Dec 132013

Beatrice Temple SeatedToday we have published an important diary belonging to a senior member of the Special Duties Branch.

Senior Commander Beatrice Temple interviewed prospective ATS candidates for the secret signals work with the Special Duties Branch.

It was only after passing that test and signing the Official Secrets Act that they became clandestine radio operators to remain in enemy held territory if the Germans invaded.

As most of the candidates were well educated, spoke well and generally attractive, they eventually became known as the “Secret Sweeties” but they were to undertake a highly dangerous task – relay messages from our spy network.

During this period Beatrice kept a diary. This covered the period from her arrival at Highworth on 24 November 1941 until close down of the Special Duties Branch Auxiliary Units in summer 1944.

Our transcription of the diary was made by CART researcher Bill Ashby and Adrian Pye, Evelyn Simak and Brian Drury of the Auxiliary Units Signals group. The original is 63 pages long and has taken approximately 120 hours to transcribe.

The diary reads like a travel log with her constantly on the move all over the country from Scotland down to Devon. She not only checked the efficiency of her charges but also saw to their welfare, billeting, pay and liaised with local military commanders.

Read it here.