Puckington Outstation

Location
Puckington, Somerset
Type
Outstation
Call sign
Chirnside 4
Special Duties Personnel

No personnel yet known for posting to this Network or Station.

Station description

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

The wireless site was recorded as a hut / box at a property called “Edencote” on the road between Puckington and Barrington. The original house was built in the 1930s by the Key Man for his family.

The central and eastern part of the building is the original part of the house as there have been various extensions added since the war. The radio signal path to “Chirnside Zero” is around 7 miles to the approximately west-south-west.

We have been told that later on, the wireless was moved to a cupboard under the stairs. The aerial possibly running up to the attic. After a site visit, and looking at the stairs area, there could be some doubt as to whether this is accurate. The small built in area under the stairs could have housed the radio but it would have to of been moved to be operated, which is unlikely.
The under stairs area can be clearly seen from the front door thus compromising security and secrecy when in use if it was operated from here.
During the war, the front door and window would have been blacked out so there could have been a blackout curtain there. This would give the radio operator more time to hide the radio, but there had to be a second person on watch to pre warn the operator of visitors.
During the site visit the attic was inspected and (if it was ever sited there) there was no evidence found or any remains of the aerial or its fixings.

This site would have been ideal to watch the road outside (B3168) and what vehicles were travelling along it. It is also near a section of the Taunton Stop line and RAF Merryfield the airfield at Ilton (1942 – 1960). It is also near the town of Ilminster, which was fortified and turned in to an Anti Tank island during the war.
It could have also reported back on two large houses in the area (if they were taken over by enemy forces) Barrington House and Dillington House, which also had a small military camp in its grounds.
This site was on the friendly side of the Taunton stop line where as Chirnside Zero would have been on the enemy side if the Germans had invaded the South West as was thought possible.

It is thought the wireless was situated firstly in a garden wooden shed or hut where an aerial may have been concealed around a nearby large tree. This has since been replaced with a Summer house and the tree has been felled so there are no remains to see now.

Map Location

Puckington Outstation

References

Arthur Gabbitas
The Dean Family
David Hunt
Donald Brown and his research for Defence of Britain Database and his book “Somerset v's Hitler”
“Somerset at War” by Mac Hawkins