Mansfield Smith-Cumming

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Person.png Sir Mansfield Smith-Cumming   SpartacusRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
(spook, deep politician?)
Mansfield Smith-Cumming.jpg
BornMansfield George Smith
1 April 1859
South London, United Kingdom
Died14 June 1923 (Age 64)
London, United Kingdom
Head of the organisation which later became MI6

Employment.png Chief of the SIS

In office
1909 - 14 June 1923
The first holder of this job

Sir Mansfield Smith-Cumming was the first head of the organisation which later became the Secret Intelligence Service (MI6).[1]

He added the surname Cumming after his marriage in 1889 to Leslie Marian Cumming, heiress of Logie near Forres in the County of Moray.[2]


Mansfield Cumming's English Heritage Blue Plaque at 2 Whitehall Court, London SW1A 2EJ

In 1909, Captain Mansfield Cumming of the Royal Navy was appointed head of the Naval section of the new Secret Service Bureau. In 1916, this section became MI1c within the War Office's Directorate of Military Intelligence.[3]

'C' stands for Cumming

According to current Chief of the SIS, Richard Moore, in a radio interview on 30 November 2021, 'C' stands for 'Cumming', not 'Chief'.[4]


At his death in 1923, Cumming was succeeded by Rear Admiral Hugh Sinclair.