We received this recollection of a conversation between Juliet and her Uncle Mr Boyce about his role in Churchill’s Secret Army. The Secret Army had one role, to sabotage any enemy invasion. The members of this army have maintained their secret for many years and one normally only finds out about it ‘out of the blue’. We received this recollection of a conversation between Juliet and her Uncle Mr Boyce about his role in Churchill’s Secret Army. The Secret Army or GHQ Auxiliary Units had one role, to sabotage an enemy invasion. The members of this army have maintained their secret for many years and one normally only finds out about it ‘out of the blue’.
The project team have also been told about several of their secret bunkers, hidden in the Forest, where the stores of food, weapons and explosive would have been hidden but as yet none of these have been located. It is reported that if there had been an invasion the life expectancy for these secret volunteers was only two weeks.
About 10 years ago, I went to visit an uncle, Mr Jack Boyce from New Milton who at that time would have been approaching 80.
In conversation, I remarked how much I enjoyed the Dads Army programmes. With that, my uncle who I had only ever known as jovial and easy going, suddenly erupted in anger and said ‘No, it was not like that at all’. When I asked why, he told me that he had been in Churchill’s Secret Army and as a young man living at home had told only his mother.
He had to learn how to creep up and kill someone silently; they went off at night in aeroplanes and were dropped in the countryside etc. He said he had signed the Official Secrets Act and I was the first person he had told about it, and he showed me a certificate thanking him for his help during the war. I should think this was about 50 years after the war ended.
Later, I read an article in a newspaper about the exploits of this Secret Army and sent it off to my uncle. Apparently, following my visit he had mentioned it to his family who thought he was making it all up. But the article made them realise he might have been telling the truth!
He died later and I never had another opportunity to discuss it with him.
Do you know any more about the activities of Churchill’s Secret Army in the New Forest? If you do please get in touch or add your comments.