Radio Society of Great Britain

RSGB one hundred years.
RSGB one hundred years.

The Radio Society of Great Britain (RSGB), first founded in 1913 as the London Wireless Club, is the United Kingdom’s recognised national society for amateur radio operators. The society’s patron is Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh and it represents the interests of the UK’s 60,000 licensed radio amateurs. A long recognised amateur radio organisation, the society is the national member society representing the United Kingdom and certain dependent territories of the United Kingdom in the International Amateur Radio Union. It also acts as a medium for communication between the enthusiasts and the UK government.

RSGB material.
RSGB material.

The roots of the Radio Society of Great Britain can traced back to the formation of the London Wireless Club, inaugurated in West Hampstead on 5 July 1913. At its first meeting in September of that year, it was decided that the name should change from the London Wireless Club to the Wireless Society of London. In November 1922, the name of the Society was changed to that it holds to this day, the substitution of the term ‘Great Britain’ for ‘London’ being made with the view to extend the perceived scope of the Society’s work.

The RSGB made the first radio transmission across to the United States, but failed to have any receiving equipment. Many members were slightly annoyed by this fact and so formed other sections of the RSGB which were later absorbed into the RSGB itself.

During World War II, the entire RSGB Council and many of its members were recruited into MI8, also known as the Radio Security Service. Its mission was to intercept clandestine enemy transmissions.