03 February 2015

Today in 1941 - February 3 - German spy Josef Jakobs was transferred to Dulwich Community Hospital

Today in 1941, German spy Josef Jakobs was finally admitted to Dulwich Community Hospital in East Dulwich. His broken ankle, injured during the parachute jump on the evening of January 31, was in desperate need of medical attention. Three physicians had examined Josef at various points on February 1 and 2 - all agreed that his ankle needed to be treated if his leg was to be saved.

Today in 1941 - February 3 - German spy Josef Jakobs was transferred to Dulwich Community HospitalFinally, at 4:00 p.m. Josef was transported from Brixton Prison Infirmary to Dulwich Community Hospital. Upon arrival at the hospital, Josef was immediately assessed by the physicians. Leg and chest x-rays were quickly ordered and the radiologist concluded that Josef had a “comminuted fracture of lower end of shaft of tibia & fibula and overlapping of tibia fragments and forward displacement of upper [?unclear?] fragments.” In other words, the lower leg bones were shattered.

With the x-ray images in front of them, the doctors ordered that Josef be prepped for immediate surgery. Josef was placed under general anaesthetic as the doctors realigned his fractured leg bones and applied a cast of plaster of paris.

As far as most of the staff were concerned, Josef was a German airman who had bailed out of his aircraft. Only Dr. O.W. Roberts, chief physician at Dulwich, knew the real story behind Josef.

For the next seven weeks, Josef would remain sequestered within Dulwich Hospital, much to the frustration of Lt. Colonel Stephens and the other MI5 officers. Josef would develop a raging fever, sepsis at the site of the fracture and eventually pneumonia. Dr. Roberts was firm in his belief that if Josef's life was to be saved, he needed to be under expert medical care. Dr. Dearden from Latchmere House concurred, and Stephens was left to fume and grumble in various internal MI5 memos.



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