Thornham Magna Instation

Thornham Magna, Suffolk
Call sign
Cheviot 0
Up station
Special Duties Personnel
Role Name Posted from Until
Operator Second Subaltern Yolande Audrey Yvette Bromley (Miss) 20 Jul 1941 1942
Operator Second Subaltern Airlie Abinda Campbell (Miss) Sept 1942 Oct 1942
Operator Second Subaltern Nina Clifford (Miss) 1942 1942
Operator Second Subaltern Edna Iris Prudence Gwynne (Miss) Unknown Unknown
Operator Second Subaltern Kathleen Marie Hills (Mrs) 1942 1942
Operator Second Subaltern Wendy Monica Pax Kaines (Miss) 1944 1944
Operator Second Subaltern Joan Priestly Pratten (Mrs) 1944 1944
Operator Second Subaltern Hope Leslie Seaver (Mrs) 10 Jul 1942 01 Sep 1942
Operator Second Subaltern Margaret Esme Whiting (Miss) 29 Jun 1941 1942
Royal Signals Support Corporal Laurence Tee Unknown 16 Apr 1943
Station description

The Thornham Magna Instation appears to have only consisted of an above ground Met Hut. This was in the grounds of Lord Henniker's estate, Thornham Hall. This is an interesting choice as Lord Henniker was himself seconded to SOE later in the war, though was serving with the Rifle Brigade in the Western Desert at the time the Instation was constructed.

Beatrice Temple first mentions it in her diary 15 Dec 1941. By 1 April 1942 she visits Bury St Edmonds and (after great hunt) Thornham Magna. There is a suggestion that the hut moved in mid 1942 to Long Paradise Plantation, the whole wood being requisitioned. On May 14 1943 she noted - On to Bury St Edmonds – Major Collings there. Visited Thornham Magna and back to Bury St Edmonds.  July 22 1943 she visited Thornham, tea with Mrs Henniker, on to Bury St Edmonds.

Yolande Bromley was one of the ATS here, in a staff varying between three and five. She recalled that one of the outstation operators was a District Nurse, though she never met her. On one occasion she recalled an exercise where King George VI was said to be listening on the other end in a special demonstration for him. She was apparently billeted in the Red House on the estate. This was the original Home Farm farmhouse and the Grade II listed building is now used a holiday cottage.

Though another station was apparently opened at Bury St Edmunds in 1942, Thornham Magna continued to operate, with Beatrice Temple visiting the three operators on 3 Mar 1944.

Caption & credit
Thornham Magna Suffolk. Mr & Mrs Henniker (from Jim Gascoyne)
Caption & credit
Thornham Magna Hall (from Suffolk Archives)
Map Location

Thornham Magna Instation


With Britain in Mortal Danger by John Warwicker

Jim Gascoyne (note this mentions Chariot as the network name which was a misreading of a Cheviot in a handwritten note)

The Red House