World War II Wireless Intercept and Secret Stations
On Tuesday April 6, Stan Ames, G4OAV
, will give a talk to the Chelmsford Amateur Radio Society (CARS) on World
War II Wireless Intercept and Secret Stations
and he’s set a puzzle.
will describe the development of the network of secret wireless
stations that intercepted enemy transmissions during WWII and
subsequently decrypted at Bletchley Park.
begins with a Post Office radio station at St Albans that was secretly
reporting German wireless traffic to the Foreign Office in 1932. By
the end of 1938, the military authorities asked the Post Office to set
up a network of eavesdropping stations – the first of which was built
at Sandridge near St Albans.
The work of Bletchley Park
is well understood but little is understood about the how the raw
intelligence was collected. This presentation describes the growth of
wireless intelligence in WWII and the networks of secret wireless
intercept stations and direction finding stations around Britain.
three Armed services each built their own networks but more secret
still were those operated by the Foreign Office and MI5 and MI6 who
successfully tapped directly into the highest levels of German Secret
Radio amateurs played an
important role in this work and a number of key installations in and
around Chelmsford also played an important role.
who lives in Harpenden, gives this presentation around the country and
likes to provide a little local history to expand his talk. He has
unearthed a site which existed from sometime during WWII to maybe the
1970s and occupied a number of fields between Great Waltham
This aerial photo shows 5 radio masts and a few Nissen huts. They have
all now gone (except the run down Nissen huts) and the fields have been
returned to agriculture use. The area can be seen as it is today on
Google Earth at http://tinyurl.com/yj99sf2
The questions are :
Who built them?", "What were they for?" and "Who ran/occupied them?"
Did YOU get involved with them or do you know anything about them.
Did your grandparents or parents get involved?
It has been suggested that the Navy were involved but it seems a long way from the sea so that may have been a "cover story".
If you can assist, Stan G4OAV would like to know, you can him send an
email via the CARS newsletter editor: editor<at>g0mwt.org.uk
The talk takes place on Tuesday April 6 at the Marconi Social Club
(MASC), Beehive Lane, Great Baddow, Chelmsford, CM2 9RX. The doors open
at 7:10 pm and the meeting gets underway at 7:30 pm. Admittance and car
parking are free and a bar is available for refreshments.
An apartment block has been built near the entrance. Look for the large
"Salsa" advertisement which shows the turning for the car park.
For directions download the PDFs at
or see Streetmap.co.uk at
CARS run courses for the Amateur Radio Foundation, Intermediate and Advanced exams. To find out more talk to Clive G1EUC on
Chelmsford Amateur Radio Society (CARS)