East Dorset Scout Section

Supporting regiment
The Dorsetshire Regiment

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.

Caption & credit
East Dorset Scout Section Peter Weaver (pic from Philip Ashley)
Operational Base

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.


Scout section personnel
Name Occupation Posted from Until
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

Farm Worker

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

Travelling charted accountant

11 Jun 1942 01 Feb 1944
Private Bertram Frederick Hunt Unknown 03 Dec 1944
Private Henry James Pascoe

Wood machinist

24 Nov 1940 15 Feb 1944
Private Sidney Jack Ryland

Van driver

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