Copyright © 2017
Dersingham Folk
All Rights reserved
Site by Mike Strange
The Royal Observer Corps in Dersingham
Mike Strange ©
There will be more to come, I just wanted to share this group photograph of members of the Dersingham Group of  the Royal Observer Corps. 
Photograph kindly provided by Stephen Bunn
CLICK to see a magnified image.

Please tell us about any faces you might recognise.

From Bernie Twite and Dick Melton:
Back row L to R:
1 ??, 2 Horace Morgan, 3 ??, 4 Fred Rix, 5 ??, 6 John Crow.
Middle Row:
1 Albert Southgate, ??, 3 Willie Walden, ??, 5 Jack Bunn (Stephen's grand father), 6 Eddie Parker, 7 Alec Hooks.
Front Row:
1 Mrs Edna Walden, 2 Bob Hooks, 3 ??, 4 ??, 5 Dr Coxen, 6 ??, 7 ??, 8 Mrs Mary Barrett.

From Berni Twite
"Horace Morgan lived at Sandringham, and worked with my father Wallace Twite, they were responsible for all the fencing on
Sandringham Estate, he then became verger at Sandringham Church.

Fred Rix lived next to the paper shop, he was also a special constable in the summer he would be on traffic control at Station road crossroads in the days before the by pass.

John Crow lived and worked at Sandringham.

Albert Southgate was known to most people as Manno, he lived at Sandringham, his wife May for many years ran a tea stall at the entrance to the grounds at Sandringham.

Willie Walden was a carpenter and undertaker, he lived in the end house of the row at the junction of Chapel road and Post Office road, the barns are named after him.

Eddie Parker owned the shop at the corner of Manor road and Sandringham Hill.

Alec Hooks lived in Lynn road next to Wallace Twite, he worked in the Woods Department at Sandringham, and drove the Foden Steam tractor pulling timber out of the wood to the wood yard.

Edna Walden was the wife of Willie.

Bob Hooks lived at Ingoldisthorpe, and worked in the gardens at Sandringham, he is also on a number of old football photos.

Dr Coxen lived up Fern Hill he was a dentist and was involved in a lot of village life.

Mary Barrett lived in Lynn road her husband worked for Easter Counties buses. her family name was Sayers, they lived at the end of Albert Victor cottages, and were well known for taking in washing, some of it I believe for Sandringham House

Bernie Twite
From Alan Walker:
He told me that there was a Royal Observer Post on the road from Sherborne Road cross road towards Ingoldisthorpe just past the Mill House on the right hand side and that there may still be a concrete base as evidence of the building he helped to knock down in possibly the late 1950s. 

I have located a very good web site which tells us that the Dersingham Post was located at TF69493181. It is unclear what the dates given there mean, they are 1959 and 1991 as 1st Opening and 1st Closing. I wonder if that should be interpreted as 1959 when the building came down and 1991 when the base was removed. It would have been established an ROC nuclear monitoring post before being incorporated into the United Kingdom Warning and Monitoring Organisation (UKWMO).

The Auxiliary Units
While I was looking to see if there was anything already on the internet about Dersingham Royal Observer Corps I came across a fascinating web site about a group operating in a clandestine way. They were not connected with the other Civil Defence units but were operating in our locality with members from Dersingham as part of those who "stayed behind".

They were called The Auxiliary Units, there were "a secret resistance network of highly trained volunteers prepared to be Britain's last ditch line of defence during World War Two. They operated in a network of cells from hidden underground bases around the UK. This part of the British Resistance Archive website is dedicated to research about these units, their secret underground hideouts known as Operational Bases (OBs) and Observation Posts (OPs), and of course the civilian personnel who were prepared to put themselves in the gravest danger."

Details of the Dersingham Patrol, part of Norfolk Group 7, can be found here:

You will find the following names, most of which we recognise and came from Dersingham
Occupations all come from the 1939 Register, all served until  3rd December 1944

Sergeant Frederick James Burton
Patrol Leader, Groom Gardener & Handyman  Manor Cottages  Dersingham (Near 'The Emblems' opposite 'The Feathers'; cottages now demolished and open space). In 1939 he was a members of the Red Cross Casualty Service

Private Leonard Harry Batterbee
Estate Labourer; 3 Centre Vale, Dersingham (Frederick Secker, father of his wife, Elsie Eleanor Secker, was landlord of the Dersingham White Horse pub at the time of their marriage in 1927)

Private Frank Goff
General Farm Labourer; Dodds Hill, Dersingham

Private Richard Robert Griggs (later changed his name to Robert Richard)
Tractor Driver on Farm; Dodds Hill, Dersingham

Private William Herbert S. Riches
General Farm Labourer; Leggetts Row, Chapel Road, Dersingham

Private Clarence William Todd
Farm Labourerr;  4 Stanton Row, Chapel Road, Dersingham