Rodmell is a small village in the Lewes District of East Sussex, three miles south-west of Lewes, on the Lewes to Newhaven road.
|Sergeant Frank Seymour Dean||
General agricultural blacksmith
|24 May 1940||03 Dec 1944|
|Sergeant Guy Henry Woodman||
|Private Reginald Philip Baker||08 Sep 1940||03 Dec 1944|
|Private Tom Lees Barton||
Hotel manager & retired police officer
|03 Oct 1941||03 Dec 1944|
|Private Wilfred Beagley||
Farm tractor driver
|30 May 1940||03 Dec 1944|
|Private William Dennis Carr||
|16 Oct 1942||03 Dec 1944|
|Private Harry Carr||
Milk delivery & assisting father on farm
|18 Aug 1942||13 Aug 1943|
|Private Arthur Lesley Costick||
|05 Jan 1942||03 Dec 1944|
|Private Henry Gregory||
|23 May 1940||13 Nov 1943|
|Private Clifford Pettit||
Farm tractor & lorry driver
|24 May 1940||03 Dec 1944|
|Private Rowland Alger Potter||
|26 May 1940||03 Dec 1944|
The OB was at Breaky Bottom, on the Downs, east of Rodmell village.
The Patrol dug the hole in the chalk for the Royal Engineers to build the OB in. 20ft by 12 ft wide and 9ft high it was lined with corrugated iron and wood. The roof was made of 9 by 4 inch timbers. One end had a square hatch for an entrance and the other end had an emergency exit, both with wooden ladders. The covering hatches were filled with soil and vegetation. Ventilation was provided by 4 pipes leading to the surface.
The OB contained bunks, a water tank, cooking stove and an Elsan chemical toilet. It was used to store ammunition, explosives, food and a jar of rum.
The OB was remembered as being constantly damp and Sergeant Frank Dean devised a system with silica gel to try to keep it dry.
On one occasion an army vehicle parked on top of the OB, the entrance hatch gave way and a gun wheel got stuck. The soldiers entered the OB and stole the Patrol's rum ration. Sergeant Dean reported it and there was an enquiry.
In 1945 Sergeant Frank Dean removed the roof timbers for various building projects.
The patrol went to Coleshill to train along with at the regional HQ at Tottington Manor. Local training took place by making mock attacks, sometimes on tanks based at Stanmer Park near Falmer
Auxilier 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 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.
On 31 January 1943 the Firle Patrol visited the Rodmell Patrol to see their OB and OP.
The Patrol were presented with their lapel badge at a dinner party in Brighton.
TNA reference WO199/3391
Hancock data held at B.R.A
'The Secret Sussex Resistance' by Stewart Angell
Diary of Sergeant Bill Webber