The LRS was contacted in March 2019 by Anne Northridge of Edinburgh, the daughter of the late Colonel A. Noel Atkinson, RAMC, of Cultra, County Down, who operated as VU2FA in India prior to WWII. She kindly provided the following information, photographs and QSL card which we hope you find interesting:
Shack of VU2FA in Kasauli, India in 1938
(All that to provide 20W of AM on 20 metres, but capable of working the world with a rhombic antenna)!
The following article appeared in Ireland Saturday Night on 7th November 1977.
Into the pages of history – Amateur Radio: by Rectifier
It’s not every day something money couldn’t buy lands in your lap, and I am indebted to Mrs. Atkinson, widow of that doyen of an older generation of amateur radio enthusiasts, Colonel J. N. Atkinson, RAMC, of Cultra, County Down for something, which to me, is invaluable . . . Colonel Atkinson’s log book.
That log book holds the records of the last British Empire transmitting station to be closed down, prior to the outbreak of the second world war on September 3, 1939 – the famous VU2FA known to the world’s amateur radio enthusiasts as VU2 Fanny Adams, Colonel Atkinson’s own “phonetics”.
The station, operated by the then Major J. N. Atkinson, was located at Kasauli, in the hills above Simla, India, where the OM was then stationed, and, due to the somewhat remote location, orders for the big closedown of British UK and Empire stations did not reach the Major until some 24 hours after everyone else was “off the air” – and what a “ball” the operator had, with half the world (including hundreds of U.S. stations) queueing up to work the last British station in operation!
Disbelief might be expected by some of today’s younger enthusiasts when they learn that Noel Atkinson worked the world on the mike with an output which never exceeded 20 watts (6L6 oscillator, 804 PA, plate and screen modulated by a pair of 6L6 in Class AB2). The secret was, of course, the aerial. This was a rhombic for 20 metres, with tuned feeders each 1-1/2 wavelengths per leg at 315 deg., sited on one of the continent’s highest points . . . . . . happy days.
Col. J.N. Atkinson, RAMC.