Latest News

Read about all of our upcoming events regarding the Military Intelligence Museum.

October 2018 - Major Frank Foley CMG Statue

Major Frank Foley CMG was recruited by the Intelligence Corps after the First World War, and in the years leading up to the Second World War he ran MI6s Berlin station. He went undercover as a Passport Control Officer and was able to help thousands of Jews escape from Nazi Germany by issuing them with special visas to get to Britain or British-controlled Palestine. It's believed he saved 10,000 people by issuing these visas.

Foley became known as the British Schindler, due to the similarity between himself and Oskar Schindler who also saved thousands of Jewish people during the war. Foley was officially recognised as a British Hero of the Holocaust and was awarded the Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George CMG (order of chivalry) in 1941.

Major Foley retired to Stourbridge in 1949 and died there in 1958, aged 73. An Army Reserve Centre based there had hosted members of Foley's family along with descendants of some of those whom he saved in Nazi Germany.

HRH The Duke of Cambridge unveiled a statue of Foley, depicting him as a spy in the 1930s, in Mary Stevens Park, Stourbridge, on the 18th September 2018. A wall mural telling the story of his life, along with a miniature sized statue, and an Enigma machine were also on display at the headquarters of 63 Military Intelligence Company in Stourbridge. These photographs show Colonel Phaedra McLean, Corps Colonel Reserves, Intelligence Corps with sculptor Andy DeComyn alongside the miniature and full size Foley statues.

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October 2018 - Royal Hospital Chelsea

The museum works closely with the Intelligence Corps Association (ICA) and were both lucky enough to be invited to an open day at the Royal Hospital Chelsea with The Chelsea Pensioners.

ICA representative Hazel invited our Assistant Curator Harriet along for the day. The Royal Hospital Chelsea was created by King Charles II who decided to provide a safe home for British Army veterans who had fought for their country and been broken by age or war. The hospital was designed by Sir Christopher Wren and became the home of the first Chelsea Pensioner in 1692.

The Hospital continues its tradition of looking after retired British Army soldiers and today supports up to 310 veterans. The purpose of Hazel and Harriet's visit was because the hospital is actively recruiting new Pensioners and Hazel has the opportunity to advertise this to Intelligence Corps veterans who belong to ICA.

They were shown around the Hospital by a Captain of the Invalids and then given an extended tour by Intelligence Corps Chelsea Pensioner Mick Kippin, who delighted in showing his Intelligence Corps stable belt underneath his scarlet coat! Mick told us how happy he was living as a Pensioner and how he believed it to be an honour to wear the eye-catching scarlet coat and iconic hat.

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October 2018 - Stotfold Library Talk

Every month Stotfold library host an afternoon session where people can give talks about different topics.

This month we will be giving a talk about intelligence during the lead up to D-Day in 1944, on the 3rd October at 14.30. Follow the link below to find out more about the library and how to come to the talk.

http://virtual-library.culturalservices.net/cgi-bin/vlib.sh?enqtype=LIBINFO&enqpara1=DEFAULT&libno=79

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October 2018 - Shefford Library Talk

The Curator of the museum will be holding an afternoon talk at Shefford library on the 15th October at 14.30. Please book your place at the library, follow the link below to find the library's contact details.

http://virtual-library.culturalservices.net/cgi-bin/vlib.sh?enqtype=LIBINFO&enqpara1=DEFAULT&libno=40

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September 2018 - Teacher's Evening

Calling all teachers! You are warmly invited to an evening of drinks and discussion at the Military Intelligence Museum today, the 24th September at 17.00

Join us for a tour of the museum and share your thoughts with us to help shape our developing education offer. The museum currently does not have a schools education programme and we are trying to develop one, your help and input will greatly assist us in creating a programme for local schools.

Please send your RSVP to mi-assistantcurator@outlook.com or call on 01462 814643. The museum is on a military base so after you have informed us of your visit, we may need to take some further details.

Please let us know if you are coming so that we can make sure we have enough biscuits!

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September 2018 - 100 Days Offensive Video Series

The Road to Victory video series showcases the various Corps' role during the 100 Days Offensive campaign that ended the First World War.

The museums of the Intelligence Corps, Medics, Royal Army Physical Training Corps, the Royal Engineers, and the Royal Signals have all created videos to show what was happening at the end of the First World War.

The Corps Museums Network, which the Military Intelligence Museum is a part of, has worked with a filmmaker to produce a video for each of the museums involved with the project. We have created a YouTube channel to show all these videos and a couple more!

Follow the link below to get to our YouTube channel:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKC1ZmxDgDDXjAiQug77GZQ

Zoom Button100 Days Offensive Video Series

August 2018 - Hazel's Last Blog

This week was my final week of my internship working on the Hundred Days Offensive touring exhibition, and the exhibition has now officially launched at the Military Intelligence Museum.

It has been an incredible six weeks working with all the museums involved in the project to turn a random collection of images, objects and facts into a coherent and fully developed temporary exhibition! I have learnt a lot during these six weeks, not just about the Army Corps and the Hundred Days Offensive, but also about the process of creating an exhibition.

The exhibition will tour around five museums until the end of November. The Military Intelligence Museum is currently displaying the exhibition until the 7th September. From there it will move to the Royal Engineers Museum until the 3rd October, and then it will go to the Museum of Military Medicine until the 19th October. The Royal Army Physical Training Corps Museum will have the exhibition from the 22nd of October until the 9th November, and will then move to the Royal Signals Museums, and will close on the 30th November 2018.

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August 2018 - Hazel's Blog

This has been an exciting week for the Hundred Days Offensive project! On Monday we collected the Clever Frame, which will hold the exhibition panels, and practised assembling and disassembling it. It was great to see the size of the exhibition, and to see how simple the frame was to construct! We also tested out where we were going to place the exhibition in the Military Intelligence Museum, which really made the project come to life and become that bit more real.

In the afternoon we met with a designer from Skinny Dog Design, to begin the process of designing the final exhibition! The meeting went really well, and we made a lot of good progress! We now have a rough outline of when the exhibition will be ready for launch, so in three weeks time, you should all be able to have a sneak peek of how fantastic the Hundred Days Offensive exhibition is going to look!

Make sure you keep an eye on the Military Intelligence Museum Facebook page for more details on what dates each museum will have the exhibition so you can find out where and when you can see it as next week we will be preparing the finalised details of the tour!

Next week we will also be finalising the logo and exhibition design, so it will be exciting to see my research and writing turned into a full exhibition! It is a great feeling seeing all your hard work turned into a final product!

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August 2018 - Bois-Guillaume Centenary

Between the 9th and the 11th August 2018, members of the Intelligence Corps were invited by the Major of Bois-Guillaume to visit the graves of Intelligence Corps soldiers killed during the First World War.

Personnel were invited by Mayor Gilbert Renard as part of the French town's commemoration of the Armistice that effectively ended the war 100 years ago. The Corps also attended an event at Bois-Guillaume back in 2014 to commemorate the start of the war.

Second Lieutenant Alfred Sang, wounded by shrapnel on the 2nd October 1914 and sadly died on the 9th September, and Sergeant Lynham were members of the Intelligence Corps that were killed during the First World War.

The communal cemetery at Bois-Guillaume contains 320 Commonwealth burials of the First World War, many of whom were killed early on in the fighting.

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August 2018 - Our Intern Hazel

Hi, my name is Hazel Sadler, and last week I started my internship at the Military Intelligence Museum, assisting with the Hundred Days Offensive Touring Exhibition. The exhibition will tour the five museums involved in the project- the Military Intelligence Museum, the Museum of Military Medicine, The Royal Engineers Museum, The Royal Signal Museum and the Royal Army Physical Training Corps Museum " to deliver the stories of the Corp Museum Network during the last four months of the First World War. It is an excellent opportunity to learn about how these Corps helped Britain end the First World War, through their contribution to the Hundred Days Offensive.

My role within the project is to research the role of the Intelligence Corps during the Hundred Days Offensive, as well as the roles of the Royal Engineers, Royal Signals, Military medical services and the Army Physical Training Corps.
Last week I began researching the role of the Intelligence Corps, before, during and after the Hundred Days Offensive, looking specifically into the significance of what they did for winning the First World War. I have been going through the museums extensive archive to find out more about the roles of the intelligence corps, and the amazing people that contributed to the collection and analyse of intelligence information, such as Charlotte Bosworth and Vince Shirley!

I have also started writing up the content for the touring exhibition, which will tour between Mid-August and November, spending around three weeks at each museum involved in the project! For the rest of this week, I will be visiting the Royal Signal Museum, the Museum of Military Medicine and the Royal Army Physical Training Corps Museum to start my research into their role in the Hundred Days Offensive!

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August 2018 - 100 Days Offensive Exhibition

From the 20th August until the 7th September the Military Intelligence Museum will be hosting the Corps Museums Network's 100 Days Offensive exhibition!

To commemorate the end of the First World War, the network decided to create a travelling exhibition that will visit five of its museums between the 20th August and the 30th November. The dates below are when each museum will host the exhibition:

Military Intelligence Museum: 20th August - 7th September
Royal Engineers Museum: 10th September - 28th September
Museum of Military Medicine: 1st October - 19th October
Royal Army Physical Training Corps Museum: 22nd October - 9th November
Royal Signals Museum: 12th November - 30th November

To come and see it then contact the intelligence museum via email or phone to arrange a visit!

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February 2018 - Whats New for 2018!

In a word, lots. We said a fond farewell to our Assistant Katie Bateman, who left the museum last May, and welcomed Harriet Huggins to the role of Assistant Curator. She has set about raising our online presence with social media, as can be see elsewhere on the site. We have also welcomed new volunteers into the museum and greatly appreciate how much time they devote to helping out behind the scenes and with visitors.

Our planned relocation to a new site has moved several steps forward with a large grant from the Intelligence Corps Association and the appointment of Trustees to lead this important project. The site at Milton Bryan contains the derelict recording studio of the Political Warfare Executive, a unit charged with sending black propaganda over the airwaves to the enemy, relying heavily on intelligence to achieve this. The building and grounds offer the potential to develop a world class museum more than twice the size of the current one, with new additions such as a cafe and education facility. Exciting times are ahead.

A wide range of artefacts have been donated to the museum over the past year, adding everything from documents and photographs, to medals and weapons, to the collection. The investigation of war crimes began in 1945 in Germany and Japan, and we accepted two Japanese knives into the collection that had belonged to Major General Yahagi who was investigated and later hanged for war crimes. The knives were confiscated from the owner by Intelligence Corps' Major Grimwood to prevent Yahagi using them on himself before justice could be done! Major Grimwood's son handed the knives into Suffolk police under a weapons amnesty and luckily PC Lock, an ex-Army Air Corps soldier, recognised their historic importance thus rescuing them from the threat of destruction. These objects will be included in a new display that focuses on the Intelligence Corps' involvement in the investigation of war crimes.

Evelyn Le Chene, widow of SOE hero Captain Pierre Louis Le Chene MBE, has most kindly added his French Resistance medals to her long-term loan of his other medals and items. This ever-growing display tells the story of his capture and of his defiance, courage, and perseverance in the face of brutal torture.

We are privileged to have been gifted the WW1 medals of Mabel Dymond Peel, along with her journal, documents, and photographs. These objects, of great rarity and significance, fill a huge gap in our collection. She was a part of the Hush WAACs, a dozen or so members of the Womens Army Auxiliary Corps who were employed to listen to German communications during the First World War. A new display featuring the Hush WAACs of WW1, the ATS of WW2 and the Cold War WRAC charts the assimilation of women into the modern Intelligence Corps.

This year we have completely changed the layout and displays in room two, known as the Intelligence Corps room. We have moved the Name of the Rose and the Honours and Awards interactives into the room to bring together all the Corps elements. Another medal cabinet has been purchased which will allow us to put every medal in our collection on permanent display.

2018 is a year of significant centenaries; the end of the Great War, women in the Army and the creation of the RAF to name but a few. The museum will commemorate as many as we can.

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January 2018 - Radio Drama

During the Second World War, Muriel Spark worked for the 'Black Propaganda' Department of MI6. Her job was to produce what she called 'a tangled mixture of damaging lies, flattering and plausible truths'. Give it a listen and learn about different intelligence aspects of the Second World War.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b09k8v3t

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December 2017 - Visitor Survey

The museum staff are interested to hear feedback about our museum, so we have created a survey for visitors to complete!

If you wish to provide some feedback and information about your visit, then please follow the link below to SurveyMonkey where you can quickly and easily fill out the questions.

https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/TJ3QXM9

Visitor Survey

August 2017 - Social Media

We have created a brand new Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter account for The Military Intelligence Museum. We will update it frequently, posting so many photos and snippets of information about the museum.

Just click this link here to get to our Twitter page-

https://twitter.com/mi_intel

Our Facebook page is simply:-

https://www.facebook.com/Military-Intelligence-Museum-211934016003079

This is the link directly to our new Instagram page:-

https://www.instagram.com/military_intelligencemuseum

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March 2017 - WHATS NEW FOR 2017

The winter months provide a short respite for the staff to clean and refresh the museum before we open our doors again to the visiting public in early March. The focus of this time is on ensuring the continued safety and preservation of our artefacts as well as making changes to the displays so that visitors have something new to see.

New for 2017 are the display of our medal collection within the sliding drawer medal cabinets in the Intelligence Corps ethos room. This enables visitors to see the medals and to read a short piece about the recipient and their achievements. We have also tried to include something personal about the medal recipients in order to make them into someone we all might have known, not just as another soldier on parade with a row of medals.

Significant acquisitions during 2016 and early 2017 are now on display. Firstly, during 2016, we obtained the medals of Major Alastair MacDonald MBE MC an SOE officer who, with Captain JPS Amore MC and two others as SOE Mission Cherokee, parachuted into occupied Italy to assist the local anti-fascist partisans. We already held Captain Amore's medals and the opportunity to reunite the two officers through their medals was too good to miss.

Also in 2016 we acquired the medals of Sir John Masterman OBE, the man who led the Twenty Committee (perhaps better known as the XX or Double Cross Committee) which so successfully kept the Germans wrong-footed by the use of turned agents, misinformation and scams such as the well-known story of the 'Man who never was', a tale that was even turned into a film. Sir John's medals share pride of place in the top of a display cabinet alongside those of Corporal Fowler GM who, along with Lieutenant MacDonald GM, also Intelligence Corps, went into an American bomber that had been shot down by a German fighter and had crashed near their base. The two men then set about rescuing injured crew members from the burning wreckage with the risk of exploding bombs all around, their heroism being rewarded with the George Medal.

Late in 2016 we learned through a number of Corps members of the sale on ebay of a World War One jacket that belonged to one of our 'First 55' from that conflict. Such jackets are extremely rare in their own right but having one from a former Corps member who went across to France in 1914 and later gave his life during the last German offensive of the war in 1918 was, again, an opportunity too good to miss. The Museum Trustees duly approved the purchase of this Jacket. Captain William George Gabain MC, remembered fondly to this day by has family as 'Willie', was a scholar and linguist before the war and a noted amateur boxer. Of additional interest was that the Museum already held this officer's medals. The chance of reuniting such important artifacts almost 100 years after the individual's brave sacrifice in battle must be vanishingly small but, against all the odds, this collection is now together and proudly on show in the WW1 interactive display.

We also obtained the World War Two jacket of Sergeant Kaye Norman, a member of the Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS) who served with the Intelligence Corps in the Y Service carrying out Signals Intercept work, the jacket being donated by Sergeant Norman's daughter during a quite moving handover ceremony.

Our vehicle fleet stands sentinel outside the front of the museum with the Russian ZiL signals truck dominating the skyline and our BRIXMIS Mercedes G Wagen, the sole surviving genuine original, soon to be made road legal by our band of enthusiastic volunteers so that we can take it to military shows during 2017 where we intend putting on a display showing the operators life in the field.

The Long Gallery, (how I have been referring to the corridor!), with its long walls, is ideal to display the 'Homes of the Corps' with information boards aplenty and we will soon be adding a selection of plaques and other ephemera from the various home and operational locations the Corps has populated over the years.

These new displays, as well as a myriad other small changes and reshuffles, completed and intended, are part of our constant efforts to encourage visitors, both new and returning, to enjoy the Museum. As always we are open to comments and suggestions and, most especially, to donation of artifacts that will help us continue to tell our important, multi-faceted, often incredible and always fascinating story.

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May 2016 - A Cherished Museum

David Burrill, the new Chairman of the Museum Trustees, was interviewed by Chris Yates, a Trustee of the Friends of the Museum and editor of the Friends newsletter "Sub Rosa", at HQ Int Corps. Chris explored David's background, his thoughts on the Museum in the near future and his longer-term vision.

We are most grateful to the Friends for their permission to use the question and answer text of their interview on our website.

What is your background?

I am from Blackpool, graduated from RMAS to join the Lancashire Regiment (PWV) in which I served for six years. On leaving the regiment, I joined the Intelligence Corps in 1969. I retired in 1992 at the age of 47 in the rank of colonel, my last appointment being Deputy Director of the Corps and COS of DISC, to join BAT Industries where I was able to pursue my intelligence and security calling in a business context. Whilst at BAT, I was honoured to be Deputy Colonel Commandant of the Corps for six years, and a co-opted MIM trustee. On retiring from BAT in 2006, I set up, and still run, my own company. Recently, I was approached to become Chairman of the MIM Trustee Board and was pleased to return to the active fold of the Corps family.

What skills do you bring to this job?

I am an enthusiastic pragmatist with proven military and commercial success at tactical and strategic levels. I have skills in intelligence and security at operations and leadership levels. My critical focus is on leadership and delivery.

How do you see the museum and the leadership of its trustees?

It is crucial that we do not build silos but have maximum integration and alignment. Until the 1980s, business organisations were all about profit. Now they are about profit, reputation and governance, and need to reflect those factors in their brands. It is important for the military to also project its brand. The museum reflects all that is good in a military brand, projecting history, current achievement and what it wants to be in all senses of heritage.

Why is the museum on the move?

I inherited a strategy already approved by the board. Firstly, in addition to the physical museum, wherever it may be, there must be a footprint for the Intelligence Corps wherever its HQ and training unit is. Secondly, that the museum should be relocated: more public access; not by appointment only; attractive to the widest range of visitors. These goals are justified and of benefit to the Corps and military intelligence. This relocation is a big ambition on a big scale with big funds needed; an estimate of a new building is at least £6m. That remains our goal.

Can you draw a more defined picture of the footprint?

It is still at the conceptual stage, we cant describe the physicality, and at the moment the footprint is the current Military Intelligence Museum.

So, in concept, how different will it be compared with what exists at the moment?

The commitment to the footprint, a physical presence, is absolute, a done deal. I hope that removes any concerns regarding the access for those under training. Let me choose this point to turn to another development which has received full backing from the trustees: a virtual museum. This is emphatically not to be in place of a physical museum, but in addition to it. In theory there is no restraint on the amount we could show. This virtual museum, which may be in 2D or 3D form, would link to a virtual archive. It could, and is likely to draw a global audience with all the potential benefits to brand projection and, indeed, to fundraising potential.

Is the virtual museum a requirement before a physical move?

No its not a requirement, but it is likely to become a reality before a physical move occurs, since there is nothing solid on the horizon for a physical move. The virtual museum is likely to help physical relocation because of the fundraising potential that I referred to. I believe that in six months, well know what we want: understanding design, technical capabilities, and service suppliers. The plan is for a development officer, reporting to the trustees, to manage the project. We wont understand the costs fully until the six-month research phase is completed, but I believe that these will not be prohibitive.

What about the here-and-now plans for supporting the museum?

We are immensely proud of the museum, and no one should lose sight of its immense stature. It should be cherished and managed dynamically now as in the past. Compare it with Ashford which was barely one room, then, as we moved to Chicksands, we got a campaign going under the patronage of our Colonel-in-Chief, Prince Philip, which resulted in the creation of our current museum. Despite the other initiatives, the current museum will not be neglected.

What message would you to send to the Friends of the Museum?

I have an enormous admiration for the energy and achievements of the Friends, and for their generosity in supporting the museum financially and in spirit. I believe that the Friends represent, in thought and deed, all that is good about the Intelligence Corps heritage. My thoughts on this are shared by all the museum trustees.

In conclusion, what else you would like to say?

My approach is to ensure that we as trustees get things done. When suggestions are made to us, our default response should be: Why not?

Thank you, David.

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