Hellingly Patrol

County Group

Hellingly is a village in the Wealden district of Sussex

Patrol members
Name Occupation Posted from Until
Sergeant John Melville Richards

Farm & estate manager

03 Feb 1942 03 Dec 1944
Private John Lewis Baker

Gardener & gamekeeper

24 Oct 1940 03 Dec 1944
Private Stephen Henry Bovis

Farm foreman

04 Aug 1942 03 Dec 1944
Private Reginald Luther Cornford


23 Feb 1942 03 Dec 1944
Private Thomas Bertram Harris

Dairy farmer

23 Feb 1942 03 Dec 1944
Private John Thomas Land

Stud groom

24 Oct 1940 03 Dec 1944
Private William Charles Veness

Cowman & market gardener

08 Aug 1940 03 Dec 1944
Private Stanley John Seymour White

Market gardener (Peach grower)

31 Aug 1942 03 Dec 1944
Operational Base (OB)

The OB was in the eastern half of Park Wood, Hellingly. It was built by the Royal Engineers from corrugated iron and timber. An emergency exit was added, by hand, by the Patrol themselves as a corrugated iron tunnel leading out by the bank of a stream.

A small Observational Post in the form of an Anderson shelter was positioned near the OB and the two were connected by a telephone wire.

The Patrol often stayed in the OB over weekends taking enough food and water to preserve their supplies.

Park Wood is owned by the Environment Agency and managed by East Sussex County Council.

Patrol & OB pictures
OB Image
Caption & credit
Hellingly Auxiliary Unit Patrol Park Wood
OB Status
Location not known
OB accessibility
The OB site is publicly accessible

Hellingly Patrol

Patrol Targets

The Patrol had various trees targeted for felling to block roads and the railway would have been targeted north of Hellingly Station.


It is assumed they trained at the regional HQ at Tottington Manor.

All the Patrol went to Coleshill for basic training.

Locally mock attacks were carried out on the Radar Station at Beachy Head near Eastbourne. Setting out from Alfriston they approached the station to find a ring of broken china around it. Realising a silent approach would be impossible they tried to stow away in an approaching lorry but the driver got out just as they were climbing aboard.

Another mock attack took place on the Canadian troops stationed at Heathfield Park. They entered the park with blackened faces though the weather was against them. Most of the Patrol started marking vehicles and weapons to simulate an explosive charge but Sergeant John Richardson and one other headed off to casually join some dispatch riders standing around smoking. After a while they all moved into the Officers mess where John produced his revolver and a hand grenade and announced "Gentleman, you are all dead". The two men were congratulated and offered a glass of whisky. Security was stepped up after this incident.


TNA reference WO199/3391

Hancock data held at B.R.A

1939 Register

The Secret Sussex Resistance by Stewart Angell