Displays - In the Name of the Rose


By John Condon

'In the Name of the Rose', is a major historical database and memorial created to provide a complete and definitive commemoration of those 278 members of the Intelligence Corps who have paid the ultimate sacrifice while engaged on active service since the Corps' formation.

The Intelligence Corps was officially 'born' on 19th July 1940, as the result of Army Order 112, and in due course became a permanently established and badged Corps of the British Army.

The Corps saw service in all the major conventional theatres of World War II - France, Norway, Middle East, North Africa, the Italian campaign, the Far East, the Normandy landings, and the final long push to the heart of Germany. They served in Intelligence Staff appointments at Army, Corps & Divisional level; in Field Security Sections & Counter-Intelligence Units; in Y-Service (Wireless Interception); Port & Travel Control; Censorship; Interrogation; Photographic Interpretation, and as Interpreters & Translators. Many served alongside the front line units, in the thick of the action, and faced the same dangers as the combat soldier.

Other members of the Corps, both officers and NCOs, were 'Specially Employed' and served with the Special Operations Executive (SOE), Political Warfare Executive (PWE) and the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS - otherwise known as MI6): many paid the ultimate price of this war in the shadows, with some killed in action and others suffering degradation, torture and a slow death in Nazi concentration camps. In addition, our officers and soldiers served on attachment to the Long Range Desert Group (LRDG), the Special Air Service (SAS) and Special Boat Squadron (SBS).

At the end of the war, members of the Corps were involved in the denazification process and the tracking, arrest and investigation of German and Japanese war criminals. During World War II and the period immediately following the German and Japanese surrenders, up to the end of 1946, 247 members of the Corps died: they were killed in action or died of wounds, natural causes, disease, or as the result of accidents while on duty.

Since the end of WWII Intelligence Corps personnel have seen continuing active service in conventional warfare, counter-insurgency, counter-terrorist and peacekeeping missions across the globe. In Palestine, Korea, Suez, Malaya, Borneo, Cyprus, Kenya, Oman, Northern Ireland, the Falklands, the Gulf War, Bosnia, Kosovo, Sierra Leone, Iraq and Afghanistan - members of the Corps have proudly worn the 'Rose & Laurel' cap badge and displayed the professionalism and dedication that has become synonymous with it. In these operations a further 28 members of the Corps have sacrificed their lives.

As we move into the 21st Century the traditional role of the Intelligence Corps has continued, albeit refined and sharpened to counter the new threats posed by an ever-changing, increasingly uncertain and dangerous world. In the time it has taken to research this project we have lost six members of the Corps killed in action - three in Iraq and three in Afghanistan - and our men and women continue to serve on the frontline of active duty.

Wherever the members of the present day Intelligence Corps may be called upon to serve, they will do so with a proud tradition behind them - a tradition forged by those members who went out before them but didn't come home. The story of those who gave their lives while wearing our cap badge is perhaps the most important, and certainly the most emotive, aspect of our heritage.

In 2001, with the approval and backing of the then Colonel Commandant, the Director and the Trustees of the Intelligence Corps Museum, research began on material for a book commemorating our active service casualties, entitled 'In the Name of the Rose'. The objective was to write the definitive record of our casualties since the formation of the Corps. The research was assisted by the author being granted unlimited access to the service records of the casualties, thus allowing an accurate and detailed account of their origins, education, military career and the operational circumstances of their deaths. The manuscript was completed in 2005 and copies are held in the Military Intelligence Museum archive.

In 2006, as part of the redevelopment of the Museum the Museum Trustees commissioned Heritage Multimedia Ltd to design and produce an interactive version of 'In the Name of the Rose' to provide a suitable display commemorating our casualties that would also be a valuable research tool for relatives and researchers. The display was completed in 2007.

The 'In the Name of the Rose' Roll of Honour is now a central feature of the Museum and enables the user to access increasingly detailed levels of information on each casualty. The project involved over five years of research and can be considered as the definitive record of Intelligence Corps casualties. It also includes those members of the Intelligence Corps (India), Burma Intelligence Corps, and the East African and West African Intelligence Corps who died on active service in World War II.

The interactive consists of a computer-based, multi-screen database system enclosed in a wooden kiosk of suitable design, incorporating the Corps cap badge and a backlit poppy motif panel in which the three display screens are mounted. The system is controlled via a separate touch screen, which allows the user to access cascading levels of information on any or all of the casualties of the Intelligence Corps from 1939 to the present.

Searches can be made via name or area of operations and the information available, although varying from individual to individual, typically includes details of birth, education, qualifications, military career and finally the circumstances leading to the individual's death; where available photographs of the casualty, or others relating to his/her career, are included. The database is constantly updated to include new information on each casualty as it becomes available.

Since its installation 'In the Name of the Rose' has been used and acclaimed by the families of those commemorated, researchers and historians.

It is our intention to move the complete database for the 'In the Name of the Rose' display in the Museum onto this website in due course. The entries shown here are offered as two examples of those contained in the database.

Records from In the Name of the Rose