In 1940 with the threat of invasion looming over the British Isles from Nazi Germany, groups of civilian saboteurs were recruited on the orders of Winston Churchill, whose role would be to work covertly behind enemy lines as a guerrilla army to disrupt the progress of the would-be conquerors. These secret Auxiliary Units nominally part of the Home Guard (Dad’s Army) are often referred to as the British Resistance Organisation.
The East Riding had 34 such groups (including units based from Skirlaugh and Bilton), each organised as a small cell working in absolute secrecy and dedicated to resisting the invaders. Fortunately, these groups never had to carry out their planned resistance measures as the expected invasion never took place. But because of the secret nature of its organisation, the story of this underground resistance organisation remains largely untold.
However, the next exhibition at the Hedon Museum, called ‘Secret No More’ will reveal much about the membership and wartime activities of this secret army. Taking place from Saturday 2nd April to Wednesday 4th May, the exhibition will be opened by the daughter of a former member of this secret army and will include a number of items used by her father during the period of the group’s existence from 1940-1944.
The exhibition will be open to the public on Saturday 2nd April from 11am. Hedon Museum opening times thereafter are every Wednesday and Saturday from 10 am to 4 pm. Refreshments are available.
A new visitor to the museum? Please seek out the signs and notices in Hedon town centre to find your way, it is located behind the town hall complex accessible via Watmough’s Arcade.
Photo: Veteran’s Weekend re-enactment