Showing posts from July, 2015

Today in 1941 - July 31 - German spy Josef Jakobs served with documents at Wandsworth Prison

Today in 1941, Lt. Col. William Edward Hinchley-Cooke visited Josef Jakobs at Wandsworth Prison. He served Josef with several legal documents:
Charge Sheet (Josef was charged under the Treachery Act)Summary of Evidence (taken on July 28 - witness statements)Copy of Exhibit 16 (torn fragments of disc code)Copy of Exhibit 17 (Josef's statement to Hinchley-Cooke taken on June 18, 1941.Copy of evidence to be given by Mr. L.W. Humphreys (radio expert - not present at Summary of Evidence) At Josef's request, Hinchley-Cooke explained the nature of Humphreys' statement, something that might have been beyond Josef's limited English skills. Josef also asked for a Catholic priest and Hinchley-Cooke said that one would be arranged.

Today in 1941 - July 28 - Summary of Evidence taken at Wellington Barracks

Today in 1941, Lt. Col. George M. Cornish of the Grenadier Guards oversaw the Summary of Evidence in preparation for Josef Jakobs' court martial. The event took place at Wellington Barracks on Birdcage Walk in London

The Summary of Evidence was a chance for the prosecution, in this case, Major Anthony A.H. Marlowe, to present the accused with all of the witnesses (and their statements). The accused, in this case Josef Jakobs, was given a chance to ask questions of the witnesses. He asked one question of the first witness but declined to question any of the other witnesses. There is no evidence that a defence attorney was present during the Summary of Evidence.

Based on the Summary of Evidence, Lt. Col. Cornish concluded that there was sufficient evidence to convene a General Court Martial.

Today in 1941 - July 24 - German spy Josef Jakobs was charged under the Treachery Act

Today in 1941, Lt. Col. Hinchley Cooke visited Josef Jakobs at Wandsworth Prison and formally charged him with an offence under the Treachery Act (1940).

Hinchley-Cooke was accompanied by the Deputy Provost Marshal (London District), Lt. Col. Charles Robert Tolver Michael Gerard.

Hinchley-Cooke charged Josef with:"committing a civil offence, that is to say, Treachery, an offence contrary to Section 1 of the Treachery Act, 1940, in that at Ramsey in the County of Huntingdon on the night of 31st January/1st February, 1941 with intent to help the enemy did an act designed or likely to give assistance to the naval, military or air operations of the enemy, or to impede such operations of His Majesty's Forces, namely did descend by parachute in the United Kingdom." After reading out the charge in English, and then in German, Hinchley-Cooke explained the legal procedure to Josef. There would be a Summary of Evidence and then the court-martial. Josef would be provided wit…

Today in 1941 - July 23 - German spy Josef Jakobs was moved from Latchmere House to Wandsworth Prison

Today in 1941, Josef Jakobs left the comparative security of Latchmere House interrogation centre for an uncertain future at Wandsworth Prison.

MI5 had extracted what the could from Josef, and now it was time for the military justice system to take control of Josef, and his future.

Because Josef was a prisoner of the military, the cell in which he was held at Wandsworth Prison (F/3) was designated a military prison. Josef would be guarded by a detachment of Military Policemen under the command of the Deputy Provost Marshall of London District. The Governor of Wandsworth Prison noted in his journal that Josef Jakobs had been "received as lodger in F/3 (military prison)".

For a spy to be transferred to a civilian prison (or a military one for that matter) could mean one of two things: (a) he was being held for the duration of the war or (b) he was soon to be executed. For Josef, it would be the latter.

Clara Bauerle's Music

Another post on Clara Bauerle. A friend asked for links to Clara's music so I thought I'd post them here for others. Clara can be a bit tough to find on YouTube since she is usually listed as Claire Bauerle.

Schiff ahoi! - Claire Bäuerle, Heyn-Quartett, 1940

Die Männer sind schon die Liebe wert - Bernhard Ette Orchestra & Claire Bäuerle, 1939

Du darfst mir nie mehr rote Rosen schenken - Bernhard Ette Orchestra & Claire Bäuerle,1940

Wenn die kleinen Veilchen blühen - Bernhard Ette Orchestra & Claire Bäuerle,1940

Update on the Elusive Clara Bauerle and Bella in the Wych Elm

Who knew a picture postcard of a German cabaret singer would create such a stir?

When Josef parachuted into England on the night of 31 January, 1941, with Clara Bauerle's photograph in his pocket, a seemingly endless series of dominoes began to fall.

Was Clara another German spy destined for England? The officers of MI5 had their suspicions but as the months wore on, with no sign of Clara, they put her case on the back burner.

Decades later... just a couple of years ago... an intrepid reporter put two and two together and suggested that Clara Bauerle had actually arrived in England. The reporter suggested that Clara had ended up dead, stuffed into a hollow Wych Elm in Hagley Wood, West Midlands. Was it possible?

A few obvious clues suggest otherwise. The woman in the Wych Elm was short, about 5 feet tall whereas Clara had been described as being tall, almost 6 feet. An online music resource also indicated that Clara passed away in Berlin on 16 December, 1942. But that resource ha…

Revisiting Lt. Col. Robin William George Stephens - Commandant of Camp 020

Last year, I wrote a blog about the famous (or infamous) Commandant of MI5's secret interrogation centre, Camp 020 (also known as Ham Common or Latchmere House): Lt. Col. Robin William George Stephens. I always find it fascinating to dig into the personal histories of some of these characters and Stephens was one of the more interesting. Alas, there were a couple of brick walls in Stephens' narrative that refused to crumble. Stephens was born in exotic Alexandria, Egypt, and although I figured out his father's name, his mother's name eluded me. I also had zero success in tracking down Stephens' death, although I did manage to find that of his wife.

This morning, however, I came across a thread of a clue that revealed a bit more about Stephens. An anonymous commentator left a note on my blog about Camp 020 interrogator, Edward Brereton Goodacre, which set me on the trail of Overseas Births, Marriages and Deaths. I generally use but it does not have the …

Wellington Barracks & German spy, Josef Jakobs

If you were to visit London (England!) today, you would see flocks of tourists congregating along Bird Cage Walk, faces pressed up against the wrought iron railings of the parade grounds of Wellington Barracks.

They are there to catch a glimpse of the Changing of the Guard, a ceremonial procession during which a fresh squad of Guardsmen are march from Wellington Barracks to Buckingham Palace to relieve the Guards on duty there.

There is a lot of pomp and ceremony involved. Much marching and stamping of feet. Yelling by Sergeant Majors. The band plays and the squad marchs out the gates.

Tourists snap frantic photographs or try to capture the entire event on video. It is definitely a memorable moment. All eyes are fixed on the Guardsmen in their spiffy red uniforms and bearskin hats. Drawn from one of the Foot Guards regiments (Grenadier, Coldstream, Scots, Welsh or Irish), the Guardsmen are most impressive.

Providing a backdrop to the Changing of the Guard is the white facade of Welli…

Blog Review - Secrets & Spies: Latchmere House

Latchmere House. Ham Common. Camp 020. Whatever you want to call it, the grounds of MI5's secret interrogation centre in Richmond had a long, and sometimes grim history. I've been meaning to write a blog posting about Josef's time at Latchmere House, but in the meantime, came across a blog written by Steve Woodbridge, a Senior Lecturer in History at Kingston University. His blog, entitled Secrets & Spies:Latchmere House is actually a better source of information than the Wikipedia article.

Woodbridge gives a nice summary of the history of Latchmere House and its role during World War II. He does indicate that the first German spy arrived at the camp in July 1940, but in actual fact, that notable event took place in early September 1940 when the four "spies in dinghies" arrived at the camp - Jose Waldberg, Carl Meier, Charles van den Kieboom and Sjoerd Pons.

As Woodbridge notes, a few erroneous rumours about Latchmere House continue to persist. Sir Oswald Mo…