Intelligence Services MI5, GCHQ, SIS

On the wall of the south cloister of Westminster Abbey is a memorial, composed of granites from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, honouring all members of the various branches of the Intelligence Services of the United Kingdom from 1909.

This includes members past and present of MI5 [Military Intelligence section 5], the SIS [Secret Intelligence Service] and GCHQ [Government Communications Head Quarters] and also those who worked in the Government Code and Cypher School during the 1939-1945 war at Bletchley Park. It is signed on the under edge by the sculptor John Maine.

The central inscription reads:

RECOGNISING SERVICE AT HOME AND ABROAD PROTECTING THE UNITED KINGDOM SINCE 1909

In gold on the under edge:

DEDICATED IN THE PRESENCE OF HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN ON THE 14TH OCTOBER 2009

In the top roundel is the Royal cypher, E II R, crowned. MI5 is inscribed under the eastern roundel, GCHQ under the lower and SIS on the western side.

At the dedication service The Queen said:

Mr Dean, to celebrate the gallantry, sacrifice, and heroism of the men and women of the Intelligence Services, I place this plaque in the custody of the Dean and Chapter...

The Dean of Westminster in his dedication said:

To the greater glory of God, in gratitude for the courage, determination, and heroism of the men and women of the Intelligence Services, and that their sacrifice in the safeguarding of freedom may always be honoured, I dedicate this plaque in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

The Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, gave an address.

Further reading

For 1939-1945 codebreakers see The Bletchley Park website

DVD: "The man who cracked the Nazi code. The story of Alan Turing"

Memorial

14th October 2009

Occupation

Codebreaker

Location

Cloisters; South Cloister

Memorial Type

Tablet

Material Type

Stone

Intelligence Services MI5, GCHQ, SIS
MI5, GCHQ, SIS - Intelligence Services memorial

This image can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library

Image © 2022 Dean and Chapter of Westminster