Ringwood A Patrol


Ringwood is a town 10 miles northeast of Bournemouth.

Patrol members
Name Occupation Posted from Until
Sergeant Leslie Charles Probert

Butcher shopkeeper

10 Jun 1940 03 Dec 1944
Private Robert Plenderleith


28 Jul 1942 03 Dec 1944
Private John Rutland Probert

Butcher’s assistant

23 Aug 1941 03 Dec 1944
Private William Stanley Stephenson


05 Apr 1942 03 Dec 1944
Operational Base (OB)

There was an underground bunker in the vicinity of Hangersley Hill, which Probert's daughter learnt about when confronted at the breakfast table one morning. Her father had been able to see that she had been in the area with a soldier the night before as he had been training at the OB and took her to task over the matter.

Sergeant Probert was a butcher with a shop on Southampton Road, Ringwood. Some of the Patrol supplies were reportedly kept at the butchers shop where the family lived for the early part of the war. These included the rum jar, which was dropped and smashed by Probert’s 14 year old son Peter, who particularly remembers the trouble he got into for this ! Other “iron rations” were stored there as well.

OB Status
Location not known

Ringwood A Patrol

Patrol Targets

Targets are likely to have included the airfield at Ibsley.


The Patrol are known to have trained at Avon Castle, also known to have been used by other Patrols in the area. They used thunderflashes in training. They may also have met up with the Somerley Patrol to train on the estate.

Weapons and Equipment

The Proberts are known to have had revolvers and a knuckleduster as these were brought home. Detonators, hand grenades and ammunition were stored in a garage near the house.

Other information

The Patrol names for the west of Hampshire and the New Forest have been identified from National Archives file WO199/3391, but are not divided by Patrol. The nominal roll gives the surname, initials, ID card number and address, together with date of birth. The Patrols have been arranged according to the addresses and ID card numbers around known Patrol Leaders. This means the allocations may not be completely accurate. Some men, particularly those from the Ringwood area where there are several Patrols, could not be allocated with any confidence to one Patrol or another, so are listed in Unallocated.

Sergeant Probert's daughter, Mary, remembers an incident where one of the Patrol members was shot in the foot accidentally while in the Operational Base. Her mother was not best pleased that a man had been hurt and she said that they were nothing more than stupid schoolboys !


TNA ref WO199/3391

Hancock data held at B.R.A

1939 Register

Personal correspondence with Matt, Peter and Mary Probert, grandson and children respectively of Leslie Probert.