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National Maritime Museum

Denning, Vice Admiral Sir Norman Egbert (1904-1979)


Reference code(s): GB 0064 DEN

Held at: National Maritime Museum

Title: Denning, Vice Admiral Sir Norman Egbert (1904-1979)

Date(s): [1941-1965]

Level of description: Collection

Extent: 67 items

Name of creator(s): Denning | Sir | Norman Egbert | 1904-1979 | Vice Admiral


Administrative/Biographical history:

Born at Whitchurch, Hampshire, on 19 November 1904, Sir Norman Egbert Denning joined the navy as a special entry cadet in 1921, leaving Andover grammar school. He joined the paymaster branch instead of becoming an executive officer due to his eyesight. He excelled in this branch and was quickly rewarded for his competency, appointed secretary to senior executive officers. In 1937, paymaster lieutenant-commander Denning was appointed to the Admiralty's intelligence division. He then became chief adviser to the First Sea Lord of the Admiralty. Denning acted as the link between the operational intelligence centre (OIC) and components of the naval intelligence division including the Ministry of Economic Warfare, the army, the Secret Intelligence, the Special Operations Executive and Bomber commands of the RAF. Denning was later promoted paymaster-commander, 1941 and then paymaster-captain, 1951. After World War Two, Denning was appointed director of administrative planning in the Admiralty, later becoming director of the Royal Naval College, Greenwich in 1956. In 1958 Denning was promoted to rear-admiral on the general list. In 1958, he became deputy chief of naval personnel and director of manpower in the Admiralty, 1959. From 1964 to 1965 Denning acted as deputy chief of defence staff. Denning was appointed OBE in 1945, CB in 1961, and KBE in 1963. Retiring in 1967 he was secretary of the services, press and broadcasting committee, otherwise known as the 'D Notice Committee'. He died at Micheldever, Hampshire, on 27 December 1979.


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers of Sir Norman Egbert Denning, including Sir Norman's official commissions to the RN, official correspondence on the subjects of books, Babington-Smith's work on World War One, correspondence with Ian Fleming, 1964-5, personal letters of congratulation and retirement letters. Also included are his lectures and lecture notes, official reports, 1941 and 1942, essays written by Patrick Beesly, a series of Admiralty aerial photographs (b/w), 1941-45, a series of newspaper articles and magazines.


Language/scripts of material: English

System of arrangement:

Conditions governing access:

In transit - item unavailable from May to August 2011.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Please contact the Archive for further information.

Finding aids:

Detailed catalogue online at the: National Maritime Museum website .


Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

The collection was presented in 1984 by The Right Hon. Lord Denning and Lieutenant General Sir Reginald Denning.



Archivist's note: Edited by Sarah Drewery, Jun 2011.

Rules or conventions: Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions: 2011-04-19

Books | Publications | Communications media | Information sciences
Naval history | History
World War One (1914-1918) | World wars (events) | Wars (events)

Personal names
Denning | Sir | Norman Egbert | 1904-1979 | Knight | Vice Admiral
Fleming | Ian Lancaster | 1908-1964 | writer

Corporate names
Royal Navy