|Operator||Mrs Audrey Gertrude Muriel Hall||Unknown||07 Jul 1944|
|Operator||Dr Francis Nasmyth Sidebotham||Unknown||07 Jul 1944|
|Operator||Miss Agnes Ann Sidebotham||Unknown||07 Jul 1944|
|Runner||Mrs Gladys Stella Traill||Unknown||07 Jul 1944|
|Runner||Dr Ralph Robert Traill||Unknown||07 Jul 1944|
The dugout was concealed below a hen house (others report a hay stack or a Dutch barn) in fields behind Bendarroch House, West Hill, the home of the Sidebotham family. The aerial went up a massive Wellingtonia tree. The field has been built on and is now Windmill Lane. The aerial cable ran underground from the dugout to the Wellingtonia tree that remains on the boundary of two gardens. No evidence remains of the cable.
Ann (nee Sidebotham, daughter of Frank) remembered 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 ground level. Dr Jimmy Sidebotham (son of Frank) remembered 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 time. The Wellingtonia tree that housed the aerial from the dugout still stands.
In 1997, after a Radio 4 article on the British Resistance, Mr Moger from Exmouth 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 enquiries and found out what the use of the bunker was, even though they were told by the gardener that they “were not meant to know about that as it is secret ”. Mr Moger drew a map of its location.
West Hill Outstation
The Sidebotham family
Mr Moger, John Pilsworth and Robert Neal