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About The M Room

Lt. Col. Kendrick

Lt. Col. Thomas Kendrick at his desk, Latimer House

The unit was headed by Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Kendrick, a 58-year-old, highly-experienced Army man who had already served the British Secret Service for over twenty-five years. Kendrick was a soldier of the First World War and had extensive experience in handling German prisoners-of-war. During the 1920s and 1930s, he was posted to Vienna as the British Passport Officer in charge of issuing visas for people coming into Britain. This job was a cover for his real work as a spymaster for British Intelligence (MI6). From Vienna, Kendrick ran a whole network of agents into Nazi Germany to spy on Hitler's rearmament programme. In WW2, he was the ideal person to head the M Room because he knew a lot about Germany's military build-up and how the German mind worked. He was an extrovert who communicated well with people-an essential skill because he had to manage the egos and demands of Intelligence Chiefs of the Admiralty, Army and Air Force. He was also highly efficient at the organisation and administration which was needed to run his secret unit.