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Ex Leading Coder (S) D/MX919781 Dennis Mills


Dennis Mills

Coder (S) Badge

TREU UND FEST True and Steadfast

In January 1952 Dennis enlisted in the RNVR as an Ordinary Seaman and received three weeks training in the carrier HMS Indefatigable in August-September 1952. Meanwhile his suitability for Russian language training during National Service had been recognised and he joined the RN in October as a Coder (Special), a member of a new branch created in 1951.

He reported to the New Entry Section, then at Victoria Barracks, Southsea and part of HMS Victory, Portsmouth, where his class had three weeks initial training followed by a two weeks coding course at Chatham. Next, Dennis was drafted for two months sea time in HMS Portchester Castle, an A/S frigate stationed at Portland.

From February to Christmas 1953, he was on the fifth Russian translators course at Joint Services School for Linguists, Coulsdon, Surrey. Three months training as a Russian language radio operator came next and most of summer 1954 was spent at HMS Royal Albert, a shore station at Cuxhaven, Germany. Here Soviet naval and military radio traffic was intercepted, the messages logged and taped being sent to GCHQ in Cheltenham. After demob in October 1952 Dennis served in the RN Special Reserve for ten years, four of them in the active reserve which involved return trips to Germany.


Dennis' story is available in Adobe Acrobat format click the icon to download it.

Service career

H.M.S. VICTORY Victoria Barracks, New entry basic training establishment, at Southsea, Portsmouth

H.M.S. PORTCHESTER CASTLE A Castle-class corvette built in 1943 and reclassified as an anti-submarine Frigate post war: scrapped in 1958.

H.M.S. ROYAL ALBERT RN base, Cuxhaven, Germany




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