William Stephenson, Intrepid - Information request.

Discussion in 'Top Secret' started by Fred Wilson, May 5, 2013.

  1. Fred Wilson

    Fred Wilson Member

    William Stephenson is a person of special interest to me, as a Canadian.
    So little is known or published about him. So many have taken their secrets to the grave.


    I only recently learned that he invented the wireless Fax (the wired fax having been invented in the late 1800's.)
    This, and other business ventures, turned into a substantial fortune for him - which he reputedly used to finance Camp X etc throughout the war.

    This financial fortune though, from what I have read, was generated by selling this product to only trusted allies (and businesses.)
    - I having read that it (wireless long distance fax, long before Satellites came into play) was a substantial advantage for allied governments inter-communications throughout the war.

    My first information request is this:
    Has anyone here read: H. Montgomery Hyde's The Quiet Canadian? (1962) (British Editon)

    US edition called:
    Room 3603: The Story Of the British Intelligence Center in New York during World War 2 by H. Montgomery Hyde (1963)

    The reason I ask is that:
    1. Used copies are selling for well over $100.00 right now. (I'm a huge bookworm, but really!!!)

    2. An early 60's edition would be so restricted by the Official Secrets Act that I doubt anything substanial would found in it.

    A good book critique from some of our Intelligence Forum experts here would be most appreciated.

    A substantial thread here, chock ablock with informative replies on the life and times of Intrepid would be the highlight of my "life" here.

    Fred Wilson, Canada.
  2. Jedburgh22

    Jedburgh22 Very Senior Member

    BSC was one leg of the British Intelligence presence in the Americas - I have digitized some of the BSC/SOE files at the TNA Kew - PM your address to me Fred and I will send you copies on disc.
  3. Fred Wilson

    Fred Wilson Member

    Wow!!! That was fast. This forum just amazes me.

    PM sent. Tnx!
  4. old bill

    old bill Member


    I have a copy of the The Quiet Canadian (the 1962 copy) - its a good book.

    As you state a lot of the detailed information would be restricted, but it does give a good insight into the operations that BSC conducted. At the very least it would serve as a guide for following up the "detail" that is out there now in the modern age.

    Old Bill
  5. PsyWar.Org

    PsyWar.Org Archive monkey

    I picked up in the bargain bin at TNA bookshop last for £1.99 "The Irregulars: Roald Dahl and the British Spy Ring in Wartime Washington" by Jennet
    Conant. Haven't read it yet but looks useful.

    Stevenson also wrote "A Man Called Intrepid" and then there's the BSC secret history published by St. Ermin's Press.
  6. Fred Wilson

    Fred Wilson Member

    PM sent. Tnx!

    Cancel that. Bug with the new Invision Forum just appeared.

    Message: The member Jedburgh22 cannot receive any new messages.

    My Email here for Jed is now deleted as I heard back from him almost instantly!

    Thanks for the superb service! I am quite impressed!
  7. Fred Wilson

    Fred Wilson Member

    Yep. No relation to Stephenson (Oft misspelled as Stephanson)
    Bitterly dissappointed with that book - all three in his series actually.
    Real fluff stuff. IMHO a near complete waste of time.

    PS: posted elsewhere here today...

    Some dedicated people are starting to convert a number of O.S.S. training films to YouTube, bless their souls.

    I just posted a substantial collection of them on our sister forum at: http://www.ww2f.com/topic/24447-office-of-strategic-services-1942-1945-the-world-war-ii-origins-of-the-cia-osprey-publishing-ltd-2009-64-pages/#entry547855

    More to come...

    CAUTION: Do NOT drop in there unless you have a lot of free time. You Have Been Warned! :pipe:
  8. Fred Wilson

    Fred Wilson Member

    Thanks Old Bill!
    Just the sort of critique I was hoping to get! Bang goes the money.
  9. Gef

    Gef Member

    Hello Fred,

    I have a 1962 copy of “The Quiet Canadian” by H. Montgomery Hyde. On page 8 the author states that during WW1 Stephenson’s “victims [in aerial combat] included Lothar Von Richtofen, brother of the famous German air ‘ace’ Baron Von Richtofen”.

    Lothar Von Richtofen was an ‘ace’ too, as was William Stephenson. I have searched but found no other account of these two ‘aces’ ever having tangled in aerial combat. I therefore think it most unlikely that Montgomery Hyde’s account is true, and this has tainted my view of all else Montgomery Hyde has written about ‘the Quiet Canadian’.

    I’ve also read “A Man Called Intrepid” by William Stevenson (no relation), but I believe this contains inaccuracies too.

    I consider “The True Intrepid” by Canadian Bill Macdonald to be, by a long chalk, the most authoritative book about Sir William Stephenson. (ISBN 978-1551924182).

    Canadian company Century Street Distribution produced a DVD about Sir William Stephenson - “The True Intrepid,” and a “Secret Secretaries” DVD, the latter about the women of British Security Co-ordination. The former DVD is listed on their website, but not the latter. I bought both DVDs in 2010 and I have no hesitation in recommending them.



    Fred Wilson likes this.
  10. armyairforce

    armyairforce New Member

    I've been away from this page for years and typed in "BSC" and this thread came up. I've researched about the BSC and would love to find out more. I've read the more recent books and the re-issue of the book they put together in the late 1940's. My mother was one of the "Canadian Secretaries" or "Secret Secretaries" but kept true to her promise of never telling what happened and sadly died in 1981. However through reading the books a lot of memories came back of what she did say and especially her friends who served with her and were more forthcoming. She indeed did have a special type of shorthand that only those friends could understand. I realized what she actually did because she always told us that she worked for "The British Passport Office", the code name for the BSC. I don't know who I met as a boy in the 1960's but there were a fair number of people my parents said were friends from WWII. One was a dowdy Millionairess from England and an Indian or Pakistani Princess whom I clearly remember because I thought she was so beautiful. She mentioned people like Noel (Coward), Ian (Fleming) and said all the girls had a crush on Roald Dahl. I wish I was older then so I could remember more.
  11. armyairforce

    armyairforce New Member

    Update to 2019- The Secret Secretaries DVD is available on Amazon.
  12. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Hi armyairforce - Fred Wilson is no longer with us if you are expecting a response

    Fred Wilson RIP

  13. Gef

    Gef Member

    Hello armyairforce,

    Thank you so much for your post about your mother’s secret secretary work for Sir William Stephenson. I really appreciate you sharing what you know of BSC.

    Kind regards,


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