Category Archives: The National Archives

Clement Attlee and the Secret State: Recent evidence from British archives

As we recall the surprise election of Clement Attlee as Britain’s Prime Minister 75 years ago this summer, and his role in reconstructing Britain after the war, it is a good moment to also consider recent evidence on the more … Continue reading

Posted in Archives, British history, European History, Historiography, Public History, Russian History, Secret State, Teaching, The National Archives, Uncategorized, World History | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Spies and Lies: Another look at the Kim Philby story

The news that a major new television drama will be produced about the life of Kim Philby, the British Intelligence officer who engaged in treachery, will come as no surprise to historians of the secret state. The new production, A … Continue reading

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Subverting the Subversives: Did MI5 infiltrate the British entertainment industry?

In 2018 some revealing new claims were put forward that the British domestic Security Service, MI5, was not just involved with monitoring and collecting intelligence on political movements and individuals deemed as potential threats to the state in the post-war … Continue reading

Posted in Archives, British history, Gender History, History skills, London history, Media history, Public History, Research, Secret State, The National Archives, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fighting Franco: Commemorating the British volunteers in the Spanish Civil War

Eighty two years ago, on 28th October, 1938, the volunteers of the ‘British Battalion’ joined the other volunteer Battalions of the International Brigades (IB) in Spain and held a poignant farewell parade, which included the transfer of their flags and … Continue reading

Posted in Archives, British history, European History, Fascism, Kingston, Local History, London history, Media history, Public History, Research, Richmond history, Surrey, The National Archives, Uncategorized, World History | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

A Bridge Between Extremes: New study explores the fascist and marginal career of A.K. Chesterton

For anybody interested in the nature and growth of Britain’s extreme and racist right, a new biographical study of Arthur Kenneth (A.K.) Chesterton (1899-1973) will be essential reading. The new study, A.K. Chesterton and the Evolution of Britain’s Extreme Right, … Continue reading

Posted in British history, Conspiracy theory, European History, Fascism, Public History, Research, The National Archives, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Secrets and Spies: Latchmere House in Wartime

A blog post I penned recently included some brief coverage of ‘Camp 020’, the secret MI5 interrogation centre at Latchmere House. I have received a number of enquiries about this, so here is a more detailed blog I wrote on … Continue reading

Posted in British history, European History, Fascism, German History, Kingston, Local History, London history, Public History, Richmond history, Surrey, The National Archives | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Russia in NATO? Newly-released files offer glimpse into UK’s foreign policy thinking in mid-1990s

The latest batch of declassified British government files, released to The National Archives (TNA) at Kew, south-west London, in the New Year, offer some intriguing insights into the secret foreign policy deliberations that took place under John Major’s Conservative administration … Continue reading

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Four Pennies for Doomsday

It sounds like something out of a 1950s British comedy film. The ability of the United Kingdom to launch a counter-strike against a nuclear attack on the country in the 1960s was apparently dependent on the availability of four old copper pennies. … Continue reading

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Kim Philby confession part of latest MI5 files released to the National Archives

A two-page confession made by Kim Philby, a double-agent and one of the most infamous British traitors of the Cold War, has been made public for the first time. It is part of the latest round of MI5 (Security Service) … Continue reading

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The ‘Cold War’ season continues at the National Archives

Are you looking for somewhere unusual to visit over the Summer? The National Archives (TNA), at Kew in south-west London, has provided details about the latest events in its ongoing ‘Cold War’ season, ‘Britain’s Cold War Revealed’, which started in April, 2019 … Continue reading

Posted in British history, European History, Events, Museums, Public History, The National Archives, Uncategorized, World History | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment