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Edward Russell Clarke

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Edward Russell Clarke (generally referred to as E. Russell Clarke) was a barrister, automotive pioneer and wireless amateur.

1871 Born

Educated at Charterhouse and Pembroke College, Cambridge

1893 First-class in the Mathematical Tripos

1894 First class in the Mechanical Science Tripos.

1895 He became a barrister of the Inner Temple.

Specialised in cases of a scientific nature; expert knowledge of the laws on patents, designs, and trade marks.

c1905 Started work in wireless telegraphy; erected two stations, one in London, and one at Penbydwl, Abergavenny, in Wales.

At the outbreak of World War One, Russell Clarke was practising as a barrister in Aberavenny and operating as a wireless amateur using the callsign THX. Together with his friend and fellow wireless amateur Baynton Hippisley based in London, he began isolating wireless signals being sent from overseas espite the official call to confiscate all privately-owned wireless receivers. The two had isolated and reported a number of regular signals they believed to be from German naval wireless stations at Neumunster and Norddeich.

Their report was passed onto the Admiralty's Intelligence Division and so, along with many other such amateurs, they were sent to work for Naval Intelligence as 'voluntary interceptors' (VIs) and reported their signals intelligence back to Room 40.

Together with Baynton Hippisley, Russell Clarke was sent to Hunstanton, Norfolk to establish a listening station there. The two amateurs were given permission to set up a listening post at Hunstanton, the highest point nearest the German coast which eventually became the basis for 14 listening posts[1]

Associate of the Institution of Civil Engineers, an associate and member of council of the Institution of Electrical Engineers, a member of council of the Institution of Automobile Engineers, and a Vice-President of the Wireless Society of London.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Times, Apr 16, 1956
  • West, Nigel. GCHQ: The Secret Wireless War, 1900-86. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1986, 33.