Ringmer Patrol

A.K.A. (nickname)
County Group

Ringmer is a village located 3 miles east of Lewes, Sussex.

Patrol members
Name Occupation Posted from Until
Captain Ralph Benford Edmondson

Dairy farmer

23 May 1940 Unknown
Sergeant Richard George Muddle

Motor mechanic

28 May 1940 03 Dec 1944
Private George Stuart Buckingham Andrew


29 May 1940 03 Dec 1944
Private Matthew Harper Craig


09 Aug 1940 03 Dec 1944
Private Henry Piper


24 May 1940 03 Dec 1944
Private Jack Percival Smith

Publican & painter & decorator

24 May 1940 03 Dec 1944
Private Thomas James Veness

Carpenter & assistant manager in saw mill

06 Nov 1940 03 Dec 1944
Private Gerald Percy Wibberley

Professor in Agriculture

23 May 1942 03 Dec 1944
Operational Base (OB)

The Ringmer Patrol in East Sussex found an unusual way to conceal their underground hideout which broke with the traditional approach.

They decided to site their hideout in an ancient mound of earth known as a ‘Motte’, believed to be the site of an old castle or camp. This was on land owned by Ralph Edmondson.

Built by the Royal Engineers, a hole was dug into this mound; the hideout constructed and then covered over again, returning the mound to its original form. Despite only having a relatively light covering of soil the hideout has now collapsed to leave a disfigured memory of another use of this ancient monument…perhaps for future historians to ponder over!

200 yards to the south west there was a small underground store for extra food and ammunition near the present day trig point.

Patrol & OB pictures
OB Image
Caption & credit
Ringmer OB site
OB Image
Caption & credit
Ringmer OB site
OB Image
Caption & credit
Rear L-R; Craig, Veness, Wibberley, Andrew, Piper. Front L-R; Sgt Muddle, Capt Edmondson, Smith (from Mrs B Veness)
OB Status
Collapsed with few visible remains
OB accessibility
The OB site is publicly accessible

Ringmer Patrol


All the Patrol went to Coleshill to train. It is assumed they trained at the regional HQ at Tottington Manor. Local training took place at Plashett Park by crossing the lakes on ropes.

They often stayed in the OB overnight as part of their training which nearly ended in disaster one night due to lack of ventilation.

During an exercise of a raid on a gun emplacement in Seaford the Patrol managed to remove an important part of the gun while the operators were fast asleep.

Tom Veness was successful on a night attack on a hall in Brighton full of Canadian soldiers. Climbing onto the roof he removed some slates and threw some thunderflashes among the troops.

Bill Webber, the Firle Patrol Leader, kept a diary of his Patrol's movements during their operational years. Although the entries are brief it gives a detailed account of their training, visits to Coleshill House and Tottington Manor, inter-Patrol competitions and interactions with neighbouring Patrols.

On 29 November 1941 an inter-Patrol competition was held at Bishopstone. Competing were members of the Bishopstone, Cooksbridge, Ringmer and Abbot's Wood Patrols. The events included Mills bomb throwing, pistol, rifle and Thompson sub-machine gun target shooting and a night patrol efficiency test. Cooksbridge Patrol came first, with 84 points, Bishopstone second, with 81 points; Abbot's Wood third, with 55 points; and Ringmer last with 43 points.

On 22 November 1942 a meeting of Patrol Leaders from all over Sussex was held at Tottington Manor. Captain Benson laid down a training programme for greater efficiency and to forestall any staleness that might be affecting the Patrols.


TNA reference WO199/3391

Hancock data held at B.R.A

'The Secret Sussex Resistance' by Stewart Angell

Diary of Sergeant Bill Webber

The Veness family