Sarrett Circus Commencement Address

I’m always on the hunt for new bits of history or trivia about the Circus. I’ve made a new find and I think you’ll find it to be quite the treat.

I was digging through some archives at the library and found one of Control’s commencement addresses to the graduates of the Sarrett training camp. It appears to have been misfiled which is how I managed to stumble upon it. It makes for fascinating reading and you may even see a few familiar names. Below you’ll find a photo of the original and under that I’ve typed out a transcript.

— Circus Eyes only —

Transcript from Sarrett graduation speech

Class of 19 (REDACTED)

5 May 19 (REDACTED)

(Control steps to podium)

Good afternoon everyone, and thank you for inviting me to be the speaker as you graduate today.

As I look around this green campus and your bright and young faces, I can’t help but think of my own training. Practicing dead drops and surveillance in the local village. Sending agents behind enemy lines in the Great War.

I don’t know where you will all end up. Some of you are obvious lamplighters, I see a few future scalphunters and perhaps even a future head of the service?


Hayden and Prideaux, I see you two are bosom buddies. I’m sure that friendship will serve both of you well in the service. I’ve heard some of the stories about your adventures with the local ladies you met at the pub down the road. Those memories will be welcome in the darker times you both may face.

Toby, I hope that you will (REDACTED)

Percy, your sharp mind will serve you well. I don’t see any of our enemies pulling the wool over your eyes. We’ll need your keen intelligence in the coming years.

Peter, you’ve completed your training. You’re now a full Englishman. Please banish your French side to the furthest recesses of your mind.

George, there you are. You must have taken the refresher course, I swear you never seem to age. I’m surprised Ann would let you out of her sight for the time it took for the training, please give her my best.

I will now brief you about the next, most crucial mission the Service will be taking on. (REDACTED)

You have faced all the hardships we could throw at you. Every difficulty you might face has been mimicked and tested. You are Britain’s force against the darkness of the world and only hope against the communist menace we face. It fills me with pride to find so many who are ready to take up the cause. It is only when we band together to fight our enemies that we see the best of ourselves. Do not fall into office politics, do not harbor ill will over the missions that go wrong or the assets you aren’t able to turn.

You are the best and brightest of the service has to offer. My faith in you is complete. I’m sure you won’t let me down.


— End Transcript —

One thought on “Sarrett Circus Commencement Address

  1. Jeff, such an enjoyable posting! As I work on my own espionage novel I conjure up my characters in my mind’s eye in order to imagine them as real persons. This commencement strikes me as spooky in that the names called out throughout paint a vivid picture of the actors who breathed life into Tinker, Sailor, Soldier, Spy. It is easy to forget that normal people do the extraordinary things that history reports on.

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