May Talk

The incredible story of the Signal Service of the SOE

The Special Operations Executive (SOE) was a secret British World War II organisation. It was officially formed on 22 July 1940 from the amalgamation of three existing secret organisations. Its purpose was to conduct espionage, sabotage and reconnaissance in occupied Europe (and later, also in occupied Southeast Asia) against the Axis powers, and to aid local resistance movements.

Join Colonel Ingram Murray as he relates the fascinating story of this organisation and its often tense relationship with SIS (Secret Intelligence Service, later MI6)



He describes their origins, their links with Whaddon Hall and Bletchley Park, and introduces us to some of the very brave radio operators and their dangerous missions in occupied Europe.  His talk covers a huge swathe of activity and also includes the role the BBC played in the war.


Ingram Murray is the son of the British diplomat Sir Ralph Murray, who worked for the BBC as one of the earliest foreign correspondents. Later, as a diplomat he specialised in dictatorships and Ingram grew up in a series of police states around the world.

Following his commission into the Royal Engineers in 1956, he went to Oxford.  At university he joined the Airborne Engineer regiment of the Territorial Army as Troop Commander, later commanding the Parachute Engineer Squadron. His service took him to Aden, Libya, Egypt, Cyprus and Germany. He later joined the British Railway Board in its consultancy subsidiary which took him all over Latin America, Africa and the Middle East.  After his retirement he joined the  new Soldiers of Oxfordshire Museum as a volunteer.  There he designed the “Secret War” display in 2014 and the Spy Oxfordshire exhibition in 2020. He has conducted several research projects including the story of the Political Warfare Executive in the Woburn area and the history of the SOE radio stations in Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire.  Ingram is a trustee of the Buckinghamshire Military Museum Trust and lives in North Buckinghamshire.

Online Talk : Thursday 19th May at 7.30pm

Tickets available here