A PROUD AND HONORABLE ANCESTORY



MORETONHAMPSTEAD 
DEVONSHIRE

St Andrew’s Church may be seen in the distance.

Here William John Underhill l is remembered, 

killed during the Battle of Loos in 1915


The Doccombe name originates from a hamlet in the Dartmoor National Park near Moretonhampstead 
where our Managing Director’s father, William John Underhill ll was born. 
Jack (as he was more often known), a staunch family man, Football Association referee and carpenter 
by trade, often told tales of happy childhood memories spent at Great Doccombe Farm. 
Jack's untimely death precluded a final return to his 'favourite place on Earth'. 

The name of Doccombe is carried forward in memory of a father and friend whose strength of character, particular 
kindness and charity gave his family determination to uphold the traditional values of family life and service to others. 

William John Underhill ll 
1909 - 1966 



The company's road transport operations can be traced back to the fall of the Berlin Wall and the determination of the Underhill family to support the need for humanitarian aid in the under privileged nations of Albania, Croatia and Romania

During 1989 Project Trident, an educational initiative of Dorset County Council, gave Daniel Underhill (now the company's Operations Director) the task of completing a personal challenge. 

Aged 15 and with the full support of his family, Daniel organised his first aid mission to Suceava, Eastern Romania early in 1990. There followed a further seven missions to many other destinations including Bucharest, Botosani, Craiova and Timisorara. 

During the next three years a further eight missions were organised, including three for the BBC's Blue Peter Romanian Orphanage Appeal (the first of which was televised), two missions to Croatia and one for Voluntary Service Overseas to Tepelene, Albania

The NatWest Bank recognised this achievement by presenting Daniel with Runner-Up in the 1992 National Youth of the Year Award. 

By the time Daniel had completed his degree, what had begun as a project, had become a voluntary organisation handling thousands of pounds worth of humanitarian supplies. Aid For Romania, primarily associated with the distribution of aid, joined forces with Tiggy Legat’s Fight for Survival. The charities combined to form Direct Response with a new brief to spearhead the move away from aid supplies toward in-country self-sufficiency. This brief was further extended with a request from The East European Partnership to provide logistics support for its field staff working throughout the former Eastern Bloc.

Family and friends had long since been co-opted as fund-raisers, engineers, welfare officers, drivers and crew. Despite this, shortages of time and energy were beginning to take their toll, yet there was much more to be done.

The existing family business diversified to support the aid missions and Doccombe European was incorporated in 1993 under the managing directorship of Daniel's father, John. More volunteers were enlisted, additional resources and suitable vehicles made available. 

By the end of the project in 1995, twenty six relief missions had been undertaken and the transport business had earned a reputation that was the envy of many seasoned operators. 

The principle of service and the pursuit of excellence had been firmly established. Now it became necessary to adapt to market forces and secure the future of the business. The family designed a corporate image and business plan to take the company forward into the next millennium, a plan based upon experience, achievement and adaptability, a plan committed to best practice.

It was decided to focus on the transport of manufactured goods throughout Europe; the company quickly became established in the market place. Adopting a policy of sustainability, mutual benefit and profitability added to the company's reputation, which enabled planned investment in people and vehicles to be brought forward.

Premises were leased in Fordingbridge, a base from which the company operated for about eight years. It was from here that the company once again engaged with the charity sector by formalising an association with The Royal British Legion.


With the passing of Daniel’s mother, the senior management team was re enabled with the appointment of Tiggy Legat as Director of Finance and Administration and Matthew Shervington, a contemporary of Daniel's, an experienced LGV driver as Manager of the UK Pallets Division. Both were seasoned veterans of the aid convoys.

In 2005 the family acquired premise south of Salisbury in Wiltshire. A major step for the company, the relocation enabled the business to be conducted under one roof, provided a Drive-Through for the loading and offloading of vehicles, and offices and staff facilities that are widely admired. 

It was at this time that the directors decided to change to name of the trading title of the company to Doccombe Global Logistics - this to better reflect current activities.

Now the war in Afghanistan was entering its fifth year and the need to support the Armed Forces community was growing. Earlier support for The Royal British Legion was extended and fundraising became part of the company’s daily activity. By 2011 over £50,000 had been donated to the cause, a further £100,000 raised following the company’s sponsorship of fund raising concerts held in forty cathedrals of The Church of England Dioceses including Gibraltar and the Falkland Islands. For this and other work undertaken on behalf of the charity, Managing Director, John Underhill was appointed to be a Member of the Order of The British Empire.

Throughout this period the company continued to expand its core activity. Its fleet of vehicles regularly achieved service and profit objectives resulting in increased the demand for additional services. A programme of diversification was implemented, which saw the expansion into Europe of the UK pallet network division, the launch of a British Freight Forwarding Association registered worldwide freight forwarding division, a TIMCON registered packing case manufacturing facility and a Road Transport Industry Training Board registered training facility - Trident Training

By 2014, these developments combined with the expansion and improvement of the company facility created an opportunity for consolidation - time for management and staff to rest a while, to contemplate on what has been achieved and to consider the future.

Today the company's principles, corner stones of which were inherited from William Underhill ll, remain steadfast. The continuing achievement of these principles are recognised by an increasing number of long standing local, national and international customers, including several household names. The company's ability to maintain traditional standards whilst moving forward in an ever changing world is its greatest strength. The manifestation of that strength is the people it employs and the customers it serves - the company's greatest assets.