Middleton Patrol (Norfolk)

County Group

Middleton village lies 3.5 miles south-east of King's Lynn.

Patrol members
Name Occupation Posted from Until
Sergeant Ralph Burman

Fruit farmer

Unknown 1943
Sergeant Alfred George Sykes

Estate agent & Farm manager

Unknown 03 Dec 1944
Private Thomas William Setchell Bedford

Farm foreman

Unknown 03 Dec 1944
Private Daniel Speir Crawford

Farmer (arable)

Unknown 03 Dec 1944
Private Leonard Mindham Edwards


Unknown 03 Dec 1944
Private George Fernley Howes

Baker's assistant

Unknown 03 Dec 1944
Private John Edward Narborough

Haulage contractor worked for ICI

Unknown 03 Dec 1944
Private Deryck George Hewitt Neville


01 Mar 1943 03 Dec 1944
Private George Henry Spruce

Hay, straw & fertiliser merchant

Unknown 03 Dec 1944
Private Arthur Robert Wilson Unknown 03 Dec 1944
Operational Base (OB)

The OB-site is located in a small private woodland which was accessed by kind permission. Currently, the area adjoining in the east is a huge sand and gravel quarry which, in due time, will be extended further westwards and within the next few years the woodland and its adjoining fields will be obliterated.

The site is located at the highest elevation in the area, about 300 metres distant from the main road.

Patrol member Arthur Wilson recalled that access was through a vertical shaft that was secured by a trapdoor covered with roofing felt. The key required to open it was hidden under pine needles at the base of a pine tree.

The OB was built by the Patrol members themselves. All building materials were ‘borrowed’ from local sources. The roof was constructed from railway sleepers and corrugated sheeting covered with roofing felt. Roadside kerbstones were used for building the walls. The main chamber contained a cubby-hole for storing explosives and another for a chemical toilet. Sometime later an escape tunnel was added. It ran down a slope in a zig-zag course.

What Arthur Wilson described as an ‘emergency bolthole’ was situated on the woodland’s southern edge. The location affords wide all-around views including a good view of Lynn Road (A 47) some 300 metres further to the south. No trace remains.

Nothing remains of the OB which is presumed to have collapsed quite some time ago.

Patrol & OB pictures
OB Image
Caption & credit
Middleton (Norfolk) OB site
OB Status
OB accessibility
This OB is on private land. Please do not be tempted to trespass to see it

Middleton Patrol (Norfolk)

Patrol Targets

According to Patrol member Arthur Wilson, their targets were the London North Eastern Railway King’s Lynn to Dereham line and the nearby aerodromes at West Raynham and Marham.

Other information

Norfolk Group 8 Stand-down photo [Original owned by Desmond Neville, son of Patrol member Deryck Neville]


TNA ref WO199/3389

Hancock data held at B.R.A

Evelyn Simak and Adrian Pye

Desmond E.G Neville, son of Patrol member Deryck GH Neville (pers interview);

Arthur Robert Wilson, Patrol member (pers interview);

Adrian Hoare, Standing up to Hitler (2002);

John Warwicker, Churchill’s Secret Army (2008);

Ivan Sneezum, Downham Market (pers interview);