SPECIAL OPERATIONS EXECUTIVE
|As a restoration of the political balance Leonard Ingrams, an Under Secretary at the Ministry of Economic Warfare, who had links with the Secret Service, then asked the Daily Express journalist, Sefton Delmer, to set up a new right wing Research Unit, as the code name given to such stations and his GS1 - Gustav Siegfried Eins - would not only become the most effective of the clandestine radio stations but would also set the tone for several others that followed. A month after G2 went on the air, two French stations were then begun; F1, Radio Inconnue and F2, Radio Travail. Both were of a subversive nature and their small production teams lived at The Old Rectory, Toddington. The Freedom Stations were known as Research Units since any unwelcome visitors to those houses accommodating the teams were told that the occupants were engaged on secret research work. Even tradesmen carrying out routine maintenance were kept under escort at all times.
Each Freedom Station was identified by a letter and a number. The letter denoted the language and the number revealed when it had been started. This system had been devised by the technical staff, for convenience in the preparation of schedules and for general service purposes and although adopted by the broadcast teams it was never meant for that use. Otherwise W for Wop, for the Italian stations, would never have been chosen! Housed in different accommodation every Research Unit worked separately from each
|Pere Florent, a Breton, was involved with one of the French R.U.s. Universally known as 'Perfi', he lived in a cottage at Aspley Guise and chose to remain in England after the war.|
|other. Obviously it was essential that the de Gaulle (F4) team were kept away from the French Socialist team (F2) but in other cases some exceptions were made. The F4 team had no objection to sharing their house with a French priest, who ran La France Catholique (F3) and he even administered to their spiritual needs in a chapel converted from a bedroom.
Another reason for segragating the teams was to prevent the unintentional copying of ideas and techniques. Yet sometimes the teams did accidently meet, with disastrous results. On one occasion the F2 team had just left the building after a recording but were suddenly recalled when some important news broke. Their return coincided with the arrival of a team proclaiming their de Gaullist case, in a studio next to the Billiards Room where, having recorded their programme in an upstairs studio the F2 team were listening to a playback.