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Y Service 

Signals Intelligence, or SIGINT, is the interception of communications. The interception of an enemy’s radio and electronic communications can provide vital intelligence regarding their activities, capabilities, and intentions. 


During the Second World War the Y Service organisation was responsible for intercepting enemy communications, Traffic Analysis to identify enemy communicators, and Direction Finding to discover where enemy transmitters were located.  

The Chicksands base on which the museum is situated was itself one of the Y Service listening stations and, along with others across the UK and overseas, assisted in the effort to break enemy codes, including the ENIGMA Code.

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The work of the Y Service is illustrated by Lieutenant Edwards, Intelligence Corps, in 8th Army desert uniform, who is studiously listening to German communications.

This display recognises that women played a significant role across the Y Service and indeed at Bletchley Park, the home of the code breakers, which itself is just over 20 miles, a 40 minute drive, from Chicksands.

In the centre we have our own 3-Rotor ENIGMA machine, this one being the Kriegsmarine naval version.

The male and female personnel who manned the Y Service came from all three services, with the Army contingent largely being Signallers, Intelligence Corps or from the Auxiliary Territorial Service, women who were 'badged' Intelligence Corps.

Discover more about the Y Service in our YouTube series:

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