|SPECIAL OPERATIONS EXECUTIVE|
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The design and manufacture of S.O.E. devices
|On the 16th. July, 1940, Winston Churchill invited Dr. Hugh Dalton, the Minister of Economic Warfare, to take charge of S.O.E., as a new and overall organisation for sabotage and subversion.
The body came into being as the result of a meeting in the Foreign Secretarys office on July 1st., with a decision being reached that day for the appointment of a controller armed with almost dictatorial powers.
Confirmed at a War Cabinet meeting on July 22nd., S.O.E. duly incorporated Section D, previously responsible for sabotage, MIR, involved with devices for sabotage and Dept. E.H., concerned with propaganda and for this new role Dalton acquired the additional but secret title of Minister of Special Operations.
Dalton selected Gladwyn Jebb, Private Secretary to the Permanent Under Secretary of State at the Foreign Office, to be his Assistant Under Secretary, responsible for his contact with S.O.E. whilst Philip Broad, also from the Foreign Office, acquired the title of Counsellor.
Now surplus to requirements Campbell Stuart, of Department E.H., resigned on August 17th., and being Chairman of the Imperial Communications Advisory Committee, thereon devoted himself to this duty.
|At the creation of S.O.E., of the amalgam of the previous agencies only an offshoot of the previous MIR was retained, known as MIRc (Research). This was headed by an explosives expert who then spent the rest of the war conceiving explosive devices suitable for use by regular and clandestine forces. He and his team, removed from the danger of London air raids, occupied The Firs, a large house in Whitchurch, Oxfordshire.|
|Variously, during the war, the following sections were also involved in the sabotage activities.|
|The Firs, Whitchurch, Near Aylesbury|
|Station IX The Frithe
Welwyn Garden City, (ex hotel).
Used for wireless research at first.
In August. 1944, D .M. Hewit moved weapons research here from Station XII.
Sub station IX (The Frithe) took over the 1st floor of the National History Museum, which was used as a lecture hall and exhibition centre.There was also a workshop, in the cellar at the thatched barn on the Barnett Baypass.
35 Portland Place
Sir M.R. Jeffries
Originally at Bletchley park.
Then moved to Aston House, near Stevenage.
It became Station XII and was used to
produce devices conceived at The Frithe.