From Zimmerman to Brixmis
Waterstones, Windsor : 7.30pm
In January 1917, the British deciphered a telegram from German Foreign Minister Zimmermann which brought the USA into WW1. Between the war British intelligence developed methods, that still resonate today, focusing on threats posed by clandestine and subversive networks, and lay the foundations for the work of Bletchley, the SOE, and MI6 and MI5. The intelligence services were eventually compromised by the infamous 'Cambridge Spies' - Philby, Burgess, Maclean, and Blunt.
The British Commanders'-in-Chief Mission to the Soviet Forces in Germany (BRIXMIS) was a military liaison mission which operated behind the Iron Curtain in East Gerany during the Cold War. Liaison staff had passes giving them freedom of travel and circulation, excluding some restricted areas), and although conducted in uniform, it also gave members an ideal opportunity for reconnaissance and surveillance to gather military intelligence. This was fully exploited by both sides.
Mrs M Lenton is an historian and Phd student. She was a teacher and a headmistress of some note, spending more than 20 years as Head of Slough Grammar School (now Upton Court Grammar). She is Chairwoman of Wraysbury ParishCouncil, and serves as Deputy Mayoress along her husband John, Councillor and Deputy Mayor of the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead. She is also Chairwoman of the TVHF.
Lt Col Bill Snell spent more than 30 years in the British Army as a member of the Intelligence Corps. As a Russian speaker, he served in a variety of roles concerned with missions to Eastern Bloc countries. Stationed in Germany during the Cold War, Bill was a member of the Brixmis team for several years, monitoring Soviet activites, and in an ideal position to "test the temperature" of Soviet intentions.