Churchill's British Resistance - The Special Duties Branch

 

Golding 3 - Special Duties OutStation - Hemyock, Devon.

This page was last updated at 9:25am on 8/9/13

Thank you for selecting information on the Special Duties Out station known as Golding 3 located in Hemyock in Devon. The info and images below have been supplied by CART's Devon CIO, Nina Hannaford and CART's Dorset CIO, Dr Will Ward.

CART HAS AN UN-EDITED COMPLETE REPORT IN OUR ARCHIVE.

Hemyock is now the largest village on the Blackdown Hills. Although located in Devon, the village is only around five miles from the Somerset town of Wellington.

The Intelligence Officer (IO) for the Special Duties Branch of Auxiliary Units covered the South West, including Somerset and Devon.

The initial Intelligence Officer for the whole area was Captain Coxwell-Rogers M.C (his name was Cecil Mein Probyn Dighton and he assumed the name Coxwell-Rogers during World War 1) and for a time was based at 13, Mount Street, Taunton. He was in the Gloucestershire Regiment and was given the honorary rank of Captain when he relinquished his commission in January 1944 due to ill health.

Coxwell-Rogers illness meant that in 1942 he was succeeded by Captain Edward (Ned) Fingland, who took over temporarily while his predecessor was hospitalised. By late 1943 the IO was Captain Arthur Douglas Ingrams from the Axminster area who was operating “Chirnside 1” and was replaced by Captain E C Grover in 1944 after Ingrams was sent to Norfolk then the Middle East.

Sergeant Alfred Ellis of the Royal Signals was the Sergeant covering the Cheddon Fitzpaine (“Golding”) networks along with Buckland St Mary (“Chirnside”) and Winchester.(“Omagh”) networks.



The landowner where the bunker was located was a keen radio ham and was known to have manned the wireless station. He was retired but did various good works in the community.

The Kelly's Directory of 1939 records a Mrs Clara Cox residing in the village working as a radio dealer and repairs. She too could have been involved, especially supplying batteries, but this is unknown.

Golding 3 would have communicated information up to Golding 0 at Hestercombe Gardens, Cheddon Fitzpaine approximately 14 miles to the North West.

Hemyock Special Duties Outstation 1

Picture showing the landowner using radio equipment pre-war.

Many details recorded by CART have been omitted from this report as some details may identify the site. The site is on PRIVATE LANDNO ACCESS WOULD BE ALLOWED WITHOUT PERMISSION.

Today there is fairly dense Rhododendron cover but at the time the area was heavily wooded with larger trees that were mostly lost during the gales of 1987.

One of these remaining tree stumps has evidence that the aerial cable would have run up the side.

Hemyock Special Duties Outstation 2 Hemyock Special Duties Outstation 3
Bunker entrance showing vegetation cover.                                                                      Pipe for aerial cable within roots of tree stump.                              

Another tree stump adjacent to the entrance had a cluster of four bent nails driven into it for an unknown purpose. They look to have been bent to hold something in place.

Hemyock Special Duties Outstation 4

Yellow rod only used to demonstrate nails

A hollow block entrance shaft drops 7ft 1” down into a small rectangular entrance chamber which is directly connected to an Anderson shelter bunker placed at 90 degrees to the entrance. The shelter is set on 3 rows of hollow blocks.

The bunker remains in good condition. It is slightly damp with a small amount of soil on the concrete floor.

Hemyock Special Duties Outstation 5

(Above) At the far end of the shelter there is a false end wall with a hatchway in the centre. Whitewashed at the top, it appears that there was a disguise (maybe shelves that have been known in other locations) on the end wall covering the opening. There could have been a hinged cover for the hatch. Two large Tee hinges with a black covering were found inside the bunker.

Hemyock Special Duties Outstation 6

 

(Left) There was a hook in the roof centrally which could have been used to hold the hatch cover up out of the way while the operator was working.

A large vent in the end wall ran from the main chamber through the end compartment then stretched out before turning upwards. The exit of this could not be found. There was another vent on the floor to the right that appeared to go straight up. Both were made of glazed pipes.

In the end wall of the false compartment was what appears to have been an escape tunnel. A square exit, with a wooden lintel above is sealed with a corrugated iron sheet and possible concrete backfill. Also in this section is a floor vent (to the right) and a metal pipe (likely for an aerial wire as appears above ground next to a tree stump) to the left, with a low brick wall which appeared more “home built”. 

Hemyock Special Duties Outstation 7
Aerial pipe entering false compartment on left, showing low brick wall.

In the entrance shaft were the remains of the opening mechanism for the entrance hatch with pulleys and some wires still intact. They were very similar to diagrams produced at Coleshill showing a demonstration model.

Hemyock Special Duties Outstation 8 Hemyock Special Duties Outstation 9 

Hemyock Special Duties Outstation 10

On entering the shaft there is a small recess in the blocks on the left housing a 4” glazed pipe that appears to rise up. No evidence of this could be found on the ground. This could have been of some use with the hatch mechanism.

OB Door

Sgt. Fred Trego's plans of hatch design drawn at a course at Coleshill. (Copyright D.Brown and Mrs Trego.)

More on his patrol at Sandford Levvy, Somerset here.

(Below) Two lead counterweights with fixing wires attached were found in each bottom (downhill) corner of the shaft. They were made from half ingots of lead. As a pair they were marked Broken Hill, Australia, BHAS (Broken Hill Associated Smelters).

Hemyock Special Duties Outstation 11

Plan of bunker, not to scale.

Plan of bunker, not to scale. 

A 1944 map of the Special Duties wireless network shows links from Golding Zero at Cheddon Fitzpaine to Chirnside Zero near Buckland St Mary (Castle Neroche) along with links to Golding 1 (West Hill), 2 (Pinhoe) 3 (Hemyock) and 4 (Wiveliscombe).


The kindness and great patience of the landowners.
Marion Churchill and Mike Cooper of Hemyock History Group. For tracking down the location.
Will Ward CART CIO for Dorset
The records of Arthur Gabbitas held by B.R.A

If you can help with any info please contact us.