Cornwall

Trevor Miners: Death of Churchill's 'secret army' veteran

Trevor Miners with a photo of himself taken in the 1940s Image copyright CART
Image caption Describing Mr Miners as a "legend" CART founder Tom Sykes said he was a great man who was strong, brave, full of spirit and personified the Auxiliary Units

One of Winston Churchill's few remaining World War Two "secret army" veterans has died at the age of 89.

Trevor Miners, from Perranporth, Cornwall, signed the Official Secrets Act in 1943 and became a member of the Auxiliary Units when he was just 16.

The units were made up of a 3,500-strong volunteer force, specially trained as the underground line of defence if the Nazis invaded Britain.

Mr Miners passed away peacefully in his sleep on Monday after a short illness.

Image copyright STAYBEHINDS.COM
Image caption Last September Trevor Miners was given a Sten gun and sniper rifle to fire when he returned to Coleshill 72 years after his training to open a replica observation post

He received his secret army training at the Coleshill Estate in Oxfordshire, which included being taught how to "kill a man quietly".

"We were trained to kill - how to use a knife to kill a man quietly," the veteran told BBC in 2013.

"The plan was that when the invasion came our unit would hide in an underground bunker and let the Nazis roll over the top of us.

"Then after a month we were to come out at night and attack them, destroy their munitions dumps, railway lines, things like that."

His seven-strong operational unit was based at Cligga Head near his home in Perranporth, but each unit was self-contained and had no knowledge of the identity or locations of other resistance groups.

Image copyright Miners Family
Image caption Trevor Miners was part of a secret unit based at Cligga Head, near his family home in Perranporth

Mr Miners had taken part in the Remembrance Day parade at the Cenotaph in London for the past three years and in September he fired a sniper rifle and a Sten gun when he returned to Coleshill, 72 years after his training, to open a replica observation post.

Coleshill Auxiliary Research Team, a non-profit making unit of volunteer historians who focus on the British Resistance, described Mr Miners as a "legend" and said he had been "hugely influential" in informing people of the existence of the Auxiliary Units and keeping the memory alive.

Paying tribute to Mr Miners, its founder Tom Sykes said he personified the Auxiliary Units in his attitude to everything.

"He was strong, brave, determined, full of spirit and most of all good fun and the type of man you want on your team," he said.

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