When Josef landed near Ramsey in Huntingdonshire, he had a variety of items in his possession including spy gear, personal items and clothing. Whatever became of those items and where can one see them?
Many of the items that Josef brought were confiscated by MI5 and some of them ended up in the National Archives files in London including:
- Shell Touring Road Map of Great Britain – apparently this has now disappeared
- one electric torch
- Ration Book & Identity Cards
- Remains of cipher disc
- Post card from Clara Bauerle
- a couple of note books in the name of Kenneth C. Howard
Ramsey Rural Museum
A small fragment of Josef's parachute resides in the Ramsey Rural Museum (Cambridgeshire). The location of the rest of the parachute is unknown.
Imperial War Museum
A wall case in the Imperial War Museum displays typical equipment for a German spy who might parachute into England, including a parachute, flying suit, hand spade and radio transmitter. These articles have an unknown provenance and could be from a variety of spies. While not necessarily belonging to Josef Jakobs, they are similar to his equipment. Apparently officers of MI5 would add such items to their personal collections when they were no longer required for intelligence purposes (i.e. the spy had been executed).
Tower of London, London
Most people are aware that the Tower of London holds the chair in which Josef was executed. Held in storage for many years, the chair was brought out of the dark in the late 1990s and placed on display in the Tower. Recently the Royal Armouries in the Tower of London also acquired the prescription for some medication offered to Josef on the morning of his execution.
Scots Guards Museum, London
A less well known repository is the Scots Guards Museum at Wellington Barracks in London. It apparently holds the round lint target that was pinned to Josef's chest for his execution. The circle is not always on display.
St. Mary's Roman Catholic Cemetery, Kensal Green, London
Josef's body was buried at St. Mary's Roman Catholic Cemetery in an unmarked grave in Plot G, which has since been reused for other internments. The cemetery chapel contains a plaque commemorating the final resting place of all those whose graves were lost in Plot G.
Several items reside in private collections and these are obviously much harder to trace. The farewell letter that Josef wrote to his family on the night before his execution was held in the MI5 files for decades. It was finally delivered to his family in 1993. Josef had given one individual his spectacles (and the blue leather case marked Optiker Ruhnke) and these were recently returned to Josef's family. Other items that Josef may have given to various individuals include:
- Automatic lighter marked K.W. on the bottom - possibly given to the farmers who found Josef
- Four-coloured white metal propelling pencil
- wrist watch
- a leather cigarette case marked Zeka Wettig Geder
- cigarette holder
- a comb, nail scissors and nail file
Josef had several other items with him, which have simply disappeared into the mists of time:
- Cash – £497 in £1 notes, old and new- apparently some were forged (destroyed?)
- wireless set in a small attaché case (possibly still held by MI5)
- pills in various containers (probably destroyed by MI5)
- Roman Catholic badge - disappeared very early on, between February 1 and April 30, 1941
- one pocket knife marked Swing (possibly kept by an MI5 officer)
- blue Metoula Sprachfuhrer dictionary
- various articles of clothing (probably destroyed by MI5)
- steel helmet (possibly kept by an MI5 officer)
- Mauser pistol (possibly still held by MI5)
- small hand spade (possibly kept by an MI5 officer)
- flying suit (possibly kept by an MI5 officer)
- camouflaged parachute with harness (missing a small square) (possibly kept by an MI5 officer)