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HMGCC remembers its role in D-Day

Today we remember the 80th anniversary of D-Day and commemorate the bravery and sacrifice made by so many serving during World War 2. 

At HMGCC, we also remember with pride the contributions our early founders made during this period of history. 

Pictured here is a 1943 Mark IX Ascension receiver, designed and manufactured by HMGCC.  

In the later stages of the war, there was a demand for communications systems on which people could be quickly trained.  

Rather than Morse code, which took considerable training, Ascension used plain speech via a radio signal. Messages were exchanged using coded phrases and relayed via aircraft flying at 20,000 feet up to 100 miles away. 

By D-Day, a large number of aircraft had been fitted with Ascension and it was used for passing intelligence to forces on the ground. 

We know this receiver in our collection is rare  - one of a very small number still in existence.

Image shows radio transmitter featuring tuning dial and a range of ports and switches
Mark IX Ascension receiver, front view
Rear view of receiver, showing the valve technology in use at the time
Rear view of Mark IX showing the valve technology used at the time

The Mark 114 transmitter was another piece designed and made by HMGCC. These transmitters were used as part of a large-scale military deception known as Operation Fortitude. 

The aim of this operation was to convince the German High Command that the invasion would happen in Pas de Calais region of France rather than the actual planned location in Normandy. 


Black and white image showing a mobile base unit vehicle
Mobile base unit
Mark 114 transmitter inside base unit


A complex, and large operation was planned to deceive the enemy by providing them with false information from different sources. 

Mobile base stations in military radio vehicles were kitted out with Mark 114 transmitters and used as part of this operation. 

CEO George Williamson said: “It has been important to all of us at HMGCC to commemorate this special anniversary in the history of World War 2. 

“We are also proud of our own organisation’s history, born from the intense demands of wartime communications, and this has given us an opportunity to reflect back on the role we played during this turbulent time in Britain’s past.”