East Riding Scout Section

Supporting regiment
The East Yorkshire Regiment

Yorkshire was a single Area in the original Auxiliary Units Structure and so had two Scout Sections. When it was divided into two, with the East Riding Patrols as one Area and North Riding of Yorkshire as another, it seems they continued to have just one Scout Section each. 

Frank Philips was reportedly a musketry instructor on Capt Hollis' HQ staff. His presence is confirmed by a letter to him dated 13 June 1942 from Sergeant Moxlow, commander of Flixton Patrol, until his tragic death 2 weeks later.

The newspaper reports of the inquest into Sergeant Moxlow’s death provide details of other members of the Scout Section. Sergeant Moxlow had just been promoted to Lieutenant and was being taken to an exercise by Lieutenant Laurens in his open tourer car. Also in the car were Lance Corporal Bernard Smith and Sergeant Verity, both reported to be Regulars. Sergeant Moxlow stood up to see the site of the exercise as they approached a corner. This provided tighter than expected and Lieutenant Laurens struggled to keep the car on the road. It ran onto the verge and Sergeant Moxlow was thrown out, suffering injuries that would shortly prove fatal. Sergeant Verity was slightly injured. Lance Corporal Smith appeared at the inquest and reported that the car was not going excessively fast. It appears that a part had come loose from the car and jammed the steering at a critical moment.

Corporal Robinson is mentioned in a list of training events kept by Wharram Patrol Leader, Harry Milsom. It seems likely that he was a member of the Scout Section. The date was May 24 and the location Settrington, though the year is not known. This is significant as the Wharram Patrol was in the  North Yorkshire command area until the end of 1941 and thus he might be a member of the North Yorkshire Scout Section. However, Corporal Robinson is also mentioned in a letter about training to Sergeant Stanley French of Hornsea Patrol from Lieutenant Walter Kitching, the Group Commander. He was due to attend on Thursday November 25, though again the year is not stated. However, a check of the calendar shows that this must have been 1943. This means he would likely have been part of a combined Scout Section or training pool at that time, which thus does not resolve the issue of his parent unit.

Operational Base

Most Scout Sections had at least two operational bases (OBs). It is now thought that the Rise Hall OB was built for the Scout Section. This OB is unusually large and contains 6 double bunks, which could accommodate almost all of the Scout Section at once. It was built prior to orders that required Intelligence Officers to have OBs at their Headquarters, making this likely an unusual single large OB for the whole unit, rather than two smaller ones, which was the normal arrangement.

Scout section personnel
Name Occupation Posted from Until
Lieutenant Peter Hollis Unknown 04 Dec 1941
Second Lieutenant George Herbert Francis Laurens 1942 1943
Sergeant A. E. Verity Unknown 03 Dec 1944
Corporal Frank Philips Unknown 03 Dec 1944
Corporal Robinson 13 Jun 1942 03 Dec 1944
Lance Corporal Bernard Smith Unknown 03 Dec 1944
Other personnel

The section would have consisted of a Lieutenant, a Sergeant, a Corporal and 9 private soldiers with a driver batman for the officer and driver for the section’s lorry. 


The exact transport for the section is not known. Most Scout Sections had a 15 cwt truck and an Austin 2 seater tourer car for the officer. They were normally issued with bicycles as well.


East Ridings Secret Resistance, Alan Williamson

Yorkshire Post 1st and 9th July 1942