Bid to uncover covert Buchan resistance tales

A model Operational Bunker. COPYRIGHT STAYBEHINDS.COM
A model Operational Bunker. COPYRIGHT STAYBEHINDS.COM

An appeal is being made to uncover Buchan’s World War Two role in the event of a German invasion.

The British Resistance Organisation - or Auxiliary units as they were known - were an ultra-secretive group few knew even existed.

The E.R. Brockadale Auxilary Re-enactors. COPYRIGHT:STEVE BULMER

The E.R. Brockadale Auxilary Re-enactors. COPYRIGHT:STEVE BULMER

The units comprised volunteers who were too old or too young to be called up, or in reserved occupations.

They were hand-picked because of their intimate knowledge of their local surrounding areas and were often farmers, gamekeepers or poachers.

In the event of an invasion they were to go directly to their operational bases (OBs) hidden underground throughout the British countryside, without letting a soul know where they were going or their mission, including their closest family and friends.

Records have revealed OBs located locally at Peterhead, Longside, Ardallie, Kinknockie, Crimond, Fraserburgh, New Pitsligo, Slains, Ellon and Meikle Tarty.

Once in their OB these highly-trained volunteers would wait for the invading army to pass over them and then come out in the dead of night and disrupt the enemy’s supply chain, cut vital communications, ‘deal’ with collaborators and generally make a nuisance of themselves to allow the regular forces a chance to counter-attack.

Such was the danger of their mission the life expectancy of an Auxiliary Unit member was only expected to be a fortnight after the invasion started.

They signed the Official Secrets Act and never told their nearest relatives or friends what they had to do, most never revealed even after the war, taking their secrets to the grave.

Last year the Coleshill Auxiliary Research Team (CART) - the team behind the British Resistance Archive - was set up to research these fascinating stories.

CART’s Andrew Chatterton told us: “We do have some information about the patrols in and around Peterhead, but only that they existed and some idea of location - we need your readers to help us out!

“We would love to get the information about the Auxiliary Units out to your readers and see if there are any remaining veterans out there or relatives that might be able to provide information.”

You can get in touch via email at or call 0872 0459 940. The Buchanie would also relish hearing your tales of World War II and also of your fathers’ and grandfathers’ roles in the First World War.

You can email us at or call 01779 472184.