Jul 012015
 

Captain Ken WardCaptain Ken Ward was an integral part of the development of the Special Duties Branch (A secret radio network set up around the country to broadcast German movements post invasion).

Ken was a Royal Signals Adjutant who started work in the SDB with 16 other radio hams. Ken made the radio sets before installing them in the coast stations. He then taught the operators how to use them as well as maintaining them.

Once installed teams of 2 would go out from wherever they were based and visit the stations, change and charge the batteries.

Problems with the early radio sets resulted in Ken agreeing to make a new one. In about 3 weeks flat he had produced the TRD, which was an all in one box.

Our thanks to research by Bill Ashby & Ken’s daughter Kate for this bio.

Read more about Ken’s military career and Aux work here.

Dec 202011
 

We have now moved all the information of locations used by the Special Duties Section to its own page on the site.

The Special Duties Wireless Section (SDS) operated in the same areas as the Auxiliary Unit patrols but they were completely separate and unknown to the patrols.

See the list of their radio bunker locations here

Feb 082011
 

Today we have added a page all about the SDS Network (Special Duties Section) to the site.

The info was kindly donated by Aux Unit News and are words of the late Arthur Gabbitas.

The Special Duties Section was set up in 1942. Around 1000 civilians, men and women, unknown to each other and from all classes and occupations acted as coast watchers, observers or ‘Agents’. Messages would be relayed to civilian radio operators who would then transmit intelligence to the control or Zero stations.

They had been trained to identify vehicles, high-ranking officers and military units, and were to gather intelligence and leave reports in dead letter drops. The reports would be collected by runners and taken to one of over 200 secret radio transmitters.

They used radio telegraphy called TRD (transmit, receive, Dabbs) sets. They also used runners and dead letter drops. There were 43 ATS Subalterns and 69 Royal Corps of Signals personnel to back the ‘Agents’ up. They reported to Auxiliary Units Special Duties Section IO’s. Their HQ was based at Hannington Hall until it was relocated to Coleshill in 1942. These civilians were unpaid and sworn to everlasting secrecy. They had a motto – ‘Be like Dad – Keep Mum’. The SDS Auxiliers and their identities were rarely recorded on any WW2 records.

Read more here