Soberton B Patrol

Locality

Soberton is a village in the Meon Valley, bordered by villages such as Newtown and Droxford.

Patrol members
Name Occupation Posted from Until
Sergeant Henry David Miles

Chief Inspector of Taxes Somerset House London WC2

08 Dec 1942 03 Dec 1944
Sergeant Harold Ernest Ponton

Pig & Poultry Farmer Aux Fire Service

20 Aug 1940 03 Dec 1944
Private Albert Edward Clinch

Working Brickyard Foreman

14 Jul 1940 15 Apr 1943
Private Roy J Giles

Market Gardeners Labourer

20 Aug 1940 03 Dec 1944
Private Charles A Jones

Agricultural Labourer

12 Oct 1940 03 Dec 1944
Private J G Knight Unknown 03 Dec 1944
Private Charles William Ponton

Dairy Farmer

20 Aug 1940 03 Dec 1944
Operational Base (OB)

The location of the Operational Base is currently unknown.

OB Status
Location not known
Location

Soberton B Patrol

Training

From the Southwick Patrol diary, we know the Group met at Hillcrest, the home of Lt Welch. It also
records joint training exercises between different Patrols, often with one of the Sergeants acting as
umpire for the exercise.

Sgt Bettesworth kept copies of both the 1938 Diary and The Countrymans Diary, the standard training manuals for Auxiliers. It is very likely that the Patrol Sergeant would have attended a course at Coleshill and other Patrol members may also have been.

The 1938 diary has notes added by Lt Peterson, perhaps suggesting he was the original Patrol Leader prior to his promotion. The Scout Section of regular troops covering Hampshire would have provided training in the early part of the war.

Weapons and Equipment

The Patrol is thought to have been issued with the standard weapons and equipment.

Other information

There were three Patrols lead by Soberton men (possibly Soberton, Newton and Droxford) and they seem to have worked closely with the Southwick and Bishops Waltham Patrols too. We only have definite information on the Southwick Patrol.

The Bishops Waltham Patrol likely contains all the men from that area, but the other three Patrols membership is at present a best guess, other than the names of the Sergeants in charge. This has been done based on ID card numbers held in the nominal roll, which locate the men geographically, though the method is known to be unreliable as next door neighbours might be in different Patrols. The Patrols had codenames that were the names of Caribbean islands, such as St Vincent, Martinique and Barbados. The codename for Soberton Patrol is uncertain.

References

Correspondance with the daughter of Sgt Bettesworth via Mark Horn
Southwick Patrol diary (Hampshire Record Office)
Hancock file held by CART
National Archives WO 199/3391
Biographical details from Ancestry.co.uk and FreeBMD