Christopher Herbert

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Christopher Herbert was an MI5 officer.

Herbert was educated at Trinity College Dublin, where he earned a first class degree in experimental science.[1] He joined the Indian Civil Service in 1936, and MI5 in 1950.[1]

In 1955, he became a security intelligence at the Colonial Office.[1]

He served as Security Liaison Officer in Singapore in the early 1960s, took over the responsibilities of Security Intelligence Far East when it was abolished in 1962.[1] In 1962, according to Christopher Andrew, Roger Hollis showed the Home Secretary a letter from Lee Kuan Yew expressing gratitude for Herbert's work.[2] Calder Walton places a similar letter in the mid-1960s.[1]

In 1968, he was head of A1 section of A Branch, responsible for technical operations, in which capacity his staff included an expert locksmith and 'burglar'.[3]

K Branch

From 1970, he was responsible for soviet investigations within K Branch as head of KY, overseeing the recruitment of Oleg Lyalin by agent runners Harry Wharton and Tony Brooks.[4] Writing of this operation, Peter Wright described him as 'a calm dependable officer.'[5]

David Leigh states that he then became Director and Co-ordinator of Intelligence in Northern Ireland.[4] However, the chronology may in fact be the reverse, with Herbert serving as Director of Intelligence at HQNI before moving to K Branch in 1970. The confusion may owe something to what Leigh identifies as Peter Wright's faulty chronology of the Lyalin case.[6]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Calder Walton, Empire of Secrets, William Collins, 2013, p.208.
  2. Christopher Andrew, Defence of the Realm, The Authorized History of MI5, Allen Lane, 2009, p.469.
  3. Christopher Andrew, Defence of the Realm, The Authorized History of MI5, Allen Lane, 2009, p.337.
  4. 4.0 4.1 David Leigh, The Wilson Plot, Mandarin, 1989, pp.185-186.
  5. Peter Wright, Spycatcher, Viking, 1987, p.342.
  6. Peter Wright, Spycatcher, Viking, 1987, p.342.