Letter in the Attic

Papers of Cyril Thomas Fairchild (1916-2002)

About this contribution:


Cyril Thomas Fairchild was an amateur radio enthusiast during the late 1930s. These papers relate to the confiscation of his equipment and his work for the government before and after the Second World War as an interceptor of enemy radio signals for the Radio Security Service (RSS) at Arkley, near Barnet, Hertfordshire. The archive contains several letters written after the war from colleagues that CTF worked with at Barnet and a letter from Russia written in 1962 from the Central Radio Club of the USSR which suggests that he may have still been working for the government during the cold war. CTF was also in touch with a fellow radio amateur (Reg Silvey) in the Falklands and was able to pass on a message to his family during the Falklands War.

Biographical information

Born in 1916, Cyril Thomas Fairchild was an amateur radio enthusiast and became a Voluntary Interceptor when the Radio Security Service (RSS) was set up prior to the start of the Second World War. At the time, he was living at 1A Dover Road, Brighton.

When war broke out, he was invited to join the unit at Arkley that intercepted enemy messages in Morse and sent them to Bletchley for decoding. After the war, he was employed as an electrical maintenance and installation engineer for Adams Bros. and Broadbridge in Trafalgar Street, Brighton.

He continued to be a radio enthusiast and was in the local papers due to his contact with a radio ham in the Falklands at the start of the Falklands War.

Name of creator(s)

Fairchild, Cyril Thomas, and others

Dates covered by the material


Extent and form of the material

Digital scans of approx 26 letters; 6 photos; 13 other pages of paperwork (e.g. licences and certificates); 7 QSL cards

Access conditions



Digital copies of the papers have been donated to the East Sussex Record Office and are listed here; the original papers (approx 300 pages) remain with Cyril Fairchild's daughters, Beryl Hilda Payne and Hazel Thelma Fairchild


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