In Secret War, Nigel West states that STS 47 was at Anderson Manor, Blandford, Dorset, and that it was commanded by Major R. J. Metherell. The village of Anderson is in Dorset County in southern England.
|By train, Anderson (red pin) is about
4.5 hours SW of London
|Like all other SOE schools, the
location was in a fairly remote area
|The town of Anderson is still very small; the population is about 60.
|Contemporary photo of Anderson Manor
|CC Attribute: Anderson Manor, Dorset. (2023, June 1). In Wikipedia.
In STS 47, they trained in British uniforms.33 After a hot tea and milk at wakeup, everyone ran a two to three–mile course through the moors that ended at a small lodge. On a table at the door were daggers. “Running up to the table, you had to grab a dagger and rush inside to attack a sand-filled ‘dummy.’ First, thrust at the face to cause the defender to shield his eyes. Then, with the chest exposed, you made your major knife thrust. Daily PT ended with ju-jitsu ‘chop chopping’ exercises to harden the heels of your hands,” explained Brucker. After cleaning up, they went to breakfast. Then, training began; classroom instruction preceded practical exercises and training was always progressive. Three constants in every course were CW, codes, and cipher practice; hand-to-hand combat, and explosives training.
By November of 1944, Belgium had been liberated, so I suspect that this was simply some sort of errand. He was a linguist who had at least 5 languages (French, German, Dutch/Flemish, English, Polish and also a little Spanish), so maybe he was sent as an interpreter. Belgium's national languages are French, German and Flemish so there would have been lots of locals who knew those languages, so I suspect his being sent would have had more to do with his knowledge of those languages plus English or Polish. Either way, by the spring of 1945, he was assigned to SOE Section X (Germany), and he began preparing for a field mission to Germany.