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Showing posts from March, 2014

Inspector Horace Jaikens - Huntingdonshire Constabulary

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Acknowledgement
Many thanks to Martyn Smith, grandson of Horace Jaikens, for kindly sharing information and photographs about his grandfather.

On 1 February, 1941, Josef Jakobs, erstwhile German spy, was found by a couple of farm workers in a potato field southwest of the town of Ramsey, Huntingdonshire. The farmers found Harry Godfrey, a member of the local Home Guard, at a nearby farm and he promptly phoned the Ramsey Police Station at 8:50 am. Godfrey reported to Acting Inspector Jaikens that an injured parachutist had been found near Wistow Fen Farm. The man was a suspected enemy agent and had been disarmed and was under the supervision of two members of the Home Guard.

Jaikens immediately phoned Acting Sergeant Pottle from nearby Bury, Captain W.H. Newton, Officer Commanding the Ramsey Company Home Guard and Detective Sergeant Thomas Mills from Huntingdon. Captain Newton collected Lieutenant John Curedale and drove to the farm where they collected Jakobs and his possessions and ar…

Spiritual Care & Last Rites for Josef Jakobs

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Josef Jakobs was a Roman Catholic. During his incarceration at Camp 020, it is unlikely that he received spiritual care. However, once he was transferred to Wandsworth Prison, some options opened up for him.

Several articles and books state that Josef was offered the services of a German priest, Fr. Josef Simmel of St. Boniface Parish in Aldgate, but that he refused to see him. This theory is inaccurate.

In late July and early August, 1941, several letters were exchanged between the War Office and Bishop James Dey, Bishop of the Forces. The prison chaplain at Wandsworth, a Fr. Daly, was frustrated that he was unable to offer spiritual support to a prisoner under military control, Josef Jakobs. In consultation with Fr. Coghlan, the senior Army Chaplain, MI5 agreed that Fr. Griffith, stationed at the hospital in Knutsford, would be made available to Josef. Fr. Griffith could speak German and had ministered to wounded German prisoners of war in Knutsford. In his final letter to his fami…

Book Review - A History of Modern Espionage by Colonel Allison Ind (1965)

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The Book
A History of Modern Espionage: the growth and operation of Secret Service in all parts of the world, Allison Ind, Hodder & Stoughton, London, 1965.

Review
One of the first books to mention Josef Jakobs was published in 1965 by Colonel Allison Ind, a US Air Intelligence Officer who had been station in the Far East during World War 2. Ind wrote a book entitled A History of Modern Espionage. The book was clearly an ambitious project given the broad scope of its subtitle: "the growth and operation of Secret Service in all parts of the world".

Thus it is rather surprising that Josef Jakobs, a rather unimportant spy in the grand scheme of things, gets mentioned within the pages of the book. It is also worth noting that the story of the Double-Cross System in England had yet to be told (Masterman's book was not released until the mid-1970s). Colonel Ind had this to say about Jakobs:Far less accomplished types were among those who did fall into Special Branch's …

Court Martial of Josef Jakobs held at Duke of York Headquarters, Chelsea

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On the morning of 4 August, 1941, Josef Jakobs was driven from Wandsworth Prison to the Duke of York's Headquarters. His court martial convened at 10:30 am and concluded at 1 pm the following day.

The Duke of York's Headquarters is a building located on King's Road in the Chelsea area of London, just southwest of Sloane Square. The government bought the land from the Cadogan family in 1801 in order to build a co-educational boarding school for the children of soldier's widows. The original building was designed by John Sanders and was completed in 1803, known as the Royal Military Asylum for the Children of Soldier's of the Regular Army (commonly shortened to Royal Military Asylum).

The school housed about 1000 children with 300 girls housed in the south wing and 700 boys in the north wing. The central block housed the dining room and communal areas. In 1892, the Royal Military Asylum was renamed the Duke of York's Royal Military School, becoming an all-boys sc…

Equipped to Jump into the Unknown

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On the evening of 31 January, 1941, at 7 pm (British Time), Josef Jakobs departed Schipol Aerodrome in Amsterdam in a two-engined German aircraft. The three-man air crew flew the plane toward England and at 8 pm, over fields of Huntingdoneshire Jakobs jumped from the air craft at an elevation of 3000 feet.

Jakobs had injured his ankle upon departing the air craft, an injury that was compounded when he landed in a farmers field southwest of the town of Ramsey. Unable to move, Jakobs covered himself with his parachute and awaited the dawn. At 3:30 am, after firing some shots into the air, Jakobs was found by two farmers who quickly summoned the Home Guard.

The Home Guard and police reports noted that Jakobs the items that Jakobs had in his possession. In regards to his descent from the air craft, Jakobs was equipped with a camouflage parachute, a light brown flying suit, a steel helmet with German markings, a small hand spade (15" long) and a pocket knife marked swing.

The pocket k…

Dead Men Talking

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In September 1940, four would-be "German" spies landed on the coast of England. The men were captured relatively quickly and in November 1940 were put on trial at the Old Bailey in London. Sjoerd Pons, a Dutchman, was acquitted and imprisoned for the remainder of the war. Of the other three, all were found guilty of espionage and sentenced to death: Carl Heinrich Meyer (Dutch); Jose Rudulf Waldberg (German) and Charles Kieboom (Dutch). In the days leading up to their executions (Meyer and Waldberg on 10 December 1940 and Kieboom on 17 December), all three wrote letters to their loved ones. All three were told that their letters would be delivered to their families at the end of the war. They never were.

The letters were kept in the MI5 files for decades, the authorities concerned that their contents could cast a poor light on British justice. In the early 2000s, the files were released to the National Archives, including the letters of the deceased spies.

Carl Meier wrote to…