West Stoke Patrol

County Group
Locality

West Stoke is the gateway to Kingley Vale National Nature Reserve, a beautiful, important and unusual part of the South Downs.

Patrol members
Name Occupation Posted from until
Sergeant Arthur Goodger

Farmer

05 Jul 1940 03 Dec 1944
Sergeant Robert Stanley Mason

Farmer

03 Apr 1941 03 Dec 1944
Private Algenon Donald Burningham

Coal Merchant

05 Jul 1940 03 Dec 1944
Private William George Donald Cox

Farm Assistant

19 Jun 1940 03 Dec 1944
Private Ernest Edwin Everest

Baker & Roundsman

01 Aug 1940 03 Dec 1944
Private Charles Goodger

Managing Director of Ford & Fordson Tractor Main Dealers & Agricultural Engineer

14 Jun 1940 03 Dec 1944
Private Arthur Hamilton Hadland

Farm Worker & Huntsman

27 Jun 1940 03 Dec 1944
Private John Painter Heaver

Poultry & Dairy Farmer. Mill Owner

30 Oct 1941 03 Dec 1944
Private Henry Lawrence Ireland

Dairy & General Farmer

09 Jun 1940 03 Dec 1944
Private Henry Parmiter Lock

Foremans Clerk Company

Unknown 03 Dec 1944
Private Ronald Owen Murray

Dental Surgeon

08 Jun 1942 03 Dec 1944
Private Arthur Smith

Farm Tractor Driver & Sub Postmaster

30 Jun 1942 03 Dec 1944
Private John Edwin Styles

Common Keeper

09 Jul 1940 03 Dec 1944
Private Christopher Yaldren Vickery

Dairy & General Farmer

30 Jun 1942 03 Dec 1944
Private Raymond Harry Wingate

Farm Carter & General Labourer

20 Jul 1940 03 Dec 1944
Operational Base (OB)

The OB has not yet been discovered and could have been destroyed at the end of the war. Kingley Vale is an isolated ancient Yew tree plantation set in a natural horse shoe shaped valley, facing south eastwards.

The Patrols Observational Post is sited adjacent to a bridleway that gains access to top of Kingley Vale. This would have been a great vantage point to monitor German movements around the area. It measured 6 feet by 4 feet and was constructed with corrugated iron and wood. Entrance was gained by lifting a branch attached to the two foot square hatch which had a counterbalance weight to assist the process. The OP was known to have a telephone link to the patrols OB sited in the bottom of the valley.

An additional underground store was positioned within the valley for extra food and ammunition.

Patrol & OB pictures
OB Image
Caption & credit
West Stoke OP
OB Image
Caption & credit
OP plan
OB Image
Caption & credit
West Stoke Patrol OP with collapsed corrugated iron entrance shaft.
OB Status
Location not known
Location

West Stoke Patrol

Training

Auxilier Alan Heaver from Goodwood Patrol remembered doing a great deal of training with the neighbouring West Stoke Patrol of which his other brother, Jack, was a member. On one such night-time training exercise, the two Patrols had to simulate laying an explosive charge on a guarded anti-aircraft gun at a place called Temple Bar about one mile north of Tangmere airfield. The guards around the 'Ack-Ack' gun had been warned that an attack might be attempted some time that night, and not to fire live ammunition at the attackers.

The two Patrols met up at Shopwyke, about two miles away from the target site. Alan Heaver was teamed up with Stanley Mason, the West Stoke Patrol Leader. As they made their way towards Temple Bar Alan Heaver, being the younger man, started to pull away from Stanley Mason and reached the target site first. He entered the perimeter of the site, got right up to the gun, chalked a swastika on it and escaped the same way without detection. He had completed the exercise long before the other men arrived. Unsure what to do with the remaining time; he decided to have another go and chalk a second swastika on the gun. This was a bad move; he was caught, as were all the others eventually.

All the men were taken to see an army officer at Halnaker Windmill. The officer consoled the men on their failed attack, at which Alan Heaver said he had managed to mark the gun and was only caught on his second attempt. The officer, most put out, demanded to be shown the swastika and drove Alan Heaver back to the site to see for himself.

References

TNA reference WO199/3391

Hancock data held at B.R.A

Stewart Angell – Fieldwork within Kingley Vale and personal interview with Bob Mason, Stanley Mason’s son,

'The Secret Sussex Resistance' by Stewart Angell