The Diplomatic Wireless Service (DWS) was the name of the communications system set up for the British Foreign Office by Brigadier Richard Gambier-Perry, the first Foreign Office Director of Communications, towards the end of the Second World War. Its original base was at Hanslope Park in Buckinghamshire,[1]which is still the HQ of its successor, Her Majesty's Government Communications Centre (HMGCC). The primary role of the DWS was communications between British embassies and the UK, but it also operated and maintained transmitters at home and abroad on behalf of the Foreign Office for the broadcasting of the European Service of the BBC and the BBC Overseas Service, which were combined as the BBC World Service in 1988.[2]

Role of DWS in signals intelligenceEdit

DWS operators were also involved in radio eavesdropping, the gathering of signals intelligence (SIGINT) for GCHQ, from within the compounds of embassies. The first of these undercover stations was established at Ankara in 1943[3]; another important station was at Stockholm, a location ideally suited for the monitoring of radio traffic from the Soviet Union.[4]


  1. Template:Cite book
  2. Template:Cite web
  3. Aldrich p. 58
  4. Aldrich p. 192