Golding 1 - West
Hill, Special Duties Radio OutStation.
This page was last updated at 12:53pm on 17/1/12
Thank you for selecting information on the West Hill Special
Duties out station known as Golding 1 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.
Civilians involved included Dr Francis Sidebotham who manned the radio every evening at 6pm. He
owned, lived in and ran his practice in Bendarroch House.
His brother-in-law and practice partner Dr Ralph Traill would have carried intelligence
information to the radio transmitter.
There were five others collecting intelligence that are unknown. One is thought to have been the gardener at
Daughters Ann Sidebotham and Gerty Hall (nee Traill) helped with radio transmissions.
OUT STATION BUNKER
West Hill , Special Duties Section, Out Station code named “ GOLDING 1 “ War Office Reference T 497156
Dugout was concealed below a hen house (others report a hay stack and a Dutch Barn) in fields behind Bendarroch
House, West Hill.
Diagram explaining lay out of dugout and aerial in 1954 drawn by Mr Moger.
Looking towards Windmill Lane, Wellingtonia tree in centre.
(Above) This field has now been built on and is now Windmill Lane. The aerial cable ran underground from the
dugout to a large Wellingtonia tree that remains on the boundary of two gardens. No evidence remains of the
Ann (Nee Sidebotham, daughter of Francis) remembers the location was camouflaged by its situation beneath a hen
house in a field behind Bendarroch and occupied a small underground room. About 6 foot square, it was reached by a
ladder from gound level. The room had a radio transmitter that was used to communicate with Coxwell-Rogers in
The aerial went up this Wellingtonia tree.
Dr Jimmy Sidebotham (son of Francis) remembers the army fixing an aerial to the tallest tree in the area and
excavating a deep bunker under a hay stack. They installed what was quite a sophisticated wireless system for its
The Wellingtonia tree that housed the aerial from the dugout still stands.
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).
In 1997, after a Radio 4 article on the British Resistance, Mr Moger from Exemouth wrote a letter about the
dugout at Bendarroch.
His family bought the house in 1954 and as they started to level the ground near the “Dutch Barn” the digger hit
“really tough steel sheeting”.They made enquires and found out what it was even though they were told by the
gardener that they “were not meant to know about that as it is secret ”.
He drew a map of its location (see top of page)
Robert Neal from Ottery St Mary Heritage Society. The Golden Jubilee Book of Ottery St
Mary, by Hazel Abley. 1939 Kelly's Directory. Letter from Mr Moger and list of Golding Stations originally
supplied by Tom Sykes March 2011.
If you can help with any please contact us.