St. Dennis Patrol


St Dennis is almost in the centre of Cornwall being half way between Newquay and St Austell.

Patrol members
Name Occupation Posted from Until
Sergeant William Percy Meagor


13 Jun 1940 03 Dec 1944
Corporal John Claude Dunstan

China clay worker

06 Jun 1940 03 Dec 1944
Private William John Bunt

Clay worker

21 Jun 1940 03 Dec 1944
Private Henry Symons Estlick


21 Jun 1940 03 Dec 1944
Private William Thomas Arthur Kellow


Unknown Unknown
Private John Thomas Kessell

Garage owner

13 Jun 1940 03 Dec 1944
Private Percy Vincent Nobes


17 Jun 1940 09 Oct 1942
Private Eric Owen Trethewey

General labourer

21 Jun 1940 03 Dec 1944
Private Sydney Herbert Willcox

Co-op bank manager

22 Jun 1940 03 Dec 1944
Operational Base (OB)

The whereabouts of the operational base of the St. Dennis Patrol was never disclosed but it is thought to have been located in one of the many disused china clay workings in the area of St. Dennis, probably south of the village.

Patrol & OB pictures
OB Image
Caption & credit
© Copyright Tony Atkin and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence. View over the rooftops of St Dennis showing china clay working tips.
OB Image
Caption & credit
Clay works near St Dennis
OB Status
Location not known

St. Dennis Patrol

Patrol Targets

The main A30 running the length of Cornwall could have been a target.


Regular meetings were held to train in Auxilier Tommy Kessell's garage at Whitegates Crossing in St. Dennis.

Explosive training and grenade throwing was carried out in the fields behind owned by Kessell.

It is known the whole Patrol went away to train though not where.

Weapons and Equipment

Trevor Kessell, son of Auxilier Tommy Kessle remembered as a boy helping the Patrol clean grease from their rifles when they were first issued.

He recalled they were issued with Sten gun, pistols, and a machine gun on a tripod. He also remembered a huge amount of explosives.

Other information

By the mid 20th century the surrounding area was dominated by the china clay and china stone industry and provided employment for a large number of people from the village.

Even today the village is surrounded by still worked and disused clay works that would be the most obvious location for the OB and for training in. Explosives training especially would have aroused little attention.


TNA ref WO199/3391

Hancock data held at B.R.A

Alwyn Harvey's research for Defence of Britain database

Trevor Kessell son of Auxilier Tommy Kessell.