Posts

Showing posts from 2012

Radio Times Article - April 16, 2012

I had an interview with Terry Payne of Radio Times in late January 2012, when I visited London. While there are a few inaccuracies (I don't work in schools for native Americans), on the whole it is fairly accurate.

The print article (sent to me courtesy of National Geographic) has a picture of Josef, myself and the envelope containing Josef's last letter. You can read the digital article here.

Trailer from Bloody Tales of the Tower

Image
While Bloody Tales of the Tower has not yet aired on National Geographic in Canada, we can see a tiny snippet of it on their website.

Or you can watch the full episode on YouTube:

The Virtual Grave of Josef Jakobs

Josef Jakobs was buried in the Common Plot at St. Mary's Cemetery (Kensal Green, London). What this basically means, is that the public purse paid for his burial, along with many others. No gravestone marked his final resting place and in the mid-1970s, a thick layer of soil buried the resting places of all in the Common Plot. The new layer of soil was used to bury others. So, Josef's grave is well and truly gone.

There are, however, other ways to remember the deceased. I came across the Find-a-Grave website several years ago, and found that Josef (being a "famous" person) was already listed there. I was able to leave a virtual bouquet of flowers, and read the comments of others who had "visited" his virtual grave.

This past year, I also added a photograph of Josef to the website. It is amazing to see how often that photograph has been picked up and used on other websites (without any acknowledgement as to the source). My intention in posting the picture wa…

Ramsey Home Guard

Image
On the morning of February 1, 1941, the Ramsey Home Guard received word that a suspected spy (Josef Jakobs) had been discovered in a field near Dove House Farm. Situated near the RAF Upwood airbase, the Home Guard was primed to be on the lookout for suspicious folk.

A simple phone call by Home Guard Volunteer James Harry Godfrey, to the local police station, tapped into the eager resources of the local Home Guard.

Captain William Henry Newton, Officer Commanding the Ramsey Company (Home Guard) and Lieutenant John Curedale, Platoon Commander (Home Guard), drove out to Dovehouse Farm and took Josef Jakobs into custody. After delivering the captive spy to the police station, the role of the Home Guard was over, for the moment.

Eventually, on August 4, 1941, both Godfrey and Newton would be called to testify at Jakobs' Court Martial Trial in London. Lieutenant John Curedale had been called up into the regular Armed Forces and was excused from testifying.

Who were these men of the Home…

Josef Jakobs on Facebook

I had no idea that Josef had a Facebook page! How can one have a Facebook page when one has been deceased for 70+ years?

Well, apparently "famous people", deceased or alive, get a Facebook page if they have a Wikipedia article. So the information on Josef's Facebook page is essentially the same information as is in Wikipedia.

There isn't much that one can do with Josef's Facebook page, other than "like it" and "share it" on my own Facebook.



Who is Kenneth C. Howard?

N.B. See my February 12, 2017 blog for a break in the case. 
The Public Record Office (National Archives) in Kew has a small museum which, when I visited in January 2012, contained a small display case featuring some items to do with Josef.

One of the items was a small black notebook, apparently found on Josef when he landed in England. The notebook is open to page 38 which features a picture of the King of Romania and the words:

"Der Könige Von Rumanie" and "Deutschland über Alle!"

Leaving aside the poor German syntax, the reference to the King of Romania, and the fact that the handwriting is not that of Josef, I am left to wonder, what is this notebook doing in a display featuring Josef?

Accessing the PRO files on Josef, I examine the original notebook (the display version is a facsimile) and discover on the inside cover several stickers from UK regiments as well as the name:

K.C. Howard
17 Evelyn Road,
Sparkhill,
Birmingham
England

A small blue appointment book…

Date of Execution for Josef Jakobs

In searching the internet for information on Josef, I have come across an interesting assortment of misinformation. Depending on where you look on the internet, for example, Josef was executed on:

a) August 13, 1941
b) August 14, 1941
c) August 15, 1941
d) none of the above

The correct answer is August 15, 1941. The death warrant was dated August 13, but it stated that the date of execution was to be on August 15.

Josef was taken from Wandsworth Prison to the Tower of London on August 15, 1941, and executed 7:12 a.m (certified by Lt. Col. C.R. Gerard, Deputy Provost Marshal of London District).

On a more personal note, the letter that Josef wrote to his family in the hours prior to his execution indicated that he would die on the Feast of the Assumption of Mary (August 15).

Bloody Tales of the Tower

Image
National Geographic has set a date and a time for the first episode of their three part series - Bloody Tales from the Tower. The three parts are: Traitors, Executions and Scandal.

The first episode will air on Monday April 16 at 8 pm (UK premiere) and includes the piece of Josef.

The episode featuring Josef (Traitors) can be seen on YouTube (below). Josef's segment begins at about the 30 minute mark.

Filming - Bloody Tales of the Tower

An independent film company, True North Productions, contacted me in December. They are producing a mini-documentary on the history of the Tower and had heard about me. After several email conversations and an introductory Skype call, we connected via Skype, and I was interviewed by one of the hosts of the show.

The documentary is due to come out in early March... more details as they emerge.

Welcome

I am the granddaughter of Josef Jakobs. I have been conducting research on Josef since 1988. My research has progressed from uncovering a few lines on Josef in obscure espionage books, to reading the entire set of files on Josef at the National Archives in London.

My goal is to share information on Josef, to portray the human side of a man whose legacy seems to be a trivia footnote in the annals of history.