Hetton le Hole Patrol

County Group
Locality

The Patrol were based between Houghton Le Spring and Hetton le Hole in County Durham.

Patrol members
Name Occupation Posted from Until
Sergeant Norman Hopper

Railway stoker at colliery

Unknown 03 Dec 1944
Second Lieutenant John Andrew West

Coal hewer 

Unknown 1942
Corporal James Jarvis

Coal mine hoist labourer 

13 May 1943 03 Dec 1944
Private Reginald Fisher

Mining, coalmine driver 

Unknown 1942
Private John Henry Gulliver

Mining, coal hewer 

Unknown 03 Dec 1944
Private John McCall

Mining

Unknown 03 Dec 1944
Private John Osborne Mennear

Mining - pony putter 

1942 03 Dec 1944
Private George Woodland

Mining

Unknown 03 Dec 1944
Operational Base (OB)

The OB is located at the bottom of a steep hill near the golf course and on a tight bend in the Rough Dene stream, close to Copt Hill in Houghton le Spring.

It was a standard "Elephant" type shelter built by the 184th (S) Tunnelling Company Royal Engineers in 1942.

John Mennear never visited the OB at Copt Hill. It maybe that this was replaced by the only OB he remembered which was at Cocken Wood near Finchale. The access pathway being adjacent to cottage on west side of Lumley Road. 
He recalled a wooden hut, about 12 by 8 foot, which was only used for clothes and sleeping bags. They stayed over on Saturday nights only before heading back to work. It was in the wood, near the gamekeepers cottage, adjacent to the path, on land belonged to the Nicholson family who owned the Vaux Brewery.

The OB was based in the middle of the wood, constructed of an excavated underground chamber which was dug out by the Patrol before he joined. The escape route was 20 yards down towards the river. The entrance hatch was covered by turf with a bush growing on top, not a spring loaded hatch. The entrance led down a ladder, and internal layout was a main "Elephant" type chamber. It was not waterlogged but damp so everything was lifted off the floor. John recalled all the explosives and arms were kept there.

Patrol & OB pictures
OB Image
Caption & credit
Cpl. Jimmy Jarvis Certificate from Balmoral
OB Image
Caption & credit
Jim Jarvis Sunderland Echo August 2015
OB Image
Caption & credit
Hetton le hole diagram
OB Image
Caption & credit
Hetton le Hole Jimmy Jarvis service record
OB Image
Caption & credit
Hetton le hole map
OB Image
Caption & credit
Remaining end walls. Entrance foreground, bolt hole distant.
OB Image
Caption & credit
Entrance Wall
OB Image
Caption & credit
Bolt hole end showing the higher ground on either side. When complete the two hills would have joined hiding the OB.
OB Image
Caption & credit
Part of clay drainage pipe used as ventilation shafts into the OB.
OB Image
Caption & credit
OB showing it as part of the hillside
OB Status
Collapsed with some visible remains
OB accessibility
The OB site is publicly accessible
Location

Hetton le Hole Patrol

Patrol Targets

Targets would have included local road and rail links, several local collieries and the large fuel and ammunition dump at Finchale near Durham. There was also possible invasion beaches to the east.

Training

Some of the Patrol (the Sergeant and Corporal) went to Coleshill House to train. 

Regional training took place at Castleton with the Scout Section from The Green Howards and Danby Lodge with the Intelligence Officer and Cocken Wood near Fincale, Durham.

Other training was done locally and at Cobbler's Quarry.

Weapons and Equipment

The Patrol were issued with the Mark 2 Auxiliary Unit kit which included .38 Smith & Wesson revolvers, rubber truncheons,.303 rifle, a Sniper rifle, a Sten Gun and fighting knives.

Other information

Most of the Patrol were involved in the local mining industry.

References

The National Archives in Kew ref WO199/3389

Auxilier John Mennear & his son John

Paul Jarvis

Ruth Raine

1939 Register

Hancock data held at B.R.A

Historic Environment Record

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