Long Bredy Patrol


Long Bredy is a village 7 miles west of Dorchester just south of the A35 main road.

Patrol members
Name Occupation Posted from Until
Sergeant Robert James Foot

Dairy & Arable farmer

01 Jun 1940 03 Dec 1944
Corporal Leslie Frank Sorrell

Father is Farmer

01 Jun 1940 03 Dec 1944
Private Roland Horace Fry


Unknown 03 Dec 1944
Private Richard Legg

Assistant Cowman

Unknown 03 Dec 1944
Private Charles Henry Burt Pitcher

Farm Carter

27 Apr 1942 03 Dec 1944
Private William Salisbury

1939 at School

08 Oct 1941 03 Dec 1944
Private Benjamin Nathaniel Snaydon

General farm worker

12 Dec 1940 03 Dec 1944
Operational Base (OB)

Access to the OB was arranged by Mr Robin Pitcher through the landowner, Mr Robert Maltby. A field visit was made on 10th Nov 2012. The OB is on private land.

Condition of OB: mostly collapsed

Size of OB and entrance/exit etc: minimum 18ft 2in x 7ft 2in

Other physical remains nearby: Some debris from collapse of the OB can be found further down the slope.

The Patrol had two OBs. The first was built by the Patrol itself in woods north of Little Bredy. Bill Salisbury recalls that Roly Fry and Dick Legg helped with this work, which may mean that they were Patrol members at the time, though they do not appear in the nominal rolls. Bill recalls they carried away the chalk in coal sacks and dumped it in a ditch several miles away. When they got home they were covered in white chalk dust, but their families never asked why. This OB had to be abandoned when the American Forces moved into the area and set up a large camp in the woods.

The second OB was built by regular troops brought in by their Group Commander. It was built in a sand quarry just north of Long Bredy. This quarry had supplied greensand to the Lott and Walne foundry in Dorchester, where it was used for making the moulds for their castings. The OB was built high in the side of the quarry and was a different design from that usually seen. While it was constructed using hollow concrete blocks, as commonly seen in OBs, it had a lean-to style of corrugated iron roof, rather than a full curved Nissen hut shape. This allowed it to be a narrower OB than normal and presumably fit onto the face of the quarry. The greensand would have ensured excellent drainage preventing the OB from getting damp. Bill Salisbury recalls that this bunker was produced in a bit of a hurry. The Army dug it out and when it was finished blew greensand down over it by using explosives. Bill does not ever recall visiting this bunker. “Bob Foot, our Sgt never took us there”.

The OB was sealed at the end of the war, but sometime after, the quarry was worked by machine and one of the diggers knocked a hole through the side of the OB. Albert Pitcher, son of Patrol member Charlie, remembers the bunker in this state as a schoolboy. This has caused the OB to subsequently collapse to its current state.

During the war, the immediate area was much more heavily wooded than is the case now, This would have provided cover for accessing the OB, most probably from one of the footpaths that cross the hill into which the quarry had been cut.

Patrol & OB pictures
OB Image
Caption & credit
Long Bredy OB
OB Image
Caption & credit
Concrete, brickwork & elephant iron roof
OB Image
Caption & credit
Close up
OB Image
Caption & credit
Long Bredy Home Guard contains members of the Long Bredy Aux Patrol (Robin Pitcher)
OB Status
Location not known

Long Bredy Patrol

Patrol Targets

The Patrols in this area are spread along the sides of the A35, the main East-West route through Dorset, suggesting that this was a major target. It is also likely that large houses taken over by the Germans would also have formed targets. There were fewer obviously military targets in this rural part of Dorset.


The Patrol received the usual training in explosives. Charlie Pitcher recounted to his family how he had learnt to fell trees across the road to block them. He never mentioned going to Coleshill or Duntish Court.

Other information

In common with a good number of Auxiliers in other parts of the country, the Long Bredy Patrol were approached to see if they would be willing to be dropped behind enemy lines in France and carry out their sabotage activities there. They were later told that they were too valuable in their reserved occupations for this to have been progressed. It may be that there was confusion around the approach by the SAS to Auxiliary Units to recruit men for its expanding regiment.


National Archives WO 199/3390, 199/3391, 1911 Census, Interviews by John Pidgeon with Patrol members Les Sorrell and Bill Salisbury, Additional information from Albert Pitcher, son of Patrol member Charlie, and Albert’s son Robin Pitcher.