Hms Flowerdown and C.S.W.S.

Discussion in 'Top Secret' started by Jethro Tull, Jun 16, 2018.

  1. Jethro Tull

    Jethro Tull Member

    Hello all,

    I've recently become the custodian of a BWM, sole entitlement to a chap who served in the Royal Navy from 1909 to 1935. In my research about him I have found him in 1939 living in Littleton outside Winchester, adjacent to H.M.S Flowerdown. His occupation is given as C.S.W.S DSD9 Admiralty. I've found some information online about C.S.W.S and established it's the Admiralty Civilian Shore Wireless Service. I have found some reference to the DSD but not sure if I have the correct abbreviations there appears to be multiple choices and none with the 9 reference. Would anyone be able to shed more light on the C.S.W.S and the DSD9 bit?


  2. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

    Have you read the
    History of HMS Flowerdown 1939 to 1945.
    A lot of information for you if you are not aware of the site.

  3. Jethro Tull

    Jethro Tull Member

    Hi Tom,

    I had already joined that forum for info. Thanks for signposting it though. The info on there has been a great help but not fully explained the abbreviations and what the departments etc actually done. I've found lots of partial info but nothing definite so far, I've emailed GCHQ and awaiting a response from them to see if they may be able to help. Thanks again for the nod.


  4. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member


    Have you checked out TNA ?? - found this

    History of the Admiralty Civilian Shore Wireless Service
    Reference: ADM 1/31039
    History of the Admiralty Civilian Shore Wireless Service
    Date: 1938 Jan 1-1958 Jan 31
    Held by: The National Archives, Kew
    Former reference in its original department: 1-49-1
    Legal status: Public Record(s)
    Closure status: Open Document, Open Description
    Access conditions: Open on Transfer
    Record opening date: 01 September 2005

    11 records in all - Search results: Admiralty Civilian Shore Wireless Service | The National Archives


    BBC - WW2 People's War - Admiralty Civilian Shore Wireless Service
  5. Jethro Tull

    Jethro Tull Member

    Cheers for that TD, the records there are next on my list to check. I also want to try them for the DM1/DM2 lists to see if my chappy was entitled to the Defence Medal too. Not had the opportunity to get any records from them yet though.


  6. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    DSD appears to go back as far as WW1

    "A similar picture emerges when we look at the Signals Division (SD). There
    was again a small core of Grand Fleet executive officers, such Capt. Richard
    Nicholson, the DSD whom Jellicoe appointed from HMS Iron Duke

    Deputy Submarine Director
    Director Submarine Division

    Guess's, but possibly something like that

  7. Jethro Tull

    Jethro Tull Member

    The most likely one I've found is "Director(ate) Signals Division)" as the guy I'm researching finished his military service with the rank of C.P.O Telegraphist and the C.S.W.S look like they were intercepting wireless messages for the Admiralty. Unfortunately searches online come up blank with this division and no reference to the "9". Also the links appear to mainly link to the Australian military!?

  8. timuk

    timuk Well-Known Member

    I've seen reference to OIC(NID/DSD9) but what the DSD stands for I don't know. DSD9 would appear to be a naval signals intelligence department. Have you caught the references to DSD9 in Tom's Sussexhistory link?
    ie: "Items of particular interest or significance were telephoned immediately on receipt to D.S.D.9 and Station X."
    and "In addition, a daily report of activity on Italian and Japanese services was prepared together with a monthly report of activity on all services. Special reports were prepared as ordered by D.S.D.9."
    What I find very odd is that this chap gives his occupation as DSD9.

  9. Jethro Tull

    Jethro Tull Member

    Hi Tim,

    I had spotted that one, it may be that it was a particular team concentrating on Japanese and Italian signals but again I've not found any conclusive evidence to suggest who or what they were, with only very brief mentions in the articles I'm finding. It is odd he puts it as his occupation as the other entries near him on the 1939 register that clearly show people at Flowerdown do not mention DSD9 Admiralty, but only things such as "wireless operator civilian shore wireless service" or similar. I'm wondering if his job was more involved with the actual offices in Whitehall.


  10. Bill Bunker

    Bill Bunker New Member

    My Father worked at Flowerdown as a wireless operator, and we lived there for a while, this was late 60s early 70s.
    I was a bit young then and it was all a bit secret.
    I was led to believe they were listening to Russian Submarines and Fishing Boats.
    It was known as CSOS Flowerdown.
    Composite signals organisation Station, for the GCHQ.
    There was also a Army ,Corps of Signals there too.
    He often went to Bletchley park.
  11. ringsfan

    ringsfan New Member

    My father was an ex RN telegrapher who was seconded to DSD9 in 1940 as a Civilian attached to the Admiralty. He went to Singapore in 1940 as a signals intercept operator to listen to the Japanese. He told me that he was asked to volunteer because Lord Mountbatten was concerned about Japanese intentions. My mother left for Singapore on the last ship going through the Suez Canal and I was born there in 1941. We escaped to Ceylon just before the fall of the island but had to leave there because of heavy bombing. We then went to Kenya where both my parents worked at the Admiralty Wireless station. After a very difficult journey in 1943 he was posted to Scarborough and then Flowerdown and later to GCHQ. DSD9 is listed on his naval record. Most of this I had to piece together in recent years as I didn't ask him much until just before he died.
  12. Bill Mitchell

    Bill Mitchell New Member


    My Grandfather served as Officer-in-Charge at Scarborough Wireless station from 1934 till after the war. His name was William Rodger. He also had dealings with DSD9. I believe it is a section within the Directorate Signals Division.
  13. William H Reed

    William H Reed New Member

    DSD is used in conjunction with the Admiralty Sigbal Division as shown by the entry below from the October 1944 Navy List

    'Director(D.S.D.)—Rear-AdmiralL. V. Morgan, cbe, mvo, dsc

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