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Spies (extract from "Hard Times and Humour: Tasburgh 1939-1970)

by william moore

Contributed by 
william moore
People in story: 
Walter Moore
Location of story: 
Tasburgh, Norfolk
Article ID: 
A2558469
Contributed on: 
24 April 2004

The annex bungalow became a village landmark in World war II. In 1941 a spy was discovered living here with an unmarried woman. He was a British army Captain named Baker. He had a transmitter hid in the chimney. This man was a frequent visitor tho the "Horse Shoes" pub, where one assumes he would try to get information from local soldiers billeted in the area and village gossip.

This man was not careful enough; within the year he was caught. A German plane would fly low over the area where Captain Baker would flash a light for messages to be dropped, he could then reply on his transmitter.

A Home Guard soldier had seen the flashing light, so a watch was put on the area discreetly, then one night the local Home Guard was called out to guard the area until the following morning (my late father was one of the home guard. A contingent of lorries, two Brenn Gun carriers and red-caps (Military Police) arrived. I was at school, where being high up, school children with a teacher watched intently not knowing what was going on, as it was around 9am. The Headmistress and pupils normally passing this way were not allowed to,and politely told to go right round the village to get to school.

Captain Baker was arrested and sent to the Isle of Man for internment after a death sentence had been quashed.

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Message 1 - Spies (extract from "Hard Times and Humour: Tasburgh 1939-1970)

Posted on: 04 May 2004 by Peter - WW2 Site Helper

Hi William

Do you have more details of this? There is no mention of Captain Baker in David Khan's "Hitler's Spies - German Military Intelligence in World War II". Khan is an intelligence expert and his book is regarded as a work of high historical scholarship.

You say that "A German plane would fly low over the area where Captain Baker would flash a light for messages to be dropped ...". But dropping messages in this way on an individual house would require more expertise than any aircraft could reasonably achieve in WW2.

You also say that Baker was "sent to the Isle of Man for internment after a death sentence had been quashed". A number of German spies did have their death sentences commuted to life imprisonment, but their terms were served in prison, not in a civilian internment camp.

Regards,

Peter

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