Churchill's British Resistance - The Special Duties Branch


Golding 1 A - Special Duties Radio Sub OutStation.

This page was last updated at 7:07pm on 13/9/12

Thank you for selecting information on the Special Duties sub out station known as Golding 1 Able located at the Hare and Hounds public house in Sidbury, nr. Ottery St.Mary in Devon. The info and images below have been supplied by CART's Devon CIO, Nina Hannaford.

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 Landlord of the Hare and Hounds in 1939 was Henry John Smith. As he was still the landlord during war time so I assume he must have been involved. In the 1950's his wife is recorded as the licensee.

Their son Eric David (“Birdie”) Smith was at the nearby All Hallows School up to around 1943 and would regularly ride his bicycle home at the weekend. He could also have been aware of what was in the attic.  He later became an Intelligence Officer with the Gurkha Rifles and a highly regarded Military Historian.


The Hare and Hounds Public House1

The Hare and Hounds Public House2

The SDS Station was in the attic of the Hare and Hounds Public House. The attic covered the extent of the original building.

Map of the area

The Hare and Hounds is quite an isolated public house between the villages of Ottery St Mary and Sidbury. It is situated directly on a crossroads on the A375 called Putts Corner. This is an isolated but strategic crossroads on the A375 leading from the seaside town of Sidmouth to more inland Honiton.
There are very few houses or farm houses close by but it is assumed that nobody would take much notice of frequent visitors.

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 Hare and Hounds was linked to "Golding 1" at West Hill and so onwards from there.

This station would have relayed information with the nearby Golding 1 Station at West Hill. No evidence remains in situ.

Golding 1 Able Special Duties Section station was given the War Office Reference of T 578176.
Interestingly, nearby was RAF Fairmile where radio beams were being put to a different use.
The LuIftwaffe relied on a  system of  directional radio beams to navigate by, especially for night bombing raids. This was called the Knickebein system. If the signal changed, the plane was “off cause” and the navigator had to search for and pick up the correct signal again.

British radar counter measures to the Knickebein system could reflect or divert the radio beam to put the German bombers off cours

There was one such “beam bending” unit near the former Fairmile Inn on the old A30.
See Page 4 for more information.

Kelly's Directories. Information recorded by Arthur Gabbitas and supplied by Tom Sykes, Article by Chris Saunders, Robert Neale of Ottery St Mary Heritage Society.

If you can help with any info please contact us.