Thomas Kendrick (1881-1972)Â was central to the British Secret Service from its beginnings through to the Second World War. Under the guise of “British Passport Officer,” he ran spy networks across Europe, facilitated the escape of Austrian Jews, and later went on to set up the “M Room,” a listening operation which elicited information of the same significance and scope as Bletchley Park. Yet the work of Kendrick, and its full significance, remainedÂ largely unknown.
Helen Fry draws on extensive original research to tell the story of this remarkable British intelligence officer. Kendrick’s life sheds light on the development of MI6 itself-he was one of the few men to serve Britain across three wars, two of which while working for the British Secret Service. Fry explores the private and public sides of Kendrick, revealing him to be the epitome of the “English gent”-easily able to charm those around him and scrupulously secretive.