Churchill's Secret Army: Second World War heroes finally recognised
A reader-submitted article from the Mail's First Person series ...
DURING the dark days of 1940 when Britain stood alone against the might of the German Army and the imminent threat of an invasion of her lands, Winston Churchill gave the go-ahead to form a secret network of volunteers called the Auxiliary Units throughout the coastal regions of the United Kingdom.
At its height, there were more than 3,500 men and women engaged in this secret underworld and they undertook their duties with total secrecy and were asked to sign the Official Secrets Act, sometimes at gunpoint, this was to keep them quiet for the next 50 years.
Now, through a network of volunteer researchers throughout the UK, all working for the Coleshill Auxiliary Research Team, these long-forgotten heroes and their underground bases from which they would have come out of in the event of an invasion to create havoc and chaos behind the German frontline are researched for future generations to learn about.
IS YOUR CAR KEY BENT ? REMOTE FOB NOT WORKING ? LOST CAR KEYS ?...View details
FOR ALL YOUR CAR KEY NEEDS CALL US NOW ON
SNAPPED KEYS, LOST KEYS, KEYS LOCKED IN VEHICLES,
WE ALSO REPAIR 90% OF ALL REMOTES AND KEYS, NO FIX NO CHARGE.
Terms: FREE REMOTE KEY FOB BATTERY ONE PER CUSTOMER
SAVE £3.00 WITH THIS FREE BATTERY
Contact: 01482 423414
Contact: 01482 423414
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
They were skilled in the art of sabotage, explosives, assassination and the grisly art of silent killing, learning their craft at a country house in Oxfordshire called Coleshill House.
These men and women were usually farmers who knew the lay of the land, they knew how to live off the land and knew it like the back of their hands.
Women manned the Special Duties Section, the secret communications arm of the Auxiliary Units and transmitted on their secret radio sets intelligence gathered by the Auxiliary Units, being given their information through a series of dead letter drops.
In the event of an invasion, the code word Cromwell was to be issued to the home forces and the church bells would ring, thus the Auxiliary Units would drop everything they were doing, they wouldn't tell their families where they were going or what they were doing and would disappear underground into their operations bases to wait for the German forces to move over the top of them.
They would then come out at night and blow up bridges, planes on airfields, fuel dumps, tunnels and assassinate known collaborators and high- ranking German officers.
They had been given just two weeks' rations and were not expected to survive longer than that until they were either killed or captured.
These local heroes got no recognition after the war and it is through the determined efforts of volunteer researchers that their story is being remembered today.
For more details, visit coleshillhouse.com
• Do you have an opinion to share in our First Person series? Email firstname.lastname@example.org