University of Oxford
3 files

An unusual civilian deployment in uniform

online resource
posted on 2024-06-05, 19:22 authored by Their Finest Hour Project Team

Walter Page was a telegraphist working in London for a private company, but attached to the British telecommunications giant Cable and Wireless. Walter started working for the company at 14, first as a messenger. After training in telegraphy, he worked with connections to New York and Paris. In 1943, aged 43 and leaving his young family (including daughter Jeanette) back in North London, he deployed to Algiers and Naples on a government contract to provide mobile communications. Due to it being a wartime deployment, Cable and Wireless devised a uniform and special cap badge for the men. Walter's daughter Jeanette was always led to believe this was to avoid them being shot as spies. Whilst in Naples, he purportedly saw Mount Vesuvius erupt. His deployment with Cable and Wireless lasted until 1946.


Item list and details

1. Photograph of Walter Page in his Cable and Wireless uniform (no writing on rear). 2. Photograph of Walter whilst deployed to Algiers for Cable and Wireless during the Second World War (no writing on rear). 3. Photograph of Walter posing on a boat in Italy whilst deployed for Cable and Wireless during the Second World War (no writing on rear).

Person the story/items relate to

Walter Page

Person who shared the story/items

Jeanette King

Relationship between the subject of the story and its contributor

Walter was Jeanette's father.

Type of submission

Shared at Royal Signals Museum, Dorset on 19 August 2023.

Record ID

102684 | RSM004