Sir Colin Frederick Figures KCMG OBE (1 July 1925 – 8 December 2006) was Head of the British Secret Intelligence Service (known as MI6) from 1981 to 1985. He was deputy secretary and Intelligence Co-ordinator of the Cabinet Office from 1985 to 1989.
|Born||1 July 1925|
Birmingham, United Kingdom
|Died||8 December 2006 (aged 81)|
Esher, United Kingdom
|Alma mater||Pembroke College, Cambridge|
|Occupation||British intelligence officer|
|Spouse(s)||Pamela Ann Timmis|
|Children||a son and two daughters|
|Parent(s)||Frederick and Muriel Figures|
|Service||Secret Intelligence Service (SIS/MI6)|
|Active||1951 – 1985|
|Rank||Chief of the Secret Intelligence Service|
Figures was born in Birmingham, the son of Frederick Figures, an insurance executive, and his wife Muriel. He was educated at King Edward's School, Birmingham and served in The Worcestershire Regiment from 1945 until 1948, during which time he studied Russian via the Inter-Service Language Course at Cambridge, and served in Romania and Hungary. He read French and Russian at Pembroke College, Cambridge after being demobilised in 1948, and joined the SIS when he graduated in 1951.
After a period in London, he served in Germany, served in Amman during the Suez Crisis, in Warsaw, and in Vienna during the Prague Spring, before returning to London. He moved from Eastern bloc espionage in 1973 to supervise SIS activities in Northern Ireland. He became deputy head of SIS in 1979 and its ninth Chief in 1981. The following year, SIS was involved in the Falklands War, seeking to prevent Argentina obtaining stocks of Exocet missiles to be carried by their Super Etendard attack aircraft. He received an OBE in 1969 and CMG in 1978, and advanced to KCMG in 1983.
Sir Dick Franks
| Chief of the SIS
Sir Christopher Curwen