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Coordinates: 52°06′00″N 2°18′58″W / 52.100°N 2.316°W / 52.100; -2.316

TRE Malvern huts in winter 1942-3

The Telecommunications Research Establishment (TRE) was established in Worth Matravers, which is four miles to the west of Swanage, UK, in May 1940, as the central research group for RAF applications of radar. It moved to Malvern College, Worcestershire in May 1942 because of fears that the Germans might launch their own Biting-like commando raid against it if it had remained by the coast.

Development of radar had been initiated by Sir Henry Tizard's Committee for the Scientific Survey of Air Defence in 1935 at Orfordness near Ipswich. The group moved to the nearby Bawdsey Research Station in 1936 and from there to Dundee in 1939 before moving to Worth Matravers in May 1940.

TRE worked closely with the MI6 science advisor, R. V. Jones, in countering the Luftwaffe's navigational beam technology to hamper the enemy's ability to do pinpoint night bombing raids in what has become known as the battle of the beams.

Another major wartime development was H2S radar using the newly developed cavity magnetron, for use by RAF bombers to identify ground targets for night and all-weather bombing.

In 1942 the staffing level was about 2000 people, by 1945 increased electronics production had increased this number to around 3500 staff.


Successor organisations

TRE was combined with the Army Radar Establishment in 1953 to become the Radar Research Establishment, and was renamed the Royal Radar Establishment in 1957. It became the Royal Signals and Radar Establishment in 1976 when the Army Signals Research and Development Establishment (SRDE) moved to Malvern. It was made part of the Defence Research Agency in April 1991, and was again renamed to DERA Defence Evaluation & Research Agency in April 1995. In July 2000 it was split into two entities comprising the private sector company QinetiQ, and the wholly government owned DSTL.

Leading and notable staff

Radar research memorial at St Aldhelm's Head near Worth Matravers, unveiled by Sir Bernard Lovell

See also

External links


  • Latham, Colin & Stobbs, Anne: Pioneers of Radar (1999, Sutton, England) ISBN 0 7509 2120 X
  • Batt, Reg: The Radar Army: Winning the War of the Airwaves (1991, Robert Hale, London) ISBN 0 7090 4508 5
  • Putley, Ernest: Science comes to Malvern - TRE a Story of Radar 1942-1953 (2009, Aspect Design, Malvern)


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