Sir Peter Rawlinson

Savile, Dublin & Belfast: Time to re-evaluate his role in The Troubles?

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Savile on a motorbike with Agnes his mother, aged 13, This is Your Life Michael Aspel, 1990

He said: “All I have to do is call my friends in the IRA. They’ll have someone waking up in hospital the next morning eating their breakfast through a f***ing straw.

“I know the IRA, men from the IRA, and you don’t need to ask these guys twice. I’m serious. Don’t f***ing think I’m not serious. I can get them done – just with a phone call. That’s all it takes, young man.”

“Savile, a Roman Catholic who was once blessed by The Pope, was a regular visitor to Ireland using his charity work as a cloak. He made IRA threats during a meeting 12 years ago when our ­journalist was a local ­reporter on the Bucks Herald.” (Jimmy Savile and the IRA: Predator boasted terrorist friends could have enemies hospitalised, by James Saville, The Mirror, 20 October 2012)


“On one occasion, in Stoke Mandeville Hospital, we had three people from Northern Ireland. They were in different wards. In one ward was a soldier who had been caught in gunfire and the bullet had chipped the top of his spine and rendered him paraplegic. In another ward, we had a girl of thirteen – a very pretty girl – who just happened to be standing on a street corner. She took a bullet through the throat and that rendered her paraplegic. In yet another ward, we had one of the militant bodies. He was actually doing the firing at the time. He was in a wheelchair. If anyone wanted to look at the futility of that particular course of action, they had only to look at these three people. Three lives were completely ruined. After a while, when they all started to recover, they all trundled their wheelchairs down to the hospital canteen. The four of us used to talk, and we had a lot to talk about. I wish you could have seen the four of us talking together. And three of them were all suffering from the same thing. Yet, would you believe it, they were the best of friends. So I was right in the first place. There is another way of doing things. What had happened in their situation was a mental abuse and that put these people into wheelchairs. They have learned to live with their afflictions and we all had some good laughs and a good time; they’re all back now in their various homes. Personally, I would much prefer that they were all walking about, digging in fields, going on holidays, and generally being of more use to other people. Somewhere along the line, there was an abuse of the mind. ” [God’ll Fix It, Savile, 1978, p.28]

While the three housefathers at Newtownards Road, Kincora Boys’ Home in East Belfast were raping and otherwise abusing children (Sex Racket at Children’s Home,The Irish Independent, 24 January 1980) with McGrath espousing his own virulent and predatory version of the British Israelite Celtic-Druidic-Hebraic-Ulster-Loyalist myth-loving theology in his bible classes attended by Hellfire Jack, John Bryans JP, local Grandmaster of the Orange Heritage Lodge (1970), one wonders how any national security service thought they were going to lure a few key members of the IRA or Provisional IRA for blackmail over child abuse?

Police believe Savile may have boasted of underworld links in a bid to silence victims (Daily Record (Daily Record, 21 October 2012)

In 2009 it was revealed that Gerry Adams Sr had abused some of his own children and that this abuse had been known about by others before he had died, buried wrapped in the Irish flag which his son is now concerned he might have ‘besmirched’. Gerry Adams reveals family’s abuse by his father (The Guardian 20 December 2009)

How the sins of the father came back to haunt Adams: The Sinn Fein leader’s revelation that Gerry Adams snr sexually abused members of his family could mean a re-evaluation of his own role during the Troubles, argues Malachi O’Doherty (The Belfast Telegraph, 22 December 2009)

A few years after Gerry Adams Sr’s demise it was revealed Liam Adams, a son of Gerry Sr and Gerry Jr’s brother, had been alleged as a child rapist and  was finally put on trial 4 years later Gerry Adams’ niece reveals: ‘The Beard tried to get me to gag press over abuse’ (Belfast Telegraph 7 October 2013): Aine refers to her Uncle Gerry as ‘The Beard’. It is alleged that Liam’s main period of abuse of his daughter Aine was 1977 – 1983 from the age of four.

During Liam’s trial Gerry Adams was questioned over whether he had reported his brother’s family to the Health Visitor  in 1987 for issues of hygiene and lice the day after he had been told his brother had abused Aine. Mick Fealty’s reports on the court transcript here and also a very useful timeline of Liam Adam’s locations from the point at which Gerry Adams was aware of the abuse from 1987.

Adams’ plea for privacy and space over Aine is just a self-serving ploy (Irish Independent, 6 October 2013)

Gerry Adams brother jailed for 16 years for raping his own daughter as a child  (Daily Mail 27 November 2013) :

“Mrs Dahlstrom first brought the matter to police in 1987. This was in the midst of the Northern Ireland Troubles and a time when many people in republican communities distrusted and refused to co-operate with the security forces.

She did not pursue the matter at that stage, claiming that detectives were more interested to hear information about her famous uncle than about the allegations she was levelling against her father.

It would not be for another 20 years before she went to police again, after finding out that her father was working in a west Belfast youth club that her children attended.”


Tom Griffin is one to watch in terms of following up research into Kincora  –  Colin Wallace has already said he would be willing to testify at the CSA Inquiry but has warned it will need access to Intelligence documents if it is to succeed:

From 1968: Savile in Ireland, Pop Jamborees & Annual Fundraising weeks

Is it time yet to evaluate Savile’s links to The Troubles?

Billboard 16 March 1968 At the end of April Savile was arriving in Dublin for “a week of ballroom dancing and wrestling dates, the proceeds of which will go to the Central Remedial Clinic.”

In August 1969 the Northern Ireland riots take place and the British Army is deployed

BillBoard 16 March 1968

BillBoard 16 March 1968

Back again in 1969 for his second annual fund-raising week for the Central Remedial Clinic with a 10 mile walk from the centre of Dublin to Baldoyle

BillBoard 7 June 1969

BillBoard 7 June 1969

By 1973 Savile was involved on the order side of the border with the Northern Ireland Association of Youth Clubs, as reported by Billboard 15 September 1973, just as he was connected with Angus Ogilvy and Princess Alexandra (patron of Duncrofts School) and the National Association of Youth Clubs in at their HQ in London.

Billboard Sep 15, 1973: A pop festival and peace rally will be held at Nutts Corner airport near Belfast on Sept. 23. Jimmy Savile will lead a walk to the rally which is being organised by the Northern Ireland Association of Youth Clubs . . .

 “With Angus Ogilvy and his super missus Princess Alexandra one feels a great friendship from the off. I am the vice-president to his Presidency of the National Association of Youth Clubs and he is often down with us at headquarters in Devonshire Street, wanting to know what’s happening. Princess Alex is a patron of a hostel for girls in care. At this place I’m a cross between a termtime boyfriend and a fixer of special trips out. The Princess is a natural for such a place. Girls in care don’t take kindly to royal rules, protocol and the like, but Alex just steams in, captures them and anyone else that’s around, and steams out.” [As it Happens, Jimmy Savile, 1974, p.150]

This “hostel for girls in care” was actually Duncroft Approved School for Girls Police cover up Savile’s claims to be friends with Queen’s cousin: Paedophile ‘visited school at centre of abuse allegations with Princess Alexandra’ (Daily mail, Sam Webb, 2 February 2014) following the Daily Star’s 7 month battle to get redactions on the 200 police interview transcript lifted Royal cover up: Police censor Jimmy Savile interview Transcript (Daily Star, Jonathan Corke, 20th October 2013)

BillBoard, 1973

 For Dan Davies on Savile in Northern Ireland see In Plain Sight in particular his Chapter 39. entitled Pied Piper [Loc 4490] which gives good detail on Savile’s documented ‘escapade’ on leading an 8-mile march to raise money for a new youth centre in Belfast, in particular,
‘It was moving to see women weeping as we passed, ‘ recalled Savile, who explained his grandparents had been born in Belfast, so this was like ‘coming home’.” [In Plain Sight, above]
Agnes Monica Kelly, aka The Duchess, whose parents sound like they have the more Irish sounding surname appear to have both been born in North Shields so Vincent Savile being born in Salford with parents unknown is potentially Savile’s claim to some form of Ulster heritage? Davies also notes
“There were no more IRA bombs in 1973.”

1976: A Very Merry Corrigan Christmas – Scarborough Corrigans meet a Nobel Peace Prize Winning Corrigan for the first time?

“Another girlfriend was Nobel Peace Prize Winner Mairead Corrigan Maguire. They met in Northern Ireland when Jimmy went over to help with a peace march in the 1970s. The crowds loved him and went wild, said news reports. He brought Mairead home to Leeds and they went to Scarborough one Christmas. Mairead founded the Community of the Peace People in 1976 along with Betty Williams and Ciaran McKeown. Mairead was the aunt of the three Maguire children who were hit by a getaway car after its driver was shot by a solider. The deaths prompted a series of marches throughout Northern Ireland and further afield, all demanding an end to the violence. Mairead and Betty went on to win the Nobel Peace Prize in 1976.” {How’s About That Then? Alison Bellamy, Loc 2353]

In November 1976 Savile returned for more peace marching, this time alongside Betty Williams and Mairead Corrigan which would see “Jimmy Savile lead more than 10,000 teenagers from both sides of the sectarian divide from Ormeau Embankment in east Belfast to Crawfordsburn County Park in County Down.” [Dan Davies, In Plain Sight, Loc 4932]. Sometime soon after is Savile’s visit to the Holy Land during December 1976, with his ‘moment of enquiry’ at Qumran/Dead Sea Scrolls, and then at some point, unclear as to whether Christmas 1976 or Christmas 1977, Savile goes to Scarborough taking his new peace-marching girlfriend for his regular Corrigan family Christmas. This is all post his 1974 ‘As it Happens’ autobiography so doesn’t feature yet except for Savile to note:

“A lot of my things turn into yearly events. The taxi outings to Blackpool, Worthing and Southend I’ve been on from five to ten years and it would come hard to break the habit. Nine years I’ve done the big Dublin walk for the Central Remedial Clinic. Who would not want to walk with 35,000 great Irish teentypes?” [As it Happens, Savile, 1974, p.148]

Mairead and Betty weren’t Nobel Peace Prize winners until the award ceremony of 10 December 1977 because in 1976 it wasn’t awarded due to none of the nominations being felt to correspond with the terms of Nobel’s will – see the full presentation speech here.

“Scarborough businessman James Corrigan, whose late father had owned an amusement arcade on the seafront and accompanied Savile on midnight runs along the seafront and to the Otley Civic Ball, told his local paper how he’d grown up knowing Savile as a close family friend. ‘He’d come to our house from before I was born until last year,’ he explained, ‘with the exception of three times when he got a better offer. One of those was when Margaret Thatcher invited him to go to Chequers.’

Corrigan added that Savile regularly brought guests to these family get-togethers, including on one occasion Mairead Corrigan who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1976 for her efforts to end the violence in Northern Ireland. ‘Savile was the strangest thing anyone could inherit,’ he said, ‘and I inherited him from my father.’ [In Plain Sight, Dan Davies, 2014, Loc 7583]

Three better offers? One – Thatcher at Chequers; Two – Possibly in the Holy Land December 1976?; Three: Who/where else?


 Real Whitby: Savile, Jaconelli & Corrigan in Scarborough

Real Whitby, a citizen investigative journalism site (and local community hub) have been investigating Savile’s links to Peter Jacconnelli and Jimmy Corrigan, campaigning successfully to have Jaconelli’s civic honours stripped despite opposition.

“We are all supposed to be equal under the law.  Savile and Jaconelli were put above the law by North Yorkshire Police because of the charitable and civic work they performed.

Between Savile, Jaconelli and the other nine plus people we believe operated in the ring with them in Scarborough, we suspect that their victims ran into their thousands over the period 1947 – 2007.  This must override any of the good that Savile and Jaconelli undoubtedly did.  Otherwise they are permanently elevated to being above the law, because of their status, as they were in life.”

As it happens, Ernesto Jaconelli, here seen as a 15 year old ‘Boy Wonder’ Accordionaist in 1933 (British Pathe) who recorded with Decca before serving during WWII as a Stars in Battledress champion and was like another musician to find the war most agreeable who knew Savile, bandleader Bert Ambrose (who I write more about Savile’s relationship with from their time at Ilford Palais de Danse, Savile’s driot de seigneur rape of Kathy Kirby and  Ambrose ending up in Leeds General Informary at the morgue, potentially on a night when Savile would have been on duty).

Ernesto, finally settled in Scarborough to have two children according to his wikipedia profile. It’s unclear whether Peter is a relation of Ernesto as either his son or nephew although they bear a marked physical resemblance facially to one another – but what is interesting is that on Ernesto’s wikipedia entry it states he toured Ireland between the wars and there taught Shaun Bolger, how to play the accordion. S

“Following on from these successes he went on the road and travelled to Ireland to perform and teach, sending the money he earned back home to his family. Whilst in Dublin he taught Shaun Bolger, who he later became a crack shot in the IRA.”

I had no idea who Sean or Shaun Bolger was until I came across this mention of him as being called ‘Flash’ at the Bureau of Military History website for Defence Forces in Ireland. This is a strange and remarkable claim to make without giving a source, but unfortunately the wikipedia biography entry doesn’t give any reference. Perhaps the links between Savile and specifically Scarborough and Ireland warrant a closer look, but this time a generation further back to a man with ‘lightening fingers’?

Corrigan has been robustly defended as not being involved in the abuse by his son in this Daily Express article of 28 October 2012. Interestingly in the comments section on a Real Whitby post here is suggested as a council corruption buster himself having personally paid for Scarborough Council’s accounts to be audited each year to the extent that Scarborough Evening News ran an expose based on Corrigan’s information and the Council were deemed to be in fear of him.

Dublin CRC 27 May 1980

Dublin CRC 27 May 1980

1980: Lady Goulding introduces Savile to Charles Haughey, Taoiseach

CHARLES HAUGHEY BELIEVED BBC presenter Jimmy Savile would make a good mediator for meetings between the British and Irish governments. (The Journal, 28 December 2013)

“Following a meeting in 1980 at the Central Remedial Clinic, founder Lady Valerie Goulding, wrote to the Taoiseach to thank him for seeing Savile, one of the charity’s most important patrons.The document, released under the 30 Year Rule today, repeats a suggestion by the Fianna Fáil leader that the Top of the Pops front man “could be a good mediator as he really is very well in with Mrs. Thatcher and members of the Opposition as well”. Haughey and Savile sat down for tea at the CRC on 26 May 1980. The DJ became a regular visitor at Abbeville when he visited Dublin to organise sponsored walks as part of his charity work for the CRC.” For further study, see National Archives Ref 2013/100/768

In 1979 Savile’s medal from the Friends of Israel was insinuated to be an award for his service during christmas 1976 which resulted somehow in the Egyptian peace offer by Anwar Sadat due to Savile being friends with his mother-in-law. Can only imagine the horrors of Savile being chummy with your MiL?!

The very next year he is being touted as a global peace envoy closer to home.

The Moriarty Tribunal established in 1997 eventually found that Charles Haughey had stolen money raised for a colleague’s liver transplant.

Haughey took £250,000 from his sick friend’s lifeline fund (Irish Independent, 20 December 2006)

CHARLES Haughey stole £250,000 from the money raised for the late Brian Lenihan’s liver transplant.

Mr Justice Moriarty found that Haughey “personally misappropriated” a large amount of the funds raised for the transplant in the United States for the man he described as his “closest political friend”.


In blunt terms, the tribunal chairman said it gave him “no satisfaction” to find that Mr Haughey deliberately encouraged fundraising on a scale beyond what was needed and that he used the surplus money for himself.

A total of £336,000 was raised for the operation, but just ?88,000 was actually required. This allowed Haughey to misappropriate almost £250,000.

“No other conclusion can be reached by the tribunal in the light of the evidence heard,” his report states.

The tribunal report is scathing of Haughey, stating it was “reprehensible” of him to try to blame others.

The evidence on the fundraising for Mr Lenihan’s life-saving operation arose in the context of the tribunal’s investigations into the publicly funded party leader’s account.


Monies raised for the transplant were lodged into that account and the tribunal found that Haughey had misused money from this account for his own personal benefit.

In 1989, fundraising for Mr Lenihan’s operation was underway and the tribunal said the method of recording these funds was “haphazard”.

This facilitated the misappropriation of funds raised for Mr Lenihan by Haughey, as did his determination that they be lodged in the party leader’s account.

The fundraising campaign started in May 1989, although at that time Haughey already knew the VHI was prepared to make an “ex-gratia” payment of ?63,490 towards the cost of the operation.

At the time Haughey was also aware that additional funds of ?127,000 would be required, but he urged a target of up to ?250,000 to be raised.

The tribunal report outlines several donations to the fund that were “personally misappropriated” by Haughey.


 1966 1936: Lady Penelope Valerie in a pink car on urgent messenger missions

My meeting with Savile – Haughey Girl (Irish Herald, 31 October 2012) Lady Valerie’s son Hamilton now runs CRC

Savile, Lady G and Haughey (Irish Independent, 7 December 2013)

“It was an unlikely destiny for an Englishwoman, the daughter of a royal adviser, who had a cameo role in the abdication of King Edward VIII in the 1930s.

As an 18-year-old, she had acted as a courier carrying messages between the king and the British prime minister.

She travelled in a pink Morris Minor between Downing Street and Fort Belvedere, where the king was staying with Wallis Simpson. The young aristocrat later met the Irish fertiliser mogul Basil Goulding after coming over for the Fairyhouse Races, and she eventually moved to Ireland.

Lady Valerie’s two unlikely friendships, firstly with Jimmy Savile and then Haughey, played a crucial role in fundraising for the clinic. She persuaded Savile to come over after meeting him in an Italian restaurant in London. Through the late 1960s and 1970s, up to 40,000 people joined the broadcaster on sponsored walks through Dublin to raise money for the clinic.”


Fort Belvedere in Surrey, nearest village was Sunningdale in Berkshire was home to Prince Edward from 1929 – Extracts from wikipedia

“In 1929, the building became vacant, and was given to Prince Edward, Prince of Wales, by his father, King George V.[3] The king had originally expressed surprise at Edward’s request asking him “What could you possibly want that queer old place for? Those damn weekends I suppose”, but then smiled and gave his permission.”

The prince initially renovated the house with the assistance of his then mistress Freda Dudley Ward.[5][6]

The relationship between Edward and Wallis Simpson blossomed at Fort Belvedere; the couple spent their first weekend at the fort at the end of January 1932, and by early 1935 two rooms had been combined at the fort for her use.[5][8] Notable interior decorators to work on the fort included Sybil Colefax, Lady Mendl, Maison Jansen, and Herman Schrijver.[9][10]Edward and Wallis entertained most weekends at the house; guests present included ‘courtiers and diplomats, American men of affairs and English Society, garnished with a sprinkling of statesmen, soldiers and sailors’.[5]Giles Gilbert Scott added a guest wing to the fort after Edward’s ascension as king in 1936.[9] In 1936 Wallis moved permanently to the fort after receiving threatening anonymous letters, and left Fort Belvedere for a final time on 3 December 1936, a week before Edward’s abdication.[5]

Cabinet Office files released in 2013 revealed that during December 1936, the Home Secretary, Sir John Simon, had ordered the General Post Office to intercept Edward’s telephone communications between the fort and the European continent.[11] Government officials were caused further alarm by Edward’s habit of leaving his official ‘red boxes‘ unguarded around the fort.[12]

Following his abdication at the fort, Edward described himself as feeling ‘like a swimmer surfacing from a great depth…I left the room and stepped outside, inhaling the fresh morning air.’[5] Edward retained the visitor’s book from the fort, and it would grace all their subsequent homes.[9]

It was in November 1936, a month prior to King Edward VIII’s abdication that it sounds as if the most messages would have been flying around and orders to the GPO to spy on the King, would have meant comms between Walter Monckton, Edward’s old Oxford pal and legal adviser to the Duchy of Cornwall and various important people like the King’s brother and his wife (the soon to be come Queen Mother) would have made communications even trickier. In 2000 the BBC reported almost all of the eleven Monckton files were released into the National Archives bar one box closed until 2037 and another until 2017 here.

Walter Monckton (b. 1891 – d.1965) had been at Balliol and taken the position of Attorney-General to the duchy of Cornwall in 1932, the year after turning 30. (b. 1891 – d.1965)

“In 1942 Monckton was Director-General of British Propaganda and Information Services in Egypt under Oliver Lyttelton, Minister of State Resident in Cairo….

Anthony Eden appointed Monckton as his Minister of Defence in 1955. However, he was the only cabinet minister who disagreed with Eden’s policy during the Suez Crisis. Eden believed that if this dispute became common knowledge it would bring his government down. Therefore he managed to persuade Monckton not to resign and instead he became Paymaster General.”

Only the other day I was wondering if Gladys Cotterill (the President of Egypt’s mother in law and friend of Jimmy Savile) had returned home to Sheffield from Egypt for the first time in or around the time of the Suez Canal Crisis and it appears that Walter Monckton, Lady G’s dad and ex-King Edward’s abdication adviser (he drafted the legal document of abdication) was a key agitator in bringing the Crisis to a head within Eden’s government.

During the early 1950s Peter Rawlinson joined Walter Monckton’s chambers (Guardian Obituary, 30 June 2006) and during 1962, a decade later, would be instructed as defence counsel for Sir Ian Horobin MP – the Conservative MP whose brief trial for the sexual assault of boys at his charitable youth club ‘Fairbairn’ on the Barking Road in the East End was scheduled to start just after Macmillan appointed Rawlinson as Attorney-General after his Night of the Long Knives – on which I explore more here [52 years on: The forgotten fly in the reshuffle]


Who was Sir Walter Monckton? BBC

Who was Sir Walter Monckton? BBC

Savile’s ‘Magical Passport’ to Le Touquet

Royal Picardie Hotel, Le Touquet, France

Royal Picardie Hotel, Le Touquet, France

Valerie Monckton, as her father’s emissary, must have been able to access buildings and places not usually accessible to 18 year old debutantes in overtly conspicuous pink Morris Minors. Savile’s ‘Magical Passport’ he acquired at some point in 1945 has often returned to my mind when reading about emergency post-war trips to the mainland to retrieve incriminating papers or valuable artwork to consider if Savile’s cycling trips while young (Scottish highlands when he spots Glencoe circa 1944 and his trip to Le Touquet circa 1945) represented boasts about personal triumphs – getting a message through for his master as a dogged little envoy against all the odds perhaps?

“After labouring for two years at Waterloo colliery, and actually quite enjoying the life, I read one day that the cross-Channel ferries had started, with much celebration, the post war trips from Dover to Calais. The war was only just over and there was a great air of excitement about. We Bevin boys were to be demobbed just like the armed forces and I had two years to go. Freedom was too tempting, and mounting my bike, armed with a magical passport and £15 I cycled 300 miles to Dover.

There was considerable magic in this brave battered port, the English Channel and that mysterious land, low on the horizon, that only weeks before harboured hostile hordes.

My arrival on the recently raped shores of France was a pantomime. Speaking not a word of the language and having truly the first bicycle to cross into France since the war, the red tape was unbelievable. For three hours I stood on the dockside while officials harangued me, the bike and each other. Finally, because it was getting dark they produced that now familiar French way of life ‘the papers of permission to have a bicycle of foreign origin in France’. The papers came in the form of an indelible ledger that weighed all of three pounds that I had to tie across my saddlebag with rope!”

He sleeps overnight with 300 homeless in the roofless railway station at Calais Ville and nearing Le Touquet the next day witnesses a lorry get blown up by a mine. I wonder whether the ‘bicycle of foreign origin’ was yet his much beloved Oscar Egg bike? By 1945 Savile is 18, due to turn 19, so not a small child anymore.

“Le Touquet at its best is a fairytale place. Villas of the wealthy in colours and fancy dotted in clearings on the superb forest backcloth. Grotesque damage made them look like children’s toys smashed by some madman. The centre piece of all this was surely the most beautiful hotel ever built at that time, the Picardy. Perfect in proportion like the Taj Mahal, and built in stone of warm colours to blend with the sun’s rays and wooded

Le Touquet, September 1945

Le Touquet, September 1945

surrounds, it was for those who saw it a breathtaking building with an incredible atmosphere. I first saw it in the early evening light and thought it was a mirage. It looked immaculate and untouched, but as I freewheeled towards it and came out of the evening sun into its shadow it suddenly changed like in a Htichcock movie. Empty sightless windows peered down. The whole of the inside was shattered. No birds flew about it and the feeling of unreal macabre was overwhelming, like some gigantic tombstone.

That was all I needed and I turned and started slowly off for home pondering on the quite insoluble problem of how people can build things up then knock them down.” [As it Happens, Savile, 1974, pp.21 – 23]


Gone were the flower carnivals of the 1930s at Le Touquet

Something Savile would have to rely on Jersey for to in his later role as Mr Battle of the Flowers of the island.

From Anthony Blunt’s wikipedia entry:

According to the memoir of MI5 officer Peter Wright, Wright had regular interviews with Blunt from 1964 onwards for six years. Prior to that, he had a briefing with Michael Adeane, the Queen’s private secretary, who told Wright: “From time to time you may find Blunt referring to an assignment he undertook on behalf of the Palace – a visit to Germany at the end of the war. Please do not pursue this matter. Strictly speaking, it is not relevant to considerations of national security.”[26]

Everyone’s Mascot: Savile(s): Be Fast! Signallers: Swift and Sure

Elland Arms, Be Fast

Elland Arms, Be Fast

The Savile family motto is ‘Be Fast’ as carved on the side of the Elland Arms, an old coaching inn in Halifax not far from Cragg vale and Savile’s many connections to there and Hebden Bridge, preaching in St John’s in the Wilderness there which I have already blogged about.

Hermes, as the wing-footed Messenger of the Gods and emblem for the The Royal Corps of Signals has long been known as Jimmy so when you want to ensure your lines of communication during war remain intact or Comms are down and they need to be back up…well, call on the Signallers, Jimmies, and Jimmy’ll Fix It. Their motto was Certo Cito – Swift and Sure.

Screen Shot 2014-08-16 at 16.06.49

Jimmy Statues available to pay from Royal Signals shop online

“To be eleven years old and have the complete free run of the main dance hall of a wartime city that was headlined by one Sunday paper as ‘The City of Sin’ gave me an education that qualified me for every A Level that ever existed in Hell.

Not yet five feet in height, as thin as a drumstick, with big eyes, ears and nose, I was everyone’s mascot, pet, runner, holder of mysterious parcels and secrets. Because I didn’t understand the first thing about anything I was the confidant of murderers, whores, black marketeers, crooks of every trade – and often of the innocent victims they preyed on. I also played the drums.” [As it Happens, Savile, 1974, p.4]

I suspect Savile’s love of radio was never on the entertainment side, it had begun as a purely technical affair, as a fascination with the ability to eavesdrop.

“Quite honestly, I don’t think that my likes and dislikes are at all important, but when you are well-known (I don’t dig the word famous) I suppose people – in their time of – would be mildly interested in us types. If ever I get a crossed line on the phone I will listen right to the end of the other parties’ chat. I was once totally concerned about a shipment of ballbearings between two gentlemen and felt much refreshed after they had sorted it out. Analysing it later – a favourite hobby of mine, analysing –  I worked it out that because I had, for a while, been pulled out of my own life into someone else’s I got back into my own skin a little richer, and rested, by the sharing. If you are reading these lines and I have caused you to slow the pace of your life, then that will suit me.” [God’ll Fix It, Savile, 1978/79 ‘Epilogue – Sort Of’, pp 62 – 63]

Being able to read messages others are unable to read or being able to read when others don’t think you capable of reading (Savile’s last interview with Alex Belfield talks of him reading telegrams to people aloud in the war who couldn’t read) gives both power to the messenger immediately in conveying the message accurately but also a longer-term value in keeping the secret. Why were Savile and Agnes ‘The Duchess’ on a motorbike in 1939? (incidentally Dan Davies notes that after Savile’s funeral it is a pub called The Duchess near Woodfield Cemetery, Scarborough calling drinkers in for their memories of Savile, the cemetery itself near Irton Moor, also known as a ‘Yorkshire spy base’ a long established comms point of national importance with GCHQ underground bases in the hill)

In 1965 the Prime Minister Harold Wilson opened the Butlin Tower (now called the British Telecommunications Tower, formerly the General Post Office Tower)

Although Savile liked to talk as if there was confusion over this in his autobiography of 1974Screen Shot 2014-08-16 at 17.25.54

“Sitting in our super seafront flat one day she was holding forth to some of her lady pals. I was reading. One of the ladies had mentioned the Post Office Tower in London. ‘Oh yes,’ said the Duchess, ‘Jimmy opened that.’

Now it’s a known fact that the Queen took that particular job on. ‘No sweetheart,’ said I, ‘the Queen opened it. I just hold the record for running up the steps.’

(Some time previously I’d mentioned this particular feat to which the Duchess had replied at the time, over her eternal knitting, ‘You’ll hurt yourself doing silly things like that.’)

‘Nonsense,’ says she at this correction, ‘you told me you opened it.’ And then to explain to her friends my interruption she said, ‘He did really, ‘ adding the silencer of all time, ‘he forgets things you know.’

What could you do with an impossible girl like that other than lover her more than your own life?” [As it Happens, Savile, 1974, p.60]

It’s all about the Azimuths

Bizarrely in 1999 there has been some interesting work done by a chap called Richard Lamont here looking at whether there is sufficient circumstantial evidence to suggest a government building which came onto the market for sale (and was therefore examined by buyers’ and their surveyors) was actually a secret radio tower built at Capenhurst, Cheshire and used by the government to intercept 1000s of trunk land lines running through Britain to Northern Ireland.

If you had a number of those structures dotted around performing those kind of functions (or dual functions, one being interception of comms) you’d need someone to be some kind of building caretaker presumably, fix them up or get maintenance in if something went wrong, do a big audit from Land’s End to John O’Groats when you can. It would have to be a job for someone who liked to travel, non-stop though and who’d want a job like that?

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52 years on: The Forgotten Fly in the Reshuffle

1962: An MP on trial, the Solicitor-General his Defence Counsel and Macmillan’s timely Night of the Long Knives (13th July)

Horobin in 1934, National Portrait Gallery,

Horobin in 1934, National Portrait Gallery, fly in the reshuffle

Sir Ian Horobin MP, Laurens Van Der Post Will Black’s recent article for his Huffington Post blog here asks whether Cameron’s cabinet reshuffle wasn’t more window dressing designed to distract from the ongoing pressure on the Palace of Westminster to take itself seriously as just another institution under investigation for child abuse allegations? 52 years earlier on the same date, 13th July, Harold Macmillan, Conservative Prime Minister, culled one third of his Cabinet. Remarkably, at the time of the reshuffle, a resolutely unremorseful Sir Ian Horobin MP (Con. Oldham East) was due to stand trial five days later  for a number of indecent assaults on teenage boys during 1958-1961 as reported in The Times on 16 May 1962. Horobin, aged 31 had briefly been Conservative MP for Southwark for a term between the wars (1931 – 1934) and didn’t return to politics until 6 years after the war in 1951 as MP for greater Manchester constituency Oldham East. We get a taste for Horobin’s enthusiasm in a letter to the Editor of The Times written 10 years before his conviction: Screen Shot 2014-07-07 at 14.36.30

 “May I intervene in the correspondence about research into youth work? My only qualification is 30 years’ slogging hard work in one small corner of that field. I do so to say heaven preserve us from any more inquiries…”

Somewhat ironic in the context of Theresa May’s recent capitulation to calls for an overarching inquiry. Three years after this letter Horobin received a knighthood for his good works with East End boys. Five days after the reshuffle, on  17 July 1962 Sir Ian Horobin pleaded guilty to a number of indecent assaults on boys at the Fairbairn Boys’ Club in Plaistow. Here he had lived in a bedsit above the dining room on the premises, despite being an MP in a Greater Manchester constituency for ten years. Someone who did rather well out of Macmillan’s reshuffle was Peter Rawlinson, a QC and Conservative MP for Epsom in Surrey, and at the time engaged as Horobin’s defence counsel, against Mervyn Griffiths for the Crown.

Sir Peter Rawlinson (Solicitor General under Macmillan 1962-1964; Attorney General under Ted Heath 1970-74; Attorney General for Northern Ireland 1972-1974) photo 1 (7)

In his autobiography, A price too high, published in 1989, Rawlinson’s Prologue details how the day before Horobin was due in court to, Rawlinson was summoned by Macmillan to be offered the position of Solicitor General. Rawlinson asks 48 hours grace to undertake an ‘unusually distasteful’ task of completing Horobin’s defence. Supermac, appearing to have forgotten any headlines reporting the case, asks why Horobin hadn’t the decency to do a runner like Willie Beauchamp, presumably referring to William Lygone, 7th Earl of Beauchamp, former leader of the Liberals in the House of Lords and Governor General of New South Wales (supposedly the model for Lord Marchmain in Evelyn Waugh’s Brideshead Revisited).

“The following day I performed my ‘unusually distasteful’, and extremely difficult, task. My client had at one time wanted me in my speech in mitigation of his offences to impress upon the judge that in the East, when a city had been stormed and sacked, it was not only the girls who were raped. Then he wanted me to say that often the boys he had seduced in their youth had later brought their own sons to join the club, so where was the harm? Again I suggested that this line might not altogether appeal to the sentencing judge. In the event the trial lasted only a few hours. Sir Ian pleaded guilty and was sentenced, as he had been warned, to a substantial term of imprisonment.” (A Price Too High, Peter Rawlinson, p.5)

Daily Express, 14 April 1962

Daily Express, 14 April 1962

Daily Mirror 4 June 1962

Daily Mirror 4 June 1962

“A 15-year old boy told the court that after he joined the boys’ club at the age of 11, Sir Ian asked if he collected foreign stamps and invited him to his room to get some.

While there, the boy added, Sir Ian committed an offence. He was given his stamps and afterwards he attended chapel – and so did Sir Ian.” [Daily Mirror, 4 June 1962]

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Daily Mirror, 19 June 1962

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contd. from above, Daily Mirror, 19 June 1962

Mirror, 18 July 1962

Mirror, 18 July 1962

Horobin was sentenced to four years in prison and moved to Tangiers on his release, where boys were in more plentiful supply with less fear of criminal repercussions.

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Daily Express, Wednesday 18 July 1962

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contd., Daily Express, 18 July 1962

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‘He referred to homosexuals as “us poor devils who are born like this; nothing can change me. It is natural for some people to love boys in this way.” Subsequently at a party Horobin said the touch of a woman sickened him and the law on homosexuality was silly.’

Obituary of Edward Larkin - Woodrow, David. British Medical Journal, International edition325.7371 (Nov 2, 2002): 1041

Obituary of Edward Larkin – Woodrow, David. British Medical Journal, International edition325.7371 (Nov 2, 2002): 1041

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A War Hero, Fallen…

In 1923, having already fought in the Great War serving in the RNVR and at the youthful age of 24, Horobin had become Warden of Mansfield House University Settlement including Fairbairn Hall, Plaistow in East London. His father had been Principal of Homerton College, Cambridge. Here at No. 310, Barking Road not too far from the Mile End Road’s Regal Billiard Hall in Eric Road where by the mid-fifties a twenty year old Ronnie Kray was also admiring the view of boys taking their shots at the snooker tables, Horobin could be found patting boys on the rear as they took their shot,

“Fairbairn Boys Club was founded in the late 1800’s by Lady Trowe in the Leas Hall, Canning Town, for the underpriviledged children of the East End. Fairbairn is actually a Scottish word meaning ‘good child’. The Club moved to Fairbairn hall in Barking Road, Plaistow in 1923 where it flourished in all sports including Boxing, Rugby, Cricket and Football. Famous sports personalities to emerge through the Club are Billy Walker, Terry Spinks, Graham Gooch, Alan Sealey and Alan Curbishley …”

“Decline followed the First World War of 1914-18. In1920 residents returned to Mansfield House. 1921 saw the setting up of teacher training courses. In 1923 the Men’s club premises were sold. However Ian (later Sir Ian) Horobin, honorary warden 1923-61 revived and expanded the local work. In 1926 the Lady Trower Trust was formed to administer East Ham playing fields (between present day Burgess Road and the A40) and camp-sites at Lambourne End and Sandwich. 1928, and social work training courses were set up; 1931 Fairbairn Hall was re-designed and extended and opened by Duke and Duchess of York (later King George V1 and Queen Elizabeth); 1935: new residences built in Avenons Road; 1938: chapel added with 100 Anglican and Non-Conformist ordination candidates a year. By 1938 Fairbairn Boys and Men’s Clubs had a membership of 5000.” “Fairbairn House, originally opened in 1900, was greatly enlarged during the 1930s incorporating a beautiful Art Deco interior designed by the architect Grey Wornum, who was also responsible for the interiors of the Cunard ocean liner Queen Elizabeth. New sports facilities at Burges Road, in East Ham (1925), and a sixty acre farm on the outskirts of London at Lambourne End (1935) – used for camping and other outdoor activities – were presented to the Settlement by the Lady Trower Trust.”

As Matthew Parris and Kevin Maguire also point out, it was for Horobin’s charitable work in the East End, including prodigious fund-raising, Macmillan was to offer him a peerage in 1962.

“In 1923 he had practically re-founded the Mansfield House University Settlement, a young men’s and boy’s club, raising over half a million pounds for its upkeep. He was its warden, living in a small bedsit above the dining room.” (Great Parliamentary Scandals,  2004 edition, p.144 below)

So far, so very Smith & Savile…like Smith’s control over Knowl View in Rochdale, trumpeting his own ‘social work’ skills and sacrifices in letters to Social Work Today and Savile’s propensity to secure himself living quarters at various institutions across the British Isles and raise vast sums of money, Horobin’s charitable and philanthropic front also gave him access and opportunity to abuse. Parris and Maguire relay Terence Stamp’s memories of Horobin from his autobiography:

“After boxing bouts the boys would occasionally find Horobin supervising proceedings in the communal bath area, perched on a shooting stick. They called him ‘Spike’. One old boy, the actor Terence Stamp, recalls how ‘there was all kinds of gossip about Sir Ian, the strongest being that he was a bit of a “ginger beer”.’ Despite the rumours, Stamp’s autobiography describes how, aged fourteen, he was ‘chuffed’ to receive an invitation to Horobin’s flat one Saturday afternoon to show off some paintings he had entered in a competition.” (Great Parliamentary Scandals, p.144)

The facilities were a vast draw to the 1950s East-End/Essex teenaged boy and many a friendship and sporting careers were begun at Fairbairn House. Billy Walker, an amateur boxer while working as a doorman for Savile at the Ilford Palais, aged 16, trained at Fairbairn Amateur Boxing Club on Barking Road

“The Second World War of 1939-45 brought disruption. Post war developments saw Joan Littlewoods’ Acting School accommodated (1961). By 1962 membership had dropped to one third after Ian Horobins’ departure.”

Perhaps coincidentally it was through Joan Littlewood that Tom Driberg MP would come to know the Krays who were part of the milieu celebrating ‘Sparrers can’t Sing’ although already wary of being seen with the Krays: “Tom Driberg didn’t turn up.  He’d already been photographed with the Krays and didn’t like it.” It was during Joan Littlewood’s use of Horobin’s Fairbairn facilities, also used by The Mansfield Players, that reports of Horobin’s behaviour with boys had finally been reported to the Deputy Warden in 1961.

“Ian Horobin (1899 – 1976), a war hero who had shown exemplary courage as a prisoner of the Japanese, sat as Conservative MP for Oldham East from 1951 to 1959, serving as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Power during his last year in the House of Commons. In 1962 Macmillan recommended him for a life peerage, and his elevation had been gazetted when Horobin suddenly withdrew his acceptance of it owing to the fact that, in the interim, he had been charged with indecent assault. For almost forty years, he had served as Warden of Mansfield House University Settlement, a club for boys and young men in the East End, where he lived in a small flat: his work there was recognised with a knighthood in 1955, but his homosexual tastes were common knowledge among the boys, who were well rewarded if they agreed to satisfy his fairly innocent desires, and with some of whom he formed affectionate relationships. However, in 1961 his activities were denounced to the authorities by a clergyman, and after a trial at which he was defended by a former parliamentary colleague, the future Attorney-General Peter Rawlinson QC, he was sent to prison for four years. Horobin, who spent his last years in Tangier, remained unrepentant about his way of life, telling his friend the poet John Betjeman” “I broke the law with my eyes open all my life until I went to prison. I broke it in prison. I broke it immediately I came out of prison, and I have not the slightest intention of ever paying any attention to it.’

[Closet Queens, Michael Bloch, 2015 Loc 2886/5565]

10 shillings in today’s money is just under £10; £2 in 1962 is worth just under £40 today.

I can’t really work out why there’s still such an indulgent attitude to this very day regarding Sir Ian Horobin’s abuse of underage boys, or why he is considered to be gay when his sexual preferences were quite clearly for boys under the age of 16 and his development of Fairbairn Hall was driven by the same desires as Sir Cyril Smith – to provide him with a selection of children from which to choose. Perhaps Parris, Maguire and Bloch have either not read the newspaper reports of his offences at the time (or Rawlinson’s autobiography) or they have done their research and instead wish to gloss over sexual assaults of 11 year olds as if they’re a quaint peccadillo and synonymous with being gay which sadly is exactly the kind of conflation PIE and PIE’s Peter Righton capitalised on.

Enter Horobin’s faithful defender: Laurens Van Der Post…Another Knight with a tarnished reputation (The Oxford Times, 18/10/2012, Chris Gray) 

In his early forties by the time  the Second World War broke out, Horobin served in the RAF as a squadron leader and became  a Japanese Prisoner of War with Laurens Van Der Post in Soekaboemi in Java. Van Der Post who died in December 1996 became spiritual guru to first the Prince of Wales during the 70s through his wife Ingaret becoming Charles’ Jungian psychoanlsyst , and then as an informal adviser to Margaret Thatcher, his Chelsea neighbour, during the Falklands War. Van Der Post considered he owed his life to Horobin (The night of the new moon, 1970) and  wrote in 1989 to the Times saying:

” Ian Horobin , a minister-to-be in Macmillan’s government, frail and badly tortured at the outset, was one of the few I could trust with the knowledge of our secret radio. He came to me the day after the news of Hiroshima to say: “At prayers this morning I watched our hosts as usual bowing to the rising sun. Poor devils. Bloody poor devils!” and he burst into tears.”

Prior to the WWII Laurens Van Der Post had come to Britain from South Africa, the Woolfs publishing his first book  In a Province (1934) via William Plomer’s contacts and having struck up a relationship with the Queen Mum’s poetry writing cousin Lilian Bowes-Lyon, he settled his wife and son in a farm in Tetbury for a bit before sending them back to South Africa during the war where he didn’t see them for ten years. Following the War, he claimed to have become an aide to Lord Mountbatten in Indonesia where his Dutch language skills were in demand.

Five years following the war saw Lord Reith (the first and former head of the BBC in the 1920s recently noted for his interest in a 14 year old boys and a 12 year old girl) as head of the Colonial Development Centre asking Van Der Post to investigate the Kalahari Bushmen and during the 1950s Van Der Post’s reputation as an ‘explorer’ became settled. In 1982 Laurens Van Der Post’s position as a close friend of Prince Charles was cemented when he was appointed as godfather to Prince William at the same time he was bending Thatcher’s grateful ear on the Falklands. In 1983 two books of his,  The Seed and the Sower (1963) and The Night of the New Moon (1970) were to form the basis of the 1983 film Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence starring David Bowie. However, in the early 1950s, while his friend Horobin was preying on teen boys, Van De Post was also known to have impregnated a 14 year old daughter of a family friend he’d been entrusted to look after on a sea voyage when he was 46, just before his second marriage to Jungian analyst, Ingaret. Apparently he sent money although never properly acknowledging the daughter he’d left the child with or how she’d had to return home alone from her place at the Royal Ballet School, a fact confirmed by one of Van Der Post’s daughters 11 years ago, Lucia – now a Times beauty and luxe spending journalist:

“As for Mr. Jones’s allegations about her father’s relationship with a 14-year-old girl, ”I’m afraid I think that’s true,” Ms. Crichton-Miller said. ”He was not a saint. He hurt people. He hurt me. But by God, he was fascinating.” Master StoryTeller or Master DeceiverNew York Times, 03/08/2003

New York Times, 03/08/2003

New York Times, 03/08/2003

“In the 1970’s van der Post met Prince Charles through mutual friends. In 1987 he took Charles on a four-day trip to the Kalahari, telling the prince, ”This is the real Africa.” Mr. Jones states that sometime in the mid-70’s, Charles began having psychoanalytic treatment with Ingaret, who was a Jungian analyst, and then with van der Post’s friend Dr. Alan McGlashan. Diana, Princess of Wales, was also treated by Dr. McGlashan during the troubles in her marriage, Mr. Jones writes. Christian Science Monitor Charles told van der Post his dreams, and van der Post drafted some of his speeches. When van der Post died, Charles set up an annual lecture in his honor. But van der Post’s most significant influence occurred during the South African struggle over apartheid, Mr. Jones says. Van der Post hated Nelson Mandela and championed the Zulu chief Mangosuthu Buthelezi, whom he saw as a foil for the African National Congress’s Communist beliefs. He arranged meetings between Chief Buthelezi, Charles and Mrs. Thatcher. Mr. Jones argues that van der Post had helped convince Mrs. Thatcher to oppose sanctions against the South African government and not to embrace Mr. Mandela. As van der Post lay dying, Mr. Jones says, Charles visited him. At his memorial service, Lady Thatcher read the lesson and Chief Buthelezi spoke. Nonetheless, Mr. Jones writes, there were apparently some who doubted van der Post even when he was alive. Mr. Jones says that when a doctor who knew him was asked the cause of his death, the doctor replied, ”He was weary of sustaining so many lies.”

Supermac: From one scandal to another to another to resignation

In 1958 Macmillan had raised one ‘rogue’ to the House of Lords, his nemesis in love, Lord Bob Boothby who was having an affair with his wife Lady Dorothy Cavendish. On 22 August 1958, 4 years earlier, Macmillan had already offered Boothby a peerage under pressure of Boothby’s continued affair with his wife Dorothy. Lord Robert or ‘Bob’ Boothby was a cad (not a bounder as the Queen Mother would have it apparently). Within 6 years Boothby was to feature in the headline the Peer and the Gangster, see John Pearson’s article in The Sunday Independent (15th June 1996) for further details. In the meantime Macmillan’s position became increasingly unstable under the pressure of other burgeoning scandals. In December 1961 Mariella Novotny was holding her ‘sexy parties’ at 13, Hyde Park Square to which Stephen Ward was inviting Christine Keeler and Mandy Rice Davies so the long fuse of the Profumo Affair had been lit well before the fateful weekend at Cliveden. In 1962, as above, Sir Ian Horobin MP’s predatory activities on East End boys were revealed while late that year the activities of John Vassall became known, of whom Macmillan had said “You know, you should never catch a spy. Discover him and then control him but never catch him. A spy causes far more trouble once he’s caught’ (as quoted by Parris & Maguire p.147). In 1963 Lord Boothby and Tom Driberg MP social activities with the Kray’s increase in boldness with Boothby inviting Ron to the House of Lords. By October 1963 Macmillan had resigned, 18 months after he had first nominated and offered Horobin his position as a life peer.

1973: The Guardian’s Sir Ian Horobin post-script…”Even the Elms are dead.”

Sir Ian Horobin however appears to have bounced back with a poetry publication from new publishers Jameson Press at 160, Albion Road, N16 and a foreword written by John Betjeman – after having laid low in Tangiers for just over a decade. Mentions of his court case and conviction are as if it were for purely homosexual offences as opposed to sexually assaulting boys of 13 and 14, getting his ‘sweetheart’ when he reached 17 to recruit other, younger ‘sweethearts’ for him (the emotional callousness of which always belies the ‘paedophiles’ argument of love, when really they’re in love with the bloom and fade of youth at their fixated preference age) and therefore his claims to be indestructible appear to apply not just to surviving a Japanese Prisoner of War camp but  in also minimising the stigma of a reputation marred by child sexual abuse despite convictions. And what difference does it make if “Even the Elms are dead”? The Guardian Thursday 16 February Arts Section