Fordingbridge Patrol

Locality

Fordingbridge is a town 6 miles north of Ringwood.

The Fordingbridge patrol contained men who lived to the north and west of the Avon.

Patrol members
Name Occupation Posted from Until
Sergeant Albert Chafen Broad

Motor Haulage Contractor

27 May 1940 03 Dec 1944
Private Guy Bradley Bowles

Farmer & Civil Air Guard

27 May 1940 03 Dec 1944
Private William Roy Fry

Head Cowman

18 Sep 1940 03 Dec 1944
Private Henry Ernest Harper

Manager Co-op Stores Grocery Dept

27 May 1940 03 Dec 1944
Private Frederick Charles Molloy

Motor Driver for Millers

18 Jun 1940 03 Dec 1944
Private Edward Rogers

Garden Labourer

Unknown 03 Dec 1944
Private Andrew John Rogers

Dairy Worker Assisting Father

27 May 1940 03 Dec 1944
Private Samuel Wells

General Labourer

27 May 1940 03 Dec 1944
Private Robert F Young

Farm Carter

18 Jun 1940 03 Dec 1944
Operational Base (OB)

The location of the Operational Base is thought to have been amongst a series of sandpits to the north of Fryen Court Farm. Although the site was shown to the Rogers family after the war, the OB had collapsed by the 1960s. It has not been possible to locate the remains of the OB on repeated visits. There is some suggestion it may have been blown up by the Army.

Patrol & OB pictures
OB Image
Caption & credit
One of the Coo-ee Coaches on an outing before the war (Facebook)
OB Image
Caption & credit
The Silent Army was a ficitonal novel written by Margaret Rogers, wife of Andrew Rogers, Fordingbridge Patrol Member
OB Status
Destroyed
Location

Fordingbridge Patrol

Patrol Targets

The Patrol practised breaking into RAF Ibsley airfield, leaving their calling card on the planes to show they could have destroyed them.

It is likely that Breamore House would have been a target. Early in the war it was used as a headquarters by the Home Guard and later by General George Patton of the US Army, though he left once the location had been announced on air by Nazi propagandist Goebbels! No doubt the Germans would have considered it suitable for use an headquarters as well.

Other information

Margaret Rogers, wife of patrol member Andrew, wrote a fictional book at the age of 90, “The Silent Army”, which featured Auxiliary Units. The story follows a nurse in Southampton after a German invasion, and includes the Patrol blowing up her train in the New Forest. There is a detailed description of their OB, but it isn’t clear if this based on the real Patrol’s OB or is imagined. Margaret died in February 2017.

References

TNA ref WO199/3391

Hancock data held at B.R.A

1939 Register

Personal communications, Alan Rogers and Ann Stevens
The Silent Army, Margaret Rogers
Ted Rogers papers, Parham Airfield Museum
https://www.newforest-life.com/WW2-Breamore-Patton.html
http://www.salisburyjournal.co.uk/announcements/deaths/deaths/15080200…