Richard John Bayntun Hippisley (1865-1956)

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Born in Ston Easton, Somerset in 1865, Bayntun Hippisley inherited his family's estates upon the death of his grandfather in 1898. The Hippisley family had been Lords of the Manor of Ston Easton since 1544, and also owned properties in Berkshire, Gloucestershire, Devon and Rutland. Bayntun became interested in wireless telegraphy and in 1913 was appointed a member of the War Office Committee on Wireless Telegraphy. In September 1914 Bayntun and Edward Russell Clarke, a fellow amateur, were recruited by Sir Alfred Ewing, who had been appointed by Churchill to run the Admiralty's codebreaking team based in 'Room 40'. Hippisley and Clarke were sent to Hunstanton to set up a wireless station, which became known as 'Hippisley's Hut'. They subsequently set up a string of stations around the British Isles as well as in Italy and Malta. Bayntun was awarded the O.B.E. in 1918 and the C.B.E. in 1937. He died in 1956 and was described in his obituary as "an almost unique personality" who "inherited a remarkable mechanical and scientific gift, which put him in the forefront, if not ahead, of most of his contemporaries". He was also described as "one of the men who really won the war."

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