The Scout Section was made of Regular Army soldiers with a Lieutenant in command. Their role was train the Home Guard patrols, but also to go to ground themselves in the event of an invasion.
During early 1943, the Scout Sections were cut back significantly, with only a dozen men remaining for the whole county. Later still they are likely to have reduced to just four men until being finally disbanded in mid 1944.
One of the very few contemporary written records of the patrol members of Scout Sections comes in the form of a programme for a play. "Hope for a Better 'Ole" had two acts, the first showing the life of a bad patrol, the second a good patrol. (The title is a reference to Bairnsfather's famous WW1 character 'Ole Bill - and his wish for a better hole to shelter in). There is a list of players that included the Intelligence Officer, Major Darwall-Smith, which dates this between 12th December 1942 and 13th August 1943. This means it is unclear if this represent a joint effort of both Scout Sections, or if it provides a list of those remaining in Dorset after the 1943 reductions in numbers. Sergeant Smith, Corporal Burgin and Private Beckford were from the Wiltshire Regiment, while Lieutenant Weaver, Lance Corporal Hunt and Private Cogger were from the Dorsets. Since Lieutenant Weaver, Burgin, Beckford and Cogger all later joined the SAS and served in D Day operations, they must have left during late 1943, and so would not have been in the final four men remaining in 1944.
The combined section most likely made use of the same Operational Bases as their precessor patrols.
No personnel posted to this Scout section.
Playbill courtesy granddaughter of Ernest Hoare, Charborough Patrol.