Iden Patrol

County Group

Iden is in the county of East Sussex just a few hundred yards from the border with Kent.

Patrol members
Name Occupation Posted from Until
Captain Albert Bailey

Artist illustrator

17 Nov 1940 Unknown
Sergeant John Winter


08 May 1942 03 Dec 1944
Private Walter Edwin Dawes

Agricultural tractor driver

08 May 1942 03 Dec 1944
Private William John Goodwin

Argicultural & motor engineer

16 Jul 1940 Unknown
Private Jack Matthews


27 Jun 1940 03 Dec 1944
Private Robert John Newble

Farmer assisting father

18 Jun 1942 03 Dec 1944
Private Ronald George Ogle

Veterinary student

26 May 1940 03 Dec 1944
Private Henry Frank Reeve


31 Jan 1942 1943
Private John Watson

Farm labourer

25 Jun 1942 03 Dec 1944
Operational Base (OB)

The Patrol's OB was sited in Norland Wood, 500 yards east of Peasmarsh Church. It was built by the Royal Engineers. Construction would have been difficult as it was positioned near the bottom of a steep slope, next to a stream. The problem of transporting materials to the site must have been formidable, let alone the actual building work. The hideout had a similar design to the Ditchling and Staplefield Patrol's OBs and was basically an underground Nissen hut.

Entrance was gained by pulling a concealed cable release. This let an earth-covered wooden hatch lift up slightly, so someone could get their fingers underneath it. The hatch had about four inches of soil on top of it, and a counterbalance weight was required to assist in lifting it. Once opened a brick built shaft with a ladder led down into the hideout.

At the other end of the hideout was an emergency exit in the form of a two foot eight inch concrete tunnel. It was thirty feet in length and terminated in the bank of the stream. This too had an earth-covered wooden hatch but had no cable release. If used it would have been pushed open from the inside.

The hideout contained bunk beds, ammunition, explosives, food, water, a cooking stove and an Elsan chemical toilet.

After the war the earth cover and corrugated metal roof was removed but the brick end walls, main entrance shaft and the concrete emergency escape tunnel can still be seen set into the steep bank in Norland Wood. The chamber is now partially filled with soil.

The Patrol visited the hideout every weekend but, unlike other Patrols, they never stayed overnight as part of their training.

Patrol & OB pictures
OB Image
OB Image
OB Image
OB Status
Collapsed with some visible remains
OB accessibility
This OB is on private land. Please do not be tempted to trespass to see it

Iden Patrol

Patrol Targets

The railway line at Rye and the two main roads running out of Rye to Ashford and Folkestone would have been obvious targets.


Localised training took place three or four times a week at Playden Wood and mainly involved the Patrol practicing with various explosives on tree stumps and disused rabbit warrens. Shooting practice took place at the Oast by Iden Lock.

Auxilier Jack Richards remembered their Patrol, along with several adjacent Patrols, going to a meeting at Catsfield. There a high ranking officer explained how volunteers were needed to be parachuted into France as part of a pre-invasion plan for the Normandy Landings. All the men put their names forward.

It is assumed the Patrol trained at HQ at Tottington Manor. All the Patrol went to Coleshill

Other information

The Iden Patrol was the most easterly Patrol in East Sussex.


TNA reference WO199/3391

Hancock data held at B.R.A

'The Secret Sussex Resistance' by Stewart Angell

Nick Catford

Sub Brit

Jo Kirkham's book Rye at War 1939-1945