SOE group photograph

Discussion in 'SOE & OSS' started by Artist, Sep 5, 2011.

  1. Artist

    Artist Junior Member

    This photograph belonged to a now deceased relative who said he was attached from the Royal Berkshire Regiment to SOE due to his French language ability serving as a weapons/explosives instructor with the Free French in Algeria and the Maquis in Corsica and southern France. We have no date or location for this photograph and would be interested if anyone can identify where, when or any of the people in it.

    Many thanks for your assistance.


    Attached Files:

    • SOE.JPG
      File size:
      688.9 KB
    dbf likes this.
  2. Mike L

    Mike L Very Senior Member

    Michael, Hi and welcome to the forum.
    What a great and possibly rare photo. 'Jedburgh' is the forum's SOE expert and I am sure he will be along soon to help you out with this.
    My guess (from uniforms) is that it is a UK training base. Jed might even be able to id it for you from the building, and possibly some faces.

    Best of luck.

  3. Jedburgh22

    Jedburgh22 Very Senior Member

    Hi Michael it looks like a group staff photo at one of the STS in UK will look to see if I can ID and of the front row personnel later.

    Fred Wilson likes this.
  4. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin


    Hello and welcome to the forum.
    A super first post and I hope that Steven can ID more for you.

  5. Artist

    Artist Junior Member

    Another group photograph from what looks to be the same location. Does anyone recognise any of these people?


    Attached Files:

  6. WhiskeyGolf

    WhiskeyGolf Senior Member

    Great photo Michael. Will try and enlarge to print so I can see the faces better - might find my cousin in there somewhere.
  7. Jedburgh22

    Jedburgh22 Very Senior Member

    Looks like a SNCO grouping
  8. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran Patron

  9. Warco

    Warco Member

    I also have this SOE group photograph.
    My father is standing to the left near the window.
    I dont know when or where it was taken.
    His service records say that he was in the army from October 1939 to January 1946, so it must have been taken in one of those years.
  10. Jedburgh22

    Jedburgh22 Very Senior Member

    Hi - welcome to the forum, the likliehood is that it is either one of the STS in UK - ME65 the Jedburgh Training School would be a candidate or pne pf the buildings in Algiers used by SOE's MASSINGHAM HQ preparing for operations into Corsica and Southern France. Will fo a little more unvestigating

    Mary do your father's records indicate and ME postings in 43/44?

  11. Jedburgh22

    Jedburgh22 Very Senior Member

    Having looked at the image closely I think it is ME65, Milton Hall near Peterborough used by SOE for training the Jedburgh Teams in 1944
    Fred Wilson likes this.
  12. Jedburgh22

    Jedburgh22 Very Senior Member

    milton-hall.jpg Here is an image of one wing of Milton Hall where I think the pictures were taken
  13. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    Looked at the same photgraph of Milton Hall yesterday but could not find the same backdrop as the given photgraph.Its a pity that there arn't more shots of the place as this seems to be the only photograph available to view.
  14. Fred Wilson

    Fred Wilson Member

    I am thoroughly enjoying this thread. High hopes!

    This got me Google Image Searching for "WW2 Milton Hall" adding various war years.
    The image results were absolutely fascinating.

    Thanks for that!
  15. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    Just found a photograph taken at Milton Hall of Major Colin M Ogden-Smith R A which shows the backdrop of a stone wall.The stone looks similar to the Milton Hall stonework as far as I can see from the Hall photograph posted.

    Major Ogden-Smith an ex TR soldier was an instructor at Milton Hall,he had quite a experienced background in special forces operations.As an instructor,when it was apparent that there was a shortfall in suitable trained officers to lead Jedburgh units,he volunteered.His photograph,prior to departing for France shows him holding a placard indicating "1" .....said to be related to him being a team leader of a Jedburgh team.

    He may be on the front row of the posted photograph as an instructor.

    Major Ogden- Smith has been discussed before in this linked thread as below.

    Peter Jacobs recently published the wartime exploits of Major Colin Ogden-Smith...Commando and SOE under the title of "Codenamed Dorset".
    William Craven of the Milton Hall Estates Office was of great help in Jacobs' research of Milton Hall and Jacobs was allowed to visit the Hall and parts of the estate where the Jedburgh school was formed in early 1944.I would think that William Craven would be able to confirm Milton Hall as the location of the photograph.
  16. Warco

    Warco Member

    Thank you for your answers.
    The picture of Milton Hall is very good and it looks like the photograh was taken there.
  17. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    Milton Hall ......apparently the Jedburgh school was located in the Old Stable Block with the firing range within the walled kitchen garden.

    Mary I think you will enjoy reading Codenamed Dorset a good insight to special forces operations and the account of certainJedburgh teams in Brittany and the tragic death of Colin Ogden-Smith
  18. Warco

    Warco Member

    Hi again.
    I have now reed the chapter about the Jedburghs and Milton hall in the book Codenamed Dorset.
    I am suprised that the photo was taken there, a good find by looking at the buildings.
    I have looked at my fathers service records and I also see that he was a short time at STS 40?
    Anyone know where that would be?
  19. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    It looks as if No 40 STS was at Howbury Hall,Bedfordshire.

    The course there dealt with Eureka and Rebecca (electronic site locating apparatus for use between aircraft and DZ./Reception Committees and suchlike} The S Phone,an air to ground,ground to air field telephone apparatus was also instructed here

    Also there was instruction on Reception Committees which dovetails into the use of the above.
  20. Warco

    Warco Member

    Harry Ree.
    Thank you for the information about STS 40, I am learning a lot about my fathers service records in just a few days.

    Jedburgh 22.
    It was a good idea to look at the buildings to see where the photo was taken, I would never have found that out by myself.

Share This Page