gilbert thomas william dawson deceased of bristol born 1917
Hi there, having read some of the e.mails and comments listed on your site, everyone seems impressively knowledgeable in all things military and relating to this subject in particular but, I have to be truthful and say at this point in time, I am approaching this only from a personal perspective to try to establish if my father might have been a wartime member of this group.
My elder sister (67 yrs) has surprised me by suggesting that our father was an active member of this secretive group/unit during the war but I find this hard to believe. I have tried a name search on your site to no avail but I realise that your files are not yet 100% complete due to the difficulty in finding information from that period etc.- was there a unit in Bristol even ?
My father was in a reserved occupation as an engineer and did act a fire watcher for the company he worked for during the war, W.H.Strong, just off Portland Square in Bristol, but that is all I know.
I have never once heard him speak of anything that would have given any clue to his involvement in such a unit and having questioned my mother on this subject before she died 2 years ago, she seemed genuinely nonplussed. I cannot imagine how my sister might have come by any knowledge of Dad's possible involvement but, she insists he talked to her about it at some point, although will not expand on this. I have to be frank and say I don't believe it but, perhaps I am being unfair although, I had heard of this groups existence in the past, before this suggestion was made.
Any light you might be able to throw on this or suggested routes I may take to try to establish the truth would be helpful. Regards, Noel Dawson
Hello I had a look through the Nominal list of patrol members from the National Archives for the Somerset area Auxiliary Units for your relative. Unfortunately no recored of Gilbert Thomas William Dawson. This however does not mean he was not a member of a patrol in the Bristol area. People came and went through Home Guard and HM forces call up in the latter part of te war.
He could have been in the Special Duties Section more invloved with radio message interception. Or even an "Agent" who collected messages and delivered them to specific spots "Dead letter drops" for Aux or SDS members to pick up.
If you know any names of his friends from the war this may shed light on his involvement, was he a radio ham? if so he he could have been employed at a Zero radio site or an X station, civilian who monitored German radio traffic and reported his findings to the Zero station and on to Bletchley Park.
If you come across any of his war time collegues names I will have another look.
Thinking about Bristol AUs it occurs to me that I have bever heard of any city based patrols , we were "Bath City" because 5 Battalion Home guard were Bath City Battalion. All five Bath patrols were based on the rural areas round the city e.g. Swainswick, Englishcombe and Southstoke. If Noel could say where his father lived in the 1940s it might identify a possible location on the outskirts of Bristol that could be in Somerset or Gloucestershire. Just a thought.
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