The RADAR Link
During the Second World War the whole of the headland from the coast back to nearby Renscombe Farm was taken over for use by the Telecommunications Research Establishment for work of major national importance: the development of radar, the name Telecommunications being a cover for this top secret work.
War-winning inventions launched here included Oboe, GEE, and LORAN navigation aids; H2S (bombing), airborne-intercept and ASV (anti-surface vessel) radars; beam-bending, window and the like. However, being so close to the sea and vulnerable to an enemy landing (as per the British raid at Bruneval in February 1942 to carry away a German Wurzburg radar), Winston Churchill ordered that the most secret work be moved away before May 1942 had run its course. Other work continued until 1958, with a civilian party remaining until August 1963 manning the GEE transmitting station.
Nothing remains of the TRE today, save for a single research building (now in use as a field studies centre), some concrete mast bases and precious little else. However, adjacent to the Station is the Purbeck Radar Memorial, dedicated first by Sir Bernard Lovell on 27th October 2001 and re-dedicated by him in September 2006.
The Plaque on the Memorial reads:
THIS MEMORIAL COMMEMORATES THE RADAR RESEARCH CARRIED OUT AT WORTH MATRAVERS FROM 1940 - 1942 WHICH WAS CRUCIAL TO THE WINNING OF THE WAR AND THE BIRTH OF MODERN TELECOMMUNICATIONS
For more information go to: Purbeck RADAR