WW2 British Resistance Group

Wakehurst Place Zero Station drawn by William Webb Design & Print

We are currently looking for photographs and stories of the Terling and associated local British Resistance Groups. Do you have any information that might help?

Sometimes known as Churchill’s Secret Army, this was a sabotage organisation set up in 1940 in case of a Nazi invasion of the UK and Terling had a weapons store and hideout from where brave people were prepared to operate to harry the advancing invaders. One of those people was the late John Thurgood, who many years later, described the expectation of survival to be counted in days or weeks at most.

As reported by Roger Stanton in 2005 on the ELMS website The British Resistance – WW2 Escape Lines Memorial Society , “Members of the Auxiliary Units were given operational jobs in their own areas. They were taught demolitions, sabotage and movement by night, small arms, sniping and, most importantly, they were operating in familiar territory. The participants were mainly countrymen who knew how to live off the land and survive. Hides containing ammunition, grenades, and explosives were hidden in underground bunkers. The members continued with their daily life as much as possible and trained mainly at night. The Royal Signals provided much of the radio equipment and, near hide areas, they had cut channels in the bark of high trees then, at night, fitted the antenna into the height of the tree. Many of the radio operators had been asked to volunteer for ‘Special Duties’, and the ladies applying had to travel to Harrods, at Knightsbridge, for their interviews. Many operators were recruited from the ATS, and FANY. All members of the Auxiliary Units were fully aware that once they received the code word ‘Cromwell’ their chances of seeing their families again, and also reaching old age were very slim.”

The Terling hideout was similar to that at WakeHurst Place shown here.

We would love to hear if your Terling or Fairstead relatives were involved in this group or similar. Please contact us by email to historicterling@gmail.com