Last line of defence

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During the Second World War my father served in the Home Guard. He was transferred to Area 3 County Durham Auxiliary Unit GHQ Home Guard Reserve – 202 Battalion.

There were five patrols – Birtley, Haswell, Hetton-le-Hole, Kibblesworth and Wheatley Hill.

My father was in the Hetton patrol listed below:

Commander Capt ACJ Burningham, 26 Aviston Avenue, Low Fell; Second in Command Lieu Johnny West, 34 Coalbank Terrace, Moorsley; Sgt Norman Hopper, 29 Lyons Colliery Hetton, Cpl Jimmy Jarvis, 60 Wades Row, High Moorsley (my father), Pte J McCall (Spud), 134 Elemore Lane Easington Lane, Pte George Woodland, 36 Springwell Terrace, Hetton, Pte JH Gulliver, 9 Eskdale Street, Hetton, Pte John Manear (name spelt different in other reports), 119 Brickgarth, Easington Lane, Pte R Fisher (Reggie), 15 Rochdale Street, Hetton.

Officially these units did not exist, also known as Churchill’s secret weapon, British Resistance and the Staybehinds.

Every one had to sign the official secrets act and very few records exist.

If you are related to any of these men, know stories about their time in the Auxillary Unit or wish to know more about them, contact www.coleshillhouse.com

This website is dedicated to the British Resistance, what I did find out from them made interesting reading.

My father always said he would tell us about the war when he got word from the MOD to claim his Defence Medal for his years in the Home Guard.

Unfortunately, he died in 1984 shortly before the letter arrived (even my mother never knew what he did or where he went).

I do not think my father would have told us everything we learnt from this site.

I would like to thank my nephew Paul Jarvis, who found his website, and Stephen Lewins, the Durham researcher from the site, for all their help.

Ruth Raine (nee Jarvis),

Easington Lane.