Captain SHC Woolrych

Captain SHC Woolrych

Stanley Herbert Cunliffe Woolrych was commissioned into the General List (Intelligence Corps) on 3 November 1914 and arrived in France on 9 December to join the British Expeditionary Force.

Initially posted to the 7th Division he was primarily involved in control and mapping work with 1(a); this involved long periods in the front line sketching enemy positions and fortifications, for which he was Mentioned in Dispatches.

In January 1916 Woolrych was transferred to open a Permit Office in Paris, one of a chain run with the object of screening for foreign agents and also to talent spot and recruit potential candidates for their own espionage rings. The location of the office was at 41 Rue St Roche.

They ran teams of “line crossers” into German occupied territory and set up train-watchers in neutral Luxemburg, through which German supply trains had to pass on their way into France. Woolrych ran the operation for nine months and was then sent to the British Legation in Berne to run the issue of passports and visas.

In July 1939 Captain Woolrych was mobilised from retirement and appointed to the staff of the Field Security Police School at the Corps of Military Police Depot at Mychett.

With promotion to Major he was appointed as Chief Instructor at the Special Operations Executive (SOE) Finishing School at Beaulieu; he eventually became the Commandant of the school with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.

He died on 29 September 1982 at the age of 92.