75 year anniversary of Diplomatic Wireless Service
1 April 2021
Today, we mark 75 years since becoming a Foreign Office agency. The Diplomatic Wireless Service was born on 1 April 1946.
On 23 April 1946, Sir Ernest Bevan sent a Foreign Office circular to all posts, stating:
‘From the 1st April, 1946, the wireless telegraph service hitherto described as “Government Wireless” which provides direct wireless communication between Foreign Office and those of His Majesty’s Missions in which transmitting and receiving stations have been installed is to be regarded as a regular Foreign Office organisation and to be described as “Diplomatic Wireless”.’
During the Second World War Special Communications Units were set up to protect and maintain radio communications. After the war, radio communications between the UK and Foreign Office posts abroad were still extremely important.
The Diplomatic Wireless Service was created as part of the Foreign Office because it was so important for their work.
For the past 75 years, we have continued to specialise in secure communications. Today, we still work with secure radio, as well as electronic communications like emails and video calls.