Golspie Patrol


The village of Golspie lies 7 miles north of the town of Dornoch.

Patrol members
Name Occupation Posted from Until
Sergeant A. Matheson Unknown 03 Dec 1944
Corporal C. R. M. MacKay Unknown 03 Dec 1944
Private D. Ferguson Unknown 03 Dec 1944
Private Hector MacDonald Unknown 03 Dec 1944
Private K. MacDonald Unknown 03 Dec 1944
Private W. MacKay Unknown 03 Dec 1944
Private John Duncan MacKay Unknown 03 Dec 1944
Operational Base (OB)

The OB is located in woodland at Littleferry just south of Golspie.

Images can be seen here.

From Highland Historical Environment Record: "Local residents report secret WW2 bunker towards the west end of Littleferry. Planned to be used in case of invasion. Used to play in it as children until a sheep fell into it and died, resultant smell meant play area was abandoned."

The OB has a brick shaft, with scaffold poles set across one corner to form a ladder, a design seen in other OBs.

The main chamber was an elephant shelter design.

There was apparently an OP nearby. The hatch was apparently a counterweighted earth filled tray which would lift vertically using a pulley system.

Patrol & OB pictures
OB Image
Caption & credit
L-R Capt A Thomson MBE, Lt G MacDonald, D Ferguson, K Macdonald, Hector MacDonald, John D Mackay, Sgt A Matheson, Cpl CRN Mackay
OB Status
Collapsed with some visible remains

Golspie Patrol

Patrol Targets

Golspie is located close to possible invasion beaches.

Any invasion of the Orkney Islands (where the Home fleet was based) could be used as a staging point for attacking the mainland UK at John O’Groats. Golspie is on the main road and railway from the North, from where any invasion force in the Norths could transit south.

Airfields at Fearn and Tain would be like targets, along with the main railway line to the north.


Early training was an ad-hoc affair, but once an Intelligence Officer was appointed to cover this vast area, then a more specialised and comprehensive training programme was conducted by Regular Army Scout Sections who visited various Patrols in the far north of Scotland. Mostly from the Seaforth Highlanders with a contingent of Lovat Scouts who taught sniping and stalking, culminating in night time field exercises and a live firing package.

Weapons and Equipment

Issued with two .22RF  Winchester 74’s with number 42 straight sighting scope and fitted with Parker Hale silencer (later into 1942 these scopes were issued) trials were conducted with an Enfield Number 32 scope but proved too top heavy. Also a Thomson Sub-Machine Gun, Sten-Gun, .38 revolver, FS Knife, rubber truncheon and various home-made knuckle dusters.

After the war a very large number of Phosphorus bombs were found nearby by children. It is unclear if they belonged to the Patrol or the regular Home Guard.

Other information

Golspie Patrol won the best Patrol in Group 3 in a competition of all Area 1 in 1944


Correspondence from Private individuals.

David Blair and Alan Stewart

TNA ref WO 199/3388 Hancock Files held at B.R.A,

The Last Ditch pp 105-106,159 [Fiddes-Watt] 161 [Capt A.J.Thomson]

IWM ref 13450 – 201 Bn News July 1944

Highland Historic Environment Record