Porthleven Patrol


Porthleven is a fishing port near Helston, south west Cornwall.

Patrol members
Name Occupation Posted from Until
Sergeant Francis Edyvean Strike

Builder and undertaker

29 Aug 1940 03 Dec 1944
Corporal George Frederick Davy

Solicitor's clerk

12 Sep 1941 23 Oct 1944
Private Frederick Allen

Net maker

14 Jun 1940 03 Dec 1944
Private Frederick Chegwidden

Agricultural blacksmith

22 Aug 1940 03 Dec 1944
Private G. H. Elliott 08 Aug 1940 25 May 1943
Private Reginald Jackett-Simpson

Garage owner

25 Aug 1942 01 Sep 1942
Private Gerald Trevelyan Sydney Davey Lee

Poultry farmer and club owner

20 Jun 1940 Unknown
Private Hedley Powell Orchard

Shipwright and carpenter

06 Aug 1942 03 Dec 1944
Private Robert Pascoe

Coal merchant

06 Aug 1941 03 Dec 1944
Private John Henry Toy


06 Aug 1942 28 May 1943
Operational Base (OB)

The OB is thought to be collapsed and partly filled in over the years. Built by the Patrol, the design differed from more standard OBs. Occupying a prime location, the OB was overlooking the main road leading from the safe harbour of Porthleven to the larger town of Helston.

A break in an old stone wall was concealed by a hatch which was opened by lifting the attached ivy. This led into a wood lined tunnel 6-7 feet long. There was then a drop down to the more familiar OB structure of a corrugated iron Nissen hut structure approximately 12 foot by 16 foot. A further wood lined tunnel came off the main body of the OB leading to a smaller area where some of the explosives were stored. There was no escape tunnel.

The location of the entrance tunnel can just be made out in the stone wall where the predominantly horizontal stones change to being laid vertically and there is a depression in the ground just above and behind this anomaly in the wall.

It is remembered that there was an Observation Post on the edge of open farmland linked to the OB by a wire concealed in a boundary hedge.

Patrol & OB pictures
OB Image
Caption & credit
Porthleven OB site with Victor Strike 1982
OB Image
Caption & credit
Wartime Porthleven
OB Image
Caption & credit
Back: Fred Allen, Fred Chegwidden. Front: Robbie Pascoe, Sergeant Frank Strike, Corporal George Davey.
OB Image
Caption & credit
Porthleven OB site
OB Image
Caption & credit
Porthleven OB site on left overlooking the B3304 from Porthleven to Helston
OB Image
Caption & credit
OP location in hedgeline by the largest tree
OB Image
Caption & credit
Group 2 Sergeants meeting place - The Ship Inn Porthleven
OB Image
Caption & credit
Porthleven - From the Ship Inn
OB Status
OB accessibility
This OB is on private land. Please do not be tempted to trespass to see it

Porthleven Patrol

Patrol Targets

It is known that practice raids were run on the nearby RAF Trelevear Radar station.


Training took place at Porthpean in St Austell Bay. It was ran by Captain Robert Williams who is remembered as a tall, dark, thin man, full of life and enthusiasm. There were weekend training courses for setting explosives and grenade throwing.

It is known that, from this Patrol, at least Sergeant Frank Strike went to Coleshill.

Pistol shooting practice took place on a range at Highburrow, an area to the east of Porthleven Harbour.

Weapons and Equipment

Issued with the standard equipment and explosives which were stored between the OB and Frank Strikes' workshop.

All explosives and weapons were returned at stand down. Magnets, intended to be used to connect explosives to tanks and railway lines etc were later donated to British Resistance Organisation Museum at Parham by Victor Strike.

Victor also remembers his fathers Bren Gun (possibly a BAR) being kept in their front room. He would sometimes use it to take pot shots at the local seagulls which his mother was not best pleased about. Exploring his father's workshop with a friend, Victor remembers a pin being pulled out of a hand grenade, he is still not sure why they were not blown sky high.

Other information

Porthleven was the home town of Dambusters Commanding Officer, Guy Gibson.

Militärgeographische Angaben uber England was produced as a form of guide book for an invading force. Porthleven is pictured.


Victor Strike, son of Sergeant Strike

Susan Carter, daughter of Lieutenant Eva.

Alwyn Harvey recorder for Defence of Britain Database

TNA ref WO199/3391

Hancock data held by B. R. A

1939 Register