The erecting staff consisted of around fifty workers, coming from both the Marconi Company and the surrounding local communities. To ensure the competence of the local workers, the Admiralty requested that the local authorities select those from their communities that they felt would be a reliable and trustworthy source of labour.
The Admiralty proposed the building of the wireless station at Mount Pearl in June of 1914. It was made known that the British Admiralty wanted the station to be functional in a year which meant that the erecting staff would be working non-stop to make the request possible. In July of 1915, the building was finally up and running and the majority of those who worked at the station were now finished. Only the temporary operating staff remained, all of whom worked for the Marconi Company on behalf of the British Admiralty. The operating staff consisted of:
The temporary operating staff worked at the station until people from the British Admiralty were trained to run the station. Eleven of the twenty-two permanent staff members were enlisted from the Marconi Company into the British Navy so that they could work as operators at the wireless station. The permanent staff consisted of:
The permanent staff lived in the residence buildings that were built on site, located within one hundred feet of the operating building ensuring that staff could easily and quickly move from one building to the next if the need arose.
The following is a list of known staff members of the Mount Pearl Wireless Station:
William Manning (from England) joined the British Royal Navy in the early 1900s, serving five years as an apprentice in the trade of fitter and turner before being rated E.R.A. 4 in 1914. He was then posted to a number of different ships, where he served as an engineer, working his way up through to the rank of E.R.A. 1. From the period of June 25th 1919 to March 10th 1922, Mr. Manning served in St. John’s on the Briton, the joint command with the Wireless Station. Mr. Manning worked at the Wireless Station in the transmitter room, dealing with the Gardiner generators. After the station was decommissioned in 1923, Mr Manning was responsible for moving one of the generators to St Helena, where he continued to operate it. Mr Manning served in the Royal Navy for 26 years, finishing his service in 1940.
Irish born, MacDermott entered the Royal Navy in 1892 and was commissioned to join HMS Karrakatta in Sydney in 1900. The Karrakatta sailed to various Australian ports and visited New Zealand, with Sydney as its principal base. In 1904 he was appointed as Commander of the base at St John's, Newfoundland and Labrador. Retiring from the Navy, he took his family to live in Australia but in 1939 he was recalled to the Navy and was engaged transporting troops from Canada to Europe on the North Atlantic route. MacDermott spent his latter years in England and Ireland.
Installation Engineer Quick