Anthony Blunt

1978: PIE raids, William Blake and Lord Margadale’s estate at Fonthill Wiltshire

Screen Shot 2015-03-06 at 13.11.23Children of the future age

Reading this indignant page

Know that in a former time

Love! Sweet Love! was thought a crime

(A Little Girl Lost – William Blake from Songs of Innocence & Experience)











On 7 December 1977 Cyril Townsend MP had introduced his private member’s bill aimed at ‘preventing the exploitation of children by their use in the production of films or photographic material of an obscene of pornographic character’

HC Deb 07 December 1977 vol 940 c1404

Mr. Cyril D. Townsend, supported by Mr. Nigel Forman, Mr. Kenneth Baker, Mr. Peter Bottomley, Mr. Nicholas Scott, Mr. Hugh Dykes, Mr. Michael Alison, Mr. Richard Luce, Mr. A. J. Beith, Mr. George Rodgers, Mr. Ken Weetch and Mr. John Cartwright, presented a Bill to prevent the exploitation of children by their use in the production of films or photographic material of an obscene or pornographic character: And the same was read the First time; and ordered to be read a Second time upon Friday 10th February and to be printed [Bill 16].

Following PIE’s June 1978 AGM, on 13 June PIE had sent out an emergency bulletin to its members informing them PIE had been  infiltrated by the News of the World and that police raids had taken place at Executive Committee Member’s houses. All of the material for the July issue of Magpie had been seized.

The emergency bulletin of 13 June is most likely the document below (although undated). Reportedly the police had seized a large number of PIE’s files “and we feel that they are determined and that it will only be a matter of time before they obtain a list.”

“It may be that people in positions of power and influence are using the possibility of a charge under the Obscenity Laws as a excuse for a witch-hunt against PIE and its members.”

If the above were true surely it would have been much more advisable for the police to hold tight to wait and raid during August 1978 once the Child Protection Act had come into force? Using the antiquated Obscenity Laws, ripe for reform and much criticised already, when the Act had been specifically drafted to create offences for which PIE members could have been charged with was, with hindsight, a strange decision and led to articles like Alan Rusbridger’s on ‘Why the DPP resurrected an ancient law to deal with pedophiles’ [Guardian, 14 March 1981]

Despite PIE and NCCL’s combined and best lobbying efforts to dilute or better still, derail the Bill’s passage through parliament, (one tactic being to publish to each MP the booklet drafted by the Albany Trust under Sir Harold Haywood’s chairmanship in April 1978) on 20th July 1978 the Child Protection Bill received royal assent, coming into force a month later.


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The June bulletin signed off with the the first stanza of A Little Girl Lost by Blake.

In August PIE circulated the news bulletin below to advise members the act was in force and which kind of photos of children might be deemed ‘indecent’. The bulletin suggests a potential legitimate reason under the act for showing, possessing or distributing indecent photos of children would be psychiatrists showing patients images of child abuse as a form of aversion therapy.

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And what of the significance of the Blake quote?

Blake had long been a friend and pupil of Richard ‘Dicky’ Cosway, who had been appointed Painter to the Prince Regent in 1785 – the only time this royal appointment was ever made. Cosway had created a craze for secret lovers to give presents to one another – borne of the Prince Regent’s secret marriage to Maria Fitzherbert [read more here] – miniature eye portraits.Screen Shot 2015-03-06 at 13.55.07

“Cosway was not only a famous and fashionable painter; he was also a mesmerist and magician who practised arcana related to alchemical and cabbalistic teaching. There are reports of erotic ceremonies, the imbibing of drugs or ‘elixirs’, and ritual nudity. Blake was no stranger to the symbols or beliefs of a man such as Cosway – the manuscript of the poem he was now writing contains many drawings of bizarre sexual imagery, including women sporting giant phalli and children engaged in erotic practices with adults.” [Blake, Peter Ackroyd, p.210]

“When William Blake died in 1827, his widow Catherine appointed Frederick Tatham his literary and artistic executor. No sooner had Tatham accepted the position than he was, in the words of William Michael Rossetti, brother of Dante Gabriel Rossetti, “beset” by “Swedenborgians, Irvingites, or other extreme sectaries”, and compelled to thrust “a gag into the piteous mouth of Blake’s corpse”. What these timid souls feared was that Blake’s remains would disclose his intense, frequently obsessive and occasionally pornographic interest in sex. Tatham’s job amounted to a full-scale expurgation of what Blake’s less unbuttoned followers considered obscene. Blake had left many drawings and manuscripts containing his most explicit sexual, religious and political expressions – all three were linked for him – and Tatham felt obliged to destroy these. The loss was irreparable, but some of the cover-up – literally – was less extreme. Joined by Blake’s friend John Linnell, on some works Tatham only erased the offending words or images. When this proved impracticable they resorted to a fig leaf. Blake’s original nude self-portrait for his Milton exhibited an erect and oddly blackened penis. One of Blake’s prudish descendants mitigated the shock caused by the poet’s proud member by drawing knickers over it. Thankfully, modern technology has restored much of this censored material, and what emerges is a vivid recognition that for Blake, sex was at the centre of his spiritual and domestic life.” [Why Mrs Blake cried by Marsha Keith Schuchard, Gary Lachman, The Independent, 12 March 2006]

What is little mentioned in connection with Blake is that he and Richard Cosway, along with others such as the landscape painter Loutherbourg (set designer at Drury Lane Theatre) were together conducting ‘magick’ rituals involving sex with children and much of what Tatham and Linell were trying to delete or obscure were Blake’s depictions of children engaged in sexual acts with adults.

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William Blake and the Cultures of Radical Christianity By Robert Rix, published 2007


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Why Mrs Blake Cried: William Blake and the Erotic Imagination By Marsha Keith Schuchard, published May 2013

In 1770 the child who Lord Byron called “England’s wealthiest son”, William Beckford, aged 10, inherited Fonthill on the death of his father Alderman William Beckford, Lord Mayor of London. In 1881 to celebrate his 21st birthday William threw a 3 day ‘ritualistic and magical celebration’ at Fonthill which sounds not dissimilar to a son et lumiere show combined with the sexual abuse of children, noted as he was for his pederasty as much as his aesthetic appreciation of art and his collections.

“In the autumn of 1781, shortly after being elected to the British Academy of Art as a landscape painter, Alsatian-born artist Philippe Jacques de Loutherbourg was hired by the wealthy young aesthete William Beckford to prepare a private birthday spectacle at his mansion in Wiltshire. De Loutherbourg, who was also chief scenographer at Drury Lane theatre and the inventor of a recent commercial “moving picture” entertainment called theEidophusikon, promised to produce “a mysterious something that the eye has not seen nor the heart conceived.” Beckford wanted an Oriental spectacle that would completely ravish the senses of his guests, not least so that he could enjoy a sexual tryst with a thirteen year old boy, William Courtenay, and Louisa Beckford, his own cousin’s wife.

The resulting three day party and spectacle staged over Christmas 1781 became one of the scandals of the day, and ultimately forced William Beckford into decades of exile in Europe to escape accusations of sodomy. However, this Oriental spectacle also had a special significance for the history of Romantic aesthetics and modern-day cinema. Loutherbourg and Beckford’s collaboration provided the inspiration for William to write his scintillating Gothic novel, Vathek, and impelled Philippe himself into revising his moving-picture program in dramatically new ways. Ultimately this saturnalian party of Christmas 1781 constituted a pioneering experiment in applying the aesthetic of the sublime to virtual reality technology. It also led Loutherbourg to anticipate the famous nineteenth-century “Phantasmagoria” of French showman, Gaspard Robertson, by producing in 1782 a miniature Gothic movie scene based on the Pandemonium episode in Milton’s Paradise Lost.” [The Virtual Infernal: Philippe de Loutherbourg, William Beckford and the Spectacle of the Sublime, Ian McMalman, Romanticism on the net, 2007]

While at Trinity College Cambridge, (according to Robin Bryans in the The Dust has never settled (1992)) a 22 year old Antony Blunt had started the ‘vogue for the work and life-style of William Beckford’ [p.576] forming a ‘Beckford cult.’ In the February 1929 edition of The Venture (published at Cambridge for 6 issues until June 1930) Blunt heaped praise on ‘the dazzling architectural ensemble’ of Beckford’s Fonthill estate, calling it ‘artistically the best production of the Gothic revival’ while Bryans refers to it as ‘a vast neo-Gothic country house with a megalomaniac tower”. In 1934 Blunt started lecturing on art history at the Courtauld Institute, 20 Portman Square, where Queen Mary of Teck (the current Queen’s paternal grandmother) would attend to listen. Robin Bryans had this to say on Queen Mary and Blunt’s relationship:

“It was almost as if a conspiracy existed between the Russian spy and the dowager Queen, because they both knew perfectly well the homosexual history of newcastle men going up the white marble staircase at Clumber. Silently, they were aware of William Beckford’s escape to the Continent after buggering his schoolboy cousin, and the resemblance that incident bore to Queen Mary’s own husband who died with the famous words ‘Bugger Bognor’ for he, as the King of England, had been obliged to flaunt the authority of his own Attorney General by getting another bugger out of the country.” [p.199]

Clumber Park was the home of the Pelham-Clintons, Dukes of Newcastle (bearing in mind Peter Righton also had the name Pelham). Who had King George V broken the law for and assisted to flee the country to avoid prosecution by “his own” Attorney-General?


The Dust has never settled, p.148

The Dust has never settled, p.148

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Inspired by his birthday celebrations the following year he wrote “Vathek” and built Fonthill Abbey on the grounds of the estate, creating an ‘Arcadian idyll’ according to the sale particulars of 1829.

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Fonthill History website

James Morrison, MP for Ipswich Suffolk and a Victorian haberdasher called the ‘Napoleon of Shopkeepers’ (ever since he’d made a fortune stockpiling black crepe in time for William IV’s death),  eventually bought the Fonthill estate in 1830 despite the decayed state of the Abbey. He restored and extended the grounds and passed the estate down the Morrison family until it reached Lord Margadale, the father of Sir Peter Morrison MP (Con: Chester 1974 – 1992).

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A man who grew up in Hindon Wiltshire living near the Fonthill estate gives an account of seeing Lord Johnnie Morrison at the hunt one New Year’s Day in 1952-1953 and also has this to say about his son Peter:

“Morrison was father to Charles Morrison  tory mp for Devizes and Peter Morrison tory mp for Chester. Johnnie himself was given the hereditary peerage of Margadale now passed to his grandson. Peter Morrison – who had no experience of life outside of the Fonthill estate, Eton and Tory party somehow managed to develop extreme right wing views on morality while flouting them in his personal life. Is it any wonder that a man from such a background would see his ‘droit de seigneur’ as young working class boys in care homes as an alternative to scullery maids?” [Sir Peter Morrison of Fonthill – I knew your family, Ian Bone, 8 November 2012 – with thanks to @LordBonkers for signposting]

Despite Barry Strevens, Thatcher’s former bodyguard informing her Morrison was holding ‘sex parties’ with under-age boys (presumably not at Fonthill with accompanying theatrical displays as tradition might have dictated), she decided to promoted him to Deputy Chairman of the Conservatives.

Sir Peter Morrison has also been implicated in the North Wales child abuse scandal by Rod Richards (former MP and ex-leader of the Welsh Conservatives) and in January 2015 allegations surfaced that he had raped a boy at Elm Guest House

Murder link to Thatcher aide accused of raping teenage boy [Telegraph 5 June 2015]

Former Minister says Thatcher aide pedophile preyed on boys’ home  – and Hague should have known [Daily Mail 27 October 2012]

Thatcher’s bodyguard says he warned her about underage sex rumours about close aide amid claims senior ministers were named in dossier [Daily Mail 27 July 2014] which also named Rhodes Boyson and Sir Keith Joseph [more to post on Albany Trust’s financial requests to Neville Vincent in 1973/4 – Joseph’s cousin and from the family that Bovis was co-owned with]

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Keith Joseph By Andrew Denham, Mark Garnett, Senior Lecturer in Politics and International Relations Mark Garnett p.234

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ibid, p.233







Jan 1977: Lord Winstanley, Cyril Smith’s Westminster roommate & Liberal Peer joins Albany Trust

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By January 1977 the Albany Trust under Haywood’s chairmanship had moved offices from the less upmarket 31 Clapham Road, adjacent to Stockwell tube station, to Strutton Ground, moments from Victoria Station and its relentless flow of young runaways, close to national landmarks Buckingham Palace and Westminster Abbey. Victoria, like all major railway stations in London, was already a major venue for ‘chickenhawks’ like Leslie Alfred Goddard, Adam Ant’s father who lived locally.

The Trust hadn’t met since 24th November when Antony Grey had been alerted to Mary Whitehouse’s allegations against Ric Rogers (Albany Trust Youth Worker) and the work of the Trust as the ‘normalisation’ of paedophilia. On 19th January Albany  Trustees Sue Barnet, Lil Butler, Michael Butler, Harold Haywood (Chairman), and Antony Grey (Director) met with apologies for their absence from Rodney Bennett-England,  Sidney Bunt, and Lord Winstanley. Haywood announced that he would be leaving the Trust as Chairman on 1 September 1977 and Lil Butler was decided upon as Deputy Chairman to support Haywood until his departure. The Queen’s Silver Jubilee celebrations were due to begin in February with church services leading up to beacons being set aflame across hilltops during summer but the pomp and pageantry would be sufficiently over by September for Haywood to take over the funds raised by the Jubilee Trusts and work on consolidating them into the Prince’s Trust for Young People from autumn.

Grey had invited Michael Rubinstein (1920 – 2001) to attend the January meeting, a lawyer from the firm Rubinstein & Nash at 5-6 Raymond’s Building’s, Gray’s Inn, where Lord Arnold Goodman had been articled when qualifying as a solicitor during the 1930s. Rubinstein’s uncle was publisher Victor Gollancz, leading to his specialisation in publishing matters and his defence of the publication of DH Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover which Dr John Robinson (Albany Trustee, Bishop of Woolwich) had been called by Rubinstein to give testimony in defence of. Rubinstein would also later advise another of his clients Anthony Blunt against suing for defamation on the basis that he had lost his reputation.

September 1979: “In theory, Rubinstein was a well-chosen solicitor for Anthony: the present menace was a forthcoming book and, as he had fought for half a dozen major publishers in libel cases, and for Penguin when, for issuing an unexpurgated text of Lady Chatterley’s Lover, the company was prosecuted for obscenity in 1960, there could be nothing that he did not know about counteracting literary accusations.

It was not so: he was far too eager to take the battle to the foe without quite knowing the complex nature of the enemy — a doggedly inquiring writer who could not quite prove what he supposed; a press informed by rumour, innuendo and the malice of all sorts of minor figures anxious to pull Anthony down in revenge for imagined slights; an MI5 and MI6 thrilling to the renewal of a long-frustrated chase; and a naive Prime Minister inspired, not by spite, but by such aggressive provincial patriotism that she could neither ask nor answer the question, “Why?”

These forces were far beyond Rubinstein’s power to control and, once unleashed, they swept him aside. It was he who, as a preliminary to quashing it, asked the publishers of Boyle’s book to let him see the text. Because Anthony was not named in it, Rubinstein’s asking to see it was promptly interpreted as an admission of sorts (had he been fool enough to name Anthony as his client?) and the publishers leaked the request to Private Eye; on September 28 the tumbrils of the press prepared to roll. With the publication of extracts from Boyle’s book in The Observer on Sunday, November 4, I had the first telephone calls — from Stewart Tendler at The Times and Chris White at the Daily Mail — but all that I, an unknown nobody wondering, alarmed, how the hell these journalists knew of our connection, could say was that I knew nothing. I was in genuine ignorance of the situation, for I had not heard from Anthony for days and he had not answered the telephone when, troubled by his silence, I had called him.” [Brian Sewell, The art of espionage: Antony Blunt & Me, 15 December 2012, The Australian ]

And in 1978 the following year Gray’s Inn, one of the four Inns of Court for barristers, would employ Canon Eric James as their Preacher, a man who also happened to be a close friend of Peter Righton, Bishop of Stepney Father Trevor Huddleston and Dr John Robinson and would also become Chaplain to the Queen less than a decade later.

Rubinstein was there to give advice on whether the Albany Trust should sue Mary Whitehouse. Antony Grey had visited him at his offices in mid-December where although the advice had been not to risk costly and risky litigation, Rubenstein had drafted a strongly-worded letter for Haywood to send via recorded delivery on 17 December in the hope of silencing Whitehouse.


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Albany Trust Minutes 19th January 1977

However, in June 1977 Rubinstein irritated Harold Haywood by expecting to be paid for his advice.

“Michael Rubinstein had submitted a bill for £83 in addition the £25 paid in advance, for his advice in connection with the Mary Whitehouse attack. The Chairman had written to question the charge, which he had assumed would be nominal because of Mr Rubinstein’s special interest in the Trust. He had replied saying in part “…. I cannot understand why you should have been under the impression that I was offering to advise the Trust on anything other than a normal professional basis.” The Organising Secretary was asked to pay the bill and to bear this information in mind when deciding on whom to turn for legal advice in future.”

(Quaker and pacifist Arlo Tatum – the Organising Secretary mentioned above –  whose involvement in the Albany Trust following his unsuccessful case against the US army for ‘surveillance of lawful citizen activity’ during 1972’s Laird v Tatum is particularly interesting, will be posted about in more detail shortly)



The previous Friday before the plenary Trustees’ meeting,  the Albany Trust Executive Sub-Committee consisting of Lil Butler, Haywood and Grey had decided against publishing the booklet Paedophilia: Some Questions and Answers.

“Whilst recognising the hard work which had gone into it, it was not felt that the document would advance the understanding and acceptance of pedophiles and it might adversely affect the Albany Trust. The Trustees generally agreed. It was also agreed that the Trust, in consultation with the pedophile group, should produce its own pamphlet on paedophilia in due course, and that an article on the subject should appear during the year in ‘AT’. ” (my underline emphasis)

Why was the Albany Trust so concerned to work for the acceptance of pedophiles in society, a position which went above and beyond either understanding, counselling and was certainly not aimed at rehabilitation since the view was that society needed to change to accommodate child abuse enthusiasts and not vice versa? The Trust’s rejection of the Q&A booklet above acknowledges the charity’s aim as to advance the acceptance of pedophiles, a position not dissimilar to that of the Q&A booklet’s Introduction that the Executive Sub-Committee had apparently just rejected  – that pedophiles, due to the high number in youth services both paid and voluntary, should be celebrated as a positive benefit to society because to do otherwise was to present the country with a substantial unfunded gap in Social Services. It also adds weight to Doreen Cordell’s complaint that as a charity with a self-defined interest in psychosexual counselling across various sexual minorities the Trust seemed to focus almost exclusively on pedophiles during the 1970s to the exclusion of TV/TS and other gender identity issues which as a counsellor she was seeing more of.


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Lord Michael Winstanley

In 1977 Lord Winstanley (1918 – 1993) had only recently been created a peer by Harold Wilson during his second term as Labour Prime Minister. For some reason, Harold Haywood and Antony Grey were particularly keen to secure Winstanley’s involvement in the Albany Trust and on 17th March at a Trustees’ meeting:

“The Chairman welcomed Lord Winstanley, who was introduced to fellow Trustees by the Director. Lord Winstanley indicated that he was most happy to be associated with the Trust, and hoped to be able to give more time to it later in the year.” [Albany Trust minutes, 17/03/1977]

Cyril Smith and Michael Winstanley had been friends since the 1950s – a long time prior to Smith entering Parliament for Rochdale as a Liberal MP in 1972. Sir Cyril wrote Winstanley’s obituary for The Independent, 19th July 1993 and credits him with persuading Smith to become a Liberal rather than a Labour MP. Winstanley had played cricket for a local Rochdale cricket team, often participating in celebrity XII matches.

“I shared an office with him at the House of Commons, and I witnessed at first hand his very hard work, his diligence and his total devotion to his constituency of Cheadle as it then was, Hazel Grove as it now is. He polled an absolutely massive vote, winning with it at one time (in 1966 and February 1974), losing with it at another (September 1974). He lost with three times the vote that most MPs win with.” [Independent Obituary by Cyril Smith]

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The Book the British tried to Ban (One Girl’s War, Joan Miller, 1986)

      One Girl’s War: Joan Miller (Brandon: Co. Kerry) 1986

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About the Author

The final page of the book states:

Final Page, One Girl's War

Final Page, One Girl’s War

“Shortly after completing this book Joan Miller died at her home in Malta in June 1984”

Joan Miller, author of One Girl’s War, dies aged 68 in June 1984 in Malta having just finished her memoir. But before her daughter can publish through Brandon based in Co. Kerry, Ireland, Brandon will have to fight Sir Michael Havers, as Attorney-General in the High Court in Dublin before being finally allowed to publish in 1986.

Mella Carroll’s legacy as a judge is remarkable for its depth, scope and diversity, Dr Hugh Brady, president of University College, Dublin, cited some of her cases, when she was granted an honorary doctorate in law by her alma mater last year. “In the field of constitutional law she is remembered for her decision in the Attorney General of England and Wales v Brandon Books [1986] IR 597, in which she refused an application by the British government to restrain the publication in Ireland of the memoirs of a former member of the British intelligence service (One Girl’s War by Joan Miller). In reaching this decision the public interest of another state was not allowed to curtail freedom of expression within this jurisdiction.” [ Obituary for Ms Justice Mella Carroll ]

As the back cover states:

“A fascinating memoir from the heart of the world of intelligence operations in war-time Britain, when Joan Miller was personal assistant to Maxwell Knight, Chief of MI5’s B5 (b) Section.

This is the book the British Attorney General tried to stop in the High Court in Dublin, saying that its publication would do irreparable damage to the British Security Service, MI5.”

During 1940, Joan Miller had ended up as Knight’s assistant within B5(b) and when Knight takes a house in Camberley Surrey for de-briefings and his menagerie of animals, Miller is expected to accompany him down there on the weekends. While she is aware as a 21 year old that M is estranged from his wife Lois and that it would be adultery, she is captivated by M’s charisma. However, sex is not really on the cards and as she becomes increasingly mystified as to why, an answer presents itself one Sunday afternoon when M has a visitor.

HC Deb 21 November 1986 vol 105 cc354-5W, Hansard

HC Deb 21 November 1986 vol 105 cc354-5W, Hansard

About the publishers

In not so much a twist of irony, as one of necessity in the search for freedom of speech, Joan Miller’s daughter ended up publishing her mother’s memoir through Brandon Books based in Dingle, County Kerry.

Started in 1981, Brandon Books had already published Gerry Adams memories of growing up in West Belfast Falls Memoirs in 1982, see further for their beginnings and founders in The Oxford History of the Irish Book

 About the ‘irreparable damage to the British Security Service, MI5’

Dark secret life of the original ‘M’: Spymaster who inspired 007’s boss was a closet gay that married three women he never slept with – before reinventing himself as a children’s presenter called Uncle Max (Daily Mail, 13 March 2014)

Miller’s revelations that M was gay and sought out ‘rough trade’ by advertising for motorbike mechanics in Camberley Surrey during 1942 and her suspicion that he may have been being blackmailed before his death in 1968 was to become open knowledge in 1986 if published. Sir Michael Havers, Attorney-General since 1977, overseeing the terms of the Kincora Inquiry, stifling the press from reporting on Elm Guest House had one more year of his tenure to go – a tenure dominated by the Paedophile Information Exchange’s activism, the trial of Yorkshire Ripper Peter Sutcliffe, the trials of the Birmingham Six and the Guildford Four, all of which he would later attract criticism for. Sadly M would have lived barely a year past the 1967 Sexual Offences Act partially decriminalising homosexuality. Despite attempting to warn various people, Sir Desmond Morton a close friend of his, of Russian agents within MI5 (later in 1963 revealed to be Sir Anthony Blunt and his Apostle chums Burgess, Maclean and Philby),  Maxwell Knight was discredited as paranoid and eventually left MI5 in 1956 to pursue a career as a naturalist radio broadcaster full time.


MAXWELL KNIGHT: Eccentric who was the inspiration for Fleming’s ‘M’

Surely the most eccentric unsung spy was Maxwell Knight, known to his friends as Max or M. Although he did later become well known, it was not as a spymaster. To children growing up in the late Fifties and early Sixties he was Uncle Max, the BBC radio naturalist.

He had always had a passion for fauna; indeed, when he was head of B5(b), an autonomous department within MI5 in the Thirties and Forties, those who worked with him also had to work with his menagerie of animals. He could recite trivia about them endlessly, from the correct method of mounting a llama to the breeding cycle of the laughing hyena. His daily help, Mrs Leather, would complain of the way grass snakes used to flop down the stairs of his flat in Chelsea. He kept them in the bath. He also kept a blue-fronted Amazonian parrot in the kitchen and a Himalayan monkey in the garden. And he was known to have raised a nest of adder eggs in his pyjama pocket. Ian Fleming, who worked in the Department of Naval Intelligence, was fascinated by Knight’s mysterious persona and used him as the model for “M”, James Bond’s boss.

But for all his eccentricity he was an effective spymaster. As early as 1927, the bisexual Knight had been put in charge of infiltrating the Communist Party of Great Britain. To this end he recruited Tom Driberg, the (homosexual) writer and future MP, and ordered him to join the Communist Party while at Oxford. He also infiltrated the British Union of Fascists and developed a rather sinister fascination with the occult which he shared with his friends Dennis Wheatley and Aleister Crowley.

When war broke out he recruited an astrologer as an MI5 agent and sent him to Germany to infiltrate the occult court of Rudolf Hess. The agent is said to have briefed Hess that the Duke of Hamilton was prepared to meet him to act as a peace negotiator between the German government and the British. Hess’s fateful flight to Scotland followed in 1941.

With the war against the Nazis over, Knight became increasingly obsessed with the Soviet Union, specifically with the idea that a communist spy ring had infiltrated MI5. But his colleagues no longer took him seriously – indeed, they ignored the numerous reports he wrote on the subject. Knight was by then regarded as paranoid and unstable and, even though his theory was proved right in 1951 when Guy Burgess and Donald Maclean fled to the Soviet Union, his reputation within the service never recovered. He left MI5 a few years later and embarked upon a successful second career as a naturalist on radio and television. He soon became a household name and was awarded an OBE. In 1967 he published How to Keep an Elephant, a guide to keeping off-beat pets. The following year he wrote a sequel: How to Keep a Gorilla. [Double-O Who? Meet history’s unsung spies, Daily Telegraph,       ]

From Wikipedia:

After World War II, in 1946, Knight, who had since childhood been an ardent naturalist, began what was to become a successful broadcasting career on BBC radio, appearing in and hosting such programmes as Naturalist, Country Questions and Nature Parliament. He appeared occasionally on television in Peter Scott‘s Look and Animal, Vegetable or Mineral and published 34 books and wrote magazine articles.

His broadcast career progressed alongside his MI5 work until 1956, when he retired early, from MI5, on the grounds of ill health, suffering from angina. He died in Midgham,Berkshire from heart failure in 1968. After his death, the Maxwell Knight Memorial Fund was set up and, from the proceeds funded, the Maxwell Knight Young Naturalists’ Library in the education centre of the Natural History Museum.

The Oxford History of the Irish Book p313

The Oxford History of the Irish Book, Volume V: The Irish Book in English …
edited by Clare Hutton, Patrick Walsh, p.313

About the Book

For a much better round-up of the facts of the books see

When WWII is declared 21 year old Joan Miller leaves the cosmetic counters of Elizabeth Arden behind to end up on a bus to Wormwood Scrubs, the temporary home of MI5.  With references from two officers of high standing (one family, one a friend) and the Dame of Sark where she and her family appear to have holidayed frequently Joan gets to work for MI5. At first Joan works for Lord Cottenham of Brooklands racing and the History of Roadcraft fame (Mark Pepys) but she is quickly spotted by M, Maxwell Knight, Chief of B5 (b)

Dolphin Square: A History of a Unique Building, Terry Gourvish, 2013

Dolphin Square: A History of a Unique Building, Terry Gourvish, 2013

At Wormwood Scrubs she also meets…” the excellent Bill Younger, of the brewing family. Bill, slightly deformed from a childhood attack of Polio, was a step-son of Dennis Wheatley and himself the author of some quite incredible poetry.

Bill had been an MI5 agent since his Oxford days, when M had recruited him to check up on some undergraduates propagating a rather noisy brand of pacifism in the wake of the celebrated motion passed as an Oxford Union Debate ‘ this House will in no circumstances fight for King and its Country’. M had become friendly with Dennis Wheatley, whom he met at one of Charles Birkin’s parties in 1937; at this time, in the early part of the war, Wheatley’s wife Joan, stepson and stepdaughter were also employed at Wormwood Scrubs’. [p.18]

















The Wheatley Family: Joan, Dennis & Bill





By 1940 when Joan Miller first makes Dennis Wheatley’s acquaintance, he is 43. The son of a wine merchant, a family business which he had disposed of in the early 30s having turned to writing. He was a curious mix of loyalty to the empire, anti-Nazism and anti-socialism. Married to Joan, who worked in the MI5 Transport section taking over from Miller, his step-son Bill Younger is described my Miller as M’s right-hand man.

“Joan Wheatley like myself, had belonged to MI5 since the outbreak of the war. (She was the mother of my great friend and M’s right hand man, Bill Younger.) Her job which she’d taken over from me was to estimate the amount of petrol necessary for each official journey and to dole it out accordingly.” p.78

“Come along. Dennis, we’ll be late for the Duchess.’ This striking utterance prompted a dry aside from Charles Birkin, another of our guests that weekend: “What Duchess?”

Early in the war Wheatley had applied for a post in the Ministry of Information but receives no reply and M, his friend, doesn’t find him a niche post so he ends up doing a few odd jobs for M until towards the end of 1941 he was made a member of the Joint Planning Staff under the Minister of Defence, an appointment carrying a great deal of prestige.

Wheatley never really likes Joan Miller and makes it apparent.

Miller speaks of M’s interest in the occult and this is indicated by those how he surrounds himself with such as ,Sir Charles Lloyd Birkin, 5th Baronet (24 September 1907 – 1985) the Creeps Library Anthologies editor and horror short story writer who introduced M to Dennis Wheatley in 1937.




A Saturday afternoon in 1942 – Miller discovers M’s secret

“At the beginning of May, when the Wolkoff case was at its height, M sent me off one day to Camberley, in Surrey, to look for a house to rent. The one I eventually took was called ‘Llanfoist’; set well back from the main London road, about a mile and a half outside Camberley, in grounds complete with stables and garages and screened by a row of pine trees, it was ideal for our purposes. M needed the place as a retreat from the stresses of London, as a ‘safe house’ for agents, and as a spot where fellow MI5 officers, joursnalists and so forth could be

Down at the country house in Camberley, Surrey, Joan accompanies M where he places an advert in the local paper asking for assistance from a motorbike mechanic, 3 of which he kept in a garage. A young man turns up one Saturday afternoon and he and M spend several hours in the garage, for M to leave briefly to fetch something from the house, unaware Joan was sitting on a windowseat reading and observes him walk back to the garage it dawns on her she was always only ever destined to be M’s cover, not lover:

“In the middle of yawning and stretching I happened to glance out of the window, in time to see M come up to the house to fetch something. A few minutes later he went out again, and I watched him make his way back towads the barn where the bus driver was standing in the open doorway. M had no idea he was being observed. For the first time he was off guard, and so fell into a posture he must have found pretty natural. I recognised it for what it was, for he had pointed it out to me himself, when we passed a couple of male prostitutes in the street.

As I sat there watching this avowed opponent of homosexuality mince across the lawn, a number of things became clear to me. The first of those was that I had acquired a piece of very dangerous knowledge which I had better keep to myself. M’s disability with regard to performing the sexual act in the ordinary way was now explained. So was the vehemence of his prejudice against homosexuals: it was obviously to safeguard his reputation in the office that he took this stand. Not, I knew, that this need have made his attitude any less genuine, in a sense: it is perfectly possible to disapprove of something and still remain addicted to it.”….

“His tastes obviously inclined him in the direction of what, in a phrase not then current, is known as ‘rough trade’. [p.112]

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Joan, remembering rumours about the demise of M’s first wife is scared to discover she holds a secret about M that would make him very vulnerable to blackmail and she didn’t underestimate his reaction to her having this knowledge:

“I couldn’t help dwelling on the things I knew about M that underlined the ruthless side of his character. I thought of his first wife’s death, an obscure and sinister event as far as my knowledge of it went, ited up with M’s disquieting interest in the occult. There was an unedifying Canadian, I remember, an ex-drug addict and jailbird known to me as Frank, who’d performed some unofficial jobs for M such as getting rid of an unreliable double agent in the middle of the North Sea. It didn’t cheer me to envisage this sort of end for myself. The threat of blackmail must be a constant worry for someone in M’s position; once he realised he’d given himself away, he would have to take steps to destroy in advance the value of any information I might lay against him.” [p.113]

“M after leaving MI5 went on to become a well-known radio naturalist, with a regular slot on the Home Service. Among his later proteges, appropriately enough, was John Le Carre, who under his proper name of David Cornwell, illustrated one or two of M’s works on natural history.”


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 “There is some evidence, which suggests to my mind, that M was being subject to blackmail in the later part of his life. Why else should he have been impoverished to the extent of having to move in with ex-B(5) b colleague Guy Poston and his family? He was never rich, it’s true, but he always had enough to enjoy a way of life that suited him. And why did he opt for the comparative anonymity of radio work, when he’d have made such a splendid television performer? There may be some perfectly innocuous explanation, of course, but I can’t help feeling that one of the risks that he’d taken in his private life might have caught up with him.” [p.154]

M died in 1968 of heart failure in Midgham, Berkshire.

Maxwell Knight

A review of his book Cuckoo by Helen MacDonald for Aeon online provides some glimpses into ‘Uncle Max’ the naturalist on BBC Radio Children’s Hour featuring in the regular “Nature Parliament” series broadcast during the 1950s.


M’s interest in Crowley’s Magick

See further for mention of the Isle of Man hypnotist and Sean Stowell’s book The King’s Psychiatrist which details Dr Alexander Cannon’s treatment of Crowley’s first wife.

“Another unsung hero of World War II is Aleister Crowley provided we accept his claim that MI5 invited him to organise some woodland magic of his own, code-named Operation Mistletoe, in Ashdown Forest. Also rumoured to have been involved are Ian Fleming, author of the James Bond books, and Dennis Wheatley whose novels about magic and witchcraft were immensely popular in the nineteen-fifties and sixties. While undeniable that both men worked for the security services during the war there is no evidence that they participated in such an exercise, reportedly the brain child of Maxwell Knight, Head of Section B5(b). (The selfsame Maxwell Knight was an occasional visitor to the vicarage in Limehouse though his MI5 colleague, the predatory Tom Driberg MP, was less welcome and came only once, a former chum of Crowley’s, he was famously described by Winston Churchill as “the sort of man who gives sodomy a bad name.”)” [Magic without Mirrors, David Conway, p.220-221]

Magic without Mirrors: The Making of a Magician, David Conway

Magic without Mirrors: The Making of a Magician, David Conway

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“There are others which are more telling, though still obscure. His first wife Gladys, I learnt, died in the Overseas Club after some sort of occult misadventure in which the notorious Aleister Crowley was involved – certainly I’d have been unwilling to enquire too deeply into that particular incident. Black magic was not a subject that held any attraction for me. I accepted M’s interest in it, hoping it was purely academic, but for myself, I preferred to leave it well and truly alone: M understood this. When I tore up a photograph of Aleister Crowley which he had kept, as I believed it to be unlucky, he only laughed.” [p.45]



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“M was enigmatic and debonair, qualities I found irresistible, as well as being deeply knowledgeable on a wide variety of subjects. This made him a fascinating companion.  The range of his accomplishments was extraordinary. He’d played the drums in a jazz band at the Hammersmith Palais; and, more impressively, he was equally proficient on the clarinet. He might have made a living as a schoolmaster if he hadn’t found that profession unendurably tame. For a short period he ran a small hotel on Exmoor with his first wife Gladys, at the same time working as a riding instructor. (It was during this time – according to a rumour – that M was suspected of being  a werewolf!) He published a couple of thrillers before the war, Crime Cargo (1934) and Gunmen’s Holiday (1935) both of which I read with some enjoyment though he himself had a low opinion of them. He was a Fellow of the Royal Zoological Society and a keen naturalist. He knew more about the occult than anyone I’ve ever met, including Dennis Wheatley. (Like Wheatley, though a few years later, he’d spent some time as a naval cadet on the training ship Worcester.) He was a crack shot, and also a collector of antique guns. Botany, ornithology and literature were among his enthusiasms. I didn’t acquire all of this information of course – M was never very forthcoming about his own affairs. I think it pleased him to display an air of secrecy; certainly he discouraged questions about the past. The ‘Captain King’ role, dangerous and mysterious, suited him down to the ground. He wore his affectations lightly, though; among his assets was a sense of humour, without which he’d hardly have made such a success of running B5(b).” [pp 44 – 45]



M on Anthony Blunt

M, undaunted, got the paper off to Desmond Morton, Churchill’s private secretary, who was also a personal friend of his, with the plea that it shold be passed on to the Prime Minister.”p. 64

“When the Driberg incident alerted him to the fact that a Soviet agent must be at work inside the Security Service. Driberg’s code name was M8 and one of his reports for M, which contained a reference to a book he had written, was read by an unauthorised person who recognised the allusion and immediately identifed M8 as Driberg – it emerged in 1963 that this person was Anthony Blunt, ex personal assistant to Guy Liddell and still a prominent member of ‘B’ Division at this time. I am sure M never suspected Blunt, which is rather odd really, as he had had several proteges at Cambridge before the war, and certainly knew all  about the Apostles.* Of course, under Sir Vernon Kell, we were all encouraged to think of the office as a kind of extended family.

*No one, indeed, had come up with a satisfactory explanation of how Blunt came to be recruited into MI5, after being dismissed from the Manley staff course for budding intelligence officers because he had been so far to the Left at Cambridge.” [p.65]





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A particular piece of information that struck me (mentally conjuring up a scene for me owing much to comedian Victoria Wood) was the fact that Lady Kell, Sir Vernon Kell’s wife, Head of MI5 was the canteen manager at Wormwood Scrubs – which becomes apparent in the context of Winston Churchill sacking Kell and his wife’s outrage “He’s sacked the General”. Would one decorate one’s tabard as Commander of the Dinner-Ladies? Any amusement aside, her role would have been extremely useful no doubt in keeping an eye on staff and general gossip.

Battle of the Courtiers? A grudge-match beyond death: Lord Lambton vs Lord Mountbatten

photo 1 (17) The Mountbattens by Antony Lambton (1973, 1979, 1989 & ‘The Canadian Publishers’)

Lord Lambton vs. Lord Mountbatten

Three years into Edward Heath’s run as Prime Minister, on 22 May 1973  Minister Lord Lambton, Parliamentary under secretary for Defence (RAF) resigned as Conservative MP for Berwick-Upon-Tweed, his constituency for almost 22 years. This triggered a by-election which the Liberal party’s Alan Beith won, (who’d previously fought Lambton and lost in 1970 election) joining the small number of Liberal MPs that  as the ‘joke’ went, could all fit in a taxi together

Lambton’s scandal was exposed in the News of the World with smoky sepia-tint photos of him in bed with two prostitutes, (presumably as a result of the night photo lens Colin Levy the shadowy special services executive married to S&M prostitute Norma)

“In May 1973 he was exposed by conman Colin Levy, who used a camera hidden behind a peephole in a mirror to photograph the peer in bed with the conman’s prostitute wife Norma Levy, 26, and another woman Kim Pinder, at their flat in Maida Vale. Audio recordings were made using a microphone hidden in a teddy bear’s nose next to Norma’s bed.

It emerged that Norma, known as The Nun, had been part of a 15-strong ring of prostitutes run by society madam Jean Horn, whose clients included Lord Jellicoe, Leader of the House of Lords, who was also forced to resign” [Sex Scandal Lord’s family at war over Lambton estate (Daily Express 11 October 2013)]

“Lambton’s edition of The Recollections of Three Reigns by Queen Victoria’s secretary Sir Frederick Ponsonby ruffled a few feathers by asserting that the new breed of courtiers — drawn from the Services and “insecure in their social position”— was “less effective” than that drawn from the “best families in England”.

But his carefully researched first part of a two-volume study, The Mountbattens (1989), drew widespread criticism for its acerbic portrayal of Earl Mountbatten as a bemedalled social climber who lied about his German ancestry to enhance his claims to royal status. Lambton was persuaded not to persist with the proposed second volume, which was to have dealt with Mountbatten’s career.” (Daily Telegraph Obituary of Lord Lambton, 2 Jan 2007)

“The final by-election triumph, at Berwick-on-Tweed, symbolised my personal attitude to electioneering – and also signalled the end of the road for the Liberal euphoria wagon. The seat became vacant, it will be remembered, because Lord Lambton, the Tory, resigned after being involved in a tawdry affair with London prostitutes. The morality issue was, however, never raised by the Liberals in the campaign, as far as I am aware, and when I spoke there I was determined to ignore it: I do not believe in the politics of the smear. A man’s private life is his own affair.” (Big Cyril, Cyril Smith, p148 published 1978)

‘We won the Berwick seat, and its victor, Alan Beith is arguably the best Parliamentarian at Westminster.” (ibid, p.149)

However, newspapers outside the UK were at the time reporting an international ‘vice’ ring supplying young boys to men in London, Paris and other European capitals [British Sex Scandal may involve others, The Gadsden Times, 22 May 1973]

At no 58 Hamilton Terrace, St John’s Wood, in a road behind Abbey Road Studios (the Abbey was Kilburn Abbey) and  just across the Edgware Road from Little Venice, although very much on the side of Maida Vale), Lord Lambton and his wife Bindy and their children had moved into the art-deco former house of Bindy’s aunt Freda Dudley Ward, the mistress of the Prince of Wales (Edward the Abdicator in 1936) from 1918 – 1923. The year the Lambtons moved in was 1966, also the year Savile first claimed to have made Mountbatten’s acquaintance. Bindy had set about redecorating, having a splendid butterfly shaped swimming pool installed. Seven years later Antony Lambton was to be caught at no 9 Marlborough Court (virtually across the road in a turning off Edgware Road opposite Maida Vale station). While he certainly believed in straying, Lambton didn’t believe on straying far when it came to distance.

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“On about their fifth meeting, she reveals for the first time, he arranged for a handsome young male prostitute, aged about 20, to join them, and asked her to watch him have sex with the man.

I still feel a little embarrassed about that,’ she drawls, sipping strong black coffee. ‘I wasn’t used to seeing two men having sex. I think he was bisexual. But mostly he just liked to smoke pot, and there was a bit of conversation. You know what? We didn’t really have much sex.‘” [Call girl who nearly toppled government, Daily Mail, 26 January 2007)

The story of Freda Dudley Ward, Bindy’s aunt is an interesting tale in itself, setting up the Four Feathers youth charity nearby on behalf of the Prince and run as a Prince of Wales (three feathers being the fur-de-lys of the plumed crown) venture despite the Prince’s apparent disinterest in both Freda and the charity once he had been left by Thelma, in Wallis Simpson’s capable hands.

Maida Vale, W9

As the traditional home of elite escorts for about 150 years, where royalty in particular liked to keep their mistresses, Maida Vale and its local environs is unsurprisingly quite the focal point of a number of scandals over the years. In 1934 the BBC bought the failed 1907 built Edwardian ice skating rink to become BBC Maida Vale Studios in Delaware Road, recording big bands and later where DJ John Peel would record his Radio 1 Peel Sessions, and so the area from thereon in also began to attract broadcasting and musical celebrities of the day. People such as comedian Benny Hill had a flat at Cunningham Court, and according to this article by 1964 actor Victor Beaumont and DJ Alan ‘Fluff” Freeman were Maida Vale residents: Savile and Freeman showed me no pity, says victim abused by BBC DJs when he was just 11, Daily Mail, 22 September 2013

As Edgware Road descends from Kilburn, Cricklewood, cuts through Maida Vale W9 (Maida Hill) it passes the postcodes of NW1 (Marylebone), NW8 (St John’s Wood / Lisson Grove), W2 (Paddington), and nearing central London, heading south towards the corner of Hyde Park occupied by Speaker’s Corner, it ends just before Marble Arch and the former site of the Tyburn gallows (the area is now being renamed Tyburnia in estate agents’ bumf, focused around Connaught Square/Connaught Village where the Blair family townhouse is, along from Portsea Hall where Antony Blunt died at no 45, 6th floor on 26 March 1983, close to the church his father Reverend Stanley Blunt St John’s The Evangelist Hyde Park (see horse riders service in September) had been at when he was a child and had visited his cousin Elizabeth, seven years his senior, who married one of the sons of King George V when Blunt was just 16 in 1923 and lived in Mayfair at Bruton Street, just across from Hyde Park and Park Lane.

“One name that could well appear in Blunt’s description of his early life is that of his cousin, a certain Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon – later, of course, to become the Queen Mother.

Blunt’s mother Hilda was a 2nd cousin of the Earl of Strathmore, Elizabeth’s father.

The young Anthony and his two brothers Christopher and Wilfrid occasionally used to have tea with Elizabeth at the family’s London home in Bruton Street, Mayfair – the house from which she was driven to Westminster Abbey in 1923 (when Blunt was 16) to marry the Duke of York, later King George VI.” [Last Secrets Queen Mother’s favourite traitor: Memoirs of Society Spy Anthony Blunt rock royals, Daily Mail, 27 June 2009]

On Blunt’s father’s side his grandfather had been the Rt Rev Lord Bishop of Hull when his father Rev Arthur Stanley Vaughan Blunt had married Hilda Violet Master at St Andrew’s, Ham, Surrey on 18 October 1900.

Portsea Hall features large in Brian Sewell’s autobiography The Art of Espionage: Antony Blunt & Me, Brian Sewell, The Australian, 15 December 2012)

During the 50s (and possibly beyond) it was Paddington that was crime central, also close to Maida Vale, attracting characters like Jack Spot, the Krays, Billy Hill and Gyp.

Writing in Chiantishire

So despite gallivanting off to landscape a garden in Italy with his mistress (debutante of the year 1954) and become Lord of Chiantishire as folk joked, Lambton continues to nurse something of a grudge for Lord Mountbatten throughout restoring his Italian villa and begins researching and writing what he intends to be a 2 volume account of The Mountbattens. A decade after Mountbatten’s murder in 1979 Lambton publishes his first volume with a back sleeve that reads:

“One of the oldest traceable families in Christendom” – Burke’s Peerage

Or is it?

Blow the dust off the Mountbatten family album and discover the truth behind one of Europe’s most famous royal dynasties. Royal insider Antony Lambton uncovers the real story – a story rife with trumped-up lineage, paternity scandals, and stormy marriages.

In this authoritative history, Lord Lambton sheds light on the illicit union that resulted in the births of Prince Alexander of Hesse and his sister Marie, Empress of Russia. You’ll meet Sandro, the sacked ruler of Bulgaria, who was torn between his duty to the Princess of Prussia and his passion for a seductive actress. You’ll also witness the infamous, trouble-causing marriage of the rakish Alexander and the commoner Julia Hauke.

In many respects the history of the Mountbattens is the history of Europe, and across Lambton’s pages parade some of the continent’s most famous – and notorious – personages” Queen Victoria, George V, Kaiser Wilhelm, Tsar Alexander II and William Gladstone. Even soviet spy Anthony Blunt played a role in the Mountbatten past.”

The Canadian Publishers

Interestingly, Lambton’s publishers are M&S Paperbacks from McClelland & Stewart Inc who feature as their imprint the words ‘The Canadian Publishers’ – a slogan which would not have been lost on Mountbatten had he been alive to see the publication.

Following the disastrous raid on Dieppe where over 3,000 Canadian troops were killed like fish being shot in a barrel in 1942, Lord Beaverbrook (a Canadian media mogul who owned the Express) never let Mountbatten forget. [The wartime raid that shamed Mountbatten, Daily Express, 20 August 2012]

country which following Lord Beaverbrook’s outspoken venom for Mountbatten following Dunkirk is unsurprising.

Over the last 10 years further information has come to light

“Former MI6 agent Lee Tracey told the Mail on Sunday that his bosses wanted to expose Lambton in a bid to embarrass MI5, which had failed to act against his activities.

Mr Tracey claimed he supplied a night-vision lens to the News of the World, which allowed the newspaper’s photographer to take the photograph from a cupboard.

He said he received a phone call telling him to loan the specialist equipment to the paper.

The Echo revealed last month that a security services report into the scandal raised fears that Lambton would be driven to suicide.

The concerns were contained in files released to the National Archive under the 30-year rule, which detailed a Security Commission inquiry by MI5 officer Charles Elwell.” [Lambton ‘victim of MI6 dirty tricks’ Sunderland Echo, 19 Janary 2004]

“This, at least, is Norma’s story. Others suggest that she connived with Levy, and was motivated either by money (she estimates that worldwide newspaper sales of the story made £100,000 – more than £600,000 today) or, more sinisterly, was involved in a conspiracy to discredit Lambton and the government.

Inevitably, Norma dismisses these accusations. However, she believes there is sufficient evidence to suggest that Lambton was the victim of a smear plot, albeit without her knowledge.

For one thing, she questions whether Levy had the expertise or cunning to have set up the hidden camera, which was positioned behind a stereo system in the wardrobe facing her double-bed. To record Lambton’s voice, a listening device was also embedded in the nose of Norma’s giant teddy-bear.

‘Colin was into a lot of deep, heavy stuff. I think the whole thing was set up and he [Lambton] was sacrificed for this big plot,’ she says.

‘I was a pawn in the game, too. It was very sad. Colin knew too much about my life. I started trusting him. I didn’t think he was that type of person. Some people don’t have a conscience about what they do.’

Norma’s theory gains credence when we remember how, three years ago, a retired MI6 operative named Lee Tracey admitted to being part of a ruse to expose Lambton.

Tracey says MI6, responsible for overseas intelligence, was concerned because its home-based sister organisation, MI5, knew Lambton used prostitutes but had done nothing to deter him.

The plot was hatched to embarrass MI5 into action, he said, and he supplied a newspaper with the nightsights for the wardrobe camera.” Daily Mail, 26 January 2007)

“Mountbatten had put in charge of the raid’s military intelligence a racing driver playboy chum, the Marquis de Casa Maury, a totally unqualified amateur from Cuba.

The blame, however, was shifted on to the Canadian task force commander Major-General John Roberts, who himself was the victim of poor information and the communications breakdown that characterised the day’s events.

Partly thanks to Dieppe, there has been a major shift in the perception of Mountbatten’s character in recent years.

Historian Andrew Roberts has dealt the hardest hammer blow to his reputation.

He has convincingly depicted “Dickie” Mountbatten as a psychopathically ambitious, vain, disingenuous, manipulative adrenaline junkie and a man who was utterly careless of other people’s lives.

Whether this view is fully justified is debatable but even at the time of Dieppe many military people were wary of Dickie’s cronyism and mad gung-ho schemes.

At the Admiralty he was known as the “Master of Disaster”.

One eminent biographer who admired Mountbatten became so sickened by his subject’s disrespect for the truth that he put a sign on his writing desk: “Remember, in spite of it all, he was a great man.”

Mountbatten was certainly great at public relations and the art of making sure no mud stuck to him.

Montgomery had always thought the raid was absurd and it is a tragedy that his view that it should be called off wasn’t heeded.

When the news came through of the scale of the disaster the press baron Lord Beaverbrook – owner of this newspaper and a Canadian – went puce with rage.

He would have been more furious had he known that vital intelligence from codebreakers at Bletchley Park had been ignored.

Beaverbrook went so far as to call Mountbatten a murderer.

Any stain on Mountbatten’s reputation was defl ected by the timely release, just after Dieppe, of a film based on his life as a naval officer, In Which We Serve.

Noel Coward showed him his fawning script based on the daring adventures of his ship HMS Kelly, which was sunk in 1941 during the Battle of Crete.

Mountbatten supplied Coward with vivid stories, stating that he and the survivors had been machine-gunned in the water, an event that appears in the film but which none of his shipmates recall happening.

COWARD played the Captain in the film that did a great deal to secure the Mountbatten legend in the general public’s mind. Roberts states that Mountbatten saw it 11 times.” [The wartime raid that shamed Mountbatten, Daily Express, 20 August 2012]

The chap in charge of the Dieppe raid as appointed by Mountbatten – the Marques de Casa Maury, was the second husband of Freda Dudley-Ward (Edward the Abdicator’s ex) who had been married to her and living at No.58 Hamilton Terrace from 1938 in their much architecturally applauded house commissioned from architects Burnet, Tait & Lorne (see Wikipedia Freda Dudley Ward further). Later to become Lambton’s family home in London when he was caught on camera in Maida Vale.

 Acknowledgements & the Curious Incident of the Closed Archives

“To Lord Brabourne who courteously answered my letters making it plain I was not to see any of the Battenberg Archives. This in itself was as interesting as Sherlock Holme’s dog, who did not bark in the night. It made me draw the conclusion that every author who was not prepared to accept the Mountbatten myth would be starved of information.” (Acknowledgements, The Mountbattens, Antony Lambton, below (1989))

Lord Brabourne (1928 – 2005) served as Aide-De-Camp to Mountbatten in South-East Asia

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The eldest daughter of Queen Victoria had married the Crown Prince of Germany who became Emperor Frederick III. Empress Vicky “developed a passionate wish her daughter should marry (against her father and mother0in-law’s wishes) Alexander of Battenberg. She persecuted her dying husband to agree to the match which would have ensured Bismarck’s resignation. Her letters were as fanatical as those of the last Tsarina’s, her niece.” (Lambton, caption under photo of the Emperor and Empress, p.193)

Christopher of Hesse-Cassel (grandson of Crown Princess, Vicky – Christopher was the son of her daughter Princess Margaret who had married Prince Frederick Charles of Hesse-Cassel)

“was a half-mad extremist, the associate and companion of Himmler. The wild seeds in his furious mind may have been planted by his unluckily tainted grandfather as they were in his elder brother, Prince Philip, a friend of Goering’s, who as made a general of the Storm Troopers in 1933. An enthusiastic Nazi, he admired violence and was used as a sycophantic go-between Hitler and Mussolini and Hitler and his cousin the Duke of Windsor. The latter connection may have saved him from imprisonment for after his release from Dachau he was immediately arrested on 9 April 1945 by the Americans as Target 53 in the Nazi heriarchy rounded up for interrogation. Successful British pressure prevented an embarrassing trial.

Shortly before his arrest King George VI sent his librarian and, of all people, Anthony Blunt, to retrieve secret papers considered damaging to the British royal family from his house, Freidrichschof. It is unlikely they, as suggested, related to Queen Victoria and likely they referred to Prince Philip’s wooing of the Duke of Windsor with offers of a crown. hey are now buried in Windsor but as Blunt saw them it is likely that any interesting information was passed on to the Russians.” [Lambton, p.141.-142]

In 1988 Mask of Treachery by John Costello was published on the Blunt affair, also referred to by Robin Harbinson in The Dust has never Settled: “Using newly discovered top-secret British and American reports, and confirming the resulting analysis with veterans of British intelligence and the CIA, this book uncovers a sophisticated Soviet plan to infiltrate their agents into the highest levels of British and American societies. 16 pages of photos.” Yet to be read.

More to come on Lambton’s Introduction which gives a psychologically sensitive portrayal of young Mountbatten watching his father be castigated for his Germanic lienage despite reaching heights of First Admiral, and the bullying he suffered as a result growing up during WWI.