding surplus aircraft). These were also targets for the East Linton Patrol. The beaches at Belaven Bay and nearby beaches were thought to be possible landing grounds for the German seaborne attack.


Training took place locally on Little Spott Farm and the beaches at Dunbar. Group training took place at Melville House in Fife.

Weapons and Equipment

Weapons issued would have included Sniper rifle, pistols and fighting knives

Other information

Some of the Patrol did guard duty at Balmoral when the Royal family were there. The Sives brothers went and were issued new uniforms and Glengarry hats for their visit.

Gavin Strang was one of the Patrol that went to the Isle of Wight to serve as the island garrison during the D-Day invasion.

The Patrol had no contact with the local Home Guard.

The Nominal Roll has the patrol as Aitken, Thorburn, Ross, Denholm, Strang,Strang and Anderson.

Lieutenant Glenn W. Aitken suffered serious phosphorus burns to his thigh and was discharged on medical grounds. This meant Corporal George Thorburn becoming Patrol Sergeant. Then promoted to Group Second Lieutenant with Private Gavin Strang to Patrol Corporal and finally Patrol Sergeant.


Jack Tully-Jackson

Anne Wright (Bertie Strang's daughter) and Balfour Strang

The National Archives in Kew ref WO199/3388,

Hancock data held at B.R.A

Major Peter Forbes

Neil Sives