Soberton A Patrol


Soberton is a village in the Meon Valley, bordered by villages such as Newtown and Droxford.

Patrol members
Name Occupation Posted from Until
Sergeant Robert John Bettesworth

Coal merchants manager

20 Aug 1940 03 Dec 1944
Private George Hedley Bollen

Road work carter

22 Jun 1942 15 Apr 1943
Private Alick Stephen Deadman

Farm cater

30 Sep 1942 03 Dec 1944
Private James Colson Knight


20 Aug 1940 15 Apr 1943
Private William Harry Matthews

Lorry driver

30 Jun 1940 15 Apr 1943
Private Ronald Norman Nobes

Farm worker

20 Aug 1940 04 Dec 1942
Private John William Underwood

Market gardener assisting Father

20 Aug 1940 Unknown
Private William Underwood

Tractor driver on farm

31 Oct 1941 15 Apr 1943
Patrol & OB pictures
OB Image
Caption & credit
The men of Group 5 in the garden of Hillcrest with the house in the background (Mark Horn)
OB Image
Caption & credit
The men of Group 5 with a Royal Marine Officer in the centre and Lts Dallow and Welch either side. It seems that some Patrol photos were taken at the same time. Lieutenant Peterson was taking the photos which is why he doesn't appear. (Mark Horn)
OB Status
Location not known

Soberton A Patrol


From the Southwick Patrol diary, we know the Group met at Hillcrest, the home of Lieutenant Welch. It also records joint training exercises between different Patrols, often with one of the Sergeants acting as umpire for the exercise.

Sergeant Bettesworth kept copies of both the 1938 Diary and The Countryman,s Diary, the standard training manuals for Auxiliers. It is very likely that the Patrol Sergeant would have attended a course at Coleshill and other Patrol members may also have gone.

The 1938 diary has notes added by Lieutenant Peterson, perhaps suggesting he was the original Patrol Leader prior to his promotion. The Scout Section of regular troops covering Hampshire would have provided training in the early part of the war.

Other information

There were three Patrols lead by Soberton men (possibly Soberton, Newton and Droxford) and they seem to have worked closely with the Southwick and Bishops Waltham Patrols too. We only have definite information on the Southwick Patrol.

The Bishops Waltham Patrol likely contains all the men from that area, but the other three Patrols membership is at present a best guess, other than the names of the Sergeants in charge. This has been done based on ID card numbers held in the nominal roll, which locate the men geographically, though the method is known to be unreliable as next door neighbours might be in different Patrols. The Patrols had codenames that were the names of Caribbean islands, such as St Vincent, Martinique and Barbados. The codename for Soberton Patrol is uncertain.


Correspondence with the daughter of Sgt Bettesworth via Mark Horn
Southwick Patrol diary (Hampshire Record Office)
Hancock file held by CART
National Archives WO 199/3391
Biographical details from and FreeBMD