So far i have sent this letter to
HRH Prince Charles.
HRH Prince Harry.
the MOD Via Prince Charles.
The Drax estate, Lulworth Castle.
I do hope this is not too presumptuous but I would like to enlist your help in the following matter.
Although I have no connection with Home guard members or the Auxiliary units, I have developed an interest in the British Resistance units of WW2 and I am very disappointed that information relating to their duties and the sacrifices they have had to make through their lives has taken so long to surface. It has had to rely on dedicated, very nosey members of the public to tell the story.
Other countries (France, Poland, Belgium) all remember and commemorate the members of their Resistance units from WW2. These brave men and women fought and died for their country and are remembered with pride and honour.
I find it strange that the British government do not seem to feel the need to do this for our brave men of the Auxiliary Units, our own resistance force. It is left to local historians to find out about and honour these men.
These men volunteered, trained and were prepared to go to certain death for their country and were then bound by the official secrets act to keep it secret. Sure they did not face the enemy. sure they did not come under fire, but once they had volunteered , their life as they knew it was over. For four long years they were on constant alert, always with the thoughts of what would happen to family and friends if the evasion took place. They had all heard the stories (true or false) about what had happened abroad. What would happen to their families when the unit was deployed and how long before certain death. Under orders to kill friends, family and locals who knew what they were up to and where they were. Even their own patrol members were a target if caught or injured. Secrecy was paramount. How they must have felt every time they disappeared to the Operational Base when the siren sounded I have no idea. To be in a small hut, buried underground with loads of ordinance, with no chance of a cigarette, cooked food? a beer or two for a possible two weeks and with your brain working overtime.
These men must have suffered some form of PTSD but it was called cowardess and subject to court Marshall and dishonourable discharge back then for the regular forces. These men were volunteer's not even recognised as a fighting unit. Indeed the Auxiliary units were supposed to be just a branch of the Home Guard. Not the seed from which the S.A.S grew.
I am given to understand that 3 to 400 of our Auxiliaries were selected and joined the special forces in 1944 when the Auxilliers were stood down. Some from Dorset are known to have been at operation BULBASKET where some 30+ SAS were assassinated, betrayed by double agents.
Once they had put their name down for the AUX units their lives as they knew it were over, no more happy pints down the pub, they were shunned by friends and colleagues. Things could not be explained. They could not be told the truth and that was that. l guess that families were accused of having a coward or conshy for a son. This was far from the truth but they could not be told either. Even after the war was over there was no chats with other comrades over a pint down the legion, they were not regular paid armed Forces. They could not join the Legion. They had no contact with other members of the Aux units. The other O,B's and there position were a secret even to them. They were the forgotten heroes.
I believe that most of these men took their secret to their grave and that the majority of their families still to this day do not know the truth. This is very sad to think that they will never know how brave and loyal these men were.
Their families and old friends now need to know the whole truth. Their families need some closure.
We need to ask the government to do something to honour these men. These men typified what made Britain great.
We have documentaries, books, TV fiction and reports on the TV about the special forces the odd program about the Home Guard and of course DADS ARMY but no mention of the Auxiliary units. we get a occasional bit of fiction about Foyles war or The brave agents dropped in France, even fiction and farce about the French Resistance (ALLO, ALLO.) and maybe the odd documentary, but I have seen nothing about our boys. no medal, (unless they could prove 3 years service??). No pay (they were volunteers. They even had to pay for the lapel badge issued. No national memorial, no serious recognition at all. Perhaps the Government do not want to remind the World that we in the UK can be as ruthless and determined as the next man when it comes to it, in defence of our land and people. But these men have a story to tell and families that need to know the truth of what happened back then. These families need closure and the truth.
THIS NEEDS TO BE ADDRESSED.
These men and their dedication to the people of Britain and the roll in the conflict needs to be honoured.
I hope that this appeal meets with your approval and that you feel you can help in some way. Any help that you can give will be much appreciated by all concerned.