Churchill's British Resistance - The Special Duties Branch

 

Golding 4 - Wiveliscombe OUT Station

This page was last updated at 6:20am on 30/3/15

Thank you for selecting information on the Special Duties Out station known as Golding 4 in Somerset. The info and images below have been supplied by CART's Devon CIO, Nina Hannaford and Aux researcher Chris Perry.

Type: Out Station
Call sign: “Golding 4”
Date of construction: Currently unknown though unlikely to be before mid 1942.
Area: 17A

MILITARY LIAISON

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.

NETWORK/S

A 1944 map of the Special Duties wireless network shows the central “Zero” (IN) Station for the “Golding” network was at Cheddon Fitzpaine, near Taunton, Somerset.

This had links to the other Out Stations of the network at: “Golding” 1-West Hill, 2-Pinhoe (and on to 2A at Bishop's Clyst), 3-Hemyock, and 4 Wiveliscombe in Somerset.

There was also a link to the “Chirnside” network at Castle Neroche, Buckland St Mary in Somerset.

Original 1944 SD map with locations added.

This map was produced by Major R M A Jones (Officer Commanding AU Signals) in 1944. In an interview in August 1997, L/Cpl Arthur Gabbitas (AU Signals) states he believes it to have some inaccuracies.

The OUT Station at Wiveliscombe would communicate directly with “Golding Zero” at Cheddon Fitzpaine near Taunton.
Messages would then be passed on to “Chirnside Zero” Station at Buckland St Mary and then on to HQ at Coleshill House.

OPERATOR/S

 

Captain Augustus Charles Hubert Boycott Wight Boycott known mostly as Hubert was born in April 1882 and educated at Eastman's Stubbington (Navy School). In 1901 he is a mining and civil engineer student.

He married Mary Alston in 1908 and served in the Royal Field Artillery in World War 1.
The family moved to Wiveliscombe around 1922 living in Oakhampton House until selling in 1952 and moving to Northampton where Hubert died in 1959.

Captain Wight Boycott was the Area Commander of Somerset Special Constabulary 1939 – 1946 and the Divisional Inspector until he moved away. He was one of three to inspect the Home Guard at their stand down parade in December 1944 and was Master of the Otterhounds at Culmstock.

The Special Constabulary would have given him the perfect position to monitor invading and local movements and he may well have recruited some of his fellow Officers.

Captain Wright Boycott's son, Air Commodore Cathcart Michael Wright Boycott CBE, DSO and bar MA, was a flying Ace during the war and would regularly fly over Wiveliscombe. He would dip his wings as he passed Oakhampton House.

He may have known his father's roll when he later became Commandant of the Royal Observer Corps in the late 1950's setting up huge amounts of underground bases.

Father and son must have discussed their experiences as in 1982 Air Commodore Wright Boycott gave a talk to a local history society on his fathers secret war time roll.

Captain Hubert Wight Boycott

 

WIRELESS SITE'S

The site is on PRIVATE LAND and was accessed by kind permission of the owners.

The wireless was sited at Captain Wight Boycott's home Oakhampton House (sometimes recorded as Oakhampton Manor) Wiveliscombe (Telephone 221). The site has been recorded as being in the attic but it is known a dugout was present so it COULD have originally been placed in the attic whilst the dugout was being built.

Oakhampton House – date unknown.

A serious and suspicious fire in 1956 gutted the house and it was eventually demolished.

This is the view from where the man is standing in the above picture, looking roughly east towards the direction of Cheddon Fitzpaine.

The dugout for the wireless was constructed in “The Shrubbery” next to the house. At present the dugout is remembered as being in three slightly different locations. It is remembered as an underground structure with two “rooms”.

OS Map 1906
The map shows the house with “The Shrubbery” to the west and the possible locations marked.

Today “The Shrubbery” has been cleared and the field is used as pasture land. The dugout was removed many years ago and nothing remains on the site.

The two rucksacks and Chris mark the three possible locations.

The site closest to the camera is the site nearest to the gate leading to the public pathway which passes along the top of “The Shrubbery”. We suspect this site would be the most accessible of the three for recruited “runners” to leave their reports of enemy movements.

Elsewhere in Devon messages were left in secret compartments hidden in gate posts and this would have been ideal at the location though we cannot prove this happened here.

Gate post with secret compartment for messages to be left in. IWM ref EPH 10074

Within the hedge line close to the preferred site is a tree with a scar running up the trunk. This COULD be evidence of the feeder cable for the aerial having been hidden under the bark, running up the trunk to the aerial in the branches.

Gate to “The Shrubbery” on the left from public footpath.

Tree with possible “aerial scar” with dugout site to the right. Looking east towards Cheddon Fitzpaine.

Arthur Gabbitas
British Resistance Archive.
The kindness of the landowners of Oakhampton Park.
“Wiveliscombe – A history of a Somerset Market Town” by Sue Farrington

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