Podimore Patrol


Podimore is a village 2 miles north east of Ilchester and 7 from Yeovil.

Patrol members
Name Occupation Posted from Until
Lieutenant Eric Ernest George Loder

Tractor driver public works

23 Jul 1940 03 Dec 1944
Sergeant Dennis George Ford

Farm worker - carter

23 Jul 1940 03 Dec 1944
Private John William Dening


20 Jul 1940 03 Dec 1944
Private Cyril Walter Gunning

Farming assisting father

23 Jul 1940 30 Jul 1944
Private John Robert Eden Hillyer


10 Jun 1941 05 Aug 1943
Private George Hutchings

Farmer assisting father

23 Jul 1940 03 Dec 1944
Private Clifford Henry Raymont


Unknown Nov 1942
Private William John Glyde Scammell

Farm carter heavy work

21 Jul 1942 03 Dec 1944
Operational Base (OB)

Cliff Raymont cannot remember the Patrol having a “built” OB though he may have left before this time. He can only remember the Patrol making use of a cave mid-way between most of the farms which was used as a store for explosives and supplies. The cave was not sealed but made use of the vegetation to conceal the entrance.

Dennis Ford recalled it was located "somewhere around Camel Hill" and blown up after the war. It is suggested the OB or an OP was within a small quarry near Stert Wood and there was a ammunition dump in Annis Hill Wood.

According to Eric Loder the OB was dug into the side of a hill near Sparkford. It was described as being 12 feet by 8 feet with galvanised iron sheets reinforced by timber, suggesting it was an early design and not a buried elephant shelter. Inside were five bunks along with ammunition and explosive stores, together with three weeks supply of rations. The entrance hatch had a bramble bush growing out of it to deter casual searchers.

About 100 yards away was their Obersvation Post (OP). It held one man and was connected by a telephhone line to the OB. The telephone was hidden in a secret compartment in the wall so that if the OP was discovered, the OB would not be compromised. Reportedly both OP and OB were blown up at the end of the war.

OB Status
Location not known

Podimore Patrol

Patrol Targets

The largest target in the area would have been R.N.A.S Yeovilton which was on the Patrol's doorstep. Main road links out of the South West, the A303 and A37 (Fosse Way), could have caused considerable disruption if blocked.

Dennis Ford recalled breaking in to R.N.A.S Yeovilton and chalking crosses on the plane tails to prove they had been there.


Cliff Raymont remembered the Patrol members (5 at the time) going by car to Coleshill for weekend training. Here they learnt how to move silently at night, avoiding trip wires and head height wires. They were also trained in close combat. Cliff had memories of training with a piano wire with wooden handles being used as a garrotte.

The Patrol were taught the use of explosives and time pencils in the kitchen of Eric Loder's house, Mrs Loder having been sent out of the room. A soldier in the regular army (Scout Section) arrived one evening a week to teach them the theory. They would come and go under the cover of darkness to not arise suspicions.

The Patrol also trained around Podimore village.


TNA ref WO199/3390 & WO199/3391

Hancock data held at B.R.A

Tim Wray

Chris Perry interview with Cliff Raymont

Donald Brown and his research for “Somerset vs Hitler”

“The Somerset Home Guard” by Jeffrey Wilson

“Ilchester in World War 2” Ilchester Town Trust Museum 1994

Somerset Evening Post 27 Mar 1968