EIGHT members of a secretive wartime resistance unit will be honoured at an event this weekend.

Volunteer guerilla teams, known as Auxilliary Units, were set up by Prime Minister Winston Churchill during the Second World War as the threat grew of a German invasion of Britain.

Made up of a network of civilian saboteurs, their job was to attack invading German forces from behind their lines if the Nazis did invade.

Very different to the Home Guard, they were trained in unarmed combat and had daggers, revolvers and explosives, and went on secret manoeuvres.

One such unit of 'Churchill's Secret Army' was established in Wrackleford and Stratton near Dorchester in late 1940 or early 1941, made up of agricultural workers.

Following research by Dorset man David Downton – who discovered his uncle Lewis had been part of the unit – history group Coleshill Auxiliary Research Team (CART) was contacted with a plan to erect a memorial to the secret group.

With the help of various local residents and the families of the men, Mr Downton raised the funds and arranged all the necessary permissions to erect a commemorative stone in Stratton.

A memorial plaque is being unveiled outside Stratton village hall this Saturday, May 20 to remember the 'Wrackleford Eight' which the public are invited to attend - although parking is said to be limited in the village.

Guests will meet at the village hall at 12noon for a service on the village green at 12.30pm.

(These are new timings which the Echo is happy to correct)

Major General AS Jeapes, former Commander of 22 SAS, will give an introduction to the event and the role of Auxiliary Units.

He will be accompanied by Jack Northover, last surviving member of the Wrackleford Auxiliary Unit Patrol.

During the war, Jack lost his brother George William Northover who was an original patrol member. Airman George was shot down in a Lancaster bomber in 1943.

His father, also George, a gamekeeper and the Wrackleford patrol commander, also died that year.

His place as patrol commander was taken by Percy Fost, who was originally from nearby Bradford Peverell but lived at Wrackleford.

His place as patrol commander was taken by Percy Fost, who was originally from nearby Bradford Peverell but lived at Wrackleford.

The stone, draped in the Union flag, will then be unveiled by Lord Lieutenant of Dorset Angus Campbell, and dedicated by the Rev Dr John Travell.

A CART spokesman said: "Tributes will be read by Devina Symes, consisting of a specially written poem in the Dorset Dialect favoured by some of the men.

"Baroness Rock of Stratton will then recount some of her childhood memories of the area.

"Floral tributes will then be laid by family members of the men commemorated.

"The British Legion standard bearers will be present under the command of Parade Marshall Spencer Hare. The service will conclude with the playing of the Last Post and Reveille by Mark Downton, formally a bandsman with 13/18 Hussars and relative of patrol member Lewis Downton.

"Attendees will then be able to view a large exhibition about the patrol, and Auxiliary Units in general, staged by the Coleshill Auxiliary Research Team in the adjacent village hall."