Cipher-related Y Service documents
Cipher-related Y Service documents
Production date
c. 1945-1947
Additional Title information
A collection of cipher-related documents connected to Special Wireless Section officer E.J.G. Hoare, dating between 1945 and 1947.
Serial number(s)
British Armed Forces.
Fair. Thin paper, so quite fragile in places, with some minor loss and creasing.
Category / Subcategory (if applicable)
Main collection (Warwickshire, UK).
In storage
Purchased from a British dealer.
Acquisition Date
Jul 2020
Associated object(S)
Record Last Updated
Sep 24, 2023
A group of personal and official papers relating to E.J.G. Hoare, an officer serving in the 302 Indian Special Wireless Section in India and elsewhere in the Far East, dating between 1945 and 1947. The Special Wireless Section was part of the so-called ‘Y Service’ signals intelligence collection organisation, which listened in to enemy radio transmissions. One document, a message from South East Asian Land Forces (SEALF) to Burma Command calls for Hoare to bring "certain TOPSEC and SECRET equipment and documents" to the headquarters of the SEALF in Singapore. This equipment and documents, another document elaborates, are CCBP OI22-6 and OI22-7 combined authentication systems, Slidex cipher devices and keys, as well as War Office Column sequence charts. The writing on the back of the message is an exercise in Boolean algebra.
A selection of the documents are available to view on this page. Scans of the other documents are available upon request. The previous owner of the documents provides the following timeline: (1) 11 March 1945 – movement order from 33 Indian Corps Special Wireless Company directing 2nd Lieutenant E.J. Hoare to join ’C’ Indian Special Wireless Group at HQ 14th Army. There are another man’s memories of serving with this latter unit here. (2) 17 July 1946 – statement from an unnamed Brigadier, South Burma Area, saying that Captain Hoare was guilty of negligence for the loss of as yet unspecified War Department property, and inviting him to pay 94 rupees to cover the loss. (3) 18 July 1946 – statement of Signal Office Security Documents held as at 15 July 1946, 302 Indian Special Wireless Section. (4) Undated July 1946 – statement by Captain Hoare saying he is prepared to pay the 94 rupees for losing his revolver and an army watch, receipted 24 July 1946. (5) 1 August 1946 – further statement stating he has been invited to pay this amount – not sure why when he appears to have paid it. (6) 5 August 1946 – private letter from Hoare at 301 (I) Special Wireless Section to a friend ‘Graham’, asking if he can recommend a good clerk as he is losing some of his other ranks. The letter suggests Hoare is in Singapore (confirmed by no.8 below). (7) 22 August 1946 – more on the loss of the pistol and watch from South Burma Area, noting the “write off” of the 94 rupees, following a Court of Inquiry. (8) 22 August 1946 – a private letter from ‘Graham’ at 302 Indian Special Wireless Section to Eric (who I assume to be Hoare), reporting “another robbery”. He is not sure if anything had been taken from Hoare’s kit. I speculate that the earlier robbery implied by this letter may have been the cause of the loss of the revolver and watch. (9) 5 September 1946 – a private letter from ‘Graham’ at 302 Indian Special Wireless Section replying to Hoare’s of 5 August (no. 6 above), saying he can have Corporal Wise as his clerk. (10) 27 November 1946 – note saying the disciplinary case against Hoare has been dropped. (11) Undated c. March 1947 – note asking for Captain Hoare (now back in Burma with 302 Indian Special Wireless Section, it appears) to sent by air to SEALF, South-East Asia Land Forces, as he is “urgently required for a short visit”, and seeking authority for this and for him to bring “certain TOPSEC and SECRET equipment and documents weighing 105 pounds”. It is worth noting that there are some handwritten notes on the back of this piece of paper, which may be Hoare, or someone else, trying to work on what appears to be a simple code. (12) Undated March 1947 – order from HQ Burma Command giving Captain Hoare the authority sought in no. 11 to carry the secret documents". (13) March-April 1947 – assorted forms and documents relating to Hoare's travel arrangements for his return to the UK under 'Python' arrangements, apparently meaning he has been overseas for four years. This also coincides with the drawdown of the British military presence in region in the run-up to the partition of India. (14) July-December 1947 – assorted forms relating to Hoare's posting to the School of Signals, UK. The previous owner has also researched and compiled rather extensive background information on E. J. Hoare.
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