Dorset, like other larger counties had two Scout Sections, one provided by the Dorset Regiment, the other by the Wiltshire Regiment. The Dorset Regiment covered East Dorset and the Wiltshire Regiment West Dorset, though it seems that at times they worked together on specific activities.
It is believed that most of the men had served in France in 1940.
After they were returned to their Battalion, the Dorset Scout Section men were invited to London, along with others from across the country. They were told about the SAS and asked to volunteer. Six of the Dorset men joined 1 SAS, along with Lieutenant Weaver. They would be dropped into to France as part of the ill fated Operation Bulbasket. Alan Ashley, George Cogger, Sam Pascoe and Jack Ryland were all murdered by the Germans after their camp was betrayed and overrun. Lt Weaver managed to escape, along with Jim Rideout and a handful of others. George Biffin had been captured shortly after landing, but managed to escape execution and survived the war as a Prisoner of War.
The unit had an OB on Beacon Hill, north of Poole. The exact location hasn't been identified, as the site is on PRIVATE PROPERTY. As most Scout Sections had two OBs, there may be another location yet to be identified.
|Lieutenant Richard John Victor Goss||01 Aug 1940||21 Jun 1941|
|Lieutenant Philip Humphrey Peter Weaver||03 Sep 1941||31 Jan 1944|
|Sergeant Edward James Millbank||Unknown||03 Dec 1944|
|Lance Corporal George Sydney Herbert Biffin||Unknown||03 Dec 1944|
|Corporal Joseph George James Rideout||Unknown||03 Dec 1944|
|Driver IC Eric Dommett||Unknown||03 Dec 1944|
|Driver IC Richard W Foat||Unknown||03 Dec 1944|
|Private Lofty||Unknown||03 Dec 1944|
|Private Alan George Ashley||24 Nov 1940||20 Apr 1943|
|Private George Oliver Cogger||11 Jun 1942||01 Feb 1944|
|Private Bertram Frederick Hunt||Unknown||03 Dec 1944|
|Private Henry James Pascoe||24 Nov 1940||15 Feb 1944|
|Private Sidney Jack Ryland||24 Nov 1940||30 Apr 1943|
|Private Snowy Voisey||Unknown||03 Dec 1944|
|Private William Arthur Yeatman||Unknown||03 Dec 1944|
The exact transport for this section is not known. Most Scout Sections had a 15 cwt truck and an Austin 2-seater car for the officer. They were normally issued with bicycles as well.
Personal communications - Philip Ashley, Jo Burri-Weaver, Mark Biffin, George Biffin.
Steve Sutton, unpublished thesis
Secret Army, Peter Williams TV