South Dalton Instation

South Dalton, Yorkshire
Call sign
Dalton 0
Special Duties Personnel
Role Name Posted from Until
Area Officer Royal Signals Captain Thomas Edwin Thornton Shanks 1942 1944
Operator Second Subaltern Phyllis Marion Britten (Mrs) Jan 1943 Aug 1943
Operator Second Subaltern Florence Margaret Cole (Miss) 1943 1943
Operator Second Subaltern Betty Berkley Dicken (Mrs) 1942 1942
Operator Second Subaltern Cicely Hopkins 1943 20 Jul 1944
Operator Second Subaltern Sylvia Joan Moss (Miss) 1943 1943
Operator Second Subaltern Eleanor Mary Norman-Butler (Miss) 1943 1943
Operator Second Subaltern June Isabelle Pearce (Mrs) 1943 1943
Operator Second Subaltern Joan Priestly Pratten (Mrs) 1943 1943
Operator Second Subaltern Patience Mary Ronald (Miss) Unknown Unknown
Station description

The South Dalton Instation was rediscovered and investigated by researcher Alan Williamson in 1998 and described in his book. 

It was a typical Zero station, with a vertical shaft and elephant shelter design. The remains of the entrance were found inside and had a tree branch secured to it with hessian tape, providing a handle to lift it with. In the initial room there was a set of shelves that could be opened to reveal the main chamber beyond. The back of the shelves were filled with sand for soundproofing. When first discovered, there were still tins and cans on the shelves as a part of the disguise.

The main chamber still contained a wooden sloping top desk and a table topped with metal sheeting. There was also the remains of a pair of wall mounted rollers, thought to perhaps have mounted a revolving map board. It is likely that there would also have been bunks as well. The remains of shelving brackets could be seen too.

The third section contained a wooden generator bench and there were also areas marked for petrol (for the generator) and paraffin (for the dehumidifier).The room also contained a fire bucket made from a "flimsy" petrol can. In common with a number of other Zero stations, two ventilation pipes crossed this area into the main chamber, with a hole in the upper pipe which could be covered by a sliding cover. This allowed the generator to be run without suffocating the occupants of the adjacent main chamber by sealing the room. This could later be ventilated when the cover was removed, the fumes rising through the higher pipe that would would conduct warm air out of the station, while cool air was drawn in through the lower pipe.

No aerial trees were visible near the dugout, though there were signs they may have been felled since the war.

The above ground Met Hut was 300 yards away and consisted of a Nissen hut, with a small room for an Elsan toilet. Only the entrance porch (built to allow blackout compliant comings and goings) and parts of one end wall remained. One of the aerial feeders could be seen running up a nearby mature beech tree.

Beatrice Temple first mentions South Dalton in her diary 13 May 1942 when she meets the "top brass".

June 5 1942 S. Dalton (Col Devereux – J/C McKinley will take ATS). On way to hut saw Capt Shanks – lunch – Market Weighton + then up a hill to broadcast back to Doncaster – surprised as “Belinda calling”.

July 16 1942 On to South Dalton – Capt Fraser – long talk about Tom Shanks + complete lack of security at the HQ. 

July 19 1942 Saw Col at HQ about Security at South Dalton and Capt Farrer – Authority given to enroll last 3 civilians.

Jan 21 1943 South Dalton – got bogged + had to be extracted by farm cart – cost 5/- ! Britten very disgruntled.

Jan 9 1944 To South Dalton – met Tom (Shanks) and visited Zero. Had picnic lunch with Price.

Feb 11 1944 On to South Dalton, first to Hut then to dinner with Waddys discarded fiancé,

Williamson's book contains detailed drawings, photos and images from a 3D reconstruction which we don't have permission to reproduce here. 

Caption & credit
South Dalton diagram by Alan Williamson
Caption & credit
South Dalton diagram by Alan Williamson
Map Location

South Dalton Instation


Alan Williamson 'East Ridings Secret Resistance'
Beatrice Temple's diary