The British Resistance, or Auxiliary Units as they were known, was a group made up of civilian volunteers that were to act as the British Resistance in the event of a German invasion. The group signed the Official Secrets Act and told no one of their activities or training, not even their closest families and friends. If the invasion alert sounded they were expected to head to their operational bases (OBs) hidden underground right around the UK, and come out at night to disrupt the enemy as much as possible, by destroying transport and supplies, ‘dealing’ with collaborators and generally making a nuisance of themselves to allow the regular army time to counter-attack.
The life expectancy of an Auxilier was just around two weeks such was the danger of their mission. However, because they signed the Official Secrets Act most have gone to their grave without letting on to anyone exactly what they were up to and what they were prepared to do for the country.
The Coleshill Auxiliary Research Team (CART) was set up to find out more about this remarkable group, identify remaining OBs (which are often found in tact) and if possible encourage veterans to come forward with their stories. The group also successfully lobbied the Royal British Legion for the inclusion of the Auxiliary Units in the Cenotaph march past on Remembrance Sunday last year, the first time they have been publicly recognised.
The Broadmayne event will see CART displaying its research and artefacts and providing details about the various patrols around the UK, with a special focus on Dorset, there will also be a Information Desk with County Information Officers (CIOs) from Dorset, Devon and GHQ at Swindon on hand to answer any questions and help trace records of loved ones. There will also be re-enactors showing the equipment of the Auxiliary Units and how they could use them with devastating effect.
The team is also hoping to be joined by at least one Dorset Auxilier on the day. This could be a very rare opportunity to meet one of these remarkable individuals and ask them any questions.
Broadmayne D5 is an off-shoot of the Weymouth at War event which is on over the same weekend. Broadmayne is only a short drive from Weymouth seafront. The event is being funded with Heritage Lottery money and will include a number of different re-enactors from a variety of WW2 units, a wealth of information on the local area during the war as well as a 1940’s village fete.
More information can be found here: http://www.coleshillhouse.com/
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About CART & The British Resistance Archive.
The Coleshill Auxiliary Research Team (CART) publishes its findings on the British Resistance Archive (BRA) website.
CART also provides an internal network for serious and dedicated researchers who focus on the British Resistance and agree with CART's core value of making the research public.
CART is made up of select volunteer historians and published writers known as County Information Officers (CIOS) and also public members.
CART is not a business or an academic body of professional researchers.
CART is non-profit making and has no financial support from any company or organisation. It is funded solely by donations and the revenue it makes from the sale of various items sold in the shop.
Since CART's birth in June 2009 the website has seen over 110,000 unique visitors and has attracted TV, Radio and national press attention.
For further information about CART please go to this page http://www.coleshillhouse.com/