Catalogue description War Office: General Headquarters Liaison Regiment: War Diaries and Papers, Second World War

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Details of WO 215
Reference: WO 215
Title: War Office: General Headquarters Liaison Regiment: War Diaries and Papers, Second World War

This collection of war diaries and papers was created specially by the General Headquarters Liaison Regiment, and gives a compact and almost complete history of the unit.

Date: 1939-1946
Held by: The National Archives, Kew
Legal status: Public Record(s)
Language: English
Physical description: 63 files and volumes
Unpublished finding aids:

The summary list has been supplemented by a photocopy of the relevant parts of piece 63, which serves as an index to this series. A copy of this index is held in the reading rooms at The National Archives, Kew

Administrative / biographical background:

This unit originated in 1939 as No 3 British Air Mission (an RAF unit). Its task was to liaise with the Belgian General Staff, to pin-point British and Belgian forward positions so that allied aircraft would not attack them in error. The unit was commanded by an RAF officer, with an army officer joining in November 1939 as military observer. Following the attachment of an army contingent, the unit was re-designated No 3 Military and Air Mission. (The unit was initially code-named 'Phantom', but this later became part of the official designation.)

After the evacuation from Dunkirk (Operation Dynamo) the unit was re-established in England as No 1 GHQ Reconnaissance Unit. However, following the creation of the Reconnaissance Corps in January 1941 it was decided that the title GHQ Liaison Regiment should be adopted to avoid any confusion.

For the remainder of the war the regiment operated in most theatres, including north-west and south-east Europe, north Africa and the Mediterranean. Their chief task was by this time the transmission of immediate battle information back to allied commanders.

Among the regiment's personnel were the actor David Niven and Robert Mark, later to become commissioner of the Metropolitan Police.

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