Woodbridge Patrol

A.K.A. (nickname)
Melton Park
County Group

Woodbridge is a town at the head of the River Deben approximately 7 miles north-east of Ipswich.

Patrol members
Name Occupation Posted from Until
Sergeant Robert John Brooks

Lorry driver

Unknown 03 Dec 1944
Corporal William Henry James Brooks

Construction engineer

Unknown 03 Dec 1944
Private Charles Adlam

Lorry driver

Unknown Unknown
Private William Thomas Banyard

Grocers shop assistant

Unknown 03 Dec 1944
Private George Henry Piper


Unknown 03 Dec 1944
Private Thomas Arthur Piper

Brewery lorry driver

Unknown 03 Dec 1944
Private Frederick Henry Warren

Engineer and manager

Unknown 03 Dec 1944
Private Benjamin Wright

Refridgeration engineer

Unknown 03 Dec 1944
Operational Base (OB)

The Patrol’s OB was built into the side of a sandpit located in the grounds of Melton Park. The Park was bounded by Bredfield Road in the west and by Pytches Road in the south. The whole area has since been redeveloped and extensively landscaped, with a new housing estate having been built over it. No trace remains of the OB.

The OB was described to us as having been a 14 foot by 8 foot underground Nissen hut that was accessed through a drop-down shaft. It had an emergency exit tunnel at the other end.

“From memory, the entry was via a vertical shaft, around 4 foot by 4 foot, with a hinged lid with grass growing on it. There would be a vertical ladder for access. From the bottom of the shaft a tunnel around 5 foot by 5 foot led into the buried Nissen hut. Inside the Nissen hut would be bunks/seats and a table, plus storage for food, weapons, explosives, etc. At the far end of the bunker there would be an escape tunnel, smaller than the entrance, and usually coming out into a hedge or similar.” (Mike Beeton)

The Patrol used a mature tree, either a beech or an oak, in Love Lane (a public footpath that turns off Pytches Road opposite Woodbridge Clinic) as their OP. A shelf bracket on its trunk that provided a step up to the observer’s position is believed to still be in place. There are several ancient trees growing along this footpath but we failed to find a tree with a shelf bracket in its trunk. The location of the OP would have been about 400 metres to the east of the OB.

The central store for weapons and explosives was at the end of Group Commander Captain David Beeton’s garden in Catherine Road, Woodbridge.

According to his son, Michael Beeton “The Army provided all the parts for a quarter length Nissen hut, and father and family erected it. One baulk of timber fell on my sister Bridget, but appears not to have done any lasting damage! The explosive store was meant to be underground, but the garden was on thick clay, so a small version of the Nissen was provided for the explosives, ammunition, etc.”

Patrol & OB pictures
OB Image
Caption & credit
Woodbridge Auxiliary Unit OB approx location
OB Image
Caption & credit
Love Lane OP site
OB Image
Caption & credit
Magnets and detonator issued to Woodbridge Patrol
OB Status

Woodbridge Patrol

Patrol Targets

Targets would have included RAF Woodbridge (RAF Station Sutton Heath). In 1944 the airfield served as the operational base for Operation Aphrodite, a secret plan for drone B-17s (BQ-7s) to be launched against German V-1 flying bomb sites, submarine pens and deep fortifications.

Transport targets would have included the main A12 road and the B1488 with the bridge over the River Deben along with the local train station


They trained at Framlingham by regular army soldiers, and at Holton airfield and later at Bawsey Manor where the big RAF camp was and where they were supposed to test the security.

Lieutenant Roy Taylor went for training at Coleshill.

Weapons and Equipment

They were issued with Sten guns and had lots of explosives. Explosives, ammunition and weapons were collected and returned after stand-down but other paraphernalia such as magnets were left behind.

Mike Beeton told us that he sold lots of the magnets - they were very popular with his schoolmates - in order to supplement his pocket money.


TNA ref WO199/3389

Hancock data held at B.R.A

1939 Register

Evelyn Simak and Adrian Pye.

B.R.O.M at Parham, 

Michael Beeton, son of Group Commander Captain David Walter Beeton (personal interviews);

Mike Osborne (DOB); 

Stephen Lewins.

Gareath Evans