Roadwater is a village 3 miles south-west of Williton, on the northern edge of the Exmoor National Park.
|Sergeant Walter John Taylor||
|12 Jun 1940||03 Dec 1944|
|Corporal Wilfred Thomas Parsons||
|03 Jul 1940||03 Dec 1944|
|Private Donald Cecil Beaver||
|13 Jan 1942||03 Dec 1944|
|Private Edwin Leslie Beaver||
|28 Jan 1944||03 Dec 1944|
|Private Gerald William Beaver||
|24 Apr 1942||03 Dec 1944|
|Private Stanley John Beaver||
|03 Feb 1942||03 Dec 1944|
|Private Charles James Burge||
|13 Jul 1940||03 Dec 1944|
|Private Colin Carpenter||
|Private Leonard Coles||
|23 Jun 1941||03 Dec 1944|
|Private Robert J. Reed||
The main OB was within a tunnel or adit at Treborough Slate Quarry. This has since been filled in.
Bob Reed; " We were taken to Treborough Quarry. entering the wood from the road on the east side to the left of the old lime burning kilns. We came to a very high cliff, the base of which was banked up to about 12 feet. We crawled up the bank and got into a hole like the entrance to a badger's sett. Inside was a good sized tunnel about 8 feet wide, very long and high enough to give standing room. We were made to go right through to look out on the inside of the deep quarry. The tunnel was very eerie because of the cobwebs and hundreds of bats hanging from the roof. In the next few days the army came but they were not allowed to meet us for security reasons. They installed shelves, some of which could be used as bunks if needed."
Bob also recalls two other bases built some time later, which he describes as stores. These COULD have been the OBs for the nearby Patrols. They were at Felon's Oak, Croydon and in the middle of Lodge Rocks Quarry, between Roadwater and Washford at Draggers Cross. These he only visited once so he could be aware of where it was to use in an emergency. "The base at Felon's Oak was on high ground and was described as a metal bunker set in a high bank several yards from the low lane road. The entrance was through a earth covered hinged trap door on the roof and down a ladder. We visited this base a few times, covering it with earth to camouflage it."
Sherwood House, Goathurst
Bob Reed; "I was issued with a revolver and ammunition for my own use but I had to keep it a secret and not carry it openly. It was hidden in my bedroom at home. We reported to a large house near South Petherton for weekend training with explosives. I enjoyed the hard training; there was plenty of good food and we were well looked after.
We trained at weekends and evenings in the quarry on the right hand side near the old buildings. A few inquisitive people were told to leave and keep away. I trained on firing the revolver and the Browning machine-gun, a very accurate gun at long range, and throwing grenades. A lot of practice was done with explosives on an old lorry chassis, railway lines, girders and a thick metal plate. Soon after the unit was formed a large supply of advanced plastic explosives were issued, some for practice, the rest to be stored in Treborough Quarry underground tunnel with the other supplies. Timing fuses came as well, from a few seconds to a much longer time, identified by colours or a number".
Bob was adamant he never went to Coleshill House.
Bob Reed required to carry revolver at all times though making sure it was carefully concealed.
Bob Reed served for a short time in the Local Defence Volunteers when it was first formed but was soon approached by Sergeant Taylor to join, what was at the time, 6 men in the Patrol. These were Taylor, Burge, Carpenter, Coles, Parsons and himself. A Group photo taken shows Donald Beaver, Coles, Taylor, Parsons, Stan Beaver and Burge. Bob Reed changed the photo, replacing Stan Beaver with himself as he never believed Stan had been in the Patrol. Stan joined after Bob had left.
Auxilier Bob Reed wrote his memoirs of his time in Auxiliary Units. They are available at Somerset Heritage Centre
TNA ref WO199/3390 & WO199/3391
Hancock data held at B.R.A
Bon Brown and The Defence of Britain database
The late Bob Reed
Somerset Heritage Centre A/BJS/3/49 and ABUI/1