Perranwell Patrol


Perranwell is a village located about half way between Truro and Falmouth near the modern A39.

Patrol members
Name Occupation Posted from Until
Sergeant William John Kneebone


03 Jun 1940 03 Dec 1944
Corporal George Ernest Brooks

Manager of footwear shop

15 Jul 1940 03 Dec 1944
Private Richard Frederick Armytage

Poultry farmer

03 Jun 1940 16 Apr 1943
Private Cecil Herbert Edward Sims

Naval uniform and outfitter shop owner

22 May 1943 03 Dec 1944
Private Herbert Frederick Snell


16 Jan 1941 03 Dec 1944
Private Sidney Strick

Farm labourer

23 May 1942 03 Dec 1944
Private Percival Terrill


09 Jul 1940 03 Dec 1944
Private George Tucker


03 Jun 1940 03 Dec 1944
Operational Base (OB)

The Operational Base was built in a disused quarry near Pelean Cross a few yards west of the railway line and concealed at the time by a small copse. It was sited north east of Ponsanooth village and three quarters of a mile south west of Perranwell village, half way between the Trewedna railway tunnel and the Ponsanooth railway viaduct.

The OB was built by the Patrol members and consisted of two rooms with a drop down entrance and emergency exit. It was constructed of timber and corrugated iron sheeting. The OB was destroyed and nothing remains at the site today. The location was concealed by a small copse which has virtually disappeared due to Dutch Elm Disease.

One evening when the Patrol were staying the night in the OB they heard footsteps above. They later placed rabbit traps above as they though nobody would disturb them.

Patrol & OB pictures
OB Image
Caption & credit
Perranwell OB site on left
OB Image
Caption & credit
Ponsanooth Viaduct target
OB Status

Perranwell Patrol

Patrol Targets

Targets would have included the Sparnick railway tunnel at Pellynwartha (which was very close to the OB), the railway viaduct at Ponsanooth and the main A39 road. Sergeant Kneebone told his family that the Patrol had bored holes in the railway viaduct in preparation for invasion.

The railway line would have been an important supply route as it ran from Falmouth Docks to the city of Truro on the main line from Penzance to Paddington.


Perranwell Patrol had regular training exercises with Constantine and Mabe Patrols under the direction of Lieutenant Alec McLeod. They used a firing range at Higher Spargo Quarry and often met at a building in the grounds of Antron House, Mabe. They went practice shooting every Sunday at Mabe quarry. Local exercises included an attack on the nearby Stickenbridge on the main Falmouth to Truro road.

It is recorded the Patrol were trained at Coleshill.

It is assumed the Patrol trained at Porthpean House at Porthpean near St Austell under the Cornwall Scout Section.

Weapons and Equipment

It is assumed they were issued the standard kit, arms and explosives.

Other information

Lieutenant Alec McLeod was a local quarry owner as part of Freeman & McLeod Ltd. It is known one quarry he owned was where Mabe Patrol were based and he may have had ownership or certainly knowledge of the quarries used by Perranwell and Constantine Patrols.


TNA ref WO199/3391

Hancock data held at B.R.A

1939 Register

Alwyn Harvey and his work on the Defence of Britain Database

The family of Sergeant Kneebone

The family of Auxilier George Tucker

Auxilier Ken Welch

Ian Butland