Wickhambreaux Patrol

A.K.A. (nickname)

Wickhambreaux is a village 4.5 miles east of Canterbury.

Patrol members
Name Occupation Posted from Until
Sergeant John Francis Montgomery


19 Mar 1941 03 Dec 1944
Private Mungo Barr


29 Aug 1941 03 Dec 1944
Private Walter Gibson

Hotelier & caterer

14 Oct 1941 Sept 1944
Private John Barfield Henderson

Fruit farmer

29 Jul 1941 03 Dec 1944
Private Alexander Kinghorn Henderson

Fruit farmer

29 Aug 1941 03 Dec 1944
Private John Harold Hurst Hirst

Fruit farmer

24 Jan 1943 03 Dec 1944
Private John Cochran Robertson

Mixed farmer mainly dairy

05 Aug 1941 03 Dec 1944
Operational Base (OB)

There was an OB at Wenderton Hoath just off Wenderton Lane. The land belonged to Patrol Leader Frank Montgomery. It has since collapsed. Phil Evans found it some years ago with the help of the gentleman who had it built but there was not much to see apart from a slight dip in the ground. It was dug into the brick earth bank on the west slope above the Wingham River. During its construction there was a collapse of soil due to insufficient shoring and the Royal Engineers lined it with thick corrugated iron. Earth from the excavation and construction was moved across the river on an aerial ropeway and added to fill that had been begun by the Kent River Board as an anti-flooding barrier long before the war started.

There was another OB at Bramling chalk pits, near Wingham.

A plan for a demonstration tour of OBs for Group Commanders in Kent on 9 May 1943 refers to the Mustard OB originally having been built by a Royal Engineers Tunneling Company. In imminent danger of collapsing, it was then rebuilt by the Patrol themselves as a two room OB using a steel shelter (presumably an elephant shelter) and brickwork.

OB Status

Wickhambreaux Patrol


Mrs Elizabeth Montgomery (widow of Frank Montgomery): “One of their exercises was a raid against a Regular Army base at Seaton. An officer, Mr Kelsey, had dared the Auxiliary Units to try and get in anytime during a specified week. The sentries were expecting the raid and were armed with live rounds. They got through the barbed wire defences, into the guard room, took a rubber stamp and left a note, and then left; undetected. There was a furious row afterwards".

This event is fully described in The Last Ditch. (pages 118-120)

Weapons and Equipment

After the war ended, it is believed the arms were dropped down a shaft and covered with spoil at Wingham Colliery, where grain harvesters operated.

Other information

Mrs Elizabeth Montgomery (widow of Frank Montgomery); “Wally Gibson, the landlord at The Falstaff in Canterbury, organised a reunion after the war on November 5, 1948. They drove through Canterbury throwing out thunderflashes.”


TNA ref WO199/3391 and WO199/3390

Hancock data held at B.R.A

Phil Evans

Adrian Westwood who interviewed Betty Montgomery

Gardner papers via N Bonney