Churchill's British Resistance - The Special Duties Branch

 

Portesham - SD Out Station

This page was last updated at 1:49pm on 14/8/14

Report provided by Dr Will Ward. CART CIO for Dorset.

Name: Portesham
Type: Outstation
Call sign: Osterley 10
Date of Construction: unknown
Area: 16

Operator/s

The wartime landowner of the nearby patrol OB received a letter, unfortunately now lost, from a lady who claimed to have been the wireless operator for this unit.

Wireless site/s

The diary of Alf Ellis, maintenance sergeant for this part of the network, recorded a map reference for this site. It confirms the actual site in a small copse near an old barn on the road rising out of Portesham. A footpath runs past the barn and the copse. Over the years since the war there has been confusion between this site and the nearby patrol OB close to Hardy's monument. The use of that OB by the operational branch has been confirmed by a former patrol member. It is not clear that the patrol knew about this wireless site. Although the site is recorded as a dugout, it is known that barns were particularly chosen in Dorset as sites to fix aerials in the roof. This may have been what happened here initially, before the later construction of a dugout to improve concealment.

 Portesham SD Out Station 1

The barn on the right is an ancient barn, still in use today.

The roof has been replaced since the war. A mobile phone mast on the edge of the small wood indicates it remains a useful site for wireless transmissions!

Portesham SD Out Station 2

The end window of the barn looks down over the village of Portesham and over the sea, including both Portland Harbour and Weymouth Bay.

Portesham SD Out Station 3

The view downhill from the barn, with the Isle of Portland visible on the central horizon.

Report provided by Dr Will Ward. CART CIO for Dorset.

Information from Alf Ellis diary via Arthur Gabbitas.

Personal correspondence with Andrew Duke.

Site visit August 2014.