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Churchill contains:
<-- See earlier
DANL The Papers of Admiral Sir Charles Daniel
DCKN Papers of Air Marshal Sir William Dickson
DEAK The Papers of Sir William Deakin
DEKE The Papers of Denis Kelly
DENM The Papers of Captain Henry Denham
DENN The Papers of Alexander Guthrie Denniston
DGFT The Papers of Sir Dingle Foot
DIAC The Papers of Lady Diana Cooper, Viscountess Norwich
DKNS Papers and naval signals concerning the "Amethyst Incident" and writings of Rear Admiral Sir David Scott
DNNG Midshipman's logs of D Calybut Downing
DOHP British Diplomatic Oral History Programme
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The Papers of Alexander Guthrie Denniston

Title The Papers of Alexander Guthrie Denniston
Reference GBR/0014/DENN
Creator Denniston, Alexander Guthrie, 1881-1961, Intelligence Officer
Covering Dates 1908–1979
Extent and Medium 3 boxes
Repository Churchill Archives Centre
Content and context

Alexander (also called Alastair) Denniston was born 1 December 1881. In 1917 he married Dorothy Mary Gilliat and they had two children Robin and Margaret.

His first job was Assistant Master at Merchiston Castle School, 1906-1909. Denniston was a member of the Scottish Olympic Hockey team in 1908. He then taught German at the Royal Naval College at Osborne, 1909-1914. He joined the Admiralty Naval Intelligence Division (NID) a few weeks after the outbreak of World War I, working out of Room 40 (or 40 OB and later called ID 25) of the Old Building of the Admiralty. Denniston soon became second in command of Room 40. After the end of the war he became head of Room 40's successor, the Government Code and Cipher School (GC&CS) and he retired in 1945. His wife also worked in Room 40. Denniston became a Commander RNVR in 1917.

Denniston died 1 January 1961.

This collection consists of letters and accounts of Denniston's code-breaking work in Naval Intelligence in both World Wars and of the setting up of Room 40. There are several photographs of Denniston in Naval uniform and some of the Royal Naval College at Osborne.

This collection was mainly given to Churchill Archives Centre in September 1980 by Denniston's son, Robin Denniston.

The collection is owned by Churchill College, Cambridge.

Access and Use

The collection is open for consultation by researchers using Churchill Archives Centre, Churchill College, Cambridge. Churchill Archives Centre is open from Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm. A prior appointment and two forms of identification are required.

Researchers wishing to publish excerpts from the papers must obtain prior permission from the copyright holders and should seek advice from Archives Centre staff.

Please cite as Churchill Archives Centre, The Papers of Alexander Guthrie Denniston, DENN

Further information

Churchill Archives Centre also holds the papers of Admiral Sir Reginald Hall (GBR/014/HALL), William F. Clarke (ref. GBR/014/CLKE), and the McLachlan-Beesly papers (ref. GBR/014/MLBE). The official papers are held by the National Archives.

The collection has been catalogued and copies of the catalogue are available at Churchill Archives Centre, at The Historical Manuscripts Commission and on the Janus website: http://janus.lib.cam.ac.uk..

This collection (fonds) level description was prepared by Louise King of Churchill Archives Centre in October 2004 using information from the original catalogue to the papers, and additional information from Who's Who (A&C Black, 1996).

Index Terms
First World War (1914-1918)
Intelligence
Second World War (1939-1945)
Hall, Sir William Reginald (1870-1943) Knight, Admiral
Denniston, Alexander Guthrie (1881-1961) Intelligence Officer
Room 40, Naval Intelligence Division, 1914-1917
Clarke, William Francis (1883-1961) Intelligence Officer
Id25, Intelligence Division of Naval Staff, 1917-
Churchill/DENN contains:
1 History of Room 40 and Codebreaking.
4 files.
1944
2 Correspondence.
3 files.
1949–1979
3 I. D. 25.
3 files.
1918
4 Miscellaneous Papers.
2 files.
1918
5 Photographs.
1 file.
1914–1945
6 Additional Papers.
7 files.
1908–1950

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