bob hereward wake: updated 20 Feb 2018
On 27 December 1900 Robert Frederick Bird Wake was born in the family home at Moonee Ponds.
In later life he some times used the sayings taken from Sun Zi’s The Art of War, one of his favourites was:
Intelligent rulers and wise generals use the cleverest men as spies. The spy is a necessity for the army. Upon him the movement of the army depends. (P32)
Bob Wake’s repeated questioning of conventional wisdom and challenge of exisiting practises was not something that he had worked out for himself, it was something which he had been taught to respect and value at Essendon High School. (P33)
During the 20’s, Wake spent much of his free time surfing at Bondi, and joined the local surf lifesaving club.
Australian security organisations.
AIB: Allied Intelligence Bureau, established in July 1942 to control and co-ordinate all Allied intelligence organisations operating in the SWPA during WW2.
ASIO: became operational in April 1949 with Mr Justice Reed as DG and Bob Wake as operational director for B1 and B2.
B1: the counter-subversion service of ASIO.
B2: the counter-espionage service of ASIO.
CIC: Counter Intelligence Corps, the US Army’s counter-espionage service during WW2, which worked closely with Bob Wake when he was in charge of internal security with the CSS.
CSS: Commonwealth Security Service; became operational in March 1941.
CIS: Commonwealth Investigation Service, formed in 1946 to replace the CSS.
KGB: The Encyclopaedia Britannica claimed the KGB managed to penetrate all ‘major’ intelligence services except the CIA.
NAOU: Northern Australia Observer Unit, also known as the Nackeroos was formed to work behind enemy lines in northern Australia.
SIGINT: Signals Intelligence. The worldwide network of communication specialists who listened to other nations coded transmissions and tried to break their codes.
SIB: Special Intelligence Bureau, a WW2 Australian code-breaking operation that started shortly after SIGINT specialist RAN Commander Eric Nave returned to Australia in 1940. Nave was trained by the GC&CS and worked on the China Station and Singapore, Nave was believed to be involved in code-breaking activities with the Japanese.
WWF: the Waterside Workers Federation. An important part of Bob Wake‘s responsibilities during WW2 was to make sure that the port of Brisbane, then one of the busiest ports in the world, remained open and maintained efficiency.
Bob Wake’s resume.
Early twenties: Wake was attached to the District Intelligence Office at HMA Naval Establisments Garden Island (Sydney). Part of his duties consisted of reporting on visiting ships, shipping lanes, ports and overseas dry dock facilities, as well as watching the IWW, the Communist sympathisers who eventually formed the Communist Party of Australia. He eventually joined the New Guard movement as an undercover agent where he proved to be a convincing deceiver (P50).
In 1933, Wake, with the assistance of the NSW police force and in particular CIB Inspector Longfield Lloyd, found the Emden ship’s bell which had been stolen and buried in a field by a German national. Longfield Lloyd was later to become head of the CSS.
The record clearly showed that Bob Wake had been running agents since the mid-thirties when he joined the Commonwealth Investigation Branch and took over its Brisbane office. (P17)
Bob Wake‘s work with ASIO represented the last two years of his thirty-year career, (P17)