THE RADIO SECURITY SERVICE    MI6   Input to Bletchley Park.

The Secret Listeners

These pages are designed to record the service given by amateur radio enthusiasts, and GPO operators. Initially the radio amateur were introduced by the Radio Society of Great Britain to the World War 2 war effort. It has been expanded to include the their integration into the Radio Security Services and some details of the RSS will be found on these pages.
The early days of the Voluntary Inceptors can be found here
The Voluntary Interceptors were eventually coordinated  in a large house near Barnet called “Arkley View”
Many of the volunteers became involved in Direction Finding
Initially the Voluntary Interceptors were looking for spies but later helped with counter espionage
In the Newsletter page descriptions of the reunion meetings which began to be formalised with annual meetings held at Bletchley Park. Those veterans attending can be found here. The attention of the group has more recently turned to ensure that their valuable contribution will achieve a higher profile than has been the case due to necessity for secrecy. Many of the participants only found out in 1979 when Renee Cutforth’s documentary researched by Paul Cort-Wright (G3SEM) appeared on BBC Television. You can see this by following this link:

Speakers and Veterans at the 2012 Reunion

The group photo shows at the rear those helping with the mornings events and at the front the smaller than usual number of veterans attending. Those missing the event this year due to incapacity

In the rear from the left Stan Ames, G4OAV, Ken Ashcroft, G3MSW, Bob Whelan, G3PJT, RSGB Chair, Ben Nock, G4BXD, and partner Gloria Roberts.  Jean King

In the front from the left Bob Painter, G3BPF,Helena Crawley, Bob King, G3ASE, John Hofer, John Gay, G3CFV

2012 Reunion 22 April 2012

Bob Whelan, RSGB Chairman, presented an award on behalf of The Society to Bob “Noz” King G3ASE for his services in WW2 and for running the reunions for the past 15 years. After working as a voluntary interceptor Bob was recruited into the RSS at the age of 17 1/2 at their headquarters in a large house at Arkley near Barnet. Bob became part of the “Discrimination” department sorting the many thousands of intercept logs to identify those that were of specific interest and to be sent to Bletchley Park for decryption.

2013 Reunion at Bletchley Park

RSS Reunion 2013  Summary of talks

Secret life at Arkley View - Bob (Noz) King

Noz opened the doors to Arkley View near Barnet which housed the co-ordination staff for the VI’s and explained the tight security. imposed there. He showed images of surrounding properties some of which were commandeered.

Tribute to Pat Hawker - Brian Austin

Brian gave us a detailed talk on the life of Pat both on active service during WW2 and after during his life in journalism.  The latter was remarkable since he had no formal training yet became the editor of books and magazines, including Radcom, to the point that he became an authority. During his career with ITV he was instrumental in the UK adopting PAL B for TV transmissions, now accepted as one of the best. During WW2, starting as a VI he worked at Handslope and then Waddon on the clandestine broadcasts. Towards the end he spent time in the war zone

RSS intercepts – Stan Ames
Stan Ames gave an account of how RSS began to Intercept and decrypt Abwehr messages and showed examples of some of the more famous ones such as double agent Garbo's warning to the Abwehr that the main allied invasion would be at Pas de Calais. He explained how RSS's intercepts of hand cypher messages enabled Bletchley Park to decrypt the Abwehr machine cypher (Enigma) messages

GPO & RSS – John Pether

John told us how the GPO kept our landlines operating during WW2 and seemed to fix extensive damage to equipment in double quick time. It was accompanied by extensive illustrations of the damage which had to be repaired.

6. Harry Griffiths, RSS St Erth - Mike Griffiths

Stan has been working with Mike on research at this DF establishment which had both ground and underground facilities. The research continues so we shall probably return to this in future.

7. Brian Lloyd RSS & SCU4 – Garth Lloyd

Garth and his brother explained how they were researching their father's involvement in the war effort and appealed for help.

Front row

Sidney Walton, Ray Faultley,

Geoffrey Pidgeon, Helena Crawley,

Bob Painter and Bob King.

Back Row-

Stan Ames, Brian Austen,

Garth Lloyd, Ian Lloyd

and Mike Griffiths

RSS REUNION 2014, Sunday 30th March at Bletchley Park
 Gates open at 9.30, program begins at 10:30

Bob King  "Adrian Simpson and the seeds of RSS"
 Stan Ames "The forerunner of RSS -The Illicit Wireless Interception Organisation"
 Brian Austin  "E.W.B, Gill, the founding father of RSS"
 Paul Cort-Wright " The Secret Listeners TV program - a new version?"
 Lunch followed by  John Gallehawk " German agent codes and ISOS decrypts";  Mike Griffiths "Further research on the St Erth RSS station" 15.30
 N.B The parking arrangements at Bletchley Park have changed so at the gate ask to be directed to the nearest car park to the Mansion to attend the RSS Reunion.. (Wheelchairs at Block B)

Please e-mail <> if you wish  to attend