Dr Alexander Cannon & Mountbatten’s Most Secret Report: Stranger than Fiction?

Following on from looking at The Relentless Gimmickry of Jimmy (Part 1) and his claims to be capable of mass hypnotism, a skill honed by a hypnotist he trained with on the Isle of Man –  and also a glimpse into one of Savile’s associates Lady Valerie Goulding’s messenger role for her father, Edward’s lawyer during the abdication  (later heading the CRC in Dublin and introducing Savile to Charles Haughey) I was interested to discover a newly published book concerning a previously unexplored hypnotist living on the Isle of Man and materials relating to his role in Edward’s abdication and others such as Dr Cosmo Lang, then Archbishop of Canterbury.

Alerted to the discovery of an MI5 file down the back of a police filing cabinet on the Isle of Man, Sean Stowell talked to those still alive who knew Dr Alexander Cannon and transcribed tapes to unravel a quite amazing story – and as he suggests, the tale of a wily Rasputin and the political machinations of courtiers manoeuvring him firmly out and a surprise role for the Isle of Man as surprise goat-starers’ central during WWII.

Screen Shot 2014-08-31 at 23.16.31Dr Alexander Cannon  – The King’s Psychic (by Sean Stowell)

“Dr Cannon was the talk of the town on the island back then, just as he had been amongst the cocktail set in 1930s London high society, but no one in the island knew the real story about Cannon’s secret life before he left London. He had run a clinic for confidence building, treating nervous and even sexual disorders, on Harley Street, just yards from the clinic of Lionel Logue, the speech therapist who worked with George VI on his stammer.

He moved to Ballamoar Castle in the Isle of Man at the start of the war in 1939. His rich and famous followers, including some top brass of the military, were only too happy to make the journey all the way over to the island, not an inconsiderable journey in those days.

Decades later I was introduced via a totally different route to the world of Dr Cannon, namely through MI5 documents, official archives, history books and some very elderly people. They helped me piece together this Yorkshireman’s role in the 1936 abdication.

Dr Cannon was said to be a ‘master of black magic in England’ enjoying a powerful hold over the psychologically-ailing King Edward who suffered from drink and confidence problems.

Most people still believe the official story of the abdication: that Edward gave up the throne for the love of Mrs Simpson. But the documents and recordings I have seen and listened to not only reveal an Establishment plot to oust Edward (the key plotter was Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Cosmo Lang), but also reveal how the fascist far-right tried to subvert that plot which had Dr Cannon playing a central role.

Tape recordings transcribed in ‘The King’s Psychic’ describe how Edward’s fascist Blackshirt supporters claimed to have tried to expose Dr Cannon. They wanted to protect the only monarch they believed would ‘tackle the march of communism’.

After the abdication in December 1936, Dr Cannon did not disappear into the sunset – quite the opposite.

He moved to the island and continued practising his lucrative mystic brand of medicine and extended his sphere of influence to include many top rank military chiefs.

From the RAF base next to his clinic at Ballamoar Castle in the north of the island, he regularly flew to London. He was acting as an unofficial and ‘psychic guru’ to his believers, some of them based at Admiralty. He engineered bizarre experiments in telepathy which, incredibly, caught the attention of the highest ranks.

One such attempt to develop telepathic powers in a patient involved arranging a love affair between an aristocratic Special Operations Executive commander and Cannon’s beautiful young psychic assistant, Joyce de Rhonda. Match-maker Cannon believed communicating by telepathy would be far easier if the subjects were in love. They did fall in love – passionately so.

The Special Operations commander Sir Geoffrey Congreve tried to deploy his new telepathic ‘skill’ during a raid on a Nazi base in Norway. An Enigma code machine discovered during the mission was brought back to England to help break German codes. Rather ridiculously, Dr Cannon claimed the glory and the commander was called to celebrate the find at Downing Street.” (The Dr who dabbled in the Occult, Isle of Many Today, 16 August 2014)

Cannon’s beliefs re love and telepathy being easier for those romantically involved reminded me of a fascinating book claiming to give a first hand account of involvement in several SEO/Commando operations during WWII called ‘The Mountbatten Report – Most Secret – Christopher Robin goes to war‘.  This involved Churchill, his right-hand man Major Desmond Morton and Lord Mountbatten employing a young boy from a public school (there’s more than a whiff of a male version of Pygmalion and Professor Higgins with Eliza Doolittle) moulding him into the most perfect junior spy, licensed and trained to kill. Also recounted is the discovery of a method for the transmission of coded messages within music over public airwaves – something which I remember thinking at the time could look a lot like telepathy given the right spin on stage and prompted me to re-read parts of Ray Teret’s book detailing Savile’s percussive talents and practising the ‘Paradiddles’.

About the Author – Sean Stowell – Published by Great Northern Books

“Stowell, a BBC producer based in Leeds, has been working on the project on and off for the last 14 years. It started when he got a call from his father who lives on the Isle of Man. “His friend is an archivist and came across a file found in the back of a police filing cabinet where it had been for decades. Had it been found in London it probably would have just disappeared but because it was the Isle of Man it went into a public archive.”

The file in question was Dr Alexander Cannon’s MI5 file. “My dad said ‘you should have a look at this’ because he remembers Dr Cannon him from the 1950s, by which time he’d become something of a showbiz figure of fun.”

The file showed that Dr Cannon ran a lavish, if slightly odd, clinic at Ballamoar Castle on the Isle of Man where wealthy members of the upper classes came to see him with their various psychological ailments, ranging from battle stress to impotency. “Rich and famous people, those on the periphery of royalty would go and see him. There was all sorts of gossip on the Isle of Man about who would come for treatment,” says Stowell.”


Colney Hatch and Aleister Crowley’s Second Wife

Dr Cannon was a Yorkshire man who studied at Leeds University carrying out training at Leeds General Infirmary before fully qualifying in 1928, four years after graduating in 1924. From 1924 onwards Cannon was travelling abroad studying Beri-Beri in China and publishing in the British Medical Journal, taking his wife who he forces to endure many abortions before coming back to England and going through a divorce. He ends up working in Colney Hatch Asylum in Friern Barnet, near Arnos Grove North East London.

“In 1932 Crowley’s second wife Nicaraguan-born Maria Teresa Ferrari de Miramar, was admitted to Colney Hatch with Alcohol and mental health problems. His first wife, Rose Kelly, had also been committed to an asylum with alcoholic dementia. Clearly marriage to Crowley was hazardous.

Suffering from delusions that she was the daughter of the King and Queen (Crowley and Cannon both claimed to be reincardnations of King Henry VIII), Maria came under the care of Dr Cannon.

Cannon at Colney Hatch was first and foremost a hospital doctor while pushing an alternative lifestyle. Crowly wrote in his diary: ‘Cannon has rather a bug in his brain over hypnosis. He advised me to leave Maria severely alone. He agreed that the case is hopeless, even should sanity temporarily return.” [Loc 939]

As it Happens, Kelly, the surname of Crowley’s first wife was also Savile’s mother’s maiden name. Crowley tests out Dr Cannon’s ‘psychograph’ with poor results.

In 1933 Dr Cannon was sacked from Colney Hatch Mental Asylum and there was an unexplained 18 month gap in General Medical Council records before Dr Cannon re-emerged with enough money to enter into practice in Harley Street, a few doors down from Lionel Logue at no 146 Harley Street who had treated Bertie (Duke of York to become King George VI), Duke of Windsor’s younger brother, for his stammer ten years previously. If one was to pick up high society as clientele, Harley Street was the place to do it.

“Mirroring the MI5 file on Cannon, Compton says: “He vanished and no-one knows quite where he went until he came to number 22 to 24 Welbeck Street (in fact number 53) and a number of well-known people went to him for treatment.” [Loc 1665]


Harley Street, Edward VIII, Vienna

Dr Cannon had allegedly treated Edward for his alcoholism, first in Vienna

“Then Compton describes Edward’s problem in exactly the way Dr William Brown described it to Archbishop Lang: “Now it’s a well-known fact that when you drive one weakness such as a drug out of a person, another weakness takes its place… and the story told to me was whereas he was partly cured of drunkenness, he was wholly depending on a woman who had taken the place of that drink. Mrs Simpson first appeared in London life in October 1934, and by May 1935 she was being openly named in the lighter newspapers as the Prince of Wales’s girl. She ousted Mrs Dudley Ward in his affections and took complete possession of him. He would never make a decision without consulting Mrs Simpson. If she was not there he was quite helpless and when he called for her and she was not there he would threaten suicide. He simply could not be without it – or her – I should say.”

Compton laughed, embarrassed by his faux pas.”

“Unaffected by convention, Edward alarmed politicians by wading in with a comment that ‘something should be done’ about unemployment and poverty in South Wales following a highly publicised-visit.” [Loc 1287]

“After Edward’s visit to poverty stricken Wales in November 1936, not long before the Edward and Mrs Simpson crisis hit the headlines, one executive of the Daily Mail wrote: “The suggestion has been made that Edward could, if he wished, make himself the Dictator of the Empire. Some minds see in his South Wales activity and brusqueness a sign that he may yet dominate the politicians.” [Loc 1692]

Compton’s recording:

It is possible to guess that it was the Imperial Policy Group, a right-wing group of appeasers which argued that Britain should stay out of European conflicts, most certainly appease and work with Hitler, but concentrate on its empire and rebuild Britain’s economic and political power via the colonies.

He says there were some extremely notable, but absent, supporters who only ever sent their minions to meetings: “It was quite the most influential moevement so far as prominent people are concerned. It occupied one floor of what was known as British Industries House, which was at the Marble Arch end of Oxford Street. When I last passed it I saw it was the C&A building. Who financed it I am not quite sure. One of the men who did was Sir Harry Brittain (wealthy former politician and journalist.) The movement was designed to strengthen or links with the colonies and to avert the coming war.

It was supported in an underground way by Nevill Chamberlain… he was not a great man of course: he meant well, but he was rather weak and never dared appear there… The man we had to deal with was Sir Charles Morgan Webb… Charmberlain’s financial adviser to the House of Lords.” In the recording, he gives a unique view on why the Blackshirts had put so much hope in the man they hoped would be leader.

“The Germans certainly believed Edward was going to form an alliance with them when he became King. Ribbentrop said as much at an Anglo German dinner which was attended by Edward when he said at the end, “I think we should need a dictator here before long.” That was all interpreted as going along the same Nazi line.”

British Industries House now houses the Primark Flagship shop in London.

Stowell’s book goes into a lot of detail over the actions of main players in the abdication such as Dr Cosmo Lang the Archbishop of Canterbury which I haven’t even covered here, although important.

The 1939 move to the Isle of Man

The Island’s Governor was Admiral Lord Granville (1880-1953), who was married to Lady Rose, elder sister of the Queen Mother, and Admiral Lord Granville was very concerned about Dr Cannon. Presumably gossip about those being treated at Cannon’s Clinic for Nervous Diseases in his castle next to an RAF base could find a way back to King George VI via this route. However it appears Cannon had the attention and utmost faith of two key people: Sir Roger Keyes and Commander Cosgreve.

“Following the abdication crisis he might easily have slipped off the radar, but instead he became an influential figure with the Admiralty for a time. “He convinced them there was value to be had in the paranormal.”

Stowell says Dr Cannon promoted himself as a kind of psychic guru and employed two sisters, who he made change their names to Joyce and Rhonda da Rhonda, to become his ‘psychic’ assistants. He set up a clinic on the Isle of Man where he continued practising his highly lucrative and mystic brand of medicine.

He acted as an unofficial and very secret “psychic guru” to a select group of people, including some based at the Admiralty and engineered some bizarre experiments in telepathy. One such attempt involved encouraging a love affair between an aristocratic Special Operations Executive (SOE) commander and one of his young assistants, as he believed telepathy would work better if the subjects were in love.

The commander, who was also an SOE commando trainer, tried to deploy his new telepathic ‘skill’ during a raid on a Nazi base in Norway. An Enigma code machine discovered during the mission was brought back to England to help break German codes. Dr Cannon claimed the glory and the commander was called to celebrate the find at Downing Street.” [The Curious Case of Dr Cannon, 8 May 2014, Yorkshire Post]

Cosgreve was the SEO Commander who had fallen in love one of Cannon’s sister assistants, Joyce, who at 22, was just under half his age. Stowell includes many journal entries from Cosgreve  who was convinced that his telepathy was improving when he sent messages to Joyce, although they were never so good as when Joyce sent him messages – he got them right a lot more often. Funny that.

Mid July 1940 Sir Roger Keyes had been appointed as Director of Churchill’s new baby – ‘Combined Operations’; the Commandos.[loc 2868]

Screen Shot 2014-08-31 at 22.19.04

SEO Training at Inverailot House (just over an hour away from Glencoe)

22 July 1940 – Special Operations Executive was founded with the training centre set up a Inverailot Castle in the north of Scotland (just over an hour from Glencoe on the West coast of Scotland)  – this was where Eric Sykes and William Ewart Fairbairn were training men in the art of hand to hand combat http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MWSLXXdg9Bw

“Such was Savile’s admiration of the marines, he was buried clutching his Green Beret, in his gold-painted coffin, which was angled overlooking the sea at Scarborough.

He was awarded the honorary title after Savile and his brother Vince, then a serving officer with the Royal Navy, completed the marine’s arduous 30-mile speed march test over Dartmoor, which must be done in eight hours while carrying 30lbs of kit.

After Savile’s death, his possessions were auctioned for charity.

Among items going under the hammer was his Royal Marines’ flying suit, bearing his name Jimmy Savile OBE, and a bottle of 15-year-old single Highland malt from the Officers’ Mess at the Royal Marines’ Commando Training Centre, Lympstone.

When Savile died, just days short of his 85th birthday, he was carried by Royal Marine pallbearers.” [Royal Marines erase memory of Jimmy, 19 October 2012, Exmouth Journal]

Jimmy Savile in sex assaults at Marine base [Daily Star 2 July 2013]

Sir Jimmy Savile’s Commando Training Exclusive [ Yorkshire Evening Post, 4 November 2011]


The Final Mountbatten Report – Most Secret – Christopher Robin goes to War

“This report was requested by Lord Louis Mountbatten in 1976. It was not released by the Mountbatten Library so the original author passed it to the publishers thirty years later, citing the wishes of Mountbatten.

This is the story of Churchill, Morton, Mountbatten and Ian Fleming’s Paladin – who from the age of 15 1/2 was a contract killer carrying out some of the great deceptions that turned World War Two.”

I hadn’t paid too much attention to this book mainly because of the website and style of marketing, which isn’t fair to the contents or the narrative style. What struck me was the author’s love of Whitby due to being in the sea scouts at Ampleforth College (the importance of Scarborough and its coastline to Savile is never far from my mind due to his choice of burial location and position in highlighting this to us), and the alleged use of child spies at top schools who had schoolfriends with influential and important fathers key to the direction of the phoney war before Hitler invaded Norway and Denmark, possibly picked because their own fathers or mothers genes had shown ‘good breeding’ for such lethal undercover missions or held positions within a close circle that could be relied upon for discretion. Major Desmond Morton, the subject of Gill Bennett’s Churchill’s Man of Mystery, was selecting children in his care during the 1930s to be trained for daring missions on the declaration of war in September 1939?

This book claims to be a first-person report requested to be written by Churchill and Lord Mountbatten, written by John Ainsworth-Davis, the son of Jack (also John) Ainsworth-Davis, a Welsh Olympic Gold medal winner of 1920 Antwerp who later becomes a a Urological surgeon with a house at 69 Harley Street during the 1930s. Jack got his pilot wings in WWI and went to Cambridge the year after the war ended and there became a very popular chap who was also an excellent musician and scholar, setting up a jazz band with turns from comedians the Hulbert brothers and even Lord Mountbatten as a 19 year old getting involved on the drums . He would also no doubt have been a very useful chap to know if one needed some confidential help with one’s genito-urinary functions especially any form of sexually transmitted diseases contracted.


A missing author?

The royalties are being kept for the author to claim.

John Ainsworth-Davis, post – 2003, pre-2007

“As I had been involved in many things, my records have never been released, indeed every effort was made to wipe them from the face of the earth – shredding, burning, sometimes skilfully changing the original typescripts or replacing them with forged files that tell a different story.

photographs were obliterated and the negatives hunted down to oblivion.”

[Loc 101]

From Wikipedia:

The author’s father was John Creyghton Ainsworth-Davis (23 April 1895 in Aberystwyth, Wales – 3 January 1976 in Stockland, Devon) was a Welsh athlete. Aged 25, he had won a gold medal in the 4×400 relay at the Antwerp Olympics in 1920. He competed rarely after 1920 to concentrate on his medical career. He became a urological surgeon and Secretary of the Royal Society of Medicine. During World War II he was head of the surgical division of the RAF hospital at RAF Cosford.[1]


23 April 1895: Jack A-D born in Aberystwyth Wales

pre-WWI (1914): JAD’s father goes to study German at the Lyceum school in Metz for a year and meets Ribben trop as a fellow pupil. Both are accomplished violin players and share a passion for music.

1914-1918: Aged 19 Jack A-D serves in RFC and gets his pilot’s wings which he later wears with pride:

“My father had been in the Royal Air Force since the outbreak of the war as a surgical consultant and since he had been a pilot in the RFC in the First World War, he was particularly proud to wear pilot’s wings on his uniform – something most unusual in the RAF Medical Service.” [Loc 1785]

“While serving as an operational pilot with the Royal Flying Corps during World War One, A-D had met Major Morton. They became good friends and Morton introduced A-D to Lieutenant-Colonel Winston S. Churchill, who had just relinquished his post as First Lord of the Admiralty and was now commanding a battalion of the line.”

These meetings had resulted in Morton being able to arrange for our family to live in Chartwell Cottage in 1932. A-D also knew that Morton abrogated his position as my father by establishing himself as my ‘stepuncle.'”[Loc 2906]

1919:  A 24 year old Jack Ainsworth Davis, went up to Christ’s College, Cambridge to read medicine. There at the same time, sponsored by the Royal Navy, was the nineteen year old Sub-Lieutenant Lord Louis Mountbatten as well as Bertie (later King George VI) who studied history, economics and civics for a year at Trinity College Cambridge.

Friendship with him bought my father into the circle of two other privileged undergraduates, the Duke of York (later King George VI) and his younger brother Henry (later Duke of Gloucester) both cousins of Mountbatten. When my father won a gold medal at the Antwerp Olympics in 1920, Mountbatten back with the Royal Navy had congratulated him from afar.” In a latter written just before he was killed, Mountbatten said that he had ‘admired my father greatly.’

“At Cambridge, my father, ‘A-D’ as everybody called him, had proved himself to be an outstanding sportsman and Olympic champion, and also a fine scholar and musician.

At Cambridge, with his Quinquaginta jazz band, he had attracted stars of the calibre of Noel Gay (R.W. Armitage) on the piano together with Claude Hulbert and his brother Jack – and on occasion Mountbatten pounded on the drums. Later A-D played grieg’s violin concerto under the baton of Sir Adrian Boult.

  • John’s parents get married – no date?
  • [1922?]: Mary A-D born? John’s elder sister
  • 1924: John A-D is born? Jan/Feb?
  • 1930: Major Desmond Morton formed the Industrial Intelligence Centre, an allegedly commercial body which was in reality a cover for his major preoccupation – the founding and runnning of M Section (M for Morton) an ultra-secret intelligence organisation, finance and protected against government control by successive monarchs – George V, Edward VIII, and George VI

“In the early days, Morton directed the Section from an office in London and from his home on Crockham Hill near Westerham in Kent, with the enthusiastic support of his friend and ally, Winston Churchill, who lived just below him in the Vale of Chartwell [ 1mile north-east]”. Morton had known both of JAD’s parents because he persuaded them to convert to Roman Catholicism.

“Desmond Morton – my stepuncle and guardian when my father left my mother and remarried – Uncle Desmond, the staunch Roman Catholic – the kind generous scholarly man, the man I had admired and loved – the man who looked after me like a son – the close friend and colleague of the Reverend. C. C. Martindale, the crusading Jesuit priest … Major Desmond Morton who had a bullet which the surgeons though too dangerous to remove – the man who could not marry because of the risk of sudden unpredicatable death … and now he was asking me, no, ordering me, to murder, no kill, two quite innocent people, in the name of – of …” [Loc 3281]

  • 1932: Parents separate and divorce. Father Jack remarries and moves to 69 Harley Street. Jack A-D’s clients include Bud Flanagan and two of The Crazy gang, ‘nervo and Knox’ . “It seemed that he ran a Urological clinic for The Crazy Gang”. [Loc 3632]

  • Summer early 1932: Hitler about to become German Chancellor. JAD is 8 (b. 1924?). Living in a cottage on edge of Chartwell Estate Morton has found his mother, two sisters older Mary, younger Jennifer. He meets Churchill who lives on Chartwell Estate.

The College and Abbey of St Benedict and St Laurence – halfway up N Yorkshire moors at the village of Ampleforth, College Sea Scouts at Whitby, Headmaster Father Paul Nevill OSB. JAD’s parents divorce and Morton becomes his ‘guardian and ‘Uncle’. [Loc 324]

  • 1934: JAD and family move from Chatwell to Longparish
  • 1936: JAD’s father, a urologist, treats Ribbentrop ‘for some minor ailment’ [Loc 515] Ribbentrop takes the 12 year old JAD on a visit to the zoo in Regent’s Park and to several Rugby internationals perhaps to say thanks.

“The first time I saw him, when I was a child in 1936, he was the German Ambassador to the Court of St. James’s. Then I was looking out of the window in my father’s house at 69 Harley Street and a great black car drove up, swastikas flying all over the place and great thugs of uniformed guards leaping about all round him.” [Loc 761]

Cardinal George Hume and Heath’s Deputy Speaker’s son

  • summer 1939 a last rugby match with senior boy George Hume, the Captain of School Rugby at Ampleforth College [Loc 256]

“George Hume was later to enter the Abbey, and become a priest taking the name of ‘Father Basil’. From that day, I didn’t see George Hume until thirty-five years later when I went to see him to confess my sins – and feel his heeling (sic) hand on my head” [Fn 1: Today we mourn him as the late Cardinal Basil Hume Archibishop of Westminster. Our fathers were surgeons and friends (his opthalmic, mine urological) and our sisters were at school together – at the convent of St Mary’s Ascot, where Mother Ignatius and her dedicated nuns held strict benevolent sway.]”

Suggests John Ainsworth-Davis saw Cardinal Hume in 1974/75 and confessed to him when he was nearing or just 50 years old. On 3 January 1976 Jack  Ainsworth-Davis had died according to Wikipedia so it’s possible the period before may have been one of reflection if JA-D was aware his father was going to die. In 1976 it is stated Mountbatten requests the report to be written. In 1975 the son of the former Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons, Lord Harvington – a monk and mountaineer Piers Grant-Ferris – was said to be known to Hume as an abuser of young boys (a sadistic beater with all manner of excuses to inflict sexually motivated punishment) before Hume took on appointment as Archbishop of Westminster in 1976:

“A former officer in the Irish Guards, Piers Grant-Ferris seemed to represent all the values of his late father, the former Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons during Ted Heath’s Government and member of a prominent English Roman Catholic family.

But the younger Grant-Ferris, who once boasted that only his faith had saved him when he became lost in the Andes without food, had desires which were anything but godly.

His secret past as a serial abuser of young boys at Ampleforth was in stark contrast to the life in which he appeared to be living up to the traditions of a spotless family name.

His father Lord Harvington was regarded as a member of the squirearchy, the former backbone of the Tory party – for which politics was a public duty rather than a career.

Lord Harvington was born plain old Robert Ferris, the son of a GP, Dr Robert Francis Ferris. But as a young man he decided to acquire a double-barrelled name by hyphenating his middle name, Grant, to the Ferris.

After starting out in a family estate agent’s business, he began a career in politics by being elected to Birmingham City Council. Later he was called to the Bar and became the Tory MP for St Pancras North.

But his early political career took second place to his role as a fighter pilot in the RAF Reserves in Warwick. When war broke out he was called up and was soon promoted to wing commander, seeing action in Malta, the Middle East, and Europe.

He re-entered politics, becoming Tory MP for Nantwich from 1955 to 1974. In 1970 he was appointed Deputy Speaker and chairman of the Commons Ways and Means Committee.

However, it was probably his religious credentials that led to him becoming the only Tory MP to have been both knighted and created a life peer by Labour.

He was knighted in 1969, sworn onto the Privy Council in 1971, and created a life peer by Wilson after leaving the Commons in 1974 to retire to Jersey.

Life in Jersey revolved around hunting, golf, motor yachting, and farming. Lord Harvington was also a noted breeder of pedigree sheep and former president of the National Sheep Breeders Association. Edward Heath, Margaret Thatcher and her husband were among the guests on his yacht.

There were even plans for a summer cruise with the Thatchers around northern France a year before the couple entered Downing Street. It was cancelled when the French police said they could not guarantee the party’s security.” [Ampleforth child abuse scandal hushed up by Basil Hume, 18 November 2005, The Yorkshire Post]

It’s now remarkable to think of Thatcher being courted on 3 successive holidays in 1977, 1978 and 1979 by Lord Margadale on the Isle of Islay, while his self-confessed ‘pederast’ son Sir Peter Morrison was hovering for a role in government and then to learn that Lord Harvington, (whose child abusing son had been neatly despatched to quieter climes in Workington, Cumbria by George Hume before becoming Archbishop), was also hosting Thatcher on holiday in Jersey.

“The abbey of Ampleforth, and the school which almost entirely surrounds it, has stood in a remote valley near Thirsk in North Yorkshire for 200 years. The school educates the children of many of Britain’s wealthiest and most influential Roman Catholic families.

The Benedictine community running the abbey and the school says its mission is the “spiritual, moral and intellectual” education of children who will become “inspired by high ideals and capable of leadership”.

“Cardinal Hume spent most of his life at Ampleforth, arriving as a pupil at the age of 10 and leaving only when appointed Archbishop of Westminster in 1976, at the age of 52. In between, he was a novice, then a monk, was ordained, was a housemaster and taught rugby.

After his election as abbot in 1963 he was responsible for running the school as well as the abbey, and police say they have established that by 1975 he was aware of the risk that at least one monk, Father Piers Grant-Ferris, posed to pupils. Yesterday Grant-Ferris, 72, pleaded guilty at Leeds crown court to abusing 15 boys at Ampleforth’s prep school over a nine-year period up to 1975. Some of these boys, boarders aged between eight and 10, were beaten for his sexual gratification.” Silence and secrecy at school where child sex abuse went on for decades: Yesterday’s revelations cast a cloud over the late Cardinal Hume’s former role at a top Catholic college (The Guardian, 18 November 2005)


Sir Jimmy Savile causes anguish at the Athenaeum: The late Cardinal Basil Hume is being held responsible for the election of Sir Jimmy Savile as a member of the Athenaeum, the historical Pall Mall establishment (The Daily Telegraph, 10 October 2012)

“It was Cardinal Basil Hume, at the time the Archbishop of Westminster, who put this character up for membership, and, while we did give consideration to blackballing Savile, we knew that would have had to result in something that could not be countenanced – Hume stepping down.”

Savile had to wait only two months before being admitted to the club in 1984.

“It’s a considerable thrill for someone like me to be able to rub shoulders with the fascinating people who use the Athenaeum,” the disc jockey said. “I hope to go there once a week and have lunch or dinner with the object of speaking to people like ex-prime ministers.”

The cardinal had introduced Savile to Pope John Paul II when he visited Britain in 1982. Of Savile’s election to the Athenaeum, the cardinal’s spokesman noted: “He is a great admirer of what Jimmy has done for young people – and Stoke Mandeville – and is delighted to help in this matter.”

“Just a friend of the children of the house, inviting no suspicions whatever.”

Desmond Morton arrives to take JAD to London to meet Churchill, he is 15 1/2.  Churchill is about to be appointed the First Lord of the Admiralty – the Political Head of the British Royal Navy – ‘Hello Tigger’ I said – John recognises him as the man from his childhood in Chartwell.

  • September 1939 – April 1940: Enters into Dartmouth and 7 months later in emerges as a 16 year old acting Midshipman, the equivalent to a Second Lieutenant in the Army or an Ensign in the United States Navy.

John AD was a school friend of Prince Paul of Belgium and in the same house at Ampleforth with Prince Jean of Luxembourg “Just a friend of the children of the house, inviting no suspicions whatever.” [Loc 608]

“I had to make use of Paul, that was obvious. I would have to ignore our mutual trust and with ruthless deceit turn that trust to my own ends – though it wasn’t for my own ends, but those of perfidious Albion – or so I believed … or was this ruthless deciet something deeply imbedded in my character? Something Churchill had noticed in the Nurse Dorothy bicycle brake episode?” [Loc 657]

Rigs up wireless radio transmitter (B Mark II Transciever) wrapping 70ft aerials and relays details of conversations overheard between Ribbentrop and various Belgian . Back in his Sea Scout uniform JAD takes to cycling around Belgium for 2 weeks on reconnaissance missions.

  • 27 May – 4 June 1940: JAD Gets caught up in Dunkirk evacuation to get back to UK. Early June 1940 – the Winchelsea destroyer had saved his life hauling him up from the water of the English Channel.

Back in England, reports to Morton at 74, Eton Avenue, off Swiss Cottage. 69 Harley Street has been turned into Government hostel for officers in the women’s services. Full of Wrens, WAAFs and ATS – Women’s Royal Naval Service Auxiliary Territorial Service and Auxiliary Air Force were known as.

“I was taken through a garage close to the end of College Cresecent in Finchley Road. It led to a secretive looking doorway with two Guards inside…

I realised that we myst be on Royal Naval Territory and indeed we were entering the basement underneath a big block of flats called ‘Northways’. For this ordinary looking building was now ‘HMS Northways’ the headquarters of the Flag Officer Submarines, who controlled all the boats (as submarines are known in the Senior Service) of the Royal Navy.”

  • Summer term 1940: Sent back to school (it has been arranged with Headmaster Paul Neville that absences are not recorded and JAD remains registered at school until aged 18 spends August 1940 Co. Donegal, Ireland with friend Patrick cycling around Gweebarra Bay. German U-Boats were re-fuelling, re-fitting and changing crews on the North West Coast of Ireland with the full co-operation of the irish Republic and the Government itself it was believed. The German U-boats were attacking convoys of from British port up teh Irish Sea to join Royal Navy escorts from HMS Ferrret – the Londonderry base on the river Foyle.
  • October 1940: Return to Long parish Hampshire, meets Lord Mountbatten visiting from nearby Broadlands and barrister (later Lord) Tom Denning.
  • Joins as Commando Officer in Special Operational Intelligence, “which (unlike your ordinary unarmed civilian spy) meant that we were service personnel highly trained to attack and kill. But all that was for later and at this moment my task was to learn the kills of a secret agent and in particular the art of ‘cover’.” [Loc 2696]
  • 5 December 1940: Joins RAF as real self John Davis – Number 2 Initial Training Wing of the RAF had taken over more than half the Colleges of Cambridge University.
  • “Signalling was one of my things, I had adored it since I was a lowly Sea Cub Scout of eight. when I upgraded to the school Sea Scout outfit, the Troop Leader, one Martin Fitzalan-Howard, Lord and grandson of the Duke of Norfolk and I, were two of the capricious young lunatics responsible for acquiring a radio transmitter….
  • picked up  a lot of RAF and Admiralty signals which was competely and utterly forbidden, especially with war looming.
  • Summer 1941: Order from Major Morton to report to the main operational headquarters of M seciotn  – Royal Naval shore base and officially part of Combined Operations , located in a large country house hidden in 30 acres of land close to Chichester, not far from Portsmouth on the south coast.
  • Friday 28 November 1941 – Commander in RNVR – 3 and a half years later at the end of the war John A-D woud learn this was Ian Fleming.
  • 7 December 1941: After Japanase attack on pearl harbour, destroyed Dutch submarine and crew who had witnessed
  • Desmond Morton’s M Section Special Operational Intelligence HQ, operating under cover of a Combined Operations Royal Navy base had both men and women in training – mostly Royal Navy and Wrens – women sailors , if you like” [Loc 3221]
  • Aged 17, JA-Dm eets a Wren Third Officer at a dance who he falls in love with – Patricia Falkiner, a friend of his sister Mary’s at St Mary’s under Mother Ignatius,

 “I’ve never hear anyone play the piano like you,” she whispered.

I was lulled into open sincerity. “Don’t fall for my gimmicks,” I said: “The piano and all the rest. Everyone goes for those. At time I hate the bloody piano. Some people always think I’m showing off. Look at me. Aren’t I sensational! But it wasn’t true. I loved playing for people and having them enjoy it. FOr their dances, their entertainments, their songs.”

The lovely lady was listening quietly and politely.

“But you have no gimmicks’, I went on, “because you don’t need them – you’ve got everything without them.”

16 March 1942: Reports aboard HMS Collingwood a shore training base just outside Fareham not far from Portsmouth [4 miles NW]. Meets The Crazy gang and plays piano as a stand-in during time in RNVR here.

1942- Told he is to make contact with Admiral Wilhem Canaris the head of the german Intelligence Service known as the Abwehr.

S.M.T.T. ‘Secret Musical Telephony Transmission’

Patricia and John meet again at Combined Operations,  having a drink at the bar ‘The Jokers Club’

“Just about 15 minutes before we left an extraordinary thing happened that was to revolutionise certain aspects of secret operational transmissions.”

Patricia goes to the bar to get drinks while John continues playing the piano. She comes back with a lager for him at which he’s surprised she knew how he wanted one and she points out he’d been transmitting it percussively in the way he was paying the piano so that

“i realised that subconsciously within the music, I had introduced a separate percussive accompaniment: .-.. / .’ / –./. / .-. // – and was repeating it through the song. Experts in Wireless Telegraphy will have no difficulty in receiving the word: ‘lager’. It is very hard to believe, and difficult to explain but we had stumbled onto how a Morse signal can be incorporated into ordinary music – for ordinary it must be. No one must suspect a message is being sent.” [Loc 3850]

“The ideas was so simple that we found it hard to believe that no one had used it already, especially as the World Service of the BBC was daily heading its broadcasts to occupied Europe with the opening bards of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony – ‘dit dit dit da, dit dit dit da’ – the Morse for ‘V for Victory’.

“With the tightest of security, our idea was enthusiastically taken up by the secret intelligence section of the BBC and used for its secret transmissions from Caversham, Many vital messages for our agents in Europe, which could not have been sent in code or in poems, went out on the air both instrumentally and vocally. It was used in France by the S.O.E. with considerable success. Incredibly, few of the people involved knew what a service they were rendering to the Allies’ secret war. Even Vera Lynn, the Forces’ Sweetheart, sang on without realising what the pulse of her delivery contained.” [Loc 3864]


6 June – September 1944: In hospital, late 1944/1945 released to HMS Fervent – is severely tortured having been given a dummy cyanide capsule and told the wrong information for the D-Day invasion so that Hitler is convinced Pay de Calais

Patricia Falkiner is killed. Morton explains to JA-D who Patricia was in relation to him.

“She was an only child. Her parents were Canadian, but both were killed in a car accident in the thirties. Because they’d been good friends of mine, I arranged for the girl to be brought to England, She lived with other friends who became her guardians.”

late September 1944: Churchill “You have been the eyes and ears of my secret war, and the forever brave and loyal Galahad and the leading knight of my secret warriors.”


A fictional or true account?

I’d need those with a better understanding of the history of WWII to read the book and give their opinions and reasoning as to how much of this 2006 published account can be correlated with what is now known. As information continues to surface on Churchill’s Secret War from superficial digging on my part it sounds as if various parts of JA-D’s account are being upheld – The Head of German Intelligence Abwehr Admiral Canaris’ role in trying to oust Hitler and also knowledge of Japan’s plans to bomb Pearl Harbour, the suppression of which is the reason for JA-D being sent on a two murder missions but who knows when that was known widely enough to inform an otherwise fictional spy story? If it was to be considered true my first question is were there others like Patricia and John who were attending other schools with fellow sons of influential European or American figures who were told to get invites home during the holidays?

Also as a Urologist having been clever enough to remove Genito- as a reminding suffix from their professional title John’s father sounds necessarily discreet so it’s a surprise that it’s John’s mother who is told more of the nature of his spying activities than his father, who is not trusted as something of a blabber mouth. Would a blabber mouth Urologist treating star clients on Harley Street retain many clients for long?

Ten years earlier in 1996 the author had published ‘Operation J.B – The Last Great Secret of The Second World War’:

“There is a lot to spoil. Simon & Schuster has paid a pounds 500,000 advance for Ainsworth-Davis’s story, modestly titled Op J.B. – The Last Great Secret of The Second World War, which appears on 2 September, and the company is laying down a thunderous barrage of hype. The initial print run is between 50,000 and 100,000 copies, the film rights have already been sold for pounds 1m, a nationwide publicity campaign is being orchestrated, the wholesalers have named it their book of the month, and it already features in at least two Christmas book catalogues.

But then, there is a lot to hype. It is the seemingly fantastic aspects of Op J.B. which Simon & Schuster hopes will overcome reader resistance to yet another “Bormann did not die in the bunker” story (The Daily Express once briefly found him alive in Argentina).

Ainsworth-Davis, who writes under the pen-name Christopher Creighton, asks us to believe that Hitler’s private secretary and head of the Nazi administrative machine, who was sentenced to death in his absence by the Nuremburg War Crimes tribunal in 1946, was saved from the gallows by a secret agreement between Churchill, Roosevelt and King George VI.

This was done, he says, by a British commando raid of unequalled derring- do on Berlin itself as the Red Army closed in, code-named “Operation James Bond” and led by the future creator of the eponymous agent; its purpose was to facilitate Bormann’s signature on documents which alone could release the many millions of pounds worth of Nazi gold held by Swiss banks.

Britain’s alleged dealings with this booty are the subject of a Government inquiry announced only last week by the Foreign Secretary, Malcolm Rifkind; Ainsworth-Davis’s contention is that much was indeed recovered and restored to the governments which were its rightful owners.”


“The forces are massed on either side. The preparations are almost complete and zero hour approaches. The last great propaganda battle of the Second World War is about to explode … around the fate of Martin Bormann, Hitler’s lieutenant.

Not only that: the man in charge of the commando raid that captured him in Berlin on the last day of the war was none other than Ian Fleming, the creator of James Bond, according to the man telling the tale, John Ainsworth-Davis, a colourful and imaginative character who claims he was second-in-command.

Far-fetched? The military author Charles Whiting certainly thinks so and, in a “spoiling” operation more common to rival newspapers than to publishing houses, he has written his own account of Bormann’s end, which firmly puts him dead in the ruins of Berlin. His book is timed to hit the bookshops first.” Did Bond save Bormann? Publishers prepare to be shaken, but not stirred: Peter Muller on claims that Hitler’s lieutenant was rescued by Tommies … led by Ian Fleming (4 August 2006 The Independent)


Dit Happens…?

“Occasionally, Morse Code has musically “seeded” songs. The rhythm track of “Lucifer,” the opening instrumental on the Alan Parsons Project’s 1979 concept album, “Eve,” is constructed on the Morse Code pattern which spells the album’s title. And Rush famously used the Morse Code characters for “YYZ” to create the odd rhythm of that song. (“YYZ” is the Morse Code signal for the Lester B. Pearson International Airport in Toronto, and the inspiration to use the code snippet came to Rush’s guitarist Alex Lifeson, who is a licensed pilot.)

More than once, Morse Code has been used to plant naughty words and messages in a song. In 1967, the psychedelic group Pearls Before Swine used Morse to spell a common epithet starting with the letter “F” in the chorus of their “(Oh Dear) Miss Morse.” And 23 years later, Mike Oldfield would send a rude personal message (using the same epithet!) to Richard Branson, the owner of Oldfield’s record label, Virgin Records, on the track, “Amarok.” That may seem shocking, but what can I say? Dit happens.” [Craven’s Notes; How Morse Code has made its mark in music, The Post Indepdendent.  18 September 2003]

In summer and autumn 1990 when Savile was 64 and received his knighthood he had wooed a woman who at 46, he’d first tried to seduce when he’d been 31 and she was 13. Leeds painter Avril Morris was living in large stone Victorian house by Roundhay Park where her studio was, and their paths would cross, sometimes he’d be in the Canal Gardens Cafe. She reluctantly invites him to see her paintings at her house with “OK but I don’t want to be pounced on.”

Savile gives great respect for her work. They date for a few months. Hers is a very private glimpse into Savile as kind of aesthete and spiritual guru that I haven’t encountered in my reading much else. Is this real emotion?

“It was fun and life was surreal. He would take me out for dinner in the Range Rover and send me coded messages over the radio.

My bedroom, though now more minimal was done in lots of Victorian lace drapes and he loved it. The night before he was to be knighted, he was sitting on my bed completely in the raw and began softly crying. He said his life was so amazing and he didn’t want to die and leave all this. I held him close. I loved him. I still love him.

He told me had survived a very near-death illness as a child and so he believed in miracles and I believe this was the driving force that gave him his healing aura, his ability to instil hope, his magical spiritual strength. I see him as a priest, a doctor, a healer of bodies and souls. His amazing work lives on through his visionary donations to hospitals and charities.”[How’s About That Then: Authorised Biography of Jimmy Savile, Alison Bellamy, 2012 Loc 2391]


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