St. Issey Patrol

Locality

St Issey is a civil parish and village in Cornwall. It is situated approximately two miles south of Padstow.

Patrol members
Name Occupation Posted from Until
Lieutenant Robert Drew

Farmer

29 May 1940 01 Feb 1941
Sergeant William Henry Jonas

Haulage contractor

11 Jun 1940 03 Dec 1944
Private Robert Stephen Harris

Carpenter

30 May 1940 15 Apr 1943
Private Joseph Charles Kestle

Builder

11 Jun 1940 Unknown
Private Thomas Henry Kestle

Transport driver

11 Jun 1940 03 Dec 1944
Private Reginald Masters

Labourer

14 Jan 1941 03 Dec 1944
Private Reginald Woodward Osborne

Farmer

12 Aug 1942 03 Dec 1944
Private Charles Kenneth Rowe 19 Jun 1940 08 Nov 1942
Operational Base (OB)

The Defence of Britain database (DOB) recorded it in 2001 and noted the following: The bunker is still in existence today, and is in exceptionally good condition. Apart from the entrance tunnel having been removed, it is in as good a condition today as when it was built. This is the only operational base located in Cornwall to date [2001] that survives virtually intact.

St. Issey Auxiliary Unit Patrol members built their own operational base in a quarry owned by Sergeant Jonas. It was built with 9 inch concrete blocks and had both an entrance and exit tunnel. The base is rectangular in shape, measuring 18 feet by 10.5 feet and with a ceiling height of 6.5 feet. The roof was constructed by placing lengths of railway lines 14 inches apart, across the top of the walls. Timber was then placed between the lines, and 9 inches of concrete poured on top to form the roof.

The entrance and exit tunnels were at least 15 yards in length and were 23 inches wide by 32 inches in height. Camouflaged trap doors were constructed at the tunnel ends. The exit tunnel curves away to the right from the main body of the base and exists today [2001] in excellent condition [the trap door end has not yet been investigated].

The whole building, including tunnels, was then buried under soil and rocks from the quarry.

Various wooden fitments remain nailed to the walls, including the runners for a sliding door over the exit tunnel.

A ventilation pipe is in one corner with a chimney pipe in another. Apparently, the chimney exited through an old hollow tree.

A cupboard-type recess was built into one of the end walls - this measures 5 feet wide by 3 feet high by 3 feet deep. The base was fitted out with a stove and several bunk beds.

Trevor Miners was interviewed for "Tales from the snug" Tv programme in the OB

Patrol & OB pictures
OB Image
Caption & credit
St Issey OB location (from Alwyn Harvey 2001)
OB Image
Caption & credit
St Issey OB entrance (from Alwyn Harvey 2001)
OB Image
Caption & credit
St Issey inside OB (from Alwyn Harvey 2001)
OB Image
Caption & credit
St Issey OB diagram (from Alwyn Harvey 2001)
OB Status
Largely intact
OB accessibility
This OB is on private land. Please do not be tempted to trespass to see it
Location

St. Issey Patrol

Weapons and Equipment

It is assumed they were issued with the standard kit, arms and explosives.

References

TNA ref WO199/3391

Alwyn Harvey recorder for Defence of Britain Database.

Hancock data held by B. R. A