In 1940 after the evacuation from
As part of the British preparation for any such invasion Churchill ordered the formation of secret ‘stay behind’ resistance units. Personnel of the Home Guard and local volunteers were formed into top secret patrols throughout the entire country and trained to a high standard of efficiency in the use of explosives, booby traps, time-fuses, mines, and unarmed combat. These patrols were known as Auxiliary Units, which had approximately 3,500 members around
One of these men was Bill Watson of Duns, at the time a joiner in the Town but later to join the Police Force in
Prior to his death Bill Watson wrote a novel which was never published. This gripping yarn set in Duns relates to the formation and training of these units and also charts the revenge, sabotage and murder they delivered to the Nazis in occupied
While of course purely fictitious it brings home only too well what might have happened. While names have been changed it is suggested certain inhabitants of Duns can still be recognised and the locations are exact and precise – the writer’s own home receives a passing mention.
David Blair, CART's Scottish Information Officer, will be at the library to give a short talk and discuss more about the Scottish patrols and afterwards members of Dunse History Society will talk on Duns during the last war and there will be a small exhibition. The launch is open to all and a limited amount of books price £9.99 will be for sale on the day.
Thanks to research done by Society members Davina Smart and John Murray living relatives of some of the members of the ‘cell’ have been tracked down and will be honoured guests on the day.