Informal Submissions to
The (Original) Wireless Set No. 19 Group Website
These pages are used to post informal submissions from Group members or others, which could be seen as being of interest to visitors. Related photos are welcome and encouraged.
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I just finished reading the personal diary of W. GLADSTONE ZIMMERMAN #730085 a Canadian Signaller with the 18th Battalion CEF 1917-1918. In his diary was a poem written by a unknown Artillery Sig. I thought I would pass it on. Even though it was written in WW1, I'm sure it would extend into WW2 and the Wireless 19 sets. I have copied it in his exact words from March 01, 1918 France. His diary is one fantastic read. It is not published.
Garth Wetherall VE3WPN Burlington, Ontario
WHO IS IT SITS ALONE IN A DUGOUT, WITH A PHONE WHEN THE FIGHTING’S GIVE AND TAKE, SMOKIN' FAGS TO KEEP AWAKE?
WHO GOES OUT ON RAINY NIGHTS STUMBLING WHERE THERE ARE NO LIGHTS FEELING, SO THAT HE CAN TELL WHERE HIS LINE WAS BROKE BY A SHELL?
WHO IS IT THAT’S MOST WANTED, MOST IF HE’S NOT RIGHT ON HIS POST WHEN FRITZ STARTS TO STRAFE WITH HATE AND FRONT LINE WANTS “RETALIATE”?
WHO GETS OUT AND WAVES HIS FLAG, WHO DO SNIPERS LIKE TO BAG, WHO HAS GOT TO GET IN SIGHT TO SHOW THE OTHER STATION, LIGHT?
WHO IS IT THAT BEARS THE BRUNT WHEN SOMETHING GOES WRONG AT THE FRONT, PERHAPS THERE’S SOMEONE ELSE TO BLAME, WHO GETS BAWLED OUT JUST THE SAME?
WHO’S THE GUY THEY CAN’T RELIEVE WHEN HE WANTS TO GET SOME LEAVE, JUST BECAUSE THERE’S NO ONE AROUND WHO KNOWS HELIO FROM A GROUND?
WHO IS JEERED BY THE BOYS WHEN HE CALLS OUT “ CUT THE NOISE”, THOUGH THE WIRE IS NEARLY DEAD AND WHO HAS TO USE HIS HEAD?
WHEN WILL PEOPLE REALIZE HE’S THE MAN WHO BINDS THE TIES, THE TRENCHES, WITH THE HEAVY GUNS AND TELLS THEM WHERE TO STRAFE THE HUNS?
The 19 Set in Jerusalem.
My name is Harry SUMMERTON. From 1946 until 1948, I was a British Constable in the Palestine Police, stationed in Jerusalem. During that time, I was a wireless operator/Bren gunner on the Jerusalem Operational Patrols; JOP.
We used, over that time, Morris Recce, Morris Commercial radio vans, and finally, GMC armoured cars. All were fitted with 19 sets!! They were excellent, rarely if ever gave us trouble. Will send you a picture of a 19 set, also of some of the GMC cars. Pictures of those vehicles taken outside Police HQ on Jaffa Road, Jerusalem. Have had an email from former Palestine Police colleagues, asking for the correct name of the aerial tuner, attached to the side of the 19 sets. (Ed. note: it's a variometer.)
Harry SUMMERTON; Mississauga, Ont.
PS. Came to Canada in 1964.
2 photos below
Left, No.4 Section and GMC's outside Generali
Right, a Wireless Set No. 19 used in Jerusalem
Harry submitted the following further information subsequent to his initial email above.
I have no idea if they (the 19 sets) still are in use.
Certainly not by the Palestine Police of my day!! After the UN voted in favour of the creation of the State of Israel in Palestine,
(came into force in May, 1948) the British Administration there, including the Palestine Police, were stood down.
Many police colleagues opted to continue their Colonial Police careers in other parts of the world; Kenya; South Africa; Zimbabwe, North and South Rhodesia; Malaya; Hong Kong etc. I, and others chose to return to the UK.
Later that year I joined the Kent County Constabulary; served for 16 years before coming to Canada in 1964 for purely personal reasons.
The last I saw of the GMC armoured car I was a crew member in was when we left it somewhere in Haifa, before eventually boarding a ship bound for the UK.
I will make enquiries about any possible continued use of the 19 sets. I might add that in at least one GMC armoured car, the instructions on the set were in Russian!! Also believe that they were made here in Canada! Indeed, made by Marconi. If you log onto Google, type in 19 set , you will get all kinds of links to all kinds of items, including active groups of people. One shows a Canadian amateur radio sign of VE3CBK, name of Chris BISAILLION. Looks like a Toronto, Ontario, CANADA resident. So people still using, collecting and actively interested in them Bob. Perhaps you could contact VE3CBK for more info? [Ed note: Chris resides in the Ottawa area, is co-founder of The (Original) Wireless Set No. 19 Group, a recognized expert on the WS#19 and a regular contributor to this website.]
Memories of the 19 set.
First owned one in 1946, bought it in Montreal for $9, scrounged two 6-volt batteries and charged them with a 150 watt 110 volt light bulb and a MV tungar bulb [fil from one of the 2 volt cells].
Moved to N.B. in 1947. Doc Ellis and Captain Scribner, ex Royal Canadian Corps of Signals, taught me Morse code as helper to Doc Ellis VE1KE. In 1948 I joined RCCS. Could send abt 10 wpm. Knew every pin connection of every tube in the RCA manual finished an RM course and was posted to the NWT&Y RADIO SYSTEM transmitter site in Yellowknife with Tommy Elwell, one of the best techs in the north ( th41,s m17,s 260n,s at3,s etc) then posted to Fort Simpson NWT tx site pv500 [bicycle chain set] m26 th41s fed 10kw m17s th41s at3s 3 4600 cat gen sets 3 miles of 2700 volt pwr 3 phase line to rec site and hosp and PMQs.
In 1956 posted to 1SIGS REGT back to my friend 19set and 52 set. Harassed to no end with RCEME inspections; problem simply solved by switching serial # plates on the same set they just sent back to us all the sets sent back to us had various cited problems even tho it was our travelled set. So much for bungling logic.
Then on to Germany in 1957. 19 sets and 52s same setup. I kept a box with ser #s and put them on our travelller. No one seem to catch on [what can go wrong with the 19 set?] Went to Cattrick on C42 set reviving the myth that ser # of PSU and set must match [wot a crock] then on to Egypt in 1962. Again 19s, 52s, angrc9s modified. Most 19s used the IC amp as a preamp. Better screen modulation after changing 807 cct...cud get 12/15 watts out. Hard on dynamotors but we had lots. We used 52 set at the forts but 19s or angrc9 s 19s [mod] always outdid the 9s a 1k 2 watt res at ant term cut sand static and in a sand storm drop the dipole to the ground.
Then on to Cyprus in 65, again 19s. I traded all my old 19s for brand new 19 to the Brits. They were in the process of going to 42 sets. Did any of them ever get the joy of working on a 19set at 100 deg F, no shirt on and your metal dog tag hit the top of the plate cap of the 807? Great reason to go to string instead of the wash basin type plug chain fun feeling 600 volts around your neck.
I still have a 19 working in my basement as well as 200 or so old batt and military boat anchors.
Hope you enjoyed my antics with the 19set. I am in the process of rebuilding a 58 set. This one does not use the 1299 tubes but has octal sockets with plate caps ??? rec is common 1r5/1t4 etc. but rough shape. Hope you enjoyed my ramblings.
VHF fun in Germany: I once put 18 No.42 sets on automatic rebroadcast, cprc26, prc510, scout nets, patrols, recce tanks and umpire net plus sigs. This disaster tore the brigade ex into shambles. Even after explaining it at post briefing everyone was mad. Most officers still did not get it [we used to do it to the East Germans and Vopos all the time and even tape a whole previous days radio tfc and play it on their net the next day. RADIO CAN BE FUN. I LOVE RADIOS.]
19 Set Distance Record
In 1952 at age 16 I hired on as an assistant agent Pickerel River (Bala ex Sudbury Sub) which had no hydro. Being a young gung ho amateur radio operator VE3AXZ I brought the radio and 2 car batteries to operate portable.
Behind the station were telegraph poles, very convenient for my antenna support. I strung one end about 4 feet below the wires on one pole, attached the other end to the next pole, then into the station.
Fifteen minutes into my first contact with Conductor Ray Shannon, VE3AIG at Capreol, the dispatcher's phone rang. I was informed I was on the broadcast band from Halifax to Vancouver.
In 1952, no satellites or microwave towers, CBC and the Dominion radio networks were carried on the telegraph poles from coast to coast. My antenna was inducing the signal into the telegraph wires.
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