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Author Topic: Chatham 'Y'' Station?  (Read 8852 times)

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Offline peterchall

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Re: Chatham 'Y'' Station?
« Reply #12 on: February 04, 2013, 08:57:48 »
Thanks. That accounts for it being empty when I went there. My memory is of empty benches with wires hanging from the walls, as if equipment had been just ripped out rather than carefully diconnected. Because the fort was empty I presume we must have got the key from somewhere.
It's no use getting old if you don't get artful

sparky230

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Re: Chatham 'Y'' Station?
« Reply #11 on: February 04, 2013, 00:01:08 »
Fort Bridgewood was the main Y station for the south east area. Local, smaller listening posts fed into Fort Bridgewood, they were then relayed to Bletchley Park. Later Y stations towards the end of WW2 fed directly into Bletchley Park.

Offline peterchall

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Re: Chatham 'Y'' Station?
« Reply #10 on: January 30, 2013, 16:03:56 »
Yes, that's the thread. The following may have been mentioned in that thread but I'll repeat it here for simplicity:

I remember going to Fort Bridgewoods with my mate and it was empty. I think we may have gone there to retrieve some redundant equipment and were probably taken there and picked up in our 8cwt truck driven by the foreman or Vicky, our ATS driver.

To put a date on it, I was 15 in June 1944 and started with the RE's in January 1944 and left late 1944/early 1945. I don't know whether that clarifies or confuses things :)
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Offline cliveh

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Re: Chatham 'Y'' Station?
« Reply #9 on: January 30, 2013, 16:01:19 »
Thanks guys - I did wonder if it was Ft. Bridgewoods that he was writing about.

cliveh

Offline grandarog

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Re: Chatham 'Y'' Station?
« Reply #8 on: January 30, 2013, 15:51:23 »
Is this the post BB, Mentions of enigma etc. in posts after the photos. Reply 80 onwards.
http://www.kenthistoryforum.co.uk/index.php?topic=1698.msg113707#msg113707

Offline bromptonboy

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Re: Chatham 'Y'' Station?
« Reply #7 on: January 30, 2013, 15:38:46 »
The Chatham Y Station was inside Fort Bridgewoods. There is a detailed thread on it somewhere on the forum which I can't currently find.

Offline cliveh

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Re: Chatham 'Y'' Station?
« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2013, 14:49:15 »
[There was a signals station in Fort Amherst in 1944 – some of the tunnels were lined with radio sets operated by soldiers and ATS, presumably Royal Corps of Signals, and the yard outside was covered in aerials.

I went there on occasions as a Trainee Electrician for the RE’s, where we maintained the emergency generator as well as doing general electrical maintenance. As civvy employees we wouldn’t have been told what was going on there, of course, but I’ve always assumed it was a general communications station – it might even have been part of Operation Fortitude, the deception that made the Germans think that we had forces concentrated in Kent ready to invade the Pas de Calais, and involved bogus radio traffic between imaginary military formations.

On the other hand it was still there after D-day, because I remember coming out of the tunnel to hear a whooshing sound overhead as a V1 with its engine failed and trailing flame passed just a few feet above; I think it crahed somewhere in the Tower Hill area.

Thanks peterchall - that's useful & interesting info.

cliveh

Offline peterchall

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Re: Chatham 'Y'' Station?
« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2013, 13:42:28 »
Since I posted I just found on the Bletchley Park website a mention: '...In the early days of WWII, the main interception station (called a Y station) for Army and, in practice Air Force, traffic was based at Chatham above the old naval base, manned by the Royal Signals.'
Any ideas where exactly this was?

cliveh
There was a signals station in Fort Amherst in 1944 – some of the tunnels were lined with radio sets operated by soldiers and ATS, presumably Royal Corps of Signals, and the yard outside was covered in aerials.

I went there on occasions as a Trainee Electrician for the RE’s, where we maintained the emergency generator as well as doing general electrical maintenance. As civvy employees we wouldn’t have been told what was going on there, of course, but I’ve always assumed it was a general communications station – it might even have been part of Operation Fortitude, the deception that made the Germans think that we had forces concentrated in Kent ready to invade the Pas de Calais, and involved bogus radio traffic between imaginary military formations.

On the other hand it was still there after D-day, because I remember coming out of the tunnel to hear a whooshing sound overhead as a V1 with its engine failed and trailing flame passed just a few feet above; I think it crashed somewhere in the Tower Hill area.
It's no use getting old if you don't get artful

Offline kyn

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Re: Chatham 'Y'' Station?
« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2013, 12:47:47 »
There was a radio station on the Lines near to the hospital, I believe there may be some small features remaining too.  It has been mentioned on the forum in various places.

Offline cliveh

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Re: Chatham 'Y'' Station?
« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2013, 12:38:50 »
There was Naval 'camp' at Cookham Wood, on Rochester-Maidstone Road, that could perhaps be referred to as part of 'Chatham Naval Base'. It was a signal school, but I don't know whether it had any connection with Fort Bridgewoods next door.

I'm guessing there wouldn't be any listening stations in the Dockyard or HMS Pembroke Naval Barracks, if only because of probable poor reception in low-lying territory.

Thanks peterchall.

Since I posted I just found on the Bletchley Park website a mention: "...In the early days of WWII, the main interception station (called a Y station) for Army and, in practice Air Force, traffic was based at Chatham above the old naval base, manned by the Royal Signals."

Any ideas where exactly this was?

cliveh

Offline peterchall

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Re: Chatham 'Y'' Station?
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2013, 12:34:53 »
There was Naval 'camp' at Cookham Wood, on Rochester-Maidstone Road, that could perhaps be referred to as part of 'Chatham Naval Base'. It was a signal school, but I don't know whether it had any connection with Fort Bridgewoods next door.

I'm guessing there wouldn't be any listening stations in the Dockyard or HMS Pembroke Naval Barracks, if only because of probable poor reception in low-lying territory.
It's no use getting old if you don't get artful

Offline cliveh

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Chatham 'Y'' Station?
« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2013, 12:17:51 »
I'm currently reading a book 'Secret Listeners' by Sinclair McKay about the various 'Y' Stations, and those who manned them, in the UK and abroad during WWII. There are several mentions of a Y Station at 'Chatham Naval Base'. I'm not sure if he means the Dockyard or HMS Pembroke. Does anyone have any knowledge of this as I can find no info on it anywhere. It may well have been just a small operation working out of one room but I'd be interested to know more

I would caution that I have found some glaring errors and omissions in the book so far; for instance he refers to Chatham as being located in the Thames Estuary!! He also refers to a 'Fort Chatham' which I presume is Fort Bridgewoods. There is no mention at all of the F.O. Y-Station at Knockholt which was probably one the largest and most important in the country!

cliveh

 

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