Somerley Patrol


Somerley is a house and park 2.5 miles north-west of Ringwood.

Patrol members
Name Occupation Posted from Until
Company Sergeant Major John Harry Burrett

Estate clerk

10 Jun 1940 03 Dec 1944
Private Vivian John Debben

Vehicle fitter

11 Aug 1941 03 Dec 1944
Private Arthur William Hudspith


18 Sep 1940 03 Dec 1944
Private Norman Henry Malins Jones

Marine engineer (1919)

10 Jun 1940 08 Mar 1943
Private William Alexander Rabbets.


10 Jun 1940 03 Dec 1944
Private Edward Rands

Accounts clerk

22 Nov 1940 03 Dec 1944
Private Robert Bryan Rowson

Charted electrical engineer

23 Feb 1943 03 Dec 1944
Private Frank Warwick

Forestry Commission foreman

20 Jun 1940 11 Mar 1943
Private Sydney William Warwick

Forestry Commission worker

13 Jul 1940 10 Dec 1942
Operational Base (OB)

In the 1980s, an underground bunker typical for an Auxiliary Units Operational Base (OB) was found on the remains of RAF Ibsley, which formed part of the Somerley Estate. This has subsequently been destroyed by gravel extraction.

The airfield construction did not start until late in 1940 and it did not open until February 1941. It may be that the OB was built before it was realised the airfield was coming. This was not on the main airfield, but nearby and part of the accommodation site for defensive antiaircraft gun sites nearby.

It is likely a second OB would have been built at this point elsewhere on the estate. Peter Probert (son of Sergeant Probert-Ringwood A Patrol) recalls that there was an underground bunker in the woods near Somerley House. It is thought an OB could have been built under the Estate sawmills. 

OB Status
Location not known

Somerley Patrol


TNA ref WO199/3391

Hancock data held at B.R.A

1939 Register

Mark Samson (author of The Secret Army, a book about Lincolnshire Auxilary Units) personal correspondence