National Archives searching

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National Archives searching

Matt Gibbs
Hello folks;
If anyone has visited the files listed below, I wonder if they could let me know what they thought of the content etc? I don't want to spend ages duplicating other work. When I can go down I can then concentrate on other files and get busy with the digi-cam. What I found in the online search using the phrase Auxiliary Units is as below:

WO 199/3265 - August 1942 Correspondance
WO 166/16349 - January 1945 War Diary [is this still closed?]
WO 199/3251 - Jan 41 - June 42 Correspondance
WO 199/1955 - Aux Units Stores Transport Southern Command [so 203 units I guess]
Wo 199/1194 - Sept 43 - Aug 44 GHQ Auxiliary Units [but what?]
WO 199/738 + 739 - July 40 - Aug 44 Auxiliary Units Miscellaneous
WO 199/2151 - HQ Auxiliary Units Training Aug 40 - Jan 41 [nice early days stuff?]
WO 199/936+937 - Supplies and Stores July 43 - Nov 44
WO 199/2892 - Aberdeen Aux Units 1944
WO 260/9 - HQ Special Duties Staff
PREM 3/223/5 Prime Ministers Papers Aux Units 1940
CAB 120/241 - Cabinet Office Papers July 1940 - Jan 41
WO 199/3388 - 3391 - Nominal rolls - 4 files.

Regards
Matt
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Re: National Archives searching

CART Web Monitor
Administrator
Hiya Matt,

It would appear we have most of the data from these WO 199/3388 - 3391 - Nominal rolls - 4 files as we have well over 2000 Aux members names in the database.

Without seeing and checking everyone it is hard to say although the data was supplied by Will Ward and he is very thorough. I will check with him and let you know.

I don't think we have seen the other documents. Once you have got them I would be more than happy to add many of them to the site for the public to have free search over, providing this is allowed with NA.

As another member suggested make sure you look laterally. There are a good number of files with “auxiliary units” in the title, but others that aren’t immediately obvious too (the PREM files contain some useful early documents, so don’t limit a search to “WO” files!) for example search under "GHQ Home Guard" and "Coleshill" or "Highworth" .

I will do all this myself later in the year when I have time, so whatever you don't have time to look at our document let me know and we can take over when we go.

Just remember to to take a massive SD card for your digital camera. They supply the camera tripod I have been told.
Kind Regards,

CART Team
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Re: National Archives searching

Peter D Antill
Hi all

I'm still interested in going to the National Archives in the near future, although it will be to look for stuff related to a different topic. If anyone's still keen on going, do let us all know and perhaps we can tie up meeting up down there.

Peter
Peter D Antill (Researcher, Centre for Defence Acquisition, Defence Academy of the United Kingdom) "We seek a free flow of information... we are not afraid to entrust the American people with unpleasant facts, foreign ideas, alien philosophies, and competitive values. For a nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people." JFK, 21 Nov 1963
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Re: National Archives searching

CART Web Monitor
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Matt is still going Peter....See above.

I think you would both get on very well...
Kind Regards,

CART Team
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Re: National Archives searching

CART Web Monitor
Administrator
Matt, Will Ward has said the following.

WO 166/16349 is basically 5 lines – to the effect “the unit was closed down”

The database he has sent CART includes Lincolnshire, Norfolk, Dorset, Devon and the East Riding of Yorkshire. It includes some of the typed parts of Somerset and Kent (but not the handwritten parts) and the Western part of Hampshire (so far) around Ringwood (as keen researcher there!). The Scottish section includes the typewritten list for Aberdeenshire and Moray.

Worst thing is that most OCR text scanners can’t seen to cope with the old typed text in the files – need one designed for this. Means loads of hand typing in of data and corrections.

So to clarify we need from the nominal rolls the names of Auxiliers from the areas NOT listed above.

_______________________________________________
 
WO199/936 and 937 - These are supplies and stores files and contain lots of interesting snippets  but are quite bulky as are 738 an 739 which again have lots if snippets of interest but can be full of repetitive papers
_______________________________________________

WO 260/9
 - includes the establishments for HQ
_______________________________________________

WO 199/2892  - contain various info on Scottish Aux units – a small file and Will has a  full paper copy already
_______________________________________________

WO199/364 - has a signed letter on Highworth headed paper from Bill Beyts
_______________________________________________

WO199/1955 - includes various useful “scales of issue” for equipment for Scout sections and Home Guard patrols
_______________________________________________

WO199/3251 - contains HG admin files on Aux Units with a few items of interest about relationship of HG to Aux.
_______________________________________________

Some of the best early stuff is in PREM 3/223/5 and CAB 120/241 (with considerable overlap) – lots on early organisation and timetable for early courses at Coleshill – nothing after 1940 – Will has copies of most of this.
_______________________________________________

WO199/3265  is another TA HG admin file, interesting as much for evidence as to what has been probably discarded as to what there is in it! Also loads of Bank admin details – invaluable for working out who was the IO when!!
_______________________________________________

Also worth a look are files on the Tunnelling Companies

WO166/3657
 has some info on Northumberland, 166/3535 for Kent

WO199/1517
 has details and maps of Northumbrian OBs

Also note some of the maps are removed from the main files – there is apparently one of Signals sites (with errors) in the map section.

Tom,

I hope this helps to start – if your contact is just going for a day, this will be more than enough to keep them going – could take 4 or 5 to get through all this lot alone!

If they are bored, then worth thinking laterally about exercises, training and involvement with others. The indexing of National Archives is rubbish – having been done on paper and hand typed originally, so is very limited (when I first went had to hand search books of lists to find a file) – there is almost no data on what is in a file and its title may be of little help. I am sure there is more to find – just nobody quite knows where to look.


My thanks to Will Ward for this info. I suggest Matt you list what you feel you want to look into and whatever you can't do, Paula and I will carry on with when we go later in the year.

Kind Regards,

CART Team
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Re: National Archives searching

CART Web Monitor
Administrator
Hi all,

I have just been informed that Matthew Gibbs is now not going to the NA this weekend.

If anyone is going pleas elet me know.

Paula and I are NOT attending.
Kind Regards,

CART Team
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Re: National Archives searching

Matt Gibbs
Hello Folks;
Yes, just a brief look in to say sorry, but I have been up in the Cumbria/Lakes are all week, and except today when I have access to a computer and a phone signal I haven't been able to be online. I'm unable to get out of commitments tomorrow to be able to get to London in a reasonable time to make the day worth it for me. Having to come from Yorkshire means a 5am start usually so I can get a train at 6am to be in London for 9ish.
Need to plan another archive raid date which might suit more people.
Many many thanks to Will for the insight into what is there, what isn't and whats already been looked at.
Regards
Matt
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Re: National Archives searching

Bill A
Is anyone going to the National Archives in the near future?  
If so please please could you look at the Medal Card Index and view these two

MacDonald R.W.  1914-25  WO 372/27  Image Ref 1630/1630

MacDonald R.W.  1914-20  WO 372/12  Image Ref 220408/43800

and note the medals awarded.

This will provide additional information for the research on Lt Col MacDonald

Many thanks

Bill
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Re: National Archives searching

Peter D Antill
Hi

I went to the National Archives last Friday and will be going again this Friday coming to do some research for work. I have taken photos of the cards and will email them directly to you, unless anyone wants me to post them on here then I will do so.

Its really easy to join - they tend to open the car park (which is free, just get a ticket and have it validated on your way out) at 08.30 while the main rooms open at 09.00. A cafe is open though on the ground floor at 08.30 as well.

Go up to the 2nd Floor room where they do new registrations (next to the Largwe Documents / Map Room), the staff will tell you to fill an online form in and then you have to supply two forms of ID, at least one having a proof of name and a valid signature (such as a passport, driving licence, bank card, national ID card, Armed forces / police / home office ID card, Govt ID etc) and another with a proof of address (again this could include a driving license or passport, as well as a utility bill, bank statement, council tax bill, credit card statement, HM Revenue & Customs Statement, TV License, Firearms License, Home Insurence certificate etc.).

See http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/visit/readers-ticket.htm for more details. Once that's done its valid for three years. You can order three items at once and have a maximum of 21 things out during your stay.

Hope this is useful . . . .

Peter
Peter D Antill (Researcher, Centre for Defence Acquisition, Defence Academy of the United Kingdom) "We seek a free flow of information... we are not afraid to entrust the American people with unpleasant facts, foreign ideas, alien philosophies, and competitive values. For a nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people." JFK, 21 Nov 1963
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Re: National Archives searching

Bill A
Many thanks Peter for info and the medal card photos.

It confirms that MacDonald got the BWM & Victory medal.

On a different subject WW2 Sussex - have you ever seen a D-Day map of the south coast holding camps.   The 49 (WR) Inf Div moved from Norfolk to holding camps in Sussex.  My fathers battalion (Hallamshire Bn) was held just north of Lewis in Sussex. I would like to locate the camps if possible.

Thanks again.  See you Saturday

Bill


---- "Peter D Antill [via Coleshill House - Auxiliary Unit Forum]" <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
>
>
> Hi
>
> I went to the National Archives last Friday and will be going again this
> Friday coming to do some research for work. I have taken photos of the cards
> and will email them directly to you, unless anyone wants me to post them on
> here then I will do so.
>
> Its really easy to join - they tend to open the car park (which is free,
> just get a ticket and have it validated on your way out) at 08.30 while the
> main rooms open at 09.00. A cafe is open though on the ground floor at 08.30
> as well.
>
> Go up to the 2nd Floor room where they do new registrations (next to the
> Largwe Documents / Map Room), the staff will tell you to fill an online form
> in and then you have to supply two forms of ID, at least one having a proof
> of name and a valid signature (such as a passport, driving licence, bank
> card, national ID card, Armed forces / police / home office ID card, Govt ID
> etc) and another with a proof of address (again this could include a driving
> license or passport, as well as a utility bill, bank statement, council tax
> bill, credit card statement, HM Revenue & Customs Statement, TV License,
> Firearms License, Home Insurence certificate etc.).
>
> See http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/visit/readers-ticket.htm for more
> details. Once that's done its valid for three years. You can order three
> items at once and have a maximum of 21 things out during your stay.
>
> Hope this is useful . . . .
>
> Peter
>
> -----
> Peter D Antill
> (Researcher,
> Centre for Defence Acquisition,
> Defence Academy of the United Kingdom)
> "We seek a free flow of information... we are not afraid to entrust the
> American people with unpleasant facts, foreign ideas, alien philosophies,
> and competitive values. For a nation that is afraid to let its people judge
> the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its
> people." JFK, 21 Nov 1963
>
> ______________________________________
> View message @ http://n3.nabble.com/National-Archives-searching-tp195499p468661.html
>
> To unsubscribe from Re: National Archives searching, click http://n3.nabble.com/subscriptions/Unsubscribe.jtp?code=YmlsbDI1OEBudGx3b3JsZC5jb218NDMyODUyfC0zOTE3NzIwODk=

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Re: National Archives searching

Peter D Antill
In reply to this post by Peter D Antill
Hi all

just to let you know, the National Archives are changing their policy on parking, more information can be found here

http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/news/446.htm

Basically you have to register in advance and it will cost £5 per day, although if you are going to use it a lot, I understand there is a form of season ticket or annual pass you can obtain.

all the best

Peter
Peter D Antill (Researcher, Centre for Defence Acquisition, Defence Academy of the United Kingdom) "We seek a free flow of information... we are not afraid to entrust the American people with unpleasant facts, foreign ideas, alien philosophies, and competitive values. For a nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people." JFK, 21 Nov 1963
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Re: National Archives searching

Bill A
NOMINAL ROLLS

Have any of you seen the four Nominal Roll Files?

1.  What period and areas do they cover?
2.  Are officers and GHQ Coleshill staff listed?
3.  This is probably a daft question but does the NA provide lists of (still) Restricted files in each section?

Thanks


 

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Re: National Archives searching

Bill A
In reply to this post by Matt Gibbs
Is anyone going to the National Archives?

If so could you look up the Silver War Badge Record approx date 23 Mar 1917 for Captain Norman Bruce RAMSAY
Army No. 34854  (Later Lt Col N. B. Ramsay Deputy Commander AUX Units)

Other wise as He was serving with 6 Bn Northumberland Fusiliers in WW1 perhaps the War Diary for Feb/Mar 1917 to see if he is mentioned.

Cheers

Bill  
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Re: National Archives searching

Don Brown
In reply to this post by Matt Gibbs
This is my list of NA Files to study. Most have been covered in this correspondence, but there may still be some of interest.

NA files: British Resistance Organisation

British Resistance
LOOK FOR 1938 War Office contingency plans - referred to in Ch 4 SOE programme.
LOOK FOR Col Gubbins in Poland.

Aux Units
GHQ HG WO 199 341-402, 3301-2, 3390
GHQ HG Special Service Brigade WO 199 3385
GHQ HG Special Defence / Service Measures WO 199 605-613

GHQ AUs 6/1940-8/1941: WO 199 738
                9-12/1944: WO 199 739
                1943-44: WO 199 1194

WO letters re AUs 1942: WO 199 3251, 3265

AU Nominal Rolls Dorset, Kent, Somerset 1942-43 WO 199 3390 Seen: Som and Dorset copied
        BUT Check date of related MS request for Nat Reg No and Next of Kin.
        AND - Where is master file for which this extra info was required?
Southern Counties Register WO 199 3391.

Defence of Isle of Wight 6-9/1944 WO 199 1786 Seen and copied
                        1942-44 WO 199 1787

Formation of Irregular Commandos 1940-42 WO 199 1849
Issue of .22 rifles to HG 1940-42, 1942 WO 199 1899, 1900
        US gift weapons 1941-43 WO 199 1904
        truncheons etc 1941-44 WO 199 1907

AUs stores 1941-44 WO 199 1955
Auxiliary Units Shelter sketch plans WO 199 1517 Copied
HG Hideouts WO 199 2889
Wireless Intelligence Network - Beetle 1940-42 WO 199 1980
LOOK FOR Royal Signals Somerset

Ian Fenwick (Somerset I) - Operation Gain WO 218 193

A Eden’s memo on stay-behind units in post-war Europe   [cf Nigel West Secret War]
CAB 78/79, COS (44) 381 1st(O)

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Re: National Archives searching

AlanD
Could anyone please tell me if the following two files contain any specific information on AU small arms:

WO 199 936 + 937
WO 199 1955.

Regards


AlanD
Sydney
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Re: National Archives searching

CART Web Monitor
Administrator
SOME CHATTER

DAVID BLAIR - CART Scotland:

WO 199/1194 on the list is not highlighted in yellow, this is the SDS map of the UK
WO 199/3265, WO 199/2151 is Auxunits

WILL WARD - CART Dorset

I have been up and looked at what they have a few times. I have full copies of a couple of files and will look up what is what. I think I posted a very brief summary on the forum or else Tom posted it for me.
From memory - doing this on my iPod so can't open the Excel file –
738/739 files are low level admin with bits and pieces of interest and lots of repetition of documents. 1517 file is from one of the Tunnelling Companies and reports the construction of Northumberland and N Yorkshire OBs. 3388-3391 The nominal rolls are in the last four files. The Southern Counties register is the one I have photos of and I think Tom was hoping to put these on Glasscubes. Some from the Kent file can be found online. The 1945 War Diary is a single page with no useful info. The 936,937 pair are various requisitions for supplies. Some points of interest in these but again mostly by inference from what is requested by who.

The Scottish file is the one with other scots files around it in sequence and relates to an OB found by some local HG. A few other bits in this. I think I have a full copy. There is another that covers Balmoral service and at least one other about Isle of Wight guard duty.

I am sure there should be more. For example the other 4 years of War Diary, files about SDS, arrangements with local RASC about transport, requisitions for various HQs and so forth. The indexing at National Archives is very hit and miss, so worth some lateral thinking. There are some pages online that summarise document contents for some files. I think it is called MyArchives or similar. There are also some SOE personnel files that cover former Aux Units staff.

I hope this helps and will try and find links to above. If anyone is bored they are welcome to borrow my copies to scan and put online!

I would agree that getting photos of a whole file is fairly good value vs a train ticket from Dorset to do it yourself!

BILL – In the past I have driven up to Kew and parked easily but I have read that the NA at Kew are now within the London ‘Congestion’ area and parking is expensive.  Public Transport advised.

REPLIES FROM ‘ANDY’ TO MY QUESTIONS ABOUT HIS NA COPYING SERVICE

Q  Without knowing the size of a file how can we determine the costs and avoid a big shock?

....... I can't say I've come across any Boxes as yet. I think the thickest war diary I've copied was about 820 pages (£82.00). Unfortunately unless someone is ordering all the regiments diaries during WW2 I tend to stick to the whole file theory otherwise I would end up with orders for just one month which could be 6 pages (0.60p) or less which then makes it not financially viable for me when I factor in the waiting times for files too which are around 40 minutes with a Max order of 3 files at a time. I could end up spending most of the day at Kew waiting for files.

The same applies to ordering the file to to see how thick it is. I would say that most war diaries are around the £30 to £40 mark on average and other files tend to be under £10 in my experience-I'm sure there are many at Kew much thicker.

The only thing I can suggest regarding expensive files is I don't mind waiting for payment if the file/diary is expensive. I have been waiting for around 4 weeks for one order to be paid which I don't mind as I know he wants the files and he's a bit short this month. I don't mind waiting for payment as long as I do get paid for the work at some point and obviously it’s not a massive wait too- longer than 4-6 weeks.

Q  How often do you go to TNA
Hi Bill, I'm there tomorrow and then I expect at least two Saturdays possibly three next month before I move. June is going to be a busy month as I'm moving into a new house so at best one trip and then anything up to 4/5 trips in July I guess.

The orders I received dictate how often I go-I don't like to keep people waiting more than two weeks from date of order to date of copy. The rest is governed by how quick payment is received.  Regards A


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

From: Stephen Lewins to Bill Ashby 28 April

Hello Bill   -  I have the following WO documents
 
WO 199/2892  Scots Aux. Banff, Aberdeen area
WO 199/3265  Correspondence Aux. (some stuff on re org. and what was expected after stand down
WO 199/1517  Aux shelters construction of
WO 199/3388  Scots and Northumberland AU nominal rolls
WO 199/3389  Northern and Eastern command inc Hereford and Carmarthen
WO 199/3390  Dorset Kent and Somerset AU
WO 199/3391  Southern Counties AU
WO 199/3251  Documents AU
PREM 3/223/5 Initial set up of the AU with Churchill’s personal involvement and the 1937 Countrymans Diary
 
There are probably a few more. I have all the nominal rolls for the Aux for the whole country. If you need anything just ask.
 
From: Bill Ashby to Stephen Lewins 28 April

Thank you for offering to share what you have.
 
Can you tell me if files 3251 & 3265 have anything about Coleshill - The organisation, House, grounds personnel and transport.  Does the stand down chat mention when the Estate was handed back to the Pleydel-Bouverie family?  A question asked of me lately that needs some clarification.  I thought the last Staff officer left in early 1945 but a letter written in 1946 states that it will be hard to find a new tenant for the House with it not completely derequishioned.
 
I  am yet to find anything about what supporting troops were there.  I know a bit about about the RASC personnel but nothing about the MT Park and working.

If you have anything that would help demonstrate the working of GHQ and the layout of the estate, do please let me know

From: Stephen Lewins to Bill Ashby 28 April

Hello again Bill
 
The WO199/3251 doc is mainly 1942 War Office correspondence from the Victoria Hotal in Northumberland Avenue, London to the TA Associations and the restructure of the Aux. The release of Aux members from TA Associations and the expenses there of. Some mention of streamlining the organisation and the change to the I/O being in charge of supply and payment of members. Also the order to wear HG uniform with the county shoulder flash but no Bn numbers, with immediate effect, 27/4/42.
 
The WO 199/3265 is again about re org and various TAA and funds. Refs to army B2606  ID cards and the need for I/O's to stamp relevant paper work to separte HG from Aux. Officer commissions, provison of clothing and equipment, List of officers allowed to draw funds for musters and the bank to use. Mainly letters for and to Col. Thurlow, Col Douglas and Lt Col Mackenzie. The forming of new Bn 201, 202, 203 as separate entities to TAA and finally a letter from Thurlow to Darwell-Smith stating the hand over of command to him.
 
Nothing about Coleshill I’m afraid, much correspondence via Highworth P/O - hope this sheds some light Bill.

From: Will Ward to Bill Ashby 3rd May

I have been checking up on my files and what you need to take a look at is "Your Archives"

http://yourarchives.nationalarchives.gov.uk/index.php?title=Home_page
 
Just sticking "Auxiliary Units" in the search engine will give a whole load of new responses that I haven't come across before, thanks to someone who is logging contents of SOE files as they are released. Eg KV4/20 that details SOE cooperation with Aux Units, HS 9/630/8 Gubbins personal file, HS 9/604/5 which is Victor Albert Gough's file and apparently contains Aux Units part II orders for 9/11/1943 with names of 15 AU officers then - a must have for Bill! HS 9/1221/1 is Anthony Quayle's personal file, HS 9/469/5 has Stuart Edmundson's.
 
It also lists details for the various files we already know about. Watch out to links to other files at the bottom - I noticed one to another SOE file for equipment they supplied to Aux Units!
 
Several days work here for someone just to browse this lot. If I get back to NA I will try and photograph some of these for web.
 
Will Ward

WE HAVE WO/199 LISTED BUT KEEP OTHER FILE REFERENCES COMING.

Kind Regards,

CART Team
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Re: National Archives searching

CART Web Monitor
Administrator
David Blair informs me he has the following files in his collection.

1. CAB 120/241 Art of Guerrilla Warfare and Churchill report on Auxunits

2. Prem 3/223/5 Partisans Leaders Handbook AND1940 HQ Auxunits Prime minister memo.    

3. WO 199/1517 Auxiliary Unit Shelters/construction, Includes map (not Scotland)

4. WO 199/3388 Nominal role Scottish area Number 1

5. WO 199/3251 Branch memoranda TAVR, Concerning Auxunits

6. WO 199/2892 Auxiliary Units, Aberdeen sub area June 1944- December 1944

7. WO 199/294 Balmoral, movement of Royals and security while at       Balmoral mainly deals with movements and RAF cover, Manchester Regt

8. WO 199/936 Auxunits stores/supplies, July 1943-Feb 1944

9. WO 199/937 Auxunits stores/supplies, Feb-Dec 1944

10. WO 199/739 Auxiliary Units September – December 1944

11. WO 260/9 HQ Special duties / HQ Auxunits.

12. WO 199/738 History Auxiliary Units (many pages)

13. WO 199/16349 HQ Auxiliary Units WAR Diary January 1945 Closed until ‘2049’
                               Only 3 pages (disbandment) NA are looking at why this file is still closed. As of 17/05/11 they cannot give an answer.

14. WO 199/1194 Map of the UK showing locations of Transmitter stations. (Includes the map by Major R.M.A Jones Royal Sigs/SDS)

15. WO 199/1517 Map showing Operational Base locations (not Scotland) 1942

16. WO 199/3265 Correspondence on Auxiliary Units August 1942

17. WO 199/1955 Transport: Auxiliary Units-stores June 1941- January 1944

18. WO 199/2151   HQ Auxiliary Units August 1940- January 1941

19. WO 32/21918 Auxiliary Units/SD eligibility for Defence Medal.

Further files to be uncovered (ref Will Ward)
Kind Regards,

CART Team