Salisbury Instation

Salisbury, Wiltshire
Call sign
Inner Control Station F
Special Duties Personnel
Role Name Posted from Until
Area Signals Section Sergeant Leslie Arthur George Parnell 01 Feb 1943 1944
Operator Second Subaltern Rosemary Anne Astley-Cooper (Miss) 1942 1942
Operator Second Subaltern Edith Margaret Hackwood (Miss) 1943 1943
Operator Second Subaltern Muriel Helen Hackwood (Miss) 27 Jun 1942 1943
Operator Second Subaltern Cicely Hopkins 1943 1943
Operator Second Subaltern Dorothy Eileen Monck-Mason (Mrs) 30 Oct 1942 1943
Operator Second Subaltern Joan Paget 1942 1943
Operator Second Subaltern Sybil Hazel Richardson (Miss) 1943 20 Jul 1944
Operator Second Subaltern Margaret Hamilton Rigby (Miss) 22 Nov 1943 20 Jul 1944
Royal Signals Support Signalman Albert Abraham Davis 1943 08 Sep 1944
Station description

The first In Station recorded as Salisbury in Beatrice Temple's diary was at Alderbury.

The Salisbury Instation was a new structure built in 1943 in woodland at Hare Warren near Salisbury Race Course and on The Wilton Estate, and coming into service in the latter part of the year. Beatrice Temple referred to it as a "Super Zero", being of a larger design than a normal Zero Station.

The first mention of this new site is her diary is; Tue June 8 1943 -  Salisbury – (SATSO Conference = Senior ATS Officers) visited hut and took Ann out to show her new site. Returned to Hannington Hall. Nov 15 1943 - To Shaftsbury (Price driving) – hospital case and then Salisbury for stationary supplies. Visited Hut - shown the super zero by Mr Gardner. On to Barrack Officer – very helpful. Feb 8 1944 - Salisbury (SATSO Conference) then to Hut where message to ring AG16 (o) – want confidential report on Doris and 5 officers are to be interviewed on Sat (12th). Spent a long time testing weights etc with Mr Gardner. Feb 13 1944 - To Salisbury – visited zero – returned to Hut after dinner at 9pm – Exercise joined by Major Jones who returned me to Hotel. Over night stay. She last visited on March 10 1944 where she met Freddie Childe and Captain Hall-Hall in the hut.

The design was particularly complex. To enter, one cleared the vegetation form a large tree stump, cut down almost to ground level, locating a handle to pull. This released the centre of the stump, which was counterbalanced, rose up and swung to one side leading down into a false outer room lined with railway sleepers. Another hidden catch opened a disguised door in the corner leading into a larger than normal main chamber built from elephant shelters.

There was a store room, sleeping area and operational area with three wireless stations. There was also a generator room and long escape tunnel made from concrete sewer pipes. Signalman Bert Davis recalled bitterly the installation of the lighting in the escape tunnel as he had to drive rawlplugs into the concrete pipes with just a hammer and bradawl. When he arrived it was lit by torches and hurricane lamps.

The above ground hut had a telephone cable and electricity brought by wires strung in the trees. Bert carefully tapped the final junctions in a manner never noted by the GPO Inspectors, to bring the cables to the the base. This work took much of the summer (of 1943). There was an above ground hut nearby with a telephone link to the Army Headquarters a short distance away at Wilton.

The site is now a Scheduled Monument. The site is also a known bat roost and thus entry is prohibited under law.

Before it was Scheduled, Brian Dury was able to access the site and wrote an article published by Subterranea Britannica including some images.

However, thanks to Matt Brazier's dedicated work, we have a marvellous 3D reconstruction for you as an alternative.

Map Location

Salisbury Instation


Bert Davis

Historic England

Brian Dury

Matt Brazier