28 March 2014

Inspector Horace Jaikens - Huntingdonshire Constabulary


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


Google Maps - location of Ramsey.
Google Maps - location of Ramsey.
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.

Inspector Horace Jaikens  during World War 2 - standing outside  the Ramsey Police Station.  (Photo copyright Martyn Smith)  (Used with permission)
Inspector Horace Jaikens
during World War 2 - standing outside
the Ramsey Police Station.
(Photo copyright Martyn Smith)
(Used with permission)
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 arranged for a horse-drawn cart to transport him to the Ramsey Police Station.

Prior to Jakobs' arrival at the station, Captain Newton arrived and handed over Jakobs' possessions to Jaikens. These included: £491 in £1 Bank of England notes, a Mauser automatic pistol, ammunition, a picture post card, a packet of minced meat sandwiches, a portion of brown sausage, a small bottle containing spirit, a metal crash helmet, a bluish coloured attache case containing a wireless transmitting set, a ration book and two identity cards-one was blank and one was marked 656/301/29 and made out for James Rymer, London, 33 Abbotsford Gardens, Woodford Green, dated 4 June, 1940.
Ramsey Police Station
Ramsey Police Station
Mills arrived at the police station shortly before 10 am just in time to welcome Jakobs and his Home Guard escort, who arrived at 10:15 am. Jaikens ascertained that Jakobs was suffering from a leg injury and summoned Dr. Willem Hertzog of Ramsey who determined that the prisoner had a broken right ankle. Jaikens and Mills asked Jakobs a few brief questions but found that he did not speak very good English. A further search of Jakobs yielded a another five £1 Bank of England notes, a touring map of Great Britain, a German-English dictionary, an electric torch and a variety of personal items.

Jaikens described Jakobs as being 42 years old, height 5'9", brown hair turning grey, brown eyes, pale complexion, clean shaven with hollow cheeks. Jakobs stated that he was born in Luxembourg and was a dentist. He had been sent to England to report on weather conditions. Mills contacted Major Dixon, the Regional Security Liaison Officer from Cambridge) who arrived at noon. At 3:30 pm, Dixon and Mills escorted the prisoner and his property to London.

After Jakobs' departure, Jaikens and Pottle interviewed various witnesses and Jaikens sent a report to the local police superintendent.

Interestingly, of all those participants in Jakobs' capture and first interrogation, only two were not summoned as witnesses at Jakobs' court-martial: Inspector Jaikens and Lt. John Curedale of the Home Guard.

Horace Jaikens

Horace Jaikens was born 1 January, 1898, in the town of St. Neots, southwest of Huntingdon in Huntingdonshire. Horace was the eldest of three children and helped his parents, James & Avery, farm near Abbotsley, east of St. Neots.
Horace Jaikens in Huntindonshire  Cyclist Battalion uniform -  February 1915.  (Photo copyright Martyn Smith)  (Used with permission)
Horace Jaikens in Huntindonshire
Cyclist Battalion uniform -
February 1915.
(Photo copyright Martyn Smith)
(Used with permission)

With the advent of war, Horace enlisted with the Huntingdonshire Cyclist Battlalion at the end of November 1914. In 1916, Horace was sent to France with the Royal Warwickshire Regiment.

On September 5, 1916, Horace was reported missing in action. The family was on tenterhooks for weeks until finally, in October, Horace was listed as a Prionser of War at the Giessen camp in Germany. He had been wounded by machine gun fire in August and taken captive by the Germans who nursed him back to health.

Horace spent the rest of the war in Giessen and wrote several letters back to his family from the POW camp. In one, he expressed a wish for some particularly valuable items: cake, cigars and a piece of bacon, should they be allowed to send a care package to him.

Upon his release and repatriation to England, Horace joined the Huntingdonshire Constabulary and served in Huntingdon, Buckden, St. Ives and Ramsey.

POW card from Horace Jaikens to a relative in 1918.  (Photo copyright Martyn Smith)  (Used with permission)
POW card from Horace Jaikens to a relative in 1918.
(Photo copyright Martyn Smith)
(Used with permission)
Early in his career with the police force, Horace married Clara Edna F. Clark in 1921. In 1925, Horace and Clara welcomed their only child, a daughter, into their family. Horace was to have retired in 1939, but with the outbreak of war, continued to serve in the police force, notably in the town of Ramsey.

Horace's wife, Clara, passed away in February, 1984 while Horace passed away on 23 September, 1988, at the age of 90 years.

It is interesting to note that Horace and Josef were both born in the same year, 1898. Both fought in World War I, albeit on opposite sides and both were wounded. Their paths diverged-one became a police officer and one ended up a spy. Their interaction on 1 February, 1941, was brief and compounded by a language barrier. And yet, 73 years later, their grandchildren share information as they research the lives of their ancestors.
 
References
Ancestry Genealogy
Huntindonshire Cyclist Battalion
National Archives, Security Service files, KV 2/24

24 March 2014

Spiritual Care & Last Rites for Josef Jakobs


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 family, Josef noted that this priest was a great friend and source of consolation. Who was this chaplain who ministered to a German spy condemned to death?

Father Edward Jackson Griffith C.O.

Eastbourne College
Eastbourne College
Edward Jackson Griffith was born 1 May, 1909, in Surrey to Walter and Alice Emily Griffith. Walter Griffith was a successful merchant and little Edward Jackson and his siblings (Mary Helen, Walter, and Frank Stewart) were looked after by a couple of nursemaids and a cook and servant rounded out the family.

SS Rajputana
SS Rajputana
Edward was a bright young man and attended Eastbourne College, Sussex In April 1926, at the tender age of 16, Edward boarded the SS Rajputana, a P&O ocean liner, destined for the exotic port of Gibralter. Returning to England, Edward continued his studies at King's College in Cambridge and graduated with a Master of Arts (History). Tragically, Edward's older brother, Frank Steward, passed away in 1928 at the age of 21. It may have been this untimely death that triggered Edward into leaving the Anglican Church and embracing the Catholic faith.

Fr. Rudolph Eichhorn SJ  (from 1931 Canisius College  Yearbook).
Fr. Rudolph Eichhorn SJ
(from 1931 Canisius College
Yearbook).
On 1 October, 1930, Edward departed for New York on the ocean liner Majestic. Arriving on 7 October, Edward stated the he did not intend to return home to England (giving his brother Walter's address in London as a contact) but intended to become a U.S. citizen. Edward's destination was Canisius College, a Catholic school run by the Jesuits in Buffalo, New York.

Edward Griffith (from 1931 Canisius  College Yearbook).
Edward Griffith (from 1931 Canisius
College Yearbook).
Edward listed Reverend Eichhorn as a "friend" and his contact at the college. Fr. Rudolph Eichhorn was the President of the college and by 1931, Edward was listed as a history lecturer (his name given as Edward F. Griffiths). It was probably here that Griffith learned German, but in the event, he did not become a US citizen. Edward left Canisius after a year or two and taught at Georgetown University in Washington DC for another year.

In 1933, Edward returned to London, England, having decided to pursue the priesthood. Edward took his first profession of vows with the Oratorians on 6 December 1933. Having studied for a few years in Rome at the Pontifical Beda College, Edward was ordained a Catholic priest on 12 March 1938. With the outbreak of war, Edward stepped forward to serve in the British Armed Forces as a Catholic Chaplain and was gazetted a Captain on 3 October 1939.
London Irish Rifles cap badge.
London Irish Rifles cap badge.

Edward's first posting was with the 1st Battalion of the Rangers (King’s Royal Rifle Corps). On 4 March 1940, Edward was transferred to the 5th London Infantry Brigade of the 2nd London Division. On 31 May 1940 he was attached to the 2nd Battalion of The London Irish Rifles.

Fr. Edward Griffith C.O. - circa 1950s  (From Oratorian Website)
Fr. Edward Griffith C.O. - circa 1950s
(From Oratorian Website)
In 1941, on 26 June, Edward was transferred to the 4th General Hospital in Knutsford, where he ministered to wounded British and German soldiers. He remained at the hospital until 22 December 1942 when he embarked for North Africa, serving with a variety of units until the end of the war. He returned to the U.K. on 22 September 1945 and was discharged from the army on 27 December 1945.

Edward returned to the Oratory and was promptly chosen as Prefect of the Congregation, a post he held until 1948. During the General Congress of the Oratorians in 1948, Edward was elected Attorney General. Having served in that office for 10 years, and done an admirable job, Edward then became the Apostolic Visitor in 1958. Unfortunately Edward had suffered a couple of heart attacks in 1955, which ultimately contributed to his untimely death from pneumonia on 14 June 1959 in the port city of Livorno, Italy. Edward is buried at the Oratorian tomb in Mondovi, Italy.

Edward Griffith and Josef Jakobs

According to his military service record, Fr. Griffith was detached from Knutsford in 1941 and sent to London District from 6 August – 18 August for special duty. Edward provided Josef with spiritual are, celebrating Mass in his cell every day. From the dates of his assignment, it is likely that Edward accompanied Josef to his execution at the Tower and eventually celebrated the funeral mass on August 18 at St. Mary's Roman Catholic Cemetery chapel.

Edward Griffith was highly regarded by his fellow Oratorians, some of whom described him as a lovable, well-educated man who was accepting of all. Edward was just a young priest (only 3 years ordained) when he met Josef but he was clearly a source of spiritual comfort to a man facing his last days.

References

Ancestry.co.uk
Oratory Website
Army Chaplain Museum

19 March 2014

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


The Book
A History of Modern Espionage by Allison Ind.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 net, as well as the "fillers" with whom Berlin desperately and sometimes recklessly tried to stop the espionage gap created by the two-net haul in 1939.

There was, among others, the hapless Josef Jacobs. The poor chap could not even speak English, except in mangled phrases heavy with gutturals. Ill luck dogged him from the moment he set foot on English soil. Unfortunately for him that setting was rather violent and resulted in the fracture of his ankle: he had landed too roughly in an English potato field from the aircraft that had flown him across the channel in mid-1941. Despite the pain, he had sought to ply the trowel that was part of his equipment to bury the tell-tale parachute. But waves of nausea swept over him and robbed him of his strength. He could not finish the job, although he did manage roughly to conceal a pack containing a radio transmitter and some meteorological data. Then he collapsed. After daylight a farm worker passing along the road above the spot heard moaning. The farmer was more than mildly surprised at sight of the man lying there, clad in a helmet and a grey overcoat, but beneath it a grey business suit and, of all things, spats! A brown bowler hat had proved more indestructible than his ankle. But he was in no mood, or position, to wear it. He tried to put into words an explanation. It was so badly phrased that the farm hand knew immediately that his puzzle-man was a foreigner. He notified the police.

On Jacobs was found a British ration book, neatly enough accomplished, a loaded pistol and a considerable sum in one-pound notes. He had food enough to sustain him for a few days, including German sausage, no less.

In view of all this, his clumsy attempts to deny espionage intent were pathetic. But a man clings to any straw in a fight for his life. Jacobs resigned himself to the inevitable in a short time, explaining that he was not a professional spy but a member of the German Wehrmacht meteorological service who had been sent to England to set up his own weather-observing station and transmit the results to Germany. Doubtless his findings would have been of considerable use to the Luftwaffe, and quite possibly the invasion planners.

His otherwise undistinguished record shows that he was the only German spy of the period to be shot, rather than hanged, an acknowledgement of his military status.
Colonel Ind got the broad-brush strokes of Jakobs' story correct, although some of the details are incorrect. Jakobs came across in late January 1941, not in mid-1941. He covered himself with the parachute during the night and did not try to bury it. He was spotted by two farmers after firing shots into the air. He was found with a trilby hat, not a bowler hat. Interestingly, Ind gives no information on the location of Jakobs' capture and/or execution.

Summary
Colonel Ind's account, probably based on contemporary newspaper accounts and/or anecdotal stories, is noteworthy primarily for being one of the first accounts to mention Jakobs. It has since been supplanted by numerous other books that reference additional, and more accurate, resources.

Review Score
2 out of 5 - The overall account is moderately accurate.

14 March 2014

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

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.
Location of Duke of York's Headquarters.
Google Map - Location of Duke of York's Headquarters, London

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).
Duke of York's Headquarters.
1928 - Duke of York's Headquarters (Britain from Above).

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 school. In 1909, the school relocated to a new building near the cliffs of Dover in Kent.
Duke of York's Headquarters.
Postcard of Duke of York's Headquarters, Chelsea. North wing is the building to the left.

In 1911, the building was taken over by the Territorial Army and renamed the Duke of York's Headquarters.  In 1999, the Ministry of Defence sold the site to Cadogan Estates. The site was redeveloped to include a public square, upmarket housing, restaurants and retail outlets. The main block has been leased to the Saatchi Gallery.
Location of North Wing of Duke of York's Headquarters.
Duke of York's Headquarters, 2013 (Google Maps).

On a warm summer's day, one can stroll through the Duke of York's Square perusing the high-end shops and enjoying a cafe-latte at Patisserie Valerie. For dinner one could stop at the posh Italian restaurant, Manicomio, located in the north wing of the former Duke of York's Headquarters.
Manicomio Restaurant, Duke of York's Headquarters.
Manicomio Restaurant (from Manicomio website)

The patio seating looks tempting and many people take advantage of the warm summer evening.  But, if you were to look up to the second floor, you would see two windows flanking a drain (see below).
Location of room in which the court martial of Josef Jakobs was held.
Arrows mark the two windows leading to the room in which the court martial of Josef Jakobs was held.

In 1941, those two windows marked the room wherein the court martial of Josef Jakobs took place on 4 and 5 August, 1941.

Two hundred years ago, orphaned boys of British soldiers studied for their future. A hundred years ago, volunteer soldiers of the Territorial Army geared up for the First World War. In 1941, dozens of people gathered to witness, testify and determine the outcome of one man's life. Today, diners sit and eat their tiramisu and sip their red wine. Do they know the storied history of this building?

10 March 2014

Equipped to Jump into the Unknown

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.

Hand spade at IWM.  (copyright GK Jakobs)
Hand spade at IWM.
(copyright GK Jakobs)
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 knife would have been useful for a parachutist to cut themselves away from their parachute gear. The hand spade was provided so that the would-be spy could bury the parachute, harness and flying suit, thereby escaping detection for as long as possible. Interestingly, the Imperial War Museum in Lambeth, London has a display of some equipment found with the German spies, including a small hand spade.

Steel German paratroopers helmet at Imperial War Museum (copyright GK Jakobs)
Steel German paratroopers helmet at Imperial
War Museum (copyright GK Jakobs)
The steel helmet (also called a crash helmet by some of the police involved) worn by Jakobs was most likely identical with the one currently on display at the Imperial War Museum (IWM). The helmet was one used by German paratroopers and the steel shell included a liner and chin strap.
German flying suit at IWM  (copyright GK Jakobs)
German flying suit at IWM
(copyright GK Jakobs)


The light brown flying suit worn by Jakobs would have probably been identical with the one also on display at the Imperial War Museum. He would have worn it over his regular civilian clothes. Unlike German paratroopers, Jakobs was not wearing high-sided boots but regular black shoes, which may have played a contributing factor in his ankle injury.

Jakobs was also equipped with a large camouflage parachute. The parachute on display at the Imperial War Museum (and the other items in the display) are from an unknown German spy.  The parachute would have been a round one and had one riser extending from the body harness to the parachute. US and British parachutes typically had four risers extending from the harness to the parachute, which allowed for some manipulation of direction. The German parachutes were not maneuverable.

While the location of Jakobs' parachute is unknown, a fragment of it is on display at the Ramsey Rural Museum in Huntingdonshire.

Ramsey Rural Museum - display case with newspaper articles on the capture & execution of German spy Josef Jakobs, including a fragment of his camouflaged parachute.  (Photo courtesy of Martin Lovell, Ramsey Rural Museum)
Ramsey Rural Museum - display case with newspaper articles on the capture & execution
of German spy Josef Jakobs, including a fragment of his camouflaged parachute.
(Photo courtesy of Martin Lovell, Ramsey Rural Museum)
Accompanied by some of the newspaper articles that were published upon the execution of Jakobs, the fragment is  not large. Its provenance is unknown but presumably one of the farmers and/or the Home Guard cut off a fragment as a memento of their historic discovery.

Ramsey Rural Museum - close up of fragment of camouflaged parachute used by Josef Jakobs. (Photo courtesy of Martin Lovell, Ramsey Rural Museum)
Ramsey Rural Museum - close up of fragment of camouflaged parachute used by Josef Jakobs.
(Photo courtesy of Martin Lovell, Ramsey Rural Museum)

According to one military historian, many of the MI5 officers involved in the interrogation of German spies would keep the equipment of the hapless spies as souvenirs (flying suits, parachutes, etc.). Perhaps the remainder of Jakobs' parachute ended up in a private collection. Or perhaps it lies mouldering in unreleased MI5 boxes. It's last known sighting (along with the flying suit and spade) was on August 4 and 5 at the court martial of Josef Jakobs.

05 March 2014

Dead Men Talking

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 his mother,  Mrs. J. van Waltmeyer-Tamson in Maastricht and to his girlfriend Margaret.

Jose Waldberg (not his real name) wrote to his "adopted" aunt and uncle, Pierre & Raymonde Lassudry in Paris, as well as to another aunt, Sr. Antoinette Lassudry in Durbuy-les-Barvaux. His final letter was to his fiance Helene Ceuppens from Ixelles near Brussels.

Charles Kieboom wrote one letter to "Bien", address unknown.

The letters are touching and poignant, even more so given that they were never delivered. Did the families eventually discover what happened to their sons, grandsons, boyfriends, nephews? The executions were reported in the London papers, so perhaps news trickled back to the families. But the last words of these spies, destined for their loved ones, never made it.

Farewell Letter of Josef Jakobs

Such might have been the case for Josef Jakobs as well. He too wrote a final farewell letter to his family on the eve of his execution. It was handed to Lt. Col. William Edward Hinchley-Cooke, an MI5 interrogator. Hinchley-Cooke took the letter, which was handwritten in German, back to his office and enclosed it in an envelope.
Envelope that contained the final letter of Josef Jakobs (obverse).
Envelope that contained the final letter of Josef Jakobs (obverse).
Copyright Giselle K. Jakobs

The letter was to be delivered to Jakobs' wife, Frau Margarete Jakobs, at the cessation of hostilities. The letter was sealed with wax, imprinted with the seal of the War Office.
Envelope that contained the final letter of Josef Jakobs (reverse).
Envelope that contained the final letter of Josef Jakobs (reverse).
Copyright Giselle K. Jakobs

The envelope sat in the MI5 files for the next 52 years. In 1993, with the release of the court martial file on Josef Jakobs, the letter was finally delivered to the granddaughters of Josef Jakobs. The seal was unbroken. Unfortunately, Jakobs' wife had passed away in 1970, preceded in 1963 and 1946 by two of Jakobs' children. Only his youngest son was left to receive the letter and read the final words of Josef to his family.

One person read the letter before Josef's family, Lt. Col. Hinchley-Cooke. Within the letter, Jakobs referred to the photos from a medallion which kept him company during his long captivity. Hinchley-Cooke ordered a thorough examination of the deceased's personal effects and two tiny oval photographs were found in the clothing of Jakobs. For seven and a half months, Jakobs had kept those photographs a secret from the officers of MI5, a small, but significant act of defiance and resistance.
Letter acknowledging the discovery of photographs in the clothing  of Josef Jakobs.
Letter acknowledging the discovery of photographs in the clothing
of Josef Jakobs. From MI5 files, National Archives.
Image copyright of Giselle K. Jakobs.

Broken Promises

The British authorities promised Waldberg, Kieboom and Meyer that their letters would be delivered at the end of the war. The same promise was made to Josef Jakobs. Did such promises mean anything? Is it ever "too late" to receive a message from the past? The family of Josef Jakobs would say "No, it is never to late", even 52 years after the fact. Our family is extremely grateful that we were able to receive the letter that Josef wrote on the eve of his execution.

How many other spies wrote final letters to their loved ones? Where are those letters?

Perhaps there are descendants of those three hapless "German" spies who first landed on the shores of England in September 1940. The addressees might be long deceased but perhaps someone, somewhere, would be interested in receiving a "message in a bottle" from a long-lost grand-uncle.

Letters from Jose Rudolf Waldberg

Waldberg signed his letters as Henri.

Madame Antoinette Lassudry
Institut des Filles de la Sagesse
Souer Constance du Calvair
Durbuy-les-Barvaux
Luxembourg (city is actually in Belgium)

Pierre & Raymonde Lassudry
3 rue Louis-Blanc 3
Alfortville, Paris
France

Helene Ceuppens (his fiancé)
73 Rue Marie-Henriette
Ixelles, Brussels
Belgium

Letter from Carl Meyer

Mrs. J. van Waltmeyer-Tamson
Scharnerweg 126
Maastricht
Holland

Letter from Charles Kieboom

Addressed simply to "Bien"


References

National Archives, Security Service files on the Dutch spies, KV 2/1699 & KV 2/1700.
National Archives, Security Service file on Josef Jakobs, KV 2/27.
Personal Papers.