Arthur Graham Owens
AOB: this will be, Deo volente, a different kind of file series, as it starts already about 1936; thus before the war broke out between German and the UK and France.
As a kind of brief introduction I have quoted prom the first part of Wikipedia's contribution.
Page initiated 4th June 2021
Current status: 22 July 2021
Chapter 1 (7-6'21)
Chapter 2 (14-6'21)
Chapter 3 (21-6'21)
Chapter 4 (29-6'21)
Chapter 5 (5-7'21)
Chapter 6 (8-7'21)
Chapter 7 (15-7'21)
Chapter 8a (22-7'21)
According Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arthur_Owens
14 April 1899 - 24 December 1957
Recruitment by the British and the Germans
Owens ran a company that made batteries for ships. As such, he was a civilian contractor for the Royal Navy and also had regular contact with the Kriegsmarine in Kiel. His first experience of espionage occurred in 1936 when he had been briefly employed by the Secret Intelligence Service to provide information on what he had seen in the German shipyards.
In 1938, Nikolaus Ritter, an Abwehr agent in Britain under the name "Dr Rantzau", made contact with him. As a Welsh Nationalist, Owens had little loyalty to the United Kingdom. His work also provided a cover for any foreign trips he might have to make. He visited Germany that year and was recruited by the Abwehr. While Owens appreciated the payments for his espionage, his real interest was sexual, as the Abwehr provided attractive women for him. His Abwehr reference was A3504 and was given the codename JOHNNY, later to become Colonel Johnny.
On his return to Britain, Owens had second thoughts and, in September 1938, told the British authorities of his contact and that he was to receive a radio transceiver. Although he went to Germany to collect the radio, two weeks later he pretended it had arrived at the left luggage office of Victoria Station in London early in 1939; Owens turned the radio over and experts discovered it was more advanced than the British equivalent, before returning it to Owens.
On 11 August 1939, Owens visited his Abwehr controller in Hamburg with his girlfriend; during this visit, his wife, from whom he was separated, had written to his German contact denouncing him as a British spy. She also went to the British police to tell them he was a German agent. Despite this information, no action was taken by either side. The British police failed to pick him up on his return on 23 August and he used his radio to send several messages from London to Germany over the next week.
(N15) ↓ (N15return)
War between Britain and Germany broke out and, on 4 September, Owens made contact with the Special Branch to volunteer his services. However, he was instead interned in Wandsworth Prison under Defence Regulation 18B (?), as someone with hostile associations.
MI5 decided that Owens, to whom they gave the codename SNOW, could act as a double agent. On 12 September, MI5 returned the transmitter to Owens in Wandsworth, where it was listened to by a warder as Owens tried to make contact with the Germans. MI5 agreed to his release on condition he sent agreed messages to his German contacts. Released from prison and installed in a new property with his radio and girlfriend, Owens was helped in mid- September to go to the Low Countries, where he met with German agents in Rotterdam and informed them of the Chain Home stations in England designed to detect incoming aircraft. He was asked, as a chemist, by the Germans if he could poison water reservoirs in England. Returning to England he began transmitting misleading British messages.
In the early months of the war, the Germans asked for regular weather reports from him for the use of the Luftwaffe and also to test his credibility; these were sent by radio. At another meeting in Belgium with the Abwehr, this time in Brussels, Owens was given £470 in cash (the value of a house) for the Chain Home information, and some detonators for use in sabotage. He had taken along another double agent, also a Welsh nationalist, who was instructed to start a postage stamp business so that the Germans could communicate through microdots on stamps.
A further meeting in December 1939 took place between Owens and Ritter of the Abwehr in Brussels where he was given more money and promised a salary of £250 per month. He would be sent explosives and a better radio. Owens told MI5 that the Germans had told him that the Phoney War would end in mid-May, which proved accurate. The Germans believed Owens was their top agent in Britain. Grimsby
MI5 was suspicious of Owens. When he chartered a fishing trawler from Grimsby, GY71, to meet with Ritter on the Dogger Bank in the North Sea, Owens took a second double agent, Sam McCarthy (codenamed BISCUIT) (who had been put in place by MI5 to test Owens), so that McCarthy could be trained in Germany. The meeting failed, and Owens was found to be in possession of a list of all key MI5 personnel (a 1939 menu card for a formal dinner of Intelligence personnel) arrested and threatened with the hangman as a traitor. The menu card was traced back to a disillusioned MI5 officer, who then committed suicide. A second attempt at a Dogger Bank meeting, this time controlled by MI5, also failed. Ritter in a Dornier Do 18 flying boat failed to find the trawler.
MI5 believed that Owens was primarily interested in making money from both sides and that probably neither side trusted him entirely. Owens was permitted to continue radio transmissions to Germany, but MI5 tried to make sure that Owens only passed on to the Germans the information that they had given him. Transmissions were now being made by Maurice Burton, an ex-prison warder who had been looking after Owens in Wandsworth and had adopted Owens' style of transmitting. Ritter still believed in Owens but was feeding him with misinformation about the planned invasion of Britain, at the same time as Owens was sending misinformation to Germany about the bombing of Britain.
Let us hold here first, and let us start with the file series:
KV 2/444, page 1
KV 2/444-1, page 3 This copy is a typical example of SIS (S.I.S.) (later M.I.6) they delete names before releasing it; as I suppose internally they keep the file genuine including 'names'
Copy of S.11 report (S.11 is the agent's cover-number) 24th November 1936
Result of further observation.
Monday 16th November (continued)
xxx (Snow) left home at 9.50 a.m. at 16 Caxton Street*, and Admiralty, afterwards met at the Regent Palace Hotel the women Dyer and Scott with whom he spent most of the afternoon at different restaurants, and at 4.15 p.m. with them visited Grosvenor House, but they were not seen with them visited Grosvenor House, that they were not seen to leave.
* At this address was situated: Expanded Metal Coy. Ltd. Moved on 3rd April 1929 to Burwood House, 16 Caxton Street
Tuesday 17th November.
Observation from 8.30 a.m. to 6.30 p.m. xxx not seen.
Wednesday 18th November.
At 9.40 a.m. xxx left home, called at 16 Caxton Street, and at 13.25 entered Room 3 on 4th floor at Abford House, Wilton Road, where he remained five minutes, then used telephone at Victoria Station, returning to Abford House where he stayed 30 minutes, after which he made an enquiring at Regent Palace Hotel, called at several Public Houses and again visited 16 Caxton Street, from 2.40 to 3 p.m. He next went to the Army Stores, Victoria Street (without making purchases) and home at 3.40.
Thursday 19th November.
xxxx visited Regent Palace Hotel where he conversed with the women Dyer and Scott, then called at Admiralty, 16 Caxton Strett, and Abford House. Before entering latter address he purchased a periodical headed "Small Trade".
At 1.15 he met his supposed wife whom he accompanied to Regent Palace Hotel, where they joined Dyer and Scott.
xxx afterwards visited public houses, had refreshments at Coventry Corner House, returning to Regent Palace Hotel at 3.35. He sat i the lounge until 4.50 when the three women came in carrying parcels. They all entered the (here this reference breaks-off)
KV 2/444-1, page 7 (minute 121a)
23rd September 1937
On Thursday, 16 September 1937, Mr. Owens (Snow) rang up Lt. Col. S.I.S. He was told to ring up again of the following day, viz. 17 September 1937, which he did, He was then told to ring again on the following Monday 20 September 1937, on which occasion he was informed that Lt. Colonel (Hinchley Cooke?) would meet him at noon on Thursday, 23 September 1937.
At this interview the following were present: Lt.Colonel W.E. Hinchley Cooke and Major J.R. Whyte.
Lt.Colonel (Cooke?) asked Mr. Owens (Snow) for his reason why he wanted to see him, in view of the fact that he had been told as far back on any kind of Intelligence work. (Mr. Ownes) replied that he had made a very good contact in Germany in connection with "batteries". In reply Lt. Colonel Hinchley Cooke stated that by "batteries' he meant accumulators for submarines.
Lt. Colonel (Cooke?) again emphasized that Owens had been told as far back as November 1936 that he did not wish to have anything further to do with him. Owens then then asked the reason for this decision. Lt.Colonel (H.C.) replied that one of the reasons was that his information was of no value.
Lt.Colonel Hinchley Cooke then reminded (Owens?) that on the last occasion he was interviewed, viz. towards the end of 1936, at Abbey House, Victoria Street, S.W., he (Owens), had stated that he had been in touch with the German Secret Service and that this was an additional reason why Lt.Colonel (Cooke) had cause him to be informed that he did not wish to have any further deqalings with him, as there could be no question of his "running with the hares and hunting with the hounds".
(Owens) then repeated that he had a very good contact and might be of great use to Lt.Colonel Hinchley Cooke.
Lt.Colonel (Cooke) then informed (Owens) again that he had no further use for him and no time for further interviews. In order to make this quite clear to him, he asked him to sign an acknowledge to this effect.
(Owens) queries the necessity for such a document and it was pointed out to him by Lt.Colonel Hinchley Cooke that if he, on his own account, chose to have dealings with the German secret Service and got into difficulties, a record on the file was require, so that this dependants could not claim compensation, from the British Intelligence Service. (AOB, a contradictio)
(Owens) then expressed his willingness to sign an d did in fact sign a document reading as follows:- I fully realise that I am not employed and not been employed since November 1936 by any British Intelligence Service". He signed this document in the presence of Lt. Col. xxx Lt.Colonel Hinchley Cooke and Major Whyte. He signed quite voluntary.
During the entire interview which lasted about fifteen minutes Owens did not volunteer and information about the "contract" referred to above, nor was he invited to give information of any sort or description, relating to Intelligence matters either British or German.
KV 2/444-1, page 12 (P17) ↓↓↓↓ (P17return)
c/o George Campbell
Edgar Ross Str. 5
AOB: Dr. Ranzau was an alias of Major Ritter of Ast-X (Hamburg). A then impressive personality well known in intelligence circles.
KV 2/444-1, page 13
Please digest the hand writing yourself.
Notice that he signed with Johnny
Letter being dated: September 21, 1937
AOB: Johnny was Owens German cover-name; thus we may derive that Arthur Owens had been already an engaged as an agent of Ast-X in Hamburg.
KV 2/444-1, page 14
Telegram noticing, that: Phillip and Ethyl arrive Hamburg today
KV 2/444-1, page 17
The quintessence of this letter is, that Owens is desperately awaiting Dr. Rantzau's letter.
But, he might not be aware that his mail sent to an address in Hamburg is being withheld (retained) by G.P.O. as are mails addressed to people in England sent from an address in Hamburg being retained (on order from the Home Office). This is most likely the reason for considerable delays.
This aspect was already utilised from the 1920s onwards! Were, of course, most places in Germany stood constantly under a kind of watch.
KV 2/444-1, page 26
Mr. A.G.? Owens
London SW. 2
Please notice that the stamp is from Denmark
A nice evidence - that mailing from Western European Countries were generally suspicious.
KV 2/444-1, page 27
My dear Mr. Owens,
I think you for your wire and your two letters and shall be expecting the sample. For the time being I do not need any further information on sample materials. I I do, I shall send you another wire.
As to the test battery I must say that the price of £75,-.- is rather high, As you wrote yourself that you were trying to get it a little cheaper I hope that you have been able to convince your manufacturer that he has to revise this price. However, on account of such a price reduction there must not be any reduction of the quality.
Then there is another thing. You know how difficult it is for me under the present circumstances to get foreign exchange. Therefore, I would request that we agree on part payments. I would be able to send you as a first down payment approximately £30.-.-, and as soon as I have official notification of shipment I would send another £20.-.- and after the arrival of the battery whatever balance may be left.
I trust that after having had a satisfactory business connection for the last year you would agree to this suggestion.
Please let me know your answer about return mail so that there may not be any further delay.
Hoping that all is well with yourself and your family, I remain
AOB, I suppose that in this stage "secret writing" was not yet a subject investigation; because the letter certainly would have carried traces against it.
AOB: please be always aware - that the KV 2/xxx file series are running in time just contrary the page PDF numbers; hence: the higher the page numbers the more you are going backwards in time!
KV 2/444-1, page 32 (minute 108a)
Postal Services department
General Post Office
24th August, 1937
In view of the nature of the contents, you will no doubt wish to see the accompanying packet addressed to Dr. Krause, Mittelweg, 117A, Hamburg, which has been returned from Germany as undeliverable.
Captain G.M. Liddell. (M.I.5)
KV 2/444-1, page 55
Hamburg. Mittleweg 117A
stamped: 23 April sent and returned 18 August 1937
A.O.B.: The street name at least existed, as well as number 117A.
KV 2/444-1, page 35
An example of one of the items within this package
KV 2/444-1, page 39
In 1937, such photo must have represented an acoustical directional gear as to detect aircraft on an acoustical manner; a technique quite practical in those days.
KV 2/444-1, page 95
Notes on Snow's (Owens') statements.
1. Snow (Owens) says he is unable to add anything to his statement, but in reply to questions he makes the following admissions:
Page. 1. That he first met Pieper in Sept. 1935, and was introduced to him by a certain Mr. Sweeney of the Federated Trust & Guarantee Coy. London.
He also states that Pieper's next meeting with Snow (Owens) was in Wiesbaden in January 1936, and that on that occasion went to Wiesbaden "for a holiday". (NB: This meeting took place before his first meeting with ourselves (S.I.S.))
Snow (Owens) states that he saw Pieper again in London to weeks later, i.e. in February, when the latter arrived from Harwich at Victoria Station, where Snow (Owens) met the train.
Pieper was then staying at the Eccleston Hotel, and afterwards stayed at 36 Gillingham-Street where Pieper was acquainted with the llady of the house. On this occasion introduced Snow (Owens) to a Mr. Gorringer (Herbert ? Gorringer) a Canadian, was was staying at the Strand Palace with a foreign princess, and who was "busy getting through £1000" which Pieper stated G. had just received from some service.
Snow (Owens) statement regarding the discussions relating to Italy do not tally with his statements to us (S.I.S.). In June he informed me that Pieper would go to Italy on our behalf?, and was advanced a sum of money for fares &c. According to Snow (Owens) the discussion with Pieper tok place in April.
Snow (Owens) states that he went to Brussels in April to meet Pieper. My records show that he received some £20 from us to go to Brussels and Cologne (Köln) to obtain information from Pieper for us; he went, but brought back practically nothing, He now admits that the visit to Brussels was to meet the German SS (= Secret Service) representative Dr. Hoffmann in Brussels.
Page.3. before Snow (Owens) went to Hamburg, he asked me to advance him fares &c. as he promised information regarding submarines &c. He was paid £30 for the purpose. he brought back practically no information. On his return he told me he had made a visit to Berlin and Düsseldorf but was unable to get any information, "as his visit was too hurried". → (page 97)
KV 2/444-1, page 96
Snow (Owens) admits, in reply to a question, thart the Germans paid him travelling expenses when he went to see them in cologne, and once more in Hamburg. He had an agreement with Pieper to share with him all takings, but "as he had not received more than was sufficient to travel' he gave Pieper nothing after the first meeting following his contact with the Germans. This is the reason for Pieper's threatening letters.
In addition to Mr. Hoffmann, Snow (Owens) states that he met a certain Obstlt. Schaub in Frankfurt or Wiesbaden.
(He states incidentally that Pieper and Williams were in touch with a certain Frenchwoman, whose name he has forgotten who was then living at the Mount Royal flats; She was formerly a language teacher in Cologne (Köln), where she had many English officer students)
On making inquiries I have ascertained that Snow (Owens) still has his flat at Sloeane Avenue Mansions, and is receiving letters there. He has admitted this.
Snow's (Owens') statement indicate (10 that he was in touch with Pieper before he got into touch with us. (2) that he visits to Brussels, cologne, Hamburg (for which we paid, at any rate on several occasions0 were for the purpose of making contacts with Pieper or his German connection with the Germans to us was the suspicion that he was being followed and that his letters were being tapped. he was then decided top approach us with the story of his relations with the Germans, as a means of disarming suspicion.
KV 2/444-2, 26
KV 2/444-2, page 27
Arrangements are complicated for a new factory to manufacture variable pitch air screws at Lostock Hall near Balton, Lancashire Ltd.
The following firms have undertaken the erection and management of six new factories to manufacture aero engines, Austin Motor Co. Ltd Bristol Aeroplane Co Ltd. Daimler Co Ltd. Roots Securities Ltd. Rover Co Ltd. Standard motor Co Ltd.
No 4I (Fighter) Squadron now stationed at Catterick Yorkshire.
No 607 Squadron Auxiliary Air Force converted into a fighter squadron.
In December a new group is to be formed in the Costal Air command to be known as No 16 (Reconnaissance) group. With Headquarters at Bircham Newtown,
Three general reconnaissance squadrons, five flying boat squadrons, and two torpedo-bomber squadrons. The Fairey Company have just delivered the first Fairey Hendon bomber to the R.A.F.
Bomber Squadron No 7 and No 102 have moved to Finningley which is a new service Aerodrome.
HMS to be completed in December at Yarrow & Co yards is a net-layer and will be named Protector.
An Aircraft carrier is to be built and named Ark Royal to be completed in July 1938 by Cammel Laird & Co Ltd.
I have been able to obtain some very important information but will bring it with me when I next come over.
KV 2/444-2, page 28
At the Gloster Aircraft Co works there are being built fifteen Gloster Gladiators for the Belgium Air Force these machines will be powered with Bristol Mercury engines of 825 Horse Power each.
Each machine is capable of a speed of 250 miles per our at 15000 feet and a range of 750 miles.
Each machine will be equipped with four Browning Machine guns.
This type of machine is also supplied to the R.A.F.
KV 2/444-2, page 37 (minute 59a) (an apparent, but rare, notice of G.P.O. censorship)
P.O. Box 629 - Hamburg.
It has been decided that the enclosed letter bearing postmark York, 6.15 p.m. 9th November, 1936 should be forward. I should, therefore, be grateful if you would re-seal it and include in the next mail for Hamburg.
10th November, 1936.
KV 2/444-2, page 40
Copy of S.11 (Mr. Murray?) 4th November, 1936
re "Snow" (Owens)
Result of further observation.
Wednesday, 28th October.
Snow (Owens) left Pullman Court at 9.5 a.m. when he called for ten minutes at Camera Company, 320 Vauxhall bridge Road, then to Cauldrey & Co. Stationers, 123 Victoria Street, and for s5 minutes at 16, Caxton Street, afterwards to Post Office 32, Victoria Street, where he had letter weighed, purchased stamps, believed for 4½d which he placed on letter and posted same. He then went to Strand Post Office, where he had another letter weighted, placed on some stamps, value 4½d and posted.
At 10.45 a.m. he entered Admiralty, South Arch Block, where he remained until 11.20 then went to the shop of "James A. Sinclair & Co." opticians and camera dealers, 3 Whitehall. "Westminster Camera Stores:, 81 Strand, two public houses, where he was seen to be examining a camera catalogue, and swan and Edgars, Piccadilly Circus, where he was missed.
Thursday, 29th October.
Leaving home at 9.20 Snow (Owens) first visited for 25 minutes 16 Caxton Street, then to Broadway Testing Works, Dartmouth Street, 117, Fleet Street, where he purchased a book; Camera Company, 320, Vauxhall Bridge Road 12 to 12.30, when he left with brown paper parcel, size 8"x 5"x 2", which he carried home at 1.10.
Watch on Pullman Court was continued to 6.30 p.m. but he was not again seen.
KV 2/444-2, page 41
Friday, 30th October.
9.25 Snow (Owens) left his address and visited 16, Caxton Street then to Admiralty 10,35 to 11.15 and afterwards to the shop of Edward Whistler & Co. 11, Strand, where he examined binoculars. He next called at 16, Kings Street (Communist Shop) where he purchased a pamphlet, then to Empire Cinema, Leister Square, 12 noon to 2.15 and then boarded tram to Streatham.
Saturday, 31st October.
Snow (Owens) left home at 9.30 a.m. visited 16, Caxton Street, left 10.30, then to Stationary Office, Kingsway, where he purchased book headed "Photographs of some Military vehicles and Weapons in Service, 1936 (copy herewith). He afterwards met in Portsmouth Street, Kingsway, two men, 1st age 35/40 height 6', slightly fresh complexion, dark hair, clean shaven, broad build, dressed grey suit, not hat: 2nd 35/40 height 6', dark hair, full face, clean shaven, heavy build, wearing dark horn rimmed glasses, dressed in dark overcoat and suit, black bowler heat. He produced them what appeared to be round pieces of metal and then the 2nd described man entered Car D.G.H.196, and drove away. The first described with Snow (Owens) went to Lincoln Chambers, 3 Portsmouth street, where they remained from 11.10 to 11.40 afterwards visiting a local Tavern. They parted at 12.20.
Next Snow (Owens) visited the shop of Francis Cook, Watchmakers, 59 Long Lane, E.6 and after taking tea in the Strand returned home at 4.40.
KV 2/444-2, page 42
Tuesday, 3rd November.
from 9.35 to 10.10 a.m. Snow (Owens) visited 16, Caxton Street, then posted letter and afterwards watched Royal procession to House of Parliament. He then loitered (strolled) in different parts of the West End, then at Victoria Station from Smith & Sons Bookstall purchased Aviation paper entitled "Flying" (copy attached) returning home at 2.45.
Note Car D.G.H. 196 referred to above is registered in the name of Charles Weston & Co. Ltd. engineers. 2 Portsmouth Street, W.C.2.
(intd) J.O. (Mr. Murray?)
This Chapter is dealing with Arthur Owens' early days in the espionage business
KV 2/444-2, page 62 (minute 52a)
Kent Country Constabulary
Chief Constable's Office
12th October, 1936.
Dear Sir Vernon
I beg to acknowledge receipt of your letter no. PF 45241/DS.7 dated 17 instant, and to inform you that from the official records of the Kent County Council it has been ascertained that the registered owner of Morris '8'black and green saloon car, registered number BHL 88, is Getrude Dyne, 31 Courtfield Gardens, Kensington, S.?. 5. The vehicle was garaged at Grofton Lodge, Bickley Kent.
Unofficially it was learned that the vehicle is now in the possession of a person named Owens. Sloane Avenue Mansions, Chelsea, S.W., it having been sold during July last through Messrs Stearns and Company, S.W.3. Notification of the change in ownership has not been received from the persons concerned by the Kent County Council.
R.L. Suntus Major
Assistant Chief Constable of Kent.
Colonel Sir V.G.W. Kell. K.B.E., C.B.
Box 500 (AOB, typical Secret Services Drop Box)
KV 2/444-2, page 66 (minute 45a)
S.11 (Mr. Ottaway).
Reference the meeting between the above and an SIS representative at St. Ermyn's Hotel yesterday, which was covered by you, A.D.S.(B) has decided that "Snow" (Owens) should be kept under very discreet observation.
It is anticipated that tomorrow, Friday, 16.10.36, Snow (Owens) will call at the offices of the Expanded metal Co. Ltd., Burwood House, Caxton Street, leave for the Continent by train, possibly via Victoria-Dover-Ostend (Belgium).
private address is:-
It is most essential the Snow (Owens) should not become aware of the fact that he is being kept under observation, and the watches should drop him at once if they think that they have been spotted by him.
Below is a description of Snow (Owens) as supplied by S.I.S.?
Very short and slight; thin brown hair; clean shaven; rather thin and bony face; small, almost transparent and ill-shaped ears, disproportionately small size for a man; curious brown eyes set wide apart and slightly oblique, which gives him a somewhat shifty look; wears brown felt hat, pepper and salt overcoat. Usually wears brown shoes or boots. Very small bony hands stained from cigarette smoking; typical Welsh "underfed" Cardiff type. Speaks fairly correct English without pronounced accent; soft-spoken and lacks assurance in manner. Often wears white or light necktie.
S.7 (Guy Liddell???)
KV 2/444-2, page 68 (minute 43a)
I met with Snow (Owens) at 12.35 p.m. in the lounge of St. Ermin's Hotel, and selected a table in the centre of the room, in good light.
I told him that I understood he had been trying to get in touch with me through Index (?), and asked him the direct question -"Is there anything you want to tell me?" He answered "No".
I told him that I preferred him to work direct with M ??x but if there is anything he wished to say, he could take the opportunity.
He then said he was working for the Expanded Metal Company once again and wished to get into touch with someone at the War office and Air Ministry concerning the question of Resistances (I suppose meant is electrical resistances) he added that he had been asked to this by the Expanded Metal Co. He said he wanted to establish a connection with someone in the War office dealing with portable searchlights, and also with Searchlight section of the Air Ministry. I told him I was very busy and might forget. Would he write it down. Attached is what he wrote.
He informed me that he is going to Hamburg on Friday, and will go by train, breaking his journey at Brussels, where his son is staying. He said he was going for the purpose of meeting a business friend who was interested in "rubber hair" for aeroplane cushions.
He stated that he might be able to make some more photographs, but I told him not to do so.
He said that he would get into touch with again tomorrow, 15th October.
Before leaving him. I again said - "Is there anything more you want to say?". His reply was -"No, thanks very much".
14th October 1936.
KV 2/444-2, page 87 (minute 23a) (R18) (R18return)
Snow (Owens) and Pieper.
On the 9th January 1936, the deputy Director of Naval Intelligence rang me up concerning Snow (Owens).
Snow (Owens) had been known to mr. Fletcher of D.E.E. Admiralty, for some considerable time and had frequently given him German technical information. he had told Fletcher that he would like to work for the British government as he frequently visited Germany.
I went over to the Admiralty and he was introduced to me and I then took him to the junior Army & Navy Club at about 11.30 a.m.
I met him later in the week and told him what Naval and Air information was required from Germany, but did not give him anything in writing. he knew me by name.
He went to Germany and reported his return on the 23rd January 1936, through Index Ltd., Thames House. he gave me a report on German coastal motor-boats which was of distinct (diverse) value.
His next trip was was to Kiel, which terminated with the Camera incident with the Customs.
I then turned him over to a "friend", who passed by the name of "X" to him. He was also introduced by xxx to his assistant, who passed under the name of xxx.
When he was first contacted he was actually employed in the Electric Battery Department of the Expanded Metal Co. Ltd. He is still visits the office of this Company, but from what he told Snow (Owens) he is no longer paid by them.
His home address is Sloane Avenue Mansions, Sloane Avenue. Telephone - Kensington xxx Extension
In June he informed "X" that he had a German friend named Pieper (which he pronounced Peeper) who was a chemical engineer and would be willing to give information concerning gas and metals.
According to Snow (Owens), Pieper was in London from about the 13th June and returned to Germany on the 27th June.
Snow (Owens) produced drawings of |German submarine batteries which he said he had obtained from Pieper. he stated that Pieper was visiting Italy, including Milan and (La) Spezia (Italian Naval Base), on behalf of a German Engineering firm and that he would be willing to obtain information in Italy. A verbal questionnaire was given to him, but no results were obtained.
Snow (Owens) suggested that "X" should meet Pieper in London, but this wisely was refused. In the course of conversation Snow (Owens) said that Pieper would not talk about any German matters in Cologne (Köln), but would only do so at the Metropole Hotel, Brussels.
KV 2/444-2, page 88
Recently, on the 21st September, Snow (Owens) told "X" that he did not think Pieper would be of any use.
On one or two occasions, Snow (Owens) has proved to be untruthful. About two months' ago, he said he was going to Germany. "X" wished to check this and rang up Snow's (Owens') flat. His wife said that he was in West Hartlepool.
He Snow (Owens) met "X" yesterday (22nd) and said that he was going to Cologne (Köln) and Frankfurt and asked for questionaire. He was told to make enquiries on the lines on which he had been previously instructed. He volunteered that he expected to be back in 3 days.
About 3 months ago, he (Snow (Owens)) asked "X" if he knew of Fritz von Kluck, who he stated was in the German Secret Service. "X" asked him how he knew this and he replied that he was friendly a lady who stays with von Kluck's and that von Kluck had told her. On being pressed he said she was a Mrs. Buckley (after the war she was: DECARDED), who, lived at 2 Connaught Square Mews, W.2.
He Snow (Owens) has never tried to get any information from "X" or xxx. His knowledge of german is very poor. He is never mentioned the same Sander (to whom he addressed messages), and his only reference to the German S.S. (Secret Service) has been in connection with von Kluck.
23rd September 1936.
KV 2/444-2, page 89 (minute 17a)
Reference Minutes 13 and 16
1. In view of the fact that Snow (Owens) is due to leave London for Cologne tomorrow morning and there is still no trace of his having taken out a passport. I saw Chief Inspector Forster, S.? after referred the case to A.D.S.(B).
I asked C.I. (Chief Inspector) to instruct his officers at Dover to scrutinize discretely the passport of all British subjects embarking on the morning boat for Ostend and if they came across anyone of the name of Snow (Owens) to memorise as many particulars of the passport without arousing any suspicion.
I also asked C.I. Forster to have Snow (Owens) looked up in G.P.O. (General Post Office) and other Registrations.
C.I. Forster agreed to both requests.
2. C.I. Forster rang me up later and informed me that there was a correspondence at Scotland Yard regarding Snow (Owens).
It appears that some time ago Snow (Owens) was held up at a port on arrival in U.K. in connection with a camera of foreign make and when questioned stated that he was employed in the British Secret Service. He gave Colonel (Cooke's?) name and a Victoria telephone number in support of his statement. The matter was finally taken up by Major Vivian (S.I.S. later M.I.6) with Scotland Yard. C.I. Forster offered to let me see the papers if I cared to go and see him tomorrow morning.
Particulars of Snow (Owens) are under:-
born 14 April 1899 in South Wales
holds a Canadian Passport issued 19.8.33.
(AOB, that may have been the reason why correspondence with Germany were prepared at the: Canada House at Trafalgar Square in London.)
3. On receipt of this information I tried to get into touch with Major Vivian or Mr. Mills, but both had left their office. Major Vivian's Secretary (xxx), however was able to tell me that Snow (Owens) was "on their books", and that he was in touch with Colonel xxx but she could not, → (page 90)
KV 2/444-2, page 90
of course, give me any details as to whether or not Colonel xxx was aware of the fact that Snow (Owens) was in touch with the German Secret Service. I told her that I would ring again in the morning.
4. D.A.D.S. (B) informed.
KV 2/444-2, page 99 (minute 6a) In my perception a relevant reference copy, as to the way the Home Office and the Secret Services maintained a particular watch on correspondence directed to: Snow (Owens)
Please read its content yourself
Papers from the "Snow" (Owens) Case
KV 2/445-1, page 1
KV 2/445-1, page 2 This file series is running up to July 1938; Why? Because the KV 2/xxx series are with increasing PDF page numbers going backwards in time.
Letter received at G.P.O. (General Post Office) from S.W.D.O. at 8 a.m. 4th July '38
- - - -
Cover address to: Dr. Richter
Date stamped:- Wimbledon S.W. 19 11.15 p.m. July 1938.
1 Half sheet white notepaper - no water mark. (Examined for secret writing - no evidence)
Four Photo prints- Two of 'Tanks' bearing script numbers 9in ink) 4x2B and 321, and two of A/A (anti-aircraft) Artillery with numbers- 612V and 9Tx, written thereon.
On plain white cover 9similar to addressed outer cover) sealed by gum flap; Contents:- eight photo negatives (on inch square) of subjects as follows:-
(3) Three planes in flight
(4) Searchlight, with planes behind
(5) Corner of aerodrome with planes in mass formation on ground.
(7) Plane K8252 in flight
(8) Plane K2052 in flight
The letter, after having been seen by Colonel Cooke (AOB: apparently M.I.5 have come in charge or at least being informed, all emphasised by the notice: Jcm = initials of Mr. Masterman) was refastened by me and replaced in the Post at 5 p.m. same day.
4th July 1938. Sgd J.G. Kelsey
KV 2/445-1, page 9 (minute 251a)
23rd day of January 1939
I saw Snow (Owens) at the "Crown Inn" Morden at 1-45 p.m. on Saturday 21st and handed him the transmitting set with accessories, on slip of paper containing instructions and sheet of paper bearing code. Receipt attached.
He informed me that the set was the only one of its kind in England, but several more were operating in France and Belgium. He added that the telephone number of the Hamburg German Secret Service was 554144. He is in receipt of £45 every two months from German sources, which he collects when he visits Hamburg. At 11-40 a.m. on the 23rd, I saw him at his request at Westminster when he gave the following information: At 8-30 p.m. on 22nd he left his flat at Morden and when going to Morden Underground Railway Station was stopped by a man of the following description, age 30-40, height 5' 9½", medium build (inclined to be slim), clean shaven, noticeably fair hair, thin face, wearing pince-nez, dressed in what appeared to be a small black and white check overcoat, turn down soft hat, had the appearance of an American: This man informed him that he had a message from the "Doctor". Snow (Owens) professed ignorance of what the stranger meant but after a while the latter produced a letter signed by Dr. Rantzau" (alias of Major Ritter) which the stranger retained) to the effect that he was authorized to give Snow (Owens) a message. This message was to the effect that Snow (Owens) will shortly receive a telegram "require samples immediately". Snow (Owens) says that the receipt of this wire will mean that → (page 10)
KV 2/445-1, page 10
frontier will be closed within 48 hours and that he is immediately to hire a car and go to the following aerodromes to ascertain hwat machines are filled with petrol, whether the crews are standing by, and whether or not the machines are loaded by bombs:
Biggin Hill; Hendon; Ayling (?); Mildenhall; Odiham and Flexstowe, as regards the latter place he is to endeavour to obtain details of the new Sunderland bomber there.
Snow (Owens) added that he is to write immediately to Dr. Rantzau and tell him he has received the instructions OK, and that he is standing by. He will write from the Grand Hotel, West Hartlepool and will add "regarding the samples, I have a car ready to call on all your customers".
Snow (Owens) stated that a wire from Rantzau will shortly be sent to his flat at Morden and asked that it be intercepted and he be acquainted of its receipt at the Grand Hotel, West Hartlepool
He Snow (Owens) stated that he would leave the latter place (Grand Hotel, West Hartlepool) by the 1-10 p.m. train this day, and will be there a few days. He asserted that on his recent visit north he did not take any photographs.
To M.I.5 Inspector Superintendent.
KV 2/445-1, page 13 (minute 249a)
Copy of S.B. Report Dated 17.1.39. Original filed at 1a Snow wireless folder.
Subject:- Snow (Owens)
Snow (Owens) rang me up at this office at 10-50 a.m. on 14th instant and expressed a desire to see me urgently.
I met him in Lyons tea shop, Westminster, at 11.35 a.m. same day. I told him at the cautions previously given him by Colonel Hinchley-Cooke and myself still held good. Snow (Owens) stated that he fully understood the position, and that his sole motive was to assist this country. He then informed me that the transmission set (Mentioned in previous reports, now (is) with M.I.5.) was to be delivered to him before 17th ?? 1939, and that he was in (the) possession of a code and gave it to me (Copies attached0. He said he had not the time to explain its use (it) (then?), and asked me to meet him in the evening of the same day.
Acting on instructions I met him at the "George Inn", London Road, Morden, at 8.p.m. some day, when he explained how the code worked. He stated that he went to Hamburg via Dover on 1st January 1939, saw members of the German Secret Service (Ast-X), and went to Stettin (Krugsdorf) with them and witnessed a demonstration of the transmitter. He returned to this country via Dover on 6th January 1939, and since then has been in West Hartlepool in connection with what he termed his "battery business". He expressed a desire to see Colonel Hinchley-Cooke in order to give him valuable information in connection with the German Secret Service.
I told him that Colonel Hinchley-Cooke was not available, but any information he wished to impart (share), if given to me, would reach him. He handed me the code and stated he would see me again at 2 p.m. on Monday the 16th inst. when he would be in a position to amplify his story.
At about 10-45 a.m., 16th Snow (Owens) again rang me at the office and asked that I see him immediately. I met him at (16) Caxton Street, S.W.1 at 11.45 a.m. annd accompanied him to the premises of the Expanded Metal Co. Ltd, Burwood House, Caxton Street, S.W.1, where he had arranged to have the use of a room. I handed the code to him and he then showed me a letter to deliver to him that morning which contained three photostat copies containing technical details of the transmitter, one cloak room ticket K.7845 from Victoria Station, and on e small attaché case key.
He stated that the cloak room ticket would recover a case → (page 14)
KV 2/445-1, page 14
containing the transmitter. I took the whole contents of the letter to M.I.5 when the details of the transmitter were photographed.
On instructions I made arrangements with Southern Railway police whereby I claimed the attaché case from the cloak room at Victoria Station and immediately took it by Colonel Hinchley Cooke. The case was opened and found the transmitter, details of which were taken. I then took steps to replace the case intact at Victoria Station cloak room.
On instructions I made arrangements with Southern Railway police whereby I claimed the attaché case from the cloak room at Victoria Station and immediately took it to Colonel Hinchley-Cooke. The case was opened and found to contain the transmitter, details of which were taken. I then took steps to replace the case intact at Victoria Station cloak room.
At 2-50 p.m. I again saw Snow (Owens) at 16 Caxton Street, S.W.1 and returned him the letter and contents. He was, of course, unaware that the case and contents had been previously examined. He stated his intention of immediately claiming the attaché case, and asked that I discretely follow him. He made his way to the cloak room, obtained possession of the case, and in Lyons tea shop, Victoria made a superficial examination of the contents, and asked that I follow him to the office in Burwood House (16 Caxton Street). I did this and at the latter place he transferred the transmitter and accessories to another case and asked that I take the whole to Colonel Hinchley-Cooke. I asked him for the original code, which he handed me, together with the attaché case and contents, I took to M.I.5 and handed to Colonel Hinchley-Cooke.
While I was with Snow (Owens) at Burwood House he showed me what appeared to be a Leica camera, which he said he had bought in England with money provided by the German Secret Service. he also showed me a small slip of paper on which was written details of what the German Secret Service at Hamburg (Ast-X) had asked him to obtain. The original iis submitted and reads as follows (with explanatory notes furnished by Snow (Owens) in parentheses):-
"Thornaby (aerodrome - all possible details with photographs) Radcor Airport (same as Thornaby). Hill & Co. ship-builders either at Stochton or Middlesborough) - details of ship-building). Planes, Airspeed, Porthmouth (details especially photographs of aeroplane building at Airspeed Works, Porthmouth). 100 Octane Oil (as much details as possible as to the use of this new aeroplane petrol). Browning gun (information regarding improvements). Blackburn Squadron 1 & 11 (,as much information as possible regarding this aeroplane). Headquarters A.A. defence ( full details) 4.5. A.A. (full details of this gun). Arundel Aerodrome 9photographs and full description, henlow Aerodrome (as Arundel). St. Athens (Snow (Owens) states that this is an underground store depot in South Wales =details and photographs) Sealand, Kidbrooke (full details of the store-depots, contents, aeroplanes etc. B.V. (Snow (Owens) thinks that this relates to Bauker von ?? steelworks near Middlesbrough - photographs etc.) C.F.S.D. 9details of cargo fleet at South Durham). D.L. (Dorman Long, information regarding activities of this firm) L.N.E.R. (details of docks on North East coast). ....... I prefer to quit here.
KV 2/445-1, page 15
- - -
The remainder of the paper slip gives details as to the code. AKD. De WJT. is the call sign to be used in transmitting information and means AKD calling WJT.
The address: Frau Heise Hannover, Sallstra. 27, is a contact between him and the German Secret Service.
Snow (Owens) stated that the transmitter had a range of 12,000 miles (??) and messages from it will be picked up in Hamburg, Cologne and Stettin. It can be used with an ordinary 350 volt battery which can be bought easily, or alternatively plugged into an ordinary lamp socket with a voltage of 250 (volts). A switch is provided for this purpose on the set. (AOB, this statement, to me, shows that Owens did not possess a sound understanding of supplying sources and the according range versus distance; neglecting the understanding of propagation. Albeit, that in 1938 the sun-spot maximum was then reached; whereby range/distance and the related transmission energy did not play a decisive role).
It has been suggested to him that he could work the transmitter from a garage which he would hire, or, by virtue of his technical knowledge of batteries, conceal it inside a battery charger.
It has been arranged that in the near future he sends a trial transmission to Germany. When he is ready to do this hw will send a letter from West Hartlepool to Auerbach (mentioned in previous reports) to the effect that "salesman will arrive in Hamburg (German time to be given)". The time will indicate when the transmission will commence. He will shortly afterwards receive a letter from Hamburg telling him that the salesman arrived safely (or not). This will indicate that the transmission has been received satisfactory or otherwise. he will then await further instructions from Hamburg as to future transmissions.
Snow (Owens) stated that the address: mrs (??) (??) 43B, Oslogaden Oslo, Norway, is a Hamburg clearing house for information from and to England and the U.S.A., and that one Schneider (Decarded April 1955) from South America is Dr. Rantzau's (= Major Ritter)" (Hamburg) right hand man, a woman known as the Baroness (Duchesse Chateau-Thierry at Dorset House, in London) is very influential with Dr. Rantzau.
When I left Snow (Owens) at about 4-30 p.m. on 16th inst. he stated his intention of proceeding to West Hartlepool on the 5-30 train from Kings Cross, and that he intended taking some photographs while away. I there-upon informed M.I.5 to this effect.
Snow (Owens) said he will return to London on Friday evening next and will telephone me on Saturday morning, so that he can hand over the negatives for inspection. he asks that the transmitter, code, etc, be then returned to him.
he informed me that the German authorities issued him with a frontier pass No. B1/5/2831/38 - which he used to pass out of Germany without question, and which he surrendered when he left.
KV 2/445-1, page 24 (minute 228a ) (Q17) (Q17return)
Inhaber Walter Auerbach
Wandsbek, Kampstraße 45
KV 2/445-1, page 25
W. Auerbach Wandsbek, den October 18th, 1938
Inhaber: Walter Auerbach
Abt.1: Autozubehör und Werkstattmaterial
Abt.2: Techn.Gummi u. Asbest-Fabrikate
Treibriemen // Fabrikbedarf
Fernruf: 28 17 50
Bankkonto: Wandsbeker Bank
Postcheckkonto: Hamburg 23669 xxx
We have your letters of October 14th. The testing machine is now nearly completed and we would be ready to ship it within about two weeks.
From your letter we gather that you have completed several new tests and that you deem it advisable to experiment right here in our laboratory.
At the present time we are so taken up with all kinds of other laboratory work that we would suggest that you postpone your trip.
However, if you think that your experiments are really of such importance that they cannot be postponed we would make arrangements to work with you for about two or three days towards the end of this month.
If you can make it possible, kindly arrange your trip over here so that we may be able to complete the tests not later than Saturday 29th.
So if it is possible, please try to be here not later than Thursday the 27th.
Please let us know by return mail.
KV 2/445-1, page 29 (minute 222a)
6th day of October 1938
With further reference to "Snow" (Owens)
This man did not keep his appointment at the 'Grove' public house, South Wimbledon, yesterday evening.
I saw him, however, at 11 a.m. this day at Lyons tea shop at Westminster Bridge.
I gave him assurance - as directed by Colonel Hinchley-Cooke (whom also was engaged at M.I.5) - that he has not been compromised with the German authorities. I again specifically informed him that he was not in any way working for the English authorities; that no responsibility could be taken by them for anything he may do: that no instructions as to working could be given him and that whatever he did was entirely on his own initiative.
Snow (Owens) replied that he thoroughly understood the position, but notwithstanding what he told him would on his own responsibility continue to impart information which he considered important to the English authorities.
KV 2/445-1, page 47
Transcript of shorthand notes taken at Scotland House, S.W.1, on 24th September, 1938, at interrogation of Snow (Owens) of Grosvenor Court, London Road, Morden, by Colonel Hinchley-Cooke, in the presence of Superintendent and Inspector xxx Special Branch.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: I see you want to see me.
Mr. Snow (Owens) Yes.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: Where did you get my name from?
Mr. Snow (Owens) I saw your photographs.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: Well, look here, Mr. Snow (Owens), before we start, I want to make the position quite clear. Do you remember when I saw you on 23rd September 1937, ...
Mr. Snow (Owens): Yes.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: ..... When you signed a statement which reads: "I fully realise that I am not, and have not been employed since November 1936 by any British intelligence service?
Mr. Snow (Owens): Yes.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: You acknowledge that as your signature?
Mr. Snow (Owens): Yes.
Col. Hinchley-Coke: You will also remember that some months ago I saw you.
Mr. Snow (Owens): Yes.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: In the room of the Assistant Director of Naval Intelligence?
Mr. Snow (Owens): Yes.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: And told you then, so far as the Naval, Army and Air Force Intelligence Services were concerned, what our view was?
Mr. Snow (Owens): Exactly.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: Therefore, before I talk to you, it is my duty as a duly authorised person to caution you that whatever you say will be taken down and may be used in evidence. You quite understand that?
Mr. Snow (Owens): I quite understand that. I will do the best I can.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: It is a question that I caution you that whatever you say, you say it voluntary.
Mr. Snow (Owens): I think I have done my duty.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: Do you understand the caution - that whatever you say now may, if necessary, be used in evidence at a later stage?
Mr. Snow (Owens): Quite.
KV 2/445-1, page 48
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: You quite understand that?
Mr. Snow (Owens): Yes, I quite understand that. I have given my statement. Well, you wanted to see me.
Co. Hinchley-Cooke: Yes ...
Mr. Snow (Owens): I thought it was very important and i think it is my duty.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: Well, what have you to say?
Mr. Snow (Owens): There's the whole statement ...
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: Well, could you tell me again? I would like to hear it myself.
Mr. Snow (Owens): It is a long statement regarding the German secret service, their movements ...
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: You have been in touch with the German Secret service?
Mr. Snow (Owens): Yes, I have. At least they have been in touch with me.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: Were you paid agent?
Mr. Snow (Owens): Yes, I was.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: And how much money did you receive a month?
Mr. Snow (Owens): Well, it varied really ...
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: Well, how much?
Mr. Snow (Owens): Thirty to forty pounds a month.
Co. Hinchley-Cooke: A month? Regularly?
Mr. Snow (Owens): Not regularly. It varied.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: But ever since I saw you last?
Mr. Snow (Owens): Oh, no. Not since then. I only had that during the last three or four months, Because they treated me with suspicion until then.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: They treated you with suspicion?
Mr. Snow (Owens): Definitely.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: Why?
KV 2/445-1, page 49
Mr. Snow (Owens): I didn't know their method of working.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: There was then a gap from time to time I saw you. Until the last three or four months you have been in touch with them at all?
Mr. Snow (Owens): Yes, I was in touch with them occasionally. I can't exactly tell you how, but at different times - only when I got a letter from them.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: Ever write you?
Mr. Snow (Owens): Yes.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: And they said they wanted to see you?
Mr. Snow (Owens): Yes.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: With whom were you in touch?
Mr. Snow (Owens): Five or six different people.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: What were their names?
Mr. Snow (Owens): Let us get away from this. I have done everything I can. I have brought you information - where you can obtain the German secret Service codes.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: Do you suggest that you, as a self admitted secret service agent, just came to see me...
Mr. Snow (Owens): I have always worked for this country. I was told in the first place by a mr. Howard that the first job I would get would be to organise a system in Germany to get information out. That was my one object in view.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: And you suggest that you have done that since you received that warning from us?
Mr. Snow (Owens): Not since. They started at that time. They have since been in touch with me all the time. I have seen right from the beginning exactly what has been in the wind and I have known there has been danger. I have tried to tell you. I have phoned you up several times because I have known of the danger.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: Yes. The point you don't seem quite to realise is that you seem to have been working against our instructions. We told you quite definitely that we did not want anything more to do with you.
KV 2/445-1, page 50
Mr. Snow (Owens): It is most difficult when anything like that starts.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: You need not have seen them.
Mr. Snow (Owens): They would probably come to me here.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: Who are the people with whom you are in touch?
Mr. Snow (Owens): At least seven or eight different names.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: Do you mean just one person with six or seven different names?
Mr. Snow (Owens): Oh, no, quite different people.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: Do you remember their names? Have you seen them?
Mr. Snow (Owens): Yes.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: Don't answer unless you want to ...
Mr. Snow (Owens): I am quite prepared to do everything. I want you to know that I knew the danger. I want to give help, but I won't take chances unless I am prepared. I am only trying to explain to you that I have always done everything I could for this country. Probably my system is different from yours but I have always had one object in view and that was to help the country when I could. I can now. I risked my life to get it for you, at least I deserve a little thanks. I am prepared to go on and I will take further chances if you whish it, but I will do no more - it isn't worth it.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: You wish to go on and you know our view?
Mr. Snow (Owens): Of course, and I know what the view on the other side was and i know the danger there was. My duty at that time was to get all I could and be in a position to help this country. And I have taken that risk.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: We'll come back to that in a minute. Can you give me the names of the people with whom you have been in touch?
Mr. Snow (Owens): From memory ... one name was Mrs. Nohl (Decarded 1965) another one Petersen (Decarded ??). There are some German names that I can't remember. I shall recall all of the presently. In any case I can get them. There is a Davidson. (he apparently is neglecting Dr. Rantzau alias of Major Ritter)
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: Well, now you saw them all personally? All of them?
Mr. Snow (Owens): I saw all of them personally.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: What position does Mrs. Nohl hold?
KV 2/445-1, page 51
Mr. Snow (Owens): Mrs. Nohl (Decarded 12.3.65) (removed from the card index; of HOW?) is a man really. That address is used for correspondence in another name.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: Well, what is the address?
Mr. Snow (Owens): Windesbeschaussee (name likely being incorrectly spelled)?
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: That's in Hamburg, isn't it?
Mr. Snow (Owens): Yes.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: What is Mrs. Nohl's real name?
Mr. Snow (Owens): That is on of the names I am trying to think of. A German name I cannot think of. I may come across it again.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: And how often have you seen them?
Mr. Snow (Owens): Every time I have been over there.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: How often?
Mr. Snow (Owens): About every two months.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: Every two months since when?
Mr. Snow (Owens): Since the beginning of this year (AOB, really?) Anyhow I can look it up and prove it definitely.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: That is near enough for the moment. And where did you see them actually?
Mr. Snow (Owens): They have several offices.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: Do you know where they are?
Mr. Snow (Owens): I am prepared to give you all this in proper order if you wish, providing you are not suspicious of me all the time. I don't want to think that you are stell suspicious of me. You have got the realise what is going on.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: I have a shrewd suspicion. Still, where did you see them? Where are their offices?
Mr. Snow (Owens): I will give you them later.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: Tell your story then.
Mr. Snow (Owens): It is all in there. If you read that out; that is my story.
Inspector Would you like me to read that out?
Mr. Snow (Owens): Yes.
KV 2/445-1, page 52
Inspector (Referring to statement) I will start from where you stated you were appointed chief operator:
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: I will start where you stated you were appointed as chief operator in England with authority to travel to America with a special German Secret Service code, and I am to receive here in England a special secret transmitting set will enable me to be in direct touch with secret German headquarters in the Rhine district ...
col. Hinchley-Cooke: Now, who appointed you actually?
Mr. Snow (Owens): The heads from Hamburg. I am going to give you them.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: Well, why not give them now so that I can get the story in correct sequence?
Mr. Snow (Owens): I will give you them in time.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: Why not now?
Mr. Snow (Owens): I would like to see the end of these questions.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: Haven't you got them in your head?
Mr. Snow (Owens): No, I can obtain them for you. I can get them from Germany. I haven't got them now, but I can get them.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: You don't know who appointed you?
Mr. Snow (Owens): No.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: This man, whose name you can't remember, appointed you chief operator in England and you are going to get a transmitting set?
Mr. Snow (Owens): Yes.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: When?
Mr. Snow (Owens): I don't know.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: You don't know which room in the offices?
Mr. Snow (Owens): I have no idea. They asked me to bring it with me. (AOB: taking it with him to England)
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: No, I only had a small bag.
Inspector cont. "My duties will consist of receiving, coding and sending to Germany, information supplied to me and information which I may obtain in connection with general was activities and political information...
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: Have you got the code?
KV 2/445-1, page 53
Mr. Snow (Owens): to the / ??? frontier. I hadn't memorised it very thoroughly, but I could get the missing points quite quickly.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: How does the code work?
Mr. Snow (Owens): It is very complicated and after we are through he I will do all that.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: All right.
Inspect. cont. "... and I am also to have sole charge of all secret addresses of German agents in European countries and to be in charge of a bureau in England for the purpose of distributing information...
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: Where is that bureau supposed to be?
Mr. Snow (Owens): Well, wherever I wish. I could rent a room anywhere.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: You haven't settled on that, have you?
Mr. Snow (Owens): No, as soon as i got all that I came right to you. If it is better to question my boy ...
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: Never heard of your boy. I don't know the first thing you are talking about.
Supt. You have a boy? A son?
Mr. Snow (Owens): Yes. You sent to a certain office in the city and he had quite a lot of questioning and was kept there for hours.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: What office?
Mr. Snow (Owens): Somewhere around the monument district.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: Who questioned him? For what purpose?
Mr. Snow (Owens): He was sent up there by the Labour Exchange.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: And they questioned him?
Mr. Snow (Owens): They wanted to know all about me, my business and so on.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: That's strange.
Mr. Snow (Owens): The strange part was that the names given to him were the same names as were given to me by a certain gentleman near Victoria Station. I came here on account of that. I did not thought it was too dangerous.
KV 2/445-1,page 54
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: You were going to make your office wherever you thought fit?
Mr. Snow (Owens): Yes.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: Where are those names of the agents in Europe?
Mr. Snow (Owens): They are to be given to me.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: When?
Mr. Snow (Owens): When I go back.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: When do you propose to go back?
Mr. Snow (Owens): I thought of going next week, but I don't know. It all depends.
Supt. What sort of passport do you travel on?
Mr. Snow (Owens): Canadian.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: But you are not a Canadian yourself?
Mr. Snow (Owens): I have lived there for some time.
Supt. Have you got on e passport only?
Mr. Snow (Owens): Yes, just one.
Inspector: referring to the transmitter set you state there are only three of these transmitting sets in existence, They operate on a wave length of forty metres. From what you said they have not been sent yet, but are already in operation...
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: In England?
Mr. Snow (Owens): I don't know.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: You don't know whether they are in this country or elsewhere?
Mr. Snow (Owens): No, I don't.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: And the code you had will be used on these sets.
Mr. Snow (Owens): On those sets.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: Well, the type of code we will talk about later on.
Inspector: Those sets will be used to send messages abroad? They will be used to send messages of vital importance leading up and during the war?
Mr. Snow (Owens): Of troop movements, aeroplane movements and ammunition movements.
KV 2/445-1, page 55
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: That brings us back to the question of the code which we will discuss in detail presently.
Inspector (Reff) You are also requested to supply information to the German secret service relating to plans, drawings, photographs and other confidential stuff, which will be sent by you after you have collected them ...
Mr. Snow (Owens): After they are send to me. I am supposed to collect them and will be sent to me.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: What sort plans are you collecting?
Mr. Snow (Owens): Position of power stations in different districts. They will supply me with information of the first towns in England to be bombed and I am to supply them with the complete plans of all power stations and steelworks in these cities.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: Your are to send these plans over to Germany?
Mr. Snow (Owens): Some will be sent through Sweden and Denmark, Holland and other countries that would be neutral; others were were to be sent to the addresses.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: They haven't gone to the addresses yet?
Mr. Snow (Owens): No.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: Did they search you at the Dutch frontier?
Mr. Snow (Owens): No. But going out they stopped me at the frontier inspected my passport and asked me quite a lot of questions.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: Going out from where?
Mr. Snow (Owens): From Holland to Germany.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: But you were coming back?
Mr. Snow (Owens): Yes, coming back I knew this - quite a lot of people had a lot of trouble with the Dutch customs. That is why I tore up those addresses.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: You can recall some of them?
Mr. Snow (Owens): There is one at Oslo; the name at Oslo - if I remember correctly - is Petersen (Decarded 18 November 1957?, likely pointing at HOW).
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: Yes, what else was there?
KV 2/445-1, page 56
Mr. Snow (Owens): But there was so much. There was so much to memorise and so much of this code - it was important for me to memorise that. I got in touch with you and tried and tried to let you have the code and let that as you should be able to now at the weekend - it may be possible to get some vital information.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: That was your intention when you left Hamburg - was to get the stuff there?
Mr. Snow (Owens): I was afraid of Holland.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: Why didn't you put it in a letter and address it to yourself?
Mr. Snow (Owens): I was very nervous.
Supt. So far you have given us nothing that we could check.
Mr. Snow (Owens): I will get them for you by going back for them, and if I can get them myself I will have them sent there.
Supt. How many addresses are there?
Mr. Snow (Owens): Six. One in Oslo, a lady in Sweden ... their names I can't recollect...
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: Was it a common Swedish name - something ending with 'sen'.
Mr. Snow (Owens): No.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: Then, one in Sweden. Where else?
Mr. Snow (Owens): Two in Holland. One in Hamburg.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: Do you remember the Hamburg one?
Mr. Snow (Owens): Maxwell: I don't remember the address.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: That was the name?
Mr. Snow (Owens): Yes.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: Well, and that was that. They were the six addresses they gave to you. Did you have to write all these address in ordinary letters, or code, or invisible ink or something...
Mr. Snow (Owens): Oh, no.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: They gave you no invisible ink?
Mr. Snow (Owens): No.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke; No instructions of that sort, at all?
KV 2/445-1, page 57
Mr. Snow (Owens): No, nothing at all.
Inspector (continuing "One of my duties is that I supposesed to see that the agents with whom I am in touch are working satisfactorily...
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: Where are these agents?
Mr. Snow (Owens): They are going to supply the names to me from London here. There is one I know. I was going to ask you to check up. He was a very dangerous man and drives a taxicab in town. His real name I don't know.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: Do you know one of his aliases?
Mr. Snow (Owens): No. There are German names. But I can tell you of the address it is in Caledonian Road, the name is Shaw (Decarded 3 February 1955) - if I remember correctly - it is a small store; they sell sweets and tobacco and papers and they receive letters there for these man.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: That tobacco and sweet shop receives letters for these people?
Mr. Snow (Owens): They told me in Hamburg that it is a very reliable place.
Supt. Have you been there? It is in the Caledonian Road?
Mr. Snow (Owens): Yes, It is near Kings Cross station - as you go out from the station. You can be there in only two minutes.
Supt. Is it on the left or right side of the road?
Mr. Snow (Owens): On the right side of the road. Three or four shops up.
Supt. Then it is almost on Pentonville Road.
Mr. Snow (Owens): Very close to the main road.
Supt. And that is a sort of letter-box for these people?
Mr. Snow (Owens): That is what they told me and that in time shall have letters sent there. They would address them to me and James Garrick.
Supt. James Garrick?
Mr. Snow (Owens): Yes.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: But so far you haven't had any letters yet?
Mr. Snow (Owens): No. I never asked them to address them there, but they told me that this man was going for them there.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: The taxi driver?
KV 2/445-1, page 58
Mr. Snow (Owens): Yes.
Supt. This taxi driver: is he an Englishman?
Mr. Snow (Owens): Yes.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: Have you seen him?
Mr. Snow (Owens): Yes, in Hamburg, but only a glance. The same man that met me met him, I knew he was there at the time. He smuggled me across the frontier.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: He went to the frontier and they got him across?
Mr. Snow (Owens): Yes, but not in the train.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: Have you ever been smuggled across?
Mr. Snow (Owens): No, not yet, but they said that if I was to get on any German frontier they would smuggle me across.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: What name did you know this fellow by?
Mr. Snow (Owens): It is very difficult for me to remember this German name. He is supposed to do as a sideline, to enable him to travel around, a special preparation made in Germany for washing hands without soap. A grease sort of soap.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: This sideline is to enable him to go around the country?
Mr. Snow (Owens): Yes, I understand that he has been subject to questioning once by the British authorities.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: This taxi driver?
Mr. Snow (Owens): Yes.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: Does this taxi driver collect information?
Mr. Snow (Owens): Absolutely.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: You don't know how he takes it across?
Mr. Snow (Owens): No. I was to get information sent to me, and any information that I had, if it was absolutely necessary - something regarding troop movements - the transmitter must be used with the code. Any plans, photographs would be forwarded to those addresses which they gave me, by mail.
Inspector Can you work the machine - the transmitter?
KV 2/446-2, page 1
Mr. Snow (Owens): not very well: I said I could.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: Where is it to be installed?
Mr. Snow (Owens): It was brought up by a technician in charge of that department giving me all information. It is a transmitter that cannot be checked up as regards the click of the key. It has a range of 12,000 mile (AOB, certainly not true) and it is as big as that ... (Demonstrating with hands.)
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: It is quite a small thing?
Mr. Snow (Owens): Yes. It is manufactured out of French and English parts, and can be buried in the ground.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: And apart from the taxi man, you said there is another one. do you know who that is?
Mr. Snow (Owens): No, I know he is here - but I shall get that information.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: he is travelling the same way as the taxi man?
Mr. Snow (Owens): No, he is travelling privately - staying at hotels and so forth.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: The other fellow - you don't know?
Mr. Snow (Owens): No.
Inspector There is another man coming next week to London.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: That will make three - with the taxi driver and the one you know of. The taxi driver is British, but you are not certain as to their nationality?
Mr. Snow (Owens): No.
Insp. referring He said he had access to representatives of the German secret Service at Hamburg who had shown him plans of the German Air Force (Luftwaffe) for a massed attack on British aerodromes.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: Did you see them secretly or openly?
Mr. Snow (Owens): I saw them openly. It is a kind of list together with a map, and all those aerodromes are marked with two crosses. Others with one... I was told: "You need not to be too particular about them. We want immediate information at once of these aerodromes. You go on train to these aerodromes and get the men and machines concentrated there and send them when we tell you. "The ones to be attacked first are marked with three crosses.
KV 2/445-2, page 2
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: The list was marked on the map itself?
Mr. Snow (Owens): They ha a list here and a map there regarding all these aerodromes.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: Where were these aerodromes, do you remember?
Mr. Snow (Owens): There were a large number, including Mildenhall, Chichester - they were very particular about Chichester - and there were two aerodromes .. Thornaby and Felixtowe.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: What about our friend - Manston.
Mr. Snow (Owens): Oh, yes. Manston.
Supt. Was it supposed that you were to take this set with you or were you to come back to London to transmit?
Mr. Snow (Owens): They said it was portable and that I had to travel by train as much a s you could. I could hire a car. All I had to do was to run out two wires out of the car. And all the aerodromes I had - if there were machines, munitions or guns - they wanted to know at once, and by the operation of the code you can understand how they manipulate all this.
Supt. Do you speak German?
Mr. Snow (Owens): Very little.
Supt. These conversations were to be carried on English?
Mr. Snow (Owens): All in English.
Inspect. Ref Details of movements of infantry and ambulance supplies - and that you went to Hamburg last Sunday and for the next three days were meeting people who had been sent there for you benefit...
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: Which route did you take?
Mr. Snow (Owens): Harwich and Flushing (Vlissingen).
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: Where did you stay?
Mr. Snow (Owens): I was staying in different hotels. The last was Graf Moltke.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: That is where you stayed last time? They picked a room for you at a different hotel or is that where you stayed yourself?
AOB: A dilemma is, does it make really sense to follow Arthur Owens' (Snow's) interrogation integrally?
In my perception it does, because we get an impression of the state of affairs about 1938.
As a compromise - I would like to publish Chapter 2 on the web - now 14 June 2021
KV 2/445-2, page 3
Mr. Snow (Owens): Oh, no. They met me at the frontier in Hamburg - myself and another man.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: Who was this man with you? Did you know what his name was?
Mr. Snow (Owens): There are about three or four different men who stayed there.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: When you go in - do you have your passport marked?
Mr. Snow (Owens): I have no difficulty. They don't stamp my passport; they don't put any business reason on at all.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: How do you manage to get out of that?
Mr. Snow (Owens): Well, I let them know when I am coming and they inform the frontier station.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: And they just let you through.
Insp.ref. Owens' statement "Requested to fly to cologne to visit the headquarters of the German Secret Service for all the sort wave transmitters from different parts of the world to be tried; the methods they have of receiving on those double waves (AOB, I suppose meant is B-K "Brake-in" which implied that receiving and transmitting at two different frequencies simultaneously; which was quite popular among their HAM or DE related amateur operators; the backbone of the Abwehr W/T; at least when possible, and they "made it work". What counted was not strictly according the rules - but smooth and sound communications) that come in ... and "I thought a little technical knowledge would help very much".
Have you had a little knowledge as to the way they work and so on?
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: Did you fly to Cologne?
Mr. Snow (Owens): No, I did not go there, but they said that any time I wish to go I was to let them know a day ahead and it would be all right.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: Have you seen a receiving set there?
Mr. Snow (Owens): No. He explained to me how it worked, though. It is in a big office.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: You won't be able to receive messages?
Mr. Snow (Owens): No, not on that; that is merely for transmitting.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: Where do you get the juice (electrical power) from?
Mr. Snow (Owens): From small batteries.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: And it is all amplified up.
Mr. Snow (Owens): Yes, the machine is only about that big. You set whatever wave length you want to transmit to , the 40 metre for example it only take about half a minute - and then you send to them.
KV 2/445-2, page 4
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: And you do that by morse?
Mr. Snow (Owens): Yes, There is a special key for it about that big and you cannot pick up the click. (When morse-keys are switching higher currents and/ or voltages, without sound spark-damping you deal with a RF = HF signals; which likely be picked up (interfering) with broadcast receivers, which might give away the existence the secret W/T station)
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: Do you know morse?
Mr. Snow (Owens): Well - in the Scouts - I knew it a bit. I can learn. I know a few letters; I practice at all hours to work up my speed. They said you have to work up more speed than I had - about 60. (in average a word, statistically, consists of 5 letters or characters; thus 60 : 5 means: 12 words a minute)
Inspector You mention the B.U.F. (British Union of Fascists; Oswald Mosley's endeavour in the 1930s)
Mr. Snow (Owens): I was rather interested in joining the B.U.F., which I did.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: Did you join the B.U.F. at the request of Hamburg?
Mr. Snow (Owens): Yes.
Co. Hinchley-Cooke: Well, did they tell you why?
Mr. Snow (Owens): They were always interested to know things in England as regards the fascist organisation, and it was possible to get a lot of information regarding the communists, because they have men in communist organisations.
Inspector You mention that in connection with, or regarding, batteries, you have been a frequent visitor at the battery department at New Scotland Yard?
Mr. Snow (Owens): Well, I have for years.
Inspector And you made some suggestion that you were viewed with suspicion?
Mr. Snow (Owens): Yes, This gentleman - a Mr. Farrell - an electrical engineer in the electrical department, said to me: "I would not go down to the battery department if I were you. You had better keep up in the office and tell them what you want, because there is quite a lot of suspicion here about you and somebody else".
Superintendent What did you gather from that?
Mr. Snow (Owens): I didn't gather anything in particular.
Supt. You must have been surprised to think that the Police regarded you with suspicion. What did you make of this? This was some time ago?
Mr. Snow (Owens): Two or three months ago because I have a report from him; I know exactly the day I was there.
KV 2/445-2, page 5
Inspector Why should Farrell tell you that?
Mr. Snow (Owens): No idea. I had been going there for two or three years now.
Supt. Did you think they regarded you as a thief; that you might pinch a battery or that sort of thing?
Mr. Snow (Owens): There is that about it.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: You say that you have invented a battery yourself?
Mr. Snow (Owens): An accumulator. That is first how I got in touch with the people at Victoria Street, because I did a lot of technical work in this connection.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: Did you do any business with the Germans?
Mr. Snow (Owens): Well, one of the men there - I don't think he has anything to do with the Secret Service - he has been quite interested and was confident that if it did everything it was claimed to do he would be able to show it to German manufacturers and they would be able to do something about it. He talked about some technical details, and I took some separators to keep in touch with him.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: But all your recent visits have been entirely connected with the secret Service?
Mr. Snow (Owens): I would have gone over especially for that.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: The battery question has not arisen for the last few months?
Mr. Snow (Owens): I have gone into it, naturally.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: Have you done any tests lately?
Mr. Snow (Owens): Yes about a month ago. There's no test been given especially.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: Who is this fellow who deals with the battery side?
Mr. Snow (Owens): Dr. Wentzel.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: Did you see much of him this last visit?
Mr. Snow (Owens): No, I didn't seen anything of him.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: That is, I take it, his real name?
Mr. Snow (Owens): Yes, that's his proper name. but one of these merchants has got ten names.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: Did you ever use Wentzel's address for secret Service connections?
Mr. Snow (Owens): No, I did not, but the strange thing is that last time they arranged that I should ride in with him There is one thing xxx lacking
KV 2/445-2, page 6
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: What is the building?
Mr. Snow (Owens): It is a very large building where they have offices and small stores.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: What is it called?
Mr. Snow (Owens): Only a number in the street, that is all.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: What street is it in, do you know?
Mr. Snow (Owens): Jungfernstieg. It is W. Wentzel's, 48, Jungfernstieg, Hamburg 30. Whether there is any connection, I don't know.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: But when you visited dr. Wentzel at his address - No. 48 - you saw a number of the German Secret Service there? (Ast X) (Ast-Wehrkreis X = Roman 10); this was the official designation, whether visible at that particular building I doubt a bit)
Mr. Snow (Owens): Yes, I saw three. One was a man from Cologne - the other two names are so difficult for me to remember.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: The two other men were from Hamburg?
Mr. Snow (Owens): Yes.
Inspector You say you are connected with a firm of company promoters: Hamilton & Bonzack, Copthall Avenue.
Mr. Snow (Owens): I got a salary for developing the separators.
Supt. How did you receive your payments?
Mr. Snow (Owens): Over here.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: What happens - do they give it to you in English currency?
Mr. Snow (Owens): Yes, in English notes and sometimes, some South African notes - but mostly in English notes.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: What happens when they see you at the frontier? Do they you a pass?
Mr. Snow (Owens): Yes, it is all arranged. On the pass there is a special number. When I get to the frontier they are expecting me. They give me a pass over there; a currency pass.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: It is on the currency pass, not on the passport? And that currency pass you have to surrender.
Mr. Snow (Owens): Yes, but sometimes they don't ask me for it.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: You still have it?
KV 2/445-2, page 7 (AOB, I suppose that the next section constitutes the continuation of the just foregoing interogation)
at Scotland House, EWestminster, S.W.1
in the presence of Superintendent Special Branch and Inspector
KV 2/445-2, page 8
Mr. Snow (Owens): No, I burnt it when I got in Holland. It is easy for me to get an other one. Especially if they know that I am going.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: Have they given you a special pass which enables you to go in now?
Mr. Snow (Owens): No, I am to notify them wherever I am going to, or if I am on the border. I have to phone over and tell them that I want to speak to headquarters in Hamburg and give my name. Then everything will be arranged.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: What number?
Mr. Snow (Owens): I just phone the headquarters.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: That is all?
Mr. Snow (Owens): Yes, I merely give my name.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: Do you give your proper name?
Mr. Snow (Owens): Yes.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: And then you get the all clear?
Mr. Snow (Owens): Yes.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: Let us go back to this code. How does this code work?
Superintendent What else did you mention? Have you any documents at home which will confirm your story?
Mr. Snow (Owens): I will get them for you next time I go across.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: You will tell the Germans that you were in such a funk (odour) and that you tore them up and that you wanted them again?
Mr. Snow (Owens): There is a special way of bringing small documents out, but my stomach was not in good condition so I tore (ripped) them up.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: The old capsules?
Mr. Snow (Owens): No, it is quite flat and can be put inside the mouth. You can talk or do anything and in case of trouble you just swallow it.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: It was written all on tissue-paper?
Mr. Snow (Owens): All the main instructions names and the beginning of the code - that is, how to get in touch with these cities and times of transmitting. In the first place when you transmit, there are certain times, so that they will know who is transmitting, where from, repeating the message and so forth.
KV 2/445-2, page 8
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: And all that was written?
Mr. Snow (Owens): Yes, very small.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: Rice paper?
Mr. Snow (Owens): No, it was hard. You could write with a pencil if you wished, but ink was perfectly all right. It was a little thicker than cigarette paper, because it was hard when it was folded up, anyhow.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: Have you got those addresses?
Mr. Snow (Owens): No, I shall have to go and get them again.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: You have not got them here, where you are living now?
Mr. Snow (Owens): No, all those addresses are new ones - and they keep them changing them all the time.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: To what address would you be writing now?
Mr. Snow (Owens): To Wentzel.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: And Wentzel would get in touch with their people?
Mr. Snow (Owens): I would be met at the station. (the border station or at Hamburg)
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: That means that Wentzel is hand in glove with the others?
Mr. Snow (Owens): I think so.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: It is actually the same office: Actually he is with them in the same one?
Mr. Snow (Owens): As far as I know, yes.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: Do you ever get any letters from them? (AOB, there exist quite many examples of letters which Owens received)
Mr. Snow (Owens): There was a letter came for me over the weekend. It is in his handwriting but it is from London.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: But it originated from Hamburg?
Mr. Snow (Owens): No, it is from London.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: What about?
Mr. Snow (Owens): Just showing that Wentzel had not received my other letter on the arrangement stated as regards my going over to see him.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: Where was that sent - to your home address? (AOB, the letter likely had been dropped by hand, because otherwise the G.P.O. watch would have caught it)
Mr. Snow (Owens): Yes.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: Have you got it still?
KV 2/445-2, page 10
Mr. Snow (Owens): Yes.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: When you got home you found it and now you can let us have that?
Mr. Snow (Owens): Yes. You understand that I am trying to work in with your people and that my life is not worth two hoots if there is any slip made?
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: What do you think is going to happen?
Mr. Snow (Owens): I think there is going to be a move on tomorrow. Fairly sure there is. I think there is going to be a move on the 25th; at least they said I must have the transmitter working by next week.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: They said they were going to make a move tomorrow?
Mr. Snow (Owens): After we had everything arranged, with the transmitter operating with the code. How to send messages; how to operate it, and all that ... We sat down and had a talk and I said: "I hope I don't have to use this for everyone's sake". And they said to me: "You might have to use it by Sunday". He said - another man - "You must have the transmitter working by the end of the week".
Supt. So you gathered that there would be nothing done here until you get this set.
Mr. Snow (Owens): That is what I think. But a move will be made on Sunday.
continuing with Owens' statement:
... That is why I was in such a hurry last night. Now I will give you some of this code working.
- - - -
then explained the code to Col. Hinchley-Cooke.
- - - -
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: Did they give you a grid like this?
Mr. Snow (Owens): Yes.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: Rather like a crossword puzzle.
Mr. Snow (Owens): Yes.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: Did they give you more than one grid?
Mr. Snow (Owens): I was to use that one.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: Now that yours has gone west, you have to go and collect another one?
KV 2/445-2, page 11
Mr. Snow (Owens): Yes.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: I take it over there one has a different grid?
Mr. Snow (Owens): Well, they had four different grids.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: They all had the same blocks?
Mr. Snow (Owens): Exactly the same.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: What did they tell you about transmitting this. Did they tell you to get the set fixed in one place or operate it anywhere?
Mr. Snow (Owens): Yes. But for emergency purpose, if there was any need, hire a car and drive there and transmit it immediately.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: And would you transmit from one place or from a different place?
Mr. Snow (Owens): They said there was no need to do that because it would be difficult to pick that machine up.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: Can you receive on these sets?
Mr. Snow (Owens): Well, it was put to me that when I can get a short wave set I could get in touch with them. They are relying on these a 100%.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: And did you say there were three sets in this country at the moment?
Mr. Snow (Owens): No, this will be the first one in the country. It is very small and very powerful. It has a 12,000 miles transmitting radius and and it takes practically no current. It's enough to have one valve ... A Mullard (= Philips) valve ... a small battery .. and the thing is so small that you can take it up and hold it in your hand and work it. (AOB: as long as you use a proper ground (counter-poise) and antenna)
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: You mentioned something about America in the beginning?
Mr. Snow (Owens): Well, they wanted me to go to America because I know America and it would be possible for me to get information on planes in America and where they being shipped and so on.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: That is what they wanted?
Mr. Snow (Owens): That and shipments of munition and everything.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: From the United States?
Mr. Snow (Owens): And Canada.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: Did they tell you where to collect the money? You wouldn't do that for the love of it.
KV 2/445-2, page 12
Mr. Snow (Owens): In the case of war all payments would be sent to me in London and any time when I wished to go to Germany I had to go to a neutral country (which Owens did, as he went to Belgium in early spring 1940; before the Germans invaded west of Europe) and let them know. Then they would have a man in that country waiting for me take me across the frontiers into Germany. That's during wartime. providing I let them know.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: And you would receive your money there?
Mr. Snow (Owens): Yes.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: So far you have always received it over there?
Mr. Snow (Owens): Yes, always, except for one time when I had a postal order. I I go across the frontiers I can get a list of aerodromes involved and sections of towns and so on.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: I think it would be very useful.
Mr. Snow (Owens): You understand that I am a hundred-per-cent- with you and if I make a slip over there I'm not coming back. I am pro-German completely - I have to be. The last time I got in touch with you the fascists knew it. They know about xxx (name deleted) too, they had that information from the Communist Party. They asked me about it and I asked then why. Then they said it was an office in London you used and they would like to get photographs of the men going there.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: Tell me, have they ever supplied you with a camera for this job?
Mr. Snow (Owens): No. they said I could get a camera, I did not want one.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: I thought that if they were going to supply you with this radio, they would supply you with a camera.
Mr. Snow (Owens): They were not particularly keen about it. They wanted me to be on the other end: "So that when the stuff comes in, all upu need to do is to collect it and get it through to us without a hitch (hold-up)".
Supt. Why have they all this confidence in you?
Mr. Snow (Owens): I don't know. They just have, that's all. They have 100% confidence in me. I have not made nay slips at all. I have been followed everywhere, my house has been broken into. I come here (referring to New Scotland yard) quite often and what I could hear I was to report to them when I could. I have a battery business here; I shall report that I have been here today. They will have a man watching me and they will know that I have been here.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: Did you, in Hamburg, see any cameras that were being issued to agents?
KV 2/445-2, page 13
Mr. Snow (Owens): I saw a very small camera. It stood about that high and about square ..
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: A nickel plated camera? (Minox?)
Mr. Snow (Owens): Yes.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: They told you you could have one?
Mr. Snow (Owens): Yes.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: Are you a photographer?
Mr. Snow (Owens): Yes.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke; I wondered whether it was a question of photographing the people here coming out of (name of office deleted)
Mr. Snow (Owens): They said something about a camera .. I would not have to look at the people; I would look the other way and the camera would photograph. They said they were not particularly about that.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: So you have never actually photographed anything and sent it to them?
Mr. Snow (Owens): Oh, yes. (this is true) I photographed some fields; I don't know anything about them, but they may be right wrong. One time I had strict instructions to find out and photograph reserve airfields - they have a list of reserve airfields they wanted me to photograph; I drove out into the country and there was a field - an aeroplane had crashed there - and I photographed it. And they have that as a reserve airfield on the map itself.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: They gave you the approximate position?
Mr. Snow (Owens): An approximate position, yes.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: Where was that ?
Mr. Snow (Owens): It is not far from from Redhill They are not particular about me photographing though, they don't want me to take unnecessary chances. They said they have another man to do that. They are checking up quite openly and finding out everything about it from the beginning to the end. They said: "We have one-hundred per cent confidence in you". That is why they are giving me this transmitter.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: The person who interviewed your boy may be one of them.
Mr. Snow (Owens): It is quite possible, the name was exactly the same.
KV 2/445-2, page 14
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: What name?
Mr. Snow (Owens): Jackson. The boy described him exactly the same. I have my own business and the boy told him what he knew about that business.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: Well, I shall be interested to see that letter which came for you over the weekend. Do you think if safe for you to bring it up to tomorrow or leave it here tomorrow?
Mr. Snow (Owens): I don't think I want to come out tomorrow. It may be dangerous. If you will meet me anywhere .. in a pub // or if anyone else met I could give him the letter.
One thing I want to ask you - this man in the taxi. When are you checking up on this man don't any move for a long time/ I wouldn't like him to suspect (me?).
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: Have you seen him in London?
Mr. Snow (Owens): I saw him in Hamburg.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: But not in London.
Mr. Snow (Owens): No, I have kept my eyes open but have never seen him. Anyhow, don't go near Shaw's place for the moment.
- - -
Mr. Snow (Owens): When I have to return to Germany I must give them at two or three days notice.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: How are you going to do that?
Mr. Snow (Owens): I shall write to Wentzel as I have always done.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: Just carry on in the way you intended to.
Mr. Snow (Owens): It might be possible to get information regarding this transmitter.
Col. Hinchley-Cooke: Well, you might be able to collect your transmitter?
Mr. Snow (Owens): Well, that is a bit dangerous. There is a terrific lot of stuff coming in.
Supt. Couldn't you possible identify the person delivering the parcel to those flats?
Mr. Snow (Owens): If you let me carry on, I shall bring this vital information regarding the towns to be bombed. I am just wondering whether I had better leave at the beginning of the week.
KV 2/445-2, page 15 (minute 214a)
Snow (Owens): 24th day of September 1938
Morden received at 11-50 a.m. (that very evening)
I have phoned you before and wish to get in touch with col. Hinchley-Cooke.
Caller informed that this was not a matter that could be discussed on the telephone and was requested to call at Special Branch, New Scotland Yard. He stated he would endeavour to reach here by 12-45 p.m.
KV 2/445-2, page 16 (minute 213a)
23.9.38 (the day before the foregoing interrogation did take place)
At 10.45 p.m. S.B. rang up saying that they had a person holding on another line who wished to speak to Colonel Hinchley-Cooke urgently. I informed caller (Arthur Owens) I informed caller that Col. cooke was not in the office nor were any other officers in the building. I then gave caller Col. Cooke's telephone number and he replied that he would ring him.
(Sgd.) J. London.
KV 2/445-2, page 32
London 17 sep 38 Charing Cross
Imperial or Foreign Telegram or Radiogram
Arrive 5.44 Sunday morning via Flushing (Vlissingen NL)
KV 2/445-2, page 33 (minute 206a)
Observation maintained onward from 2 p.m. on 15th September upon address Grosvenor Court address by Messrs xxx (deleted) (Mrs. Owens and ...) but he was not seen to leave the house again up to 9. p.m.
On the 16th September Snow (Owens) left home at 9-55 a.m. he was followed by Messrs. (his wife) and by train to Bank station, and from there to 62, London Wall. E.C. (Mr. Owens?) was carrying a smwll flat packet in light brown paper cover, and tied with string, size about 8" x 6 x 1. He entered 62 London Wall at 10-55 a.m. and proceed by lift to the forth floor. (There are at least 18 separate firms on the fourth floor). Observation maintained outside the building. At 2-15 p.m. Mr. xxx (name deleted) joined Messrs xxx deleted and name deleted made a toud of the building and it was then discovered that there are three entrances in the block of offices viz 62, London Wall, 20, Copthall Avenue, and Throgmorton Avenue. As Owens (Snow) had not been seen to leave the building since he entered at 10-55 a.m. it was presumed that he had left by an entrance other than that by → (page 34)
KV 2/445-2, page 34
which he had entered. Snow (Owens) entered the same building from the 20, Copthall Avenue entrance on the 7th September) .. Observation at Grosvenor Court address being continued.
Personal Department I.B.
16th September'38 (4.p.m.) (At night time)
KV 2/445-3, page 18
6.7.38 (AOB, lately we deal with aspects on behalf of M.I.5 but it all had started for several years before but then initiated by S.I.S. (later knows as M.I.6)
Dear Major Vivian (S.I.S.)
A man name Snow (Owens) has recently been endeavouring to form a kind of contact with the British Union of Fascists (B.U.F.). He says he was born in Wales and lived in Canada for 19 years. he came to England in 1934 to do technical work for the Government, after the completion of which he was asked to join the Intelligence service and was engaged on espionage abroad, especially in Germany.
Snow (Owens) spoke very freely about "Thames House", Index Ltd". "Kell products, Ltd. "the St. James's Park people"(M.I.5 which was housed at number 55), St. Ermin's hotel, and Colonel (Hinchley-Cooke?). He said that his work had revealed to him serious corruption in the British Intelligence Service; how it was run by Jews, etc.; and expressed his willingness to expose this "terrible racket". He claimed to be well posted with regard to current international affairs and said that Jewry was preparing an attack on Germany, and that England would find an excuse, probably via Russia, to declare war on Germany.
He professed to be very perturbed (worried) about the possibility of a declaration of war on Germany in the near future and said that everything must be done to prevent this "crime". The suggestion made by him was that propaganda was the best method to use to avert war, and this could be done most effectively through secret broadcasting stations. He added that he was endeavouring to find six reliable men who could be trusted to do what they were told. If six such men could be found in the B.U.F. (British Union of Fascists) he would be prepared to meet each of them once, for the purpose of examining them, but he would not see any of them a second time. It was also essential that the six men should not know one another.
If fund are necessary to carry out this scheme, Snow (Owens) said that he could get sufficiently money when he returned to Germany. As it may be necessary to employ more drastic measures than propaganda, if the B.U.F. had a reliable following who would "stick at nothing" to show the Government how much they were in favour of Germany and detested the Jews, he could arrange for a cargo of arms for use in an attempt to seize power.
"Snow" (Owens) to be in the possession of information that this country was already preparing for war against Germany by sending aeroplanes secretly to Holland, Belgium, Latvia, etc. and that the espionage organisation has been considerably increased this summer by the enrolment of students who are being sent to Germany as spies. He wants to defeat this so-called international plot: to save the British people from being dragged into war, the public must be told what is going on, he said.
Later, he declared he was anxious to get details of gas production, output of aeroplanes, R.A.F. stations Naval depots number of anti-aircraft guns, and details of a new 4.5 gun. He appeared to be particularly anxious to obtain information about aerodromes in Kent and Essex and mentioned Biggin Hill and Manningtree.
"Snow" (Owens) claimed to be in direct personal agent of Hitler, and added that he expect to return to Germany on 26th July to attend a conference there.
This man is regarded with considerable suspicion by the few leading officials of the B.U.F. who are cognisant of "Snow's" (Owens's) approach and suggestions. Some describe him as an agent-provocateur and others as a knave or fool.
I am passing this information on to you because I already know of "Snow's" (Owens's) with your Department (S.I.S. part of M.I.6), and though you ought to be made aware of what is doing and saying.
(Singed) A. Canning.
KV 2/445-3, page 22 (minute 161a)
Please consider and digest what directive were worth it: also (D10) (D10return)
Mr. Snow (Owens) was interviewed at 12.5 p.m. on 7th April 1938, in the A.D.N.I. Room by Lt.Colonel Hinchley-Cooke in the presence of Lt.Cololenl A.M. Craig (A.D.N.I.) and Commander Allen. An undeveloped film, which he had previously left with Mr. Fletcher (D.E.E.) and which he alleged contained photos of German warships taken at Hamburg was returned to him. He signed a receipt for this.
He was reminded by Lt.Colonel Hinchley-Cooke that in September 1937 he had been warned that British Intelligence Services did not wish to have any dealings with him. (AOB: towards the end of September '38 Colonel Hinchley-Cooke had taken-up a contrary position) This statement was reiterated and he said he understood. he was then conducted out of the Admiraly by Mr. Bradford (Assistant to A.D.N.I.) and told not to return. (Colonel Hinchley-Cooke was actually part of M.I.5)
Roland? L. Allen Commander Royal Navy
Mr. A.M. Craig Lt.Colonel Royal Marines
KV 2/445-3, page 38 (minute 150a)
Cochrane & Cripwell.
Registered 4th November 1937
Central & District properties Ltd. versus yourself
We have to give you notice that His honour the Judge has adjourned (suspended) the hearing of the Judgement Summons to the 15th inst., at 10.15 a.m. at the Wandsworth country Court when you must attend, conduct money having been paid to you.
Mr. Snow (Owens)
KV 2/445-3, page 57
Dr. Rantzau (real name Major Ritter, Leiter I L; Ast -X (Hamburg)
c/o George Campbell,
Edgar Ross Str. 5
KV 2/445-3, page 58 (minute 136a)
October 7. 37
Dear Dr. Rantzau,
Many thanks for your letter received today. I trust you have received the sample (accumulator separator) by now and I am waiting to hear you have received it O.K. as I have the others now ready.
The technical books you requise I am expecting to receive any time now, and the ground work now I have completed, thank goodness I will be able to complete a study supply of samples now. My wife and youngster are completely fed up here in England and I am thinking of sending the girl to school in Germany and the wife to live over there most of the time, I am sure they will be quite happy there, let me know what you think. I am completely now completely, satisfied with my research work and have laid the foundation so well that the experimental work will go on without any interruption?, so far the tests are showing up very well indeed. I now have all the history → (page 59)
KV 2/445-3, page 59
of our lady friend who I didn't meet in Brussels so will tell you when I see you next, its' very interesting for you.
I have met some move friends of Philips' and I am hoping you can arrange a nice reception for them, I am anxiously waiting to hear if you met Philips Eithel, nothing will please me more.
So hoping to hear from you soon.
P.S. No. 1 Sample was one of the batch completed the day I sent it so it is quite fresh from the rest, so to speak.
KV 2/445-3, page 63
I have your letter of the 21st and am glad to notice that you sent sample 1 by
mail. So far I have not received it but it is very possible that as an ordinary
parcel it would take about a week before it reaches its destination. The
cost is O.K. and as soon as I have received the sample I shall send you an
additional £10/-/- and continue sending you other instal
as the sample arrives.
I hope that now the thing has taken its final start and that we will have no further delays.
R (Dr. Rantzau?)
KV 2/446-1, page 1
Papers from the "Snow" Case.
(AOB, hence, the entire file series being weeded before publishing or, maybe even earlier)
We will jump in time first to 23.12 1939, hence during wartime days
KV 2/446-1, page 3 (minute 493a)
When I saw Snow (Owens) on the 22nd December, he told me that the Germans were very anxious to find out what guns the Navy are substituting for Skoda anti-Aircraft guns at present fitted on certain types of British warships. (AOB: Germany occupied the entire Chez territories and therefore also ruling the Skoda Industry at Pilsen (Böhmen))
Apparently they have some information to the effect that alterations are being made at Newcastle. (Are they so dull? You do not need to be especially smart - that when one's arms are relying upon a Skoda product, which is now in German hands, that the the customers are lacking since supplies of spare parts and that like)
Snow (Owens) also brought with him a micro-photographed questionnaire, a copy of which is attached.
(AOB, not yet dealt with: - but Snow (Owens) met Dr. Rantzau (Major Ritter) still in neutral Belgium - in particular in Antwerp (Brussels). Before the Germans invaded Western Europe on 10th May 1940)
KV 2/446-1, page 5 (minute 492a)
I saw Snow (Owens) on 20th December. he had arrived back from Antwerp on 19th. The following points in his history are worthy of mention:- (AOB, and learning that misleading the enemy demands more than supplying faulty information; actually it is a real art of handling!) (preparing what became known as "Chicken feed" implies always tension between the British Services and the gains at stake. Some might have underestimated the addressees and the Abwehr spying agency involved. The consumers were the Luftwaffe and the Navy (Kriegsmarine). The handling organisation was the O.K.W. the German military High-Command. They were truly professionals and easily possessed wider ranges of information for comparison. We will learn - that it took some time before the British grasped the principles)
He was told by Rantzau that he had been called to Berlin to explain why the weather reports had been so bad. (Rantzau) (Major Ritter) made excuses apparently and said that this agent could not possibly be expected to furnish accurate weather reports at night especially in the black-out. They pointed out in Berlin that these reports did not tally with those received from Ireland and Holland. he has now got instructions to take the weather between 12 noon and 2 p.m. and broadcast it as usual in the evening.
His call sign had been changed to OIK and the German station has been changed to CTA, i.e., Snow (Owens) has to make CTA and the German station has to make OIK. His transmissions have not been coming through at all well, at any rate, they cannot compare with the transmissions from Ireland. Transmissions are to start again at 7.15 p.m. from Tuesday next, 26th December.
The weather code has now to be in 5 letter groups. The first group and the last group are to start with X, but the intervening groups are to be as usual only they have to be made up to 5 letters by adding two other letters as padding. For example XVO, which was the original group giving the visibility will now be XVOPQ. The second group giving the height of the clouds will start H with 4 other letters to follow. The velocity of the wind will be given separately as before but a new code word is to be used to indicate the speed. This is:
H R I S T
A R O L
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0
The direction of the wind is now to be given as:-
A = North, B = South, C = East, D = West.
As arranged Snow (Owens) mentioned that his money had not been paid to him for some considerable time and it was explained to him that they had had trouble with their agent over here and they were making new arrangements. He was given £215 as an advance. This money was collected from Holland in Snow thought, £1 notes and changed into £5 notes in a bank in Antwerp. A list of the notes is attached, together with a photostat copy of those notes which had writing on the back of them.
"Charlie" PF 48283 = KV 2/454 - Selected Historical Papers from the Charlie case. A Manchester businessman of German-English parentage but entirely British sympathies. Charlie was recruited by the Abwehr during a ... Date 01 September 1939 - 24 January 1946
He raised the question of Charlie as instructed and said that he had written to him telling him to get what apparatus he required. They agreed with this and said that as soon as he was ready to operate, Snow (Owens) was to let them know and they would start putting agents into touch with him.
Llanloch PF 600546 (file does no longer exist)
Llanloch who is referred to in a cable received by Snow (Owens) about a week before he left for Antwerp apparently returned to this country from Denmark on 13th December. He is, I → (page 6)
KV 2/446-1, page 6
imagine, an Englishman, although very few details were given about him but he said to be standing for Parliament in the near future. He is exceedingly influential, especially in high military circles and has, I believe, passed on a good deal of military information to the Germans already. He is a man of about 60, average build, grey hair and moustache. It has been arranged that he will write Snow (Owens), fixing meeting with him at the former's Club. He has been given a photograph of Snow. After meeting Llanloch, he may have to go over to Antwerp in order to collect the names of certain other M.P.s (Members of Parliament) in this country who are helping the Germans. He was told that the details of the Secret Session in the Parliament had been reported in Germany two days after.
He was told that other agents would be contacting him and would merely bring greetings from (Walter) Auerbach (from Hamburg-Wansbek).
Persons who interviewed Snow (Arthur Owens).
During his time in Antwerp he was interviewed by three people. One was Dr. Rantzau (real name Major Ritter Leiter I L at Ast Hamburg), another was the Commander who had interviewed G.W. (Gwilym Williams) during their last visit, another was Dr. Kiess, and another one was a woman. This woman, until just before the war, had lived at Farnborough and London. He could not remember her name possibly began with a G. This woman had considerable success whilst in this country collecting information from high officials and of the Royal Aircraft Experimental Establishment at Farnborough. She also had many contacts in the Fascist circles in this country. She expressed disappointment that she had not heard from her friends in the B.U.F. for some time and it was considered likely that, if she did not hear within the next weeks, Snow (Arthur Owens) would be given the names of a certain number of them and would be asked to contact them.
Snow (Arthur Owens) described this woman as being fairly tall, about 5' 8", medium nondescript hair. spoke very good English, well dressed, wrote shorthand, about 38 years of age. He described her as looking like a Canadian.
(Note. As after consultation with Mr. White, mr. Sneath, Mr. Knight, and others, it is almost certain that this woman is identical with Mrs. Lisa Kruger (Krüger). Mr. White provided me with a photograph of Lisa Kruger, which I showed to Snow on 22nd December. He said that the photograph was very likely the woman except that the face in the photograph was a bit too full.
Information already received from Snow (Arthur Owens) is said to be very satisfactory.
They intimated that they might possibly want Snow to go to Canada for about three weeks from the 15th January (1940). He said that they were extremely interested in the war material coming form Canada as they considered this extremely good, especially in comparison with material coming from Australia in which they are apparently not interested. As far as Canada is concerned they are anxious to obtain information about the production of shells by the Canadian National Car Company at Hamilton, Ontario. Also the new aeroplane → (page 7)
KV 2/446-1, page 7
manufacturing plants recently set up at Toronto and Montreal. They also want to know the names and particulars of the firm in Canada manufacturing Brenn guns. They are anxious for him to contact someone in Canada who will be prepared to put explosives in the ships carrying cargoes to this country (U.K.).
South Wales. (Arthur Owens was born there)
They asked many questions about GW and xx deleted and said that they were not very inspired with too nervous during his (Arthur Owens's?) visit. Snow (Arthur Owens) explained everything about both these individuals and said that if they wanted to make use of them they could, but that the best thing would be to do it direct and to cut Snow (Arthur Owens) out. He said that he was quite satisfied with their bona fides.
Incendiary materials and bombs.
Incendiary materials are to be sent by submarine to South Wales as arranged previously but not until Snow (Arthur Owens) has given the word go. Snow (Arthur Owens) has to make arrangements to have explosive loaded in ships leaving the U.K. for foreign countries. For this purpose the Germans invented a new type of explosive which they claim to be extremely effective. These bombs are to be sent over to Snow (Arthur Owens) concealed in accumulators. These accumulators will be charged but will not have any distilled water in them. In each of the cells apparently there are be a bomb. These will be operated by a small watch which can be timed to go off any time from 1 hour to 17 days. They are also making arrangements for the shipments in false accumulators of the wireless parts. As far as the type of business is concerned Snow of course is admirably situated to carry any correspondence with foreign countries with batteries and accumulators. When he is ready for an consignmentof these accumulators, he is to write quite an open letter to the Societé Consignation et Affretement, 25-27 rue Jesus, Antwerp. This firm would then dispatch accumulators to him.
They have invented a new type of incendiary bomb which is to be packed in a package of Swedish bread. (This I think looks something like Ryvita) When the package is opened a small ring will be found which when pulled releases the incendiary bomb 20 seconds afterwards. They are trying to perfect this bomb in order to arrange for it to go off 3 hours afterwards.
They also told him a special firm in Holland will be sending him over a special set of (radio) valves for his wireless set. These will probably be concealed in batteries.
Chartering a Fishing Smack.
They are anxious to take advantage of the ease with which smuggling is carried on on the East Coast and have instructed Snow (Arthur Owens) to try and get into touch with a reliable fisherman who will be prepared to lend his vessel. When these arrangements have been made, Snow (Arthur Owens) will be sent a special set? light signals for use by this vessel. It will go out at night to a pre-arranged place, release the signals and be contacted by a submarine. For each of the escapes the Captain will be well paid. It is suggested that Rantzau (= Major Ritter I L of Ast Hamburg) might possibly come to this country by this method. They may also import explosives by this means. He was told that a great deal of the stuff, explosives etc., is going into Southern Ireland, via neutral ships → (rest is missing)
KV 2/446-1, page 27 (minute 489a)
I saw Snow (Arthur Owens) last night and he showed me the telegram he had received from Antwerp. On this telegram he had had no difficulty whatever in getting his visa from the Belgium Consulate. Whether or not the Consular official who served him has been given instructions by the Germans to give him a visa is difficult to say. (AOB, in my perception: I doubt, as Belgium surely wasn't a German orientated partner) The fact remains that he had just turned two other people down who were apparently going over Belgium to visit relations.
I took him very carefully through his questionnaire and gave him one or two further answers to give them and made notes of these. I also took him through his accounts which he is supposed to take over with him, and from what I can possibly get out from him.
He is flying over today via Shoreham-Brussels on the Sabena Airways and if anything goes wrong he is going to send a wire to Lilly (xxx surname deleted) signing himself "Owens".
I have instructed him to appear upset at the small amount of pay he is receiving and to tell them that he is not prepared to go on with the job unless he is paid properly and regularly. I have also told him to ask for instructions as to how he is to work Charlie (KV 2/454, PF 48283) and whether in fact agents are to be be put in touch with him and if so, how. He is also going to make rather a big thing of why things are going so slowly.
he is also, if the conversation permits, going to mention something about the jitterburg campaign in this country, with a view to trying to find out the method they adopt and who is doing it. In connection with this, Snow (Arthur Owens) again said he was fairly certain the B.U.F. (British Union of Fascists) had a hand in it.
B.3 (M.I.5) 15.12.39 (signature made invisible)
KV 2/446-1, page 29 (minute 485a) (M21) (M21return)
Notes on visit to Manchester on 12.12.39.
I saw Charlie (PF 48232, KV 2/454) and gave him the film of the plan of the Speke Aircraft Factory; I also left with him to develop, two films of two different aerial views of the factory and aerodrome of Speke. The story he is going to tell Snow (Arthur Owens) is that he got the photograph of the plan from a friend of his, a draughtsman, man in Liverpool, who he knew was working at on the plan. (AOB, hence: Charlie was likely brought in touch by M.I.5 with Arthur Owens (Snow)) He asked his friend if he could copy it for the records of the Manchester Amateur Photographic Society and promised that it would not be disclosed until after the war. He is going to tell Snowy ((Arthur Owens) that his friend was reluctant to let him photograph the plan, but did so after being entertained. He is going to ask Snowy (Arthur Owens) for money for the expenses.
As regards the aerial photographs, he is simply going tp say that he got hold of these and is not going to explain how; but if pressed he is going to say that the source is too secret.
We agreed that if Charlie gets any money from Snowy (Arthur Owens) we will put it into a fund out of which he might perhaps by himself some photographic apparatus or something similar at the end of the war. He does not otherwise want to take cash. He says that to buy the Leica camera and suitable lens for the microphotography, at least £50 would be required.
Charlie wrote to Snowy (Arthur Owens) in the evening asking him whether he could come up as he had some specially interesting photographs from the exhibition that he would like to show him.
I also gave Charlie the shipping news from Liverpool at (55a; likely the according minute in Charlie's KV 2/454 file) (real minute: also 485a)
I arranged with Charlie that he should see Stuecklin again and try and lead him somewhat on the line of the first talking about the war news, then saying what a pity it is that Germany and England are fighting, then asking Stuecklin if he has ever been to Germany; if Stuecklin says yes and mentions any town, Charlie will say that he has a great friend in Germany called Dr. Hansen who was often in that town. He will also say that he was over in Germany in 1938 when he saw Hansen. If Stuecklin does not rise to this bait, the probability is that there in nothing in it; at any rate we cannot do any more. Chalie's firm, in the ordinary course of business, has obtained a reference about Stuecklin and his wife's business, a copy of which he will send me.
Charlie told me that Dr. J.E. Hankley of the Manchester Amateur Photographic Society, was the person who introduced Pastor Hansen of Bradford to the Socierty. He thinks that Hankley was originally a German, Heinke, and was at one time a chemist in the firm of Livingstone. He will, however, find out more about this.
Charlie gave me the attached letter to him which he had received on the 11th December, inviting him to a meeting of the Austrian centre on the 10th December. He is not a member of the Austrian Centre and has no idea why the notice was sent to him or from whom it came. I told him we would think more about this and perhaps give him instructions to go and have a look at it.
KV 2/446-1, page 30 (minute 483a)
3/0 Antwerpen 4778 38 11 21,07
ELT = C/O Hamilton 16A Joinstreet Adelph LDWC2
Referring letter ninth please wire immediately whether you can manage to come sixteen as custom interested in your battery project unable arrange later Date = Societe Consignation et Afftretement. Rue Jesus 27
No. No. 67 Censor
KV 2/446-1, page 31 (minute 483a)
I saw Snow (Arthur Owens) on Sunday night, 10th December, and he handed me the logs at (minute) 475a. He told me that he was proposing to fly over to Brussels on Friday, 17th (AOB, notice - Germany and England were at war already since 4th September 1939). I said that as we had not very much time to spare, the best thing he could do was to draw up a programme. This we did as follows:-
On 11th, I told him to go to London and get an exit permit for for Belgium. In the afternoon he was to go to Farnborough and have a look round and he was also to write a letter to Charlie (KV 2/454) sending him some money to buy photographic apparatus. I suggested this course of action as I said there was no time for him to include a visit to Manchester. (I saw him this morning. He was unable to get his visa so gave me his passport. He went to Farnborough and wrote to Charlie (in Manchester).
On 12th, he is to go to Rochester.
On 13th, he is to go to Heston and go up to London to obtain his visa which he tells me he can get in about half an hour.
The 14th he spend moving into his new flat.
In order to keep him up the mark, I said I would speak to him every evening and ask him how he had got on.
I told him that when he went over there he was to make rather a point of saying that he had not received his money as the promised: in fact he had only received £60 in two months. As he is doing a dangerous job he did not consider the pay was good enough. He was to tell them that he had changed his address.
He was to mention that the other night, when he was contacting Hamburg (by mean of his W/T set), he heard that the station was calling NUS and try and find out, if possible and as tactfully as possible, where this station was operating from.
I made arrangements to see him before he went in order to go through the questionnaire with him once more and talk it all over and arrange what he is to tell them.
B.3. (M.I.5) 12.12.39 No signature or invisibly deleted
KV 2/446-1, page 32 down page 33 (minute 476a) J12 ↓↓↓↓ J12return
Note by Lt. J.R. Stopford on Identification of Mrs. Krafft on 7.12.39 (KV 2/701..KV 2/706 PF 47899)
Following on the information contained in an intercepted letter from Wm. H. Muller & Co. Electra House, 78 Moorgate, E.C.2, to Mrs. Krafft dated 4.12.39, I took Mr. Longstaff and Miss Beedell of Selfridges to Waterloo Station on 7.12.39, being driven by Mr. M.O.W. Rennshaw.
We met the thrain from Bournemouth due at Waterloo at 12.9 p.m. on No. 11 platform. which arrived at 12.50 p.m. All the passengers came out of one gate and Mrs. Krafft was not identified. We then met the train from Bournemouth due at 1.7 p.m. on platform 13, which arrived on time. There were a large number of passengers and Mrs. Krafft was not identified, though I personally , from the description I had had of her, thought that I saw her come from the train.
As Mrs. Krafft had an appointment with Wm. Muller & Co., on 7.12.39, I took the two girls (employed at Selfridges) to Moorgate and kept observation on Muller's office from about 2.10 p.m. till 3.5 p.m. There was an elderly lady standing in the office talking to two men, and Mrs. Langstaff and Miss Beedell walked by the window and identified her as the woman to whom they had given the £5 notes in Selfridge's as per report (minutes) (43x) and (43y) dated 19.11.39 and 21.11.39. A minute or two later Mrs. Krafft walked out of the office of Muller and passed close to mrs. Longstaff and Miss Bedell, who without hesitation recognised her as the lady had served at Selfridge's. She waited on the payments. She waited on the pavement for a taxi and then drove to the Royal Mail S.S. Co. Buildings in Leadenhall Street, where I ceased observation. neither Mrs. Longstaff nor Miss Beedell had any doubt about Mrs. Krafft being identical with the woman they had described to me (before).
I should describe Mrs. Krafft as being a rather above medium height and probably taller than she looks owing to the fact that she is decidedly thickly built and has something of a flat-footed walk, given the impression of being stiff at the hips. She is full faced, with pale complexion. and has a typical German Hausfrau appearance. She gives the impression of being moderately well dressed for an elderly lady, but is certainly not smart. She has rather an active look in her eyes, and I should say that her eyes, though not beautiful, are somewhat noticeable. She was dressed in a heavy dark fur coat and wore a bunch of violets. She had rather pointed black shoes, her toes being little turned out. She wore a black felt hat with a high crown with a big floppy brim which turned down. Her hair is dark, going grey, and dressed in a bun at her back. She was not wearing glasses, and carried a medium sized black ladies handbag.
I asked Mrs. Longstaff and Miss Beedell to take particular not of the whole circumstances of the identification for future reference.
- - -
Mrs. Longstaff told me that Mrs. Krafft had mentioned to her that she had frequently obtained £5 notes in this manner at Selfridges before.
Mrs. Krafft had also said to her that she was buying the woollen pyjamas, which were blue, 34 fitting, for her niece who lived near the sea where it was cold. Mrs. Krafft described the niece as being about the same build as Mrs. Longstaff; which would be medium height, rather slim build, about 5 ft. 9" in her shoes.
Miss Beedell said that the front slip which she has sold Mrs. Krafft was made of white satin.
It looks as if Mrs. M.C.M. Krafft may quite possibly be the woman who is sending the payments to Snow (Arthur Owens)
B.13 J.R.S. (Lt. J.R. Stopford)
KV 2/446-1, page 34 (minute 467a) (AOB rather curious that all being gather with a single 467a reference, instead of a .. b.. c ... etc.
Note on Movements of Mrs. Krafft.
Approx. 15.8.39 went to Hamburg to visit Miss Dargel for 8 weeks.
" 23.8.39 arrived Parkstone 3.0 p.m.
" 24.8.39 left Parkstone 9.30 a.m.
" 25.8.39 to 4.9 30 (the day war broke-out between the U.K / France) in Hamburg.
" 5.9.39 to 17.10.39 in Copenhagen
" 17.10.39 flew from Copenhagen to Amsterdam and Amsterdam to Brighton. Stayed night in London.
" 18.10.39 took 3.30 train from Waterloo. 7.0 p.m. returned Parkston for 2 or three days.
- - -
Mrs. Krafft's bank account is with Midland Bank, 59 Old Christchurch Road, Bournemouth.
- - -
Mrs. Krafft is a customer of Selfridges and apparently of Tarrant and Co. Fashion Specialist, Commercial Road, Bournemouth. Tel No. 6750
Mrs. Krafft's telephone number is Parkstone 893
B. 13 (M.I.5) (Lt. J.R. Stopford) 2.12.39
AOB: In my perception: Mrs. Krafft had been already, before the war, kept on a kind of regular watch
AOB: I suppose this is a good point to close this chapter 3 and make it first available on the web before continuing with the next Chapter
KV 2/446-1, page 44 (minute 444a) (this reference appeared further down the file, though does make sense in the context of Mrs. Krafft and the £5 note once received from the cashier at Selfridges previously)
This should actually be considered that it should have been before KV 2/446-1 page 32
£5 notes from Selfridges.
I paid a further visit to Selfridges yesterday, the 21st November 1939. and got the following information.
Cashier No. 162 still could not remember giving out a £5 note in exchange for 5 £1 notes; but on enquiry I found that cashiers are relieved at different times of the day by other cashier who receivers it into Selfridges. I found that on the 14th November (1939) No. 162 was relieved at one time bt cashier No. 98, whom I accordingly interviewed.
No. 98 is Miss M. Allouis, 31 Montrell Road, Streatham Hill, S.W.2. She remembered being asked on 14.11.39 for a £5 note in exchange for five £1 notes, by a very tall lady dressed in black, aged sixty, grey hair, who told her that she wished to send the note away. She said that the lady in question took the £1 notes out of a large bag and fumbled (scrabbled) about a good deal of getting them out.
Miss Allouis is the cashier in the ladies hairdressing department. I looked through the list of appointments on that date but did not make any further enquiries in the department. Miss Allouis said that it is the only time she has been asked to change a £5 note for five £1 notes, and therefore remembered the incident distinctly.
Cashier No. 47 is miss J.E. Haddow, 165a Brent Street N.W.
Cashier No. 157 is Mrs A.M. Williams, 80 Kingsgate Road, West Hampstead, N.W.6.
Cashier No. 162 is Miss R.E. Flower, 194 Chiswick Village, Oxford Road W.4.
Assistant No. 2175 is Miss O.M. Beedell, 57 Oaklands Road, Cricklewood.
I saw Miss Beedell again and she told me that the tall lady had asked her for the £5 note at about 3 o'clock on 14.11.39, and that she was smartly dressed, and is almost certain she wore glasses. She described her as having a medium full face and a slow clear voice. She said that the lady probably did not use lipstick or nail varnish. Miss Beedell also said the lady wrapped the note up in a piece of white tissue paper and put it in an envelope. She bought a white satin front slip costing 5/11d, and put it in her shopping case. She wore a not very smart black hat, probably made of felt.
Assistant No. 1571 is Mrs. G.J.H. Longstaff, 86 Ledburry Road, Bayswater. I saw Mrs. Longstaff again, and she said that the lady had a rather full face and probably did not use nail varnish or lipstick as whe was not that type. The lady had told her that she was doing her Christmas shopping and was starting early - the time being between 9.30 and 10 a.m. She bought a pair of pyjamas costing 11/9d. Mrs. Longstaff said that the lady was putting her purchases into a cheap looking case, probably bought for about 5/- from a shop like Marks and Spencer. She thought that she probably came from the country on purpose shop.
KV 2/446-1, page 45
Mrs. Longstaff said that the lady was particularly agitated about getting the £5 note, but she (Mrs. Longstaff) had assured her that although this was rather an early hour, the cashier would undoubtedly do her best to let her have such a note if she had one.
I asked all the people concerned to say nothing about the matter, but if they should see the same lady again to get in touch with Miss Oxford at once.
I promised to give Miss Oxford a telephone number and name that she could ring up in event of the lady being seen.
B.13. (M.I.5) J.R.S. = (Lt. J.R. Stopford)
Continuing in the correct sequence, but incorrectly gathered in the file sequence
KV 2/446-1, page 46 (minute 439a)
Notes re Snow's (Arthur Owens's) £5 by Lt. J.R. Stopford.
On the 18th November, 1939, as three of the four £5 notes last paid to Snow (Arthur Owens) had a rubber stamp on the back marked "S. & Co. Ltd, I went to see Mr. King, the chief cashier at Selfridge's to see if I could trace their history. After discussing the matter with him and Miss Oxford, who is in charge of the cashiers there and examining the banking system, I concluded that as the three notes had not got the stamp of the Midland Bank on them and as the date of the postmark on the envelope to Snow (Arthur Owens) was similar to that on the notes, i.e. the 14th November, 1939, the notes must have been received into Selfridges's and paid out again on the same date.
There are only three ways in which the £5 notes could have been paid out, namely:-
1) against a cheque or draft,
2) in exchange for notes of a higher denomination, and
3) in exchange for notes or coin of a lower denomination.
I roughly examined the list of cheques paid on the 14th, 15th, and 16th November and asked for further information in this connection from Selfridge's bankers, the Midland Bank, but concluded that the notes in question had probably not been paid out against a cheque.
There are only four cashiers in the Head Cash Office who would have changed a note of higher denomination and one of them remember doing so.
I therefore questioned the three cashiers whose numbers were marked in the rubber stamp on the back of the notes.
One of the cashiers remembered taking in a £5 note about the date in question in part payment for a purchase; and she subsequently remembered the same assistant asking her if she already baked the £5 note as she wished to exchange it for £1 notes.
The cashier was able to find the assistant in question; and on my interrogation (formerly noticed as an interview) she told me that a tall elderly lady with grey hair probably wearing glasses, dressed in black or dark costume with black fur and carrying a dark rather large attaché case, had taken five £1 notes out of an envelope in her handbag and asked if the assistant could get her a £5 note in exchange, as → (page 47)
KV 2/4461-1, page 47 The sequence of the genuine KV 2/446-1 file is quite incorrect:
she wished to send it away. The assistant said that the lady was particularly charming and well-spoken.
The assistant obtained the v note from the cashier and gave it to her.
The assistant number is 2175 in department 21, Ladies Wear, and the cashier's number is 157.
I then found found that cashier number 47, whose number is stamped on the back of one of the £5 note, also remembered giving a £5 note to one of the assistants about that date in exchange for five £1 notes.
I traced the assistant in question and her number 1571 in the Ladies Underwear department. She told me that on the day in question, an elderly lady about 6 feet tall, about sixty years old, with grey hair, rather stoutish build very charming in manner and well-spoken, dressed in a dark costume, took seven £1 notes out of a purse, concealed either in her stocking or her underclothing , and asked if she could have a £5 note in exchange for five £1 notes, as she was anxious to send it away by post. The assistant said that the lady was carrying a small dark weekend case into which she put the the things she was buying.
The third cashier was unable to remember giving out a note, but it was her first day in that work at the store and she was going to try and recollect more accurately what happened if she can. I am to see her on the 20th November.
It seems quite clear that the lady in question who got the £5 notes is the person who makes the remittances to Snow (Arthur Owens), and this tallies with what he was told in Germany. Her technique appears to be to draw £1 notes from a bank. She is probably or somewhere else, and turned them into £5 notes at any suitable place such as a store, thinking that in this way she cannot be traced by obtaining £5 notes from the bank. She is probably a person of means and probably lives in the country, having come to London to shop. She may live in the district not far from Bournemouth and Southampton, as two previous remittances were posted at those towns.
It may be that this new technique of making payments has been communicated to other German paying agents. If any notes that are found have a stamp on them, and the date posting can be ascertained, it should not be difficult to trace the circumstances of the note being obtained in the same way as I have done at Selfridge's. It is important that it should be done quickly, so that whoever hands the note out has not forgotten the description of the person to whom it was given.
B.13 (M.I.5) J.R.S. = (Lt. J.R. Stopford)
KV 2/446-1, pages; 53 and 56
and at the back of it
The stamp had been placed at cashier of Selfridge's
KV 2/446-1, page 35 (minute 463a)
I saw Snow (Arthur Owens) last night
I asked Snow (Arthur Owens) why he had sent Lily (Bade) to Manchester with a friend. I said I considered the step most undesirable for a great many reasons and I pointed out that we were taking considerable trouble over this case in order that he should not become brulé. He said that he was perfectly certain that the friend who had gone up with Lily (Bade) was all right. He knew her very well and in any case he said he was sure that Lily (Bade) would not discuss matters with Charlie (KV 2/454) in front of her. I said that I was very dissatisfied with it and that if he intended to do anything like this in the future he was to let me know beforehand.
I also suggested that as Charlie's equipment was not good enough, he should advance Charlie the necessary amount of money to enable him to buy better apparatus. I pointed out that as he was head of the organisation in this country it was up to him to get the thing going and to ask permission, if necessary, of his masters in Germany by radio. This he said he would do as soon as he could get through. I also asked him again whether he had any instructions to pay Charlie. (AOB, apparently, without Arthur Owens (Snow) knowing it, M.I.5 was actually guiding Charlie on their behalf!). he said that he had received none, although it will be remembered that on a previous occasion he told to Charlie that he was willing to help him financially.
I asked him why he had not gone up to Manchester himself. He said that in the first place he did not like the journey and in the second place he really thought that some message might be coming through on the radio that night. Also he thought that as far as Charlie was concerned it was rather a good stunt.
I also told him that we intended to keep a watch on the flat and that his movements would be watched. (AOB, I get the strong impression, that Arthur Owens (Snow) increasingly became an M.I.5 marionette) he quite agreed with this and said that he thought it was the only satisfactory way to check up on the identity of agents who might contact him, possibly in the streets or even at this address.
KV 2/446-1, page 36 (minute 458a)
I saw Snow (Arthur Owens) and Lily (Bade) last night at 6 o'clock. Lily (Bade) said that she had been met by Charlie at Manchester station and had gone to have lunch with him. Charlie had given her the following information:
She explained that Charlie had told her that he would be unable to take photographs owing to the fact that he was a little chary (cautious) of doing this as a representative of some local paper had recently been hauled (dragged) over the coals for taking harmless photograph of a sunset.
KV 2/446-1, page 49 (minute 138a)
I saw Snow (Arthur Owens) on 15.11.39
He handed me a letter which he had received from Charlie (KV 2/454) (actually a dedicated M.I.5 agent) asking him to go to Manchester. He also showed me the four £5 notes which he had received on 14.11.39. I took one of these as a specimen (photograph at minute 436a) (AOB, see foregoing considerations about the exchange by Mrs. Krafft of these notes). The envelope in which these came is at (minute) 426a (not yet dealt with in our context).
He said that he had had quite a satisfactory visit to Manchester, but only stayed there a night as he disliked the place intensely. He gave as his reason for not going on to West Hartlepool the fact that he had Lily (Bade) with him and he did not think it would be wise, presumably from personal reasons, to take her up there.
He referred to Charlie's (KV 2/454) brother xxx name deleted and said he apparently had been sending information out of this country to Germany until quite recently, as he had had a letter from the other side warning him to be more careful. He gathered from Charlie (surname Eschborn) that he would be in a position to get him information to get him information about Liverpool and possibly about Speke Aerodrome. Whether Charlie gave him him the impression that he was going to obtain this information himself or whether he is going to employ agents is not clear. However, I rather think that Snow (Arthur Owens) is of the opinion that Charlie (surname Eschborn) is a first class man for the job. he admitted that there had been some difficulty when he mentioned the name of Dr. Reinhardt as Charlie said that he knew of no one of that name and only he knew a Dr. Hansen. Snow (Arthur Owens) assumes from this that Reinhardt is another name used by Rantzau (= Major Ritter, Leiter I L, Ast Hamburg) (I naturally did not bring this subject up.
AOB: please notice: that Charlie actually operated under guidance of M.I.5!)
I taxed him on the subject of getting information for himself and not relying on us to give it to him. I naturally made the proviso that any information to be obtained should immediately be sent to us. He has apparently started getting round a bit because he told me that he paid a visit to Croydon Aerodrome and to Kenley. He said he was glad he had been to Kenley as the place had changed considerably since he was last there. he saw no machines out on the field and was proposing at a later date to make a good story and send it over.
I also told him that I was not at all satisfied with the way in which things were developing. I pointed out that we had been at war for two months and so far he had not been contacted by anybody, he had not received the promised wireless set, and he had not received the list of agencies. (The agencies according to the (RSS?) logs of of 16.11.39 have now been received.) Snow (Arthur Owens) again reiterated (repeated) his belief that things were not at all well with the German espionage organisation, and that they had suffered a severe setback at the beginning of the war.
We then got on to the subject of his next visit to Germany. He said that he was rather nervous about taking G.W. ((Gwilym Williams)) over. There are two reasons for this: (i) he is afraid that he and G.W (Gwilym Williams). will be separated when they get to Germany and that they might, by dint of subtle questioning. be able to get information out of G.W (Gwilym Williams). which would would give the whole show away; and (ii) after their first meeting with the Germans in Antwerp, G.W. (Gwilym Williams) (KV 2/468) said confidentially to Snow (Arthur Owens) that he thought they were very fine fellows, that the Nazi party had done a tremendous lot for the German working people and that he had done a tremendous lot for the German working people and that he did not feel that he was quite playing the game. In view of the discussion which had taken place earlier that day, I rather pressed this point and suggested that it would be very much better for Snow (Arthur Owens) to go to Germany by himself, leaving GW (Gwilym Williams) behind. He said that he thought he could quite easily make an excuse for G.W. (Gwilym Williams) and that he would be prepared to go by himself.
AOB: Due to the fact that the KV 2/xxx serials imply a curiosity, as progressing the file one goes backwards in time!
It is therefore unpredictable what comes next, as the Arthur Owens related files consist of "post war selections"; sometimes rather curious reference are turning up.
The next reference is such an example.
KV 2/446-1, page 57 (minute 419a)
Note on interview with Charlie (KV 454) on 11.11.39 by Mr. J.R. Stopford
I saw Charlie and he first of all told me the story of his having been contacted by one Thomas Graham (Arthur Owens!), who was staying with his wife (?) at the Queens Hotel, Manchester.
Charlie (?) said that he received a telegram (attached) on the 7th November in consequence of which he telephoned Graham and met him and his wife at the Queens Hotel (Mr. Graham was Arthur Owens and his 'wife' actually was his girl-friend Lily Bade). Graham said: Good evening, I have news for you from a friend of yours whom I have met and also from your family". They all had dinner at the Queens during the course of which Graham said that within three weeks he would be enjoying beer in a Bier Keller in Nuremberg (Nürnberg). After Dinner, in Graham's bedroom, with his wife present, the microphotographic letter (attached) was produced and given to (Charlie?), and with a magnifying glass belonging to Graham, (Charlie?) read it.
Graham said that he was in touch with the Germans for half an hour every evening and could tell them anything.
Graham mentioned Reinhardt's name and asked Charlie when he had met him last. When Charlie? said that he did not know Reinhardt and had only met Hansen in November 1938, Graham became very confused and appeared to have made a mistake; but passed it off by saying that "he" used several names.
name deleted told Graham about Charlie's? conviction by the Police, and Graham asked if the British Intelligence had taken any interest in it. He pressed Charlie??? on the point on the point as to whether any Intelligence Officer had been up in connection with the trial, and finally seemed satisfied that this was ?? the case.
Graham told Charlie (real surname Eschborn) that he is to get information from Liverpool regarding docks and movements of shipping, and also any details he can about Speke Aerodrome and the numbers of the squadrons there. he said that he will arrange for people to write to Arthur Owens??? who is to forward on → (KV 2/446-2, page 1)
KV 2/446-2, page 1
the information by the microphotographic means to Thomas Graham, c/o British Columbia House, Regent Street, London, W.1, with a covering letter on general topics. If all is well the month in the date at the head of the letter is to be spelt in full, and if all is not well it is to be abbreviated. Any abbreviation of the word is a warning, e.g. "November" or "Nov."
The question of an address to which letters could be sent to ?? was discussed, and ?? foolish gave: deleted ...Avenue, Manchester (deleting names is typical S.I.S praxis).
Graham seemed in a very great hurry according to
and left Manchester for for London by the 7.1 a.m. train on 8.11.39. He
did not really give
sufficiently detailed instructions for him to know exactly what to do; but in
the course of the conversation the photographic apparatus required was mentioned
said it would be expensive. Graham said that funds were not inexhaustible
but he could let him have "£20 a time". Graham incidentally said that a
number of German agents had been locked up by the British and this was a
handicap to him.
I had a very long talk to Arthur Owens or Charlie and he is quite willing to do anything for us; in my opinion he is absolute genuine. He does not care what happens to his family and says we can intern him?? when we like. He is still suspicious of ??? and knows him to be pro-Nazi sentiment. Name deleted, in fact, would like to sign some sort of undertaking to us to prove his loyalty, and it might be worth while concocting something for him.
KV 2/446-2, page 2
I arrange with ?? to write a letter to Graham yesterday (12.11.39) and drafted this letter for him. It said that Graham should not write to the address ?? as Mrs. ?? might be going away, and gave the Photographic Society's address instead - 49 Lower Mosley Street. In this letter ?? also asked Graham to come to Manchester next Friday 17.11.39, and by that date I have agreed to supply him with some suitable information to give Graham.
I told that I will check up the address at British Columbia House and if I am satisfied that it is genuine and that we have an idea who Graham might be, I will enclose some harmless little photograph in my letter to ??, saying that this was the photograph I promised him.
If we are supplying Charlie??, with photographs of Speke Aerodrome or anything else, it should be noted that Charlie ?? normally works with a quarto plate camera (Scho reflex?) with a 5¼" lens or 12" telephoto lens, or a Zeiss 2¼ Super Ikonta ca ra.?
Charles Eschborn is going to make enquiries about the apparatus necessary to do the microphotography. He (Charlie?) says that he can of course do it but that the apparatus might cost as much as £100.
We copied out the instructions on the miniature letter with the aid of a magnifying glass and I left the copy with Charlie?? he understands the system but says that he has never come across it before.
KV 2/446-2, page 3 (minute 415a)
10th November 1939.
I rang Snow (Arthur Owens) last night and arranged for him to come and see me at my house this morning at 9 o'clock. I gave him some breakfast and asked him to give me a general account of the result of his visit to Manchester, which he did.
After breakfast I told him that I wanted to make a few notes for Robertson's (TAR's) benefit and made him go through the story again. There were no discrepancies between the two accounts which appeared to me to be perfectly straight forward.
Snow (Arthur Owens) first of all informed me that he had been rung up at the Kensington number within an hour of his return to London. The voice asked "Is that Kingston 6982?" Snow (Arthur Owens) asked who was speaking, but stated that he was quite unable to get the name. and that the man rang off almost immediately after saying that he just wanted to make a certain number.
Snow (Arthur Owens) says that the man's voice was very low and quite.
I asked him why he had not gone to West Hartlepool. He replied that he had not gone because he had been unable to get Hamilton's address. I then asked him about the Manchester visit. He stated that he had gone to Manchester with Lily (Bade) as arranged. and that on arrival they had gone straight to the Queens Hotel where he had registered as Thomas Graham. he then tried to find out the telephone number of the Photographic Society, but was unable to trace it, and as Charlie had no telephone number in the book he sent a wire asking him to 'phone the Hotel in half an hour. Charlie came on the 'phone, when, Snow (Arthur Owens) asked him to come to the Hotel as soon as possible as he had a message from his family. Charlie replied that he quite understood and that he would come at once.
Charlie came over about 7 o'clock. Snow (Arthur Owens) told him that he had come from the Doctor (Rantzau; an alias of Major Ritter) whom Charles (Charlie?) (Karl?) had met in Cologne - Dr. Reinhardt (Major Ritter). Charlie replied that he did not know the Doctor (Rantzau/Major Ritter) , but that he knew a Dr. Hansen. Snow (Arthur Owens) replied that he knew the Doctor under a number of names and says he tried to find out whether Charlie was aware of any of the other names, but he did not mention any. Snow (Arthur Owens) produced his letters to Charlie which appeared to satisfy him completely.
Charlie said he had been waiting for the promised consignment of special paper, but that so far he had received nothing. Now, he said, he would be able to go straight ahead following the instructions in the letter. Charlie said he was going to Liverpool on the following day where he expected to collect a lot of information which he would sent on by the new method addressed to
British Columbia House
He asked Snow (Arthur Owens) if he had heard anything about the trouble his brother (Hans Eschborn) had had with the Police to which Snow (Arthur Owens) replied that he had seen some mention about a month ago about his having been fined.
Charlie explained this by saying that his brother (Hans) had been to the Police to enquire about the regulations about permits, and that the Police had offered him a permit, but that he had deliberately said he did not want one. Charlie gave Snow (Arthur Owens) → (page 4)
KV 2/446-2, page 4
the impression that his brother (Hans) had done this deliberately in order to make himself out to be a complete idiot (This sounds a bit thin).
Charlie further told Snow (Arthur Owens) that he considered his brother had been rather foolish and had been taking too many risks, and sending information openly. Snow (Arthur Owens) gathered from Charlie that the brother had been sending information for a considerable time (eighteen months or more) and still is doing so, but he did not know by what method. Speke Aerodrome was mentioned, and could get practically any information that was wanted. Snow (Arthur Owens) received the impression that Charlie and his brother had been a collecting centre of information for a very long time - the brother (Hans Eschborn) more than Charlie.
Charlie then gave Snow (Arthur Owens) the address to which agents should send information. The address is:
Charlie said he would collect the information sent to this address, photograph it, and send it to Columbia House. Snow (Arthur Owens) told him he would hand his address to the Doctor (Rantzau is an alias of Major Ritter, Leiter I L, Ast Hamburg) when he sees him again in two or three weeks time.
Snow (Arthur Owens) received the impression that the brothers (Eschborn) were not living together. he sensed that though they knew what each other were doing up to a point, that they were actually working independently.
I (Lt. J.R.Stopford) told Snow (Arthur Owens) that if anything came to Columbia House in Mr. Robertson's (TAR) absence to let me know at once, which he promised to do. He then gave the following piece of information which seems to me rather serious if it is a fact:
Snow (Arthur Owens) says he telephoned the War Office on his return and asked for extension 393 - a man's voice came on the phone, when Snow (Arthur Owens) said "I would like to speak to Captain Robertson (TAR)" The man answered giving his own name and saying "Is that you Mr. Llynovski?" Snow (Arthur Owens) is not clear what the individual's name Lynovski, but said it was some name ending in "ski". It certainly seems to me very indiscreet for anybody at the War Office to give him his own name and ask a telephone caller if he is someone else by name, before knowing to whom he is talking.
Snow (Arthur Owens) seems rather worried that he has not not received any list of Agencies, which it will be recollected the Doctor promised to send without delay.
B.3.a (T.A. Robertson headed, at least later, M.I.5 section B.1.a)
KV 2/446-2, pages 9 + 10 and 11 (minute 397a)
Note on first contact with Charlie (Charles) (Karl? Eschborn) Lt J.R. Stopford at Manchester on 4.11.39
I saw Charlie (Eschborn) in the evening, in a private room at the Police Station, and arranged for Superintendent Page to give him a parcel of some of the documents that were taken from his house by the Police originally, so that his family should have no suspicion of the real reason for his visit to the Police Station.
I (Lt. J.R. Stopford) thoroughly frightened Charlie (Charles or Karl Eschborn) (KV 2/454) at the very beginning of the conversation (the Germans call this: Einschüchtern), by telling him that he knew all about him and his family, and all their activities, and that if he breathed a word of conversation to anyone at any time in the future and did not do exactly what I told him, we would see that he and his brother were "put inside" (in prison or in a camp), and further that we would see that a copy of his confession fell into the hands of the German Secret Service (AOB, the latter being bluff). Charlie hasted to assure me that he was entirely British in his sympathies and had lived in England nearly all his life, and would, without question, do anything we said.
I am quite confident both from examination of the Eschborn? correspondence and from my conversation with Charles Eschborn, that he was an unwilling agent for → (page 10)
KV 2/446-2, page 10
Germany, had not done anything much, but had been thoroughly frightened by Dr. Hansen (an alias of Major Ritter, Leiter I L, Ast Hamburg) when he saw him on his visit to Germany. Dr. Hansen had told him several cock and bull stories of people being mysteriously killed in England if they gave the name away. I feel equally sure that the reason of the Germans approaching Charlie (Charles or Karl? Eschborn) at the present juncture is that Hansen (Major Ritter?) is trading on the effect of the fright he gave Charlie in Germany and the threat to brother Hans in Germany if Charles did not act for them.
I do not think that the Germans have made a mistake in trying to get in touch with Charlie / Charles rather than Erwin (also a brother of Hans and Charles/Karl); as, in addition to believing him willing to act, he has a British passport and is free to move about, in contrast to Erwin whom they probably think will be interned (he lives in Germany) Charlie also has an expert knowledge of photography.
Charlie told me (Lt. J.R. Stopford) that Hansen had asked him if he could reduce photographs to a size small enough to go under a postage stamp (and even far beyond), and also told him that he would arrange for Agfa in London to send a sample of the proper printing paper enclosed in a sample of ordinary sized paper. Charlie says that this never turned up.
Charles also said that Hansen told him that he would be contacted by a man from Edinburgh on one of his journeys in quite a haphazard way, and that the other man would refer to his family in Germany when introducing himself.
This contact, according to Charles, was also not made.
Incidentally, Charles told me that his journey which were so often referred to in the correspondence were merely journeys made once a year on behalf of the firm, when he had to arrange contacts. ?? in different places in England, He has arranged to send me a list of these places with the names of people he saw.
I explained Charles that we had rather a vague clue of the probability of his being contacted by a German emissary quite unknown to us, and that in fact we (M.I.5) had no idea of the nationality, position, or even sex, of the possible agent.
I told Charles that if and when this contact was made he was to act exactly as he would do if he was on the German side and willing to engage in espionage on their behalf; (Charles said that if I had not got in touch with him, he would have arrested the emissary if possible and handed him over to the Police).
KV 2/446-2, page 11
Directly the contact has been made, Charlie is to write to me at once addressing the letters (Lt. J.R. Stopford at M.I.5 B.3.a, in London Box 500)
He will write quite simple letters mentioning that Mr. Roberts has been to to see him, is coming to London, and hopes that I will be able to do something towards helping him to find work. I will the get in touch with Charlie arrange to meet him, and he will let me know full details of what the German emissary has said and asked him to do.
In the event of Charles wanting me to get in touch with him very urgently, in the letter he will give Mr. Roberts a christian name.
I told Charles that he cannot get in touch with me by telephone. Charles absolutely understands that on no account must he disclose to the unknown emissary, or to his brother (Hans), or anyone else, that he has been contacted by us (M.I.5); and I think he is much too frightened to do so even if he wanted to, which I do not believe is the case.
KV 2/446-2, page 23 (minute 382a)
Sunday 29th October.
Major Sinclair, Col. Simpson, Snow (Arthur Owens) and I (Lt. J.R. Stopford?) met at my house and questioned Snow (Arthur Owens) at some length with regard to to his visit to Belgium for the sake of comparison with GW (Gwilym Williams) (Welsh retired policeman) (they went together to Belgium to contact the German Abwehr) report.
I propose to set this out in detail:
Snow (Arthur Owens) and GW (Gwilym Williams) left Folkestone on Thursday, 19th, and went straight to Brussels, where they arrived late at night. They stayed at the Savoy. (their reason for doing this was that Snow (Arthur Owens) had been told of this Hotel some years ago by a German called (Erwin) Peiper? (Pieper?) (German agent). At about 5.0 p.m. on 20th, a German described himself as a "Doctor" called at the Hotel to say that he had been sent by Dr. Rantzau (actually Major Ritter, Leiter I L, Ast Hamburg).
This Doctor (Hansen?) explained that he was Dr. Rantzau's secretary. The Secretary explained that Rantzau would contact Snow (Arthur Owens) before 2.0 p.m. on the 21st. However, there was some muddle (confusion) about the message, and the contact was eventually made at 5.0 p.m. when the Doctor himself met them at the Hotel. Snow (Arthur Owens) was given 2,00 (Belgium francs) to pay his bill, and they left immediately by 6.0 p.m. train for Antwerp where they arrived 6.20 p.m. Dr. Rantzau (Major Ritter) travelled with them.
On arrival at Antwerp Rantzau left them with instructions that they should go to the first-class dinning room in the station where they would be contacted. After about ten minutes, the Secretary (Dr. Hansen?) met them and they went top the main part of the station where they met a German woman who said that she had recently come from London, apparently just before the outbreak of the war. She spoke good English, and her description is as follows:-
Tall - thin - fair hair - wearing dark green dress and coat - aged 38 to 40 - height 5' 6".
After getting a taxi the woman left them, and the Secretary, Snow (Arthur Owens) and GW (Gwilym Williams) drove to the docks. After a while they entered the offices of a shipping firm. Snow (Arthur Owens) did not know the address, but said that if he was given a large-scale map he could very easily point the exact position. he noticed that the offices were exactly opposite the S.S. Pennland. (SS = steam ship). This boat was at one time owned by the Red Star Line, but was sold to a German Company. Snow (Arthur Owens) does not know the owners of the boat now. He recognised it as he had travelled to England from America on it on many occasions.
The Office itself was situated on about the third floor and they went up by lift. There was nothing particular striking about the office, apart from the fact that it was a typical shipping office with pictures of ships on the wall. They arrived there about 7.0 p.m.
They were met by Dr. Rantzau (Major Ritter) , his Secretary, a Commander from Berlin and A.N. Other (was with Snow most of the time).
During this time the Commander was constantly coming into the room in with Snow (Arthur Owens) was and asking his advice on certain matters.
GW (Gwilym Williams) stated that he had about thirty men in South Wales upon whom he could rely to do sabotage work, and further the aims of the German Reich.
KV 2/446-2, page 24
They discussed arrangements for the moving of some of these Welshmen into factories in England for Sabotage purposes. They also wanted some advice on the landing of explosives in Wales, and it was decided that Oxwich Bay was best spot on the South Wales coast, where the submarine could be brought fairly close into the shore.
They had previously suggested to Snow (Arthur Owens), who had jibbed (retreated), that they should drop explosives by parachute from an aeroplane. They also suggested that they should drop pamphlets in Welsh for propaganda purposes.
It was ultimately decided that the Germans seemed to be very keen that explosives should be brought by submarine. At this stage the mentioned that it was quite possible to get explosives into the United kingdom by neutral ships, especially through Liverpool.
The explosives are being brought in large quantities but packed in small cases and small bottles, so as to make the storing of them very much easier.
The commander inadvertantly remarked at this juncture that this was one of the mistakes they had made with the I.R.A., but that the had learned their lesson and were now sending in the stuff in small quantities. (This is extremely interesting as it is fairly concrete example that the I.R.A. are being run by the Germans. Mention was also made at about the same time that they had made a mistake in paying members of the I.R.A. in American dollar bills)
In discussing the landing of the explosives from the submarine they said that it would be dangerous for the ship to come too close in the shore, and they suggested that possibly it would be as well to stay at about a quarter of a mile out, and that a motor boat should go out to fetch the stuff.
Snow (Arthur Owens) was asked his opinion as to whether it would be better to send the submarine by the North route or through the Channel to South Wales - he said that he thought it would be better by the North route. (I think this is possibly meglomania on the part of Snow (Arthur Owens))
The Commander apparently knows the South Wales coast extremely well and as far as they could gather he is in charge of the sabotage activities in the United Kingdom, and is therefore an important man.
In the first place, the explosives are to take the form of a mixture of potassium chlorate, three parts, to one sugar, to be exploded by a concentrated sulphuric acid.
Other forms of explosives are to come at a later date, but owing to the fact that GW (Gwilym Williams) knows little or nothing about chemistry he is merely being told to confine his attention to this particular mixture for the moment.
Both GW (Gwilym Williams) and Snow (Arthur Owens) are to go to Holland in about three or four weeks where they will be given American passports to enable them to get into Germany. They will spend a fortnight there partly for the purpose of giving GW (Gwilym Williams) further instructions with regard to the mixing of explosives, and also for the purpose of giving him instructions in radio-telegraphy. They are both to receive new radio sets after they have made their trip to Germany.
Apparently the idea of giving GW (Gwilym Williams) a radio set is so that he can contact the submarine and act as a sub-station to Snow (Arthur Owens). He is not to be given facilities for contacting Germany direct, at any rate for the present.
KV 2/446-2, page 25
Between now and the time that GW (Gwilym Williams) goes to Germany he is to try and brush up his knowledge of morse.
(Snow (Arthur Owens) was very emphatic that he is the only radio link between the United Kingdom and Germany, excluding Ireland where we already know there is a set working in Belfast. He has been given the impression that he is to be the general organiser of agents in the United Kingdom.
With regard to his payment of money, he is to receive these through a woman whose name he was not given (Mrs Krafft dealt with already) She is either going to send it to him by post, deliver it personally at the door, or contact him outside. He does not know where she lives (Bournemouth).
This meeting broke up at about 9.15 on Sunday 22nd Snow (Arthur Owens) had to go to the Metrople Hotel, Antwerp and wait for Dr. Rantzau's Secretary (Dr. Hansen?) to contact him. This he did and arranged to meet later at the Station. Snow (Arthur Owens) then went back by himself to the Metropole where he met Rantzau (Major Ritter) in a room on the fourth floor. The meeting lasted for about fifteen minutes and Rantzau congratulated Snow (Arthur Owens) on the information he had sent through about aeroplanes at Northolt. He also said that he liked GW (Gwilym Williams) very much and that he would suit their purpose admirably.
Snow's (Arthur Owens') impression is that he and GW (Gwilym Williams) were separated for a purpose, so that GW (Gwilym Williams) could be watched by German agents in Antwerp.
At 6.30 on Sunday 22nd. Snow (Arthur Owens) and GW (Gwilym Williams) again went to the shipping Office with the Commander who had brought with him various instruments for measuring out and weighting ingredients for explosive mixtures.
As far as I can gather nothing very much happened at this meeting, but arrangements were made for a demonstration to take place on Monday evening.
On Monday night the Commander again came for them and took them to a flat on a map where the Commander gave a demonstration on mixing the ingredients of the explosive referred to above.
Snow (Arthur Owens) says that the Flemish Nationalists are all organised, and as soon as an advance is made into Belgium by the Germans, the Nationalists will start sabotage and a revolution.
After the demonstration, they left Antwerp for Brussels and returned home.
It will be seen from this report, which is given exactly as Snow (Arthur Owens) related it to us, that is dates are not very accurate. This, I am pretty certain is not intentional on the part of Snow (Arthur Owens) as he is notoriously bad in getting things into chronological order in his own mind.
They actually left Antwerp on Tuesday to return home.
Other points of interest which were given by Snow (Arthur Owens) is answer to our questions are that:
(1) The Germans apparently desire information on what is going on at Llantrisant.
Snow (Arthur Owens) was offered £30,000 in American Dollars to take with him to England for the purpose of paying members of the Welsh Nationalist Party for doing acts of sabotage. This he flatly refused to take for it would be most dangerous for him to handle American dollars in England, owing to the exchange difficulties, and he said that it would be far better to pay these men in English currency.
KV 2/446-2, page 26
(2) A German Agent is shortly coming over to England to contact GW (Gwilym Williams). He will make himself known by first of all talking about pictures, and then producing a photograph of GW (Gwilym Williams) (While they were over they were instructed to get their photographs taken) This agent will be moving round the country for a fortnight before actually going to Swansea.
(3) Snow (Arthur Owens) again confirmed the fact that the Germans have an Agent in the Air Ministry and one in the Admiralty.
(4) As far as GW (Gwilym Williams) is concerned, he gathers the he is to be responsible for collecting information about the activities in Liverpool, and Lancashire, especially with regard to Liverpool, in relation to the number of ships leaving, and the supplies coming in from America. he is also to get information about Speke (aerodrome), as to where the machines are going after leaving the factory.
(5) They are also anxious to obtain particulars about aerodromes round Gloucester.
(6) What is going on at Avonmouth Docks, whether Artillery and tanks are being shipped from there.
(7) He mentioned that they are anxious for him to go to Canada some time in the near future possibly with the object of organising a similar show for them out there.
I questioned Snow (Arthur Owens) with regard to the purchase of an automatic pistol. He was fairly honest about this, and said he got the licence from the police saying that he was to shoot rats in Canada.
Apart from the fact that he has got his dates slightly wrong, his report coincides with the one submitted by GW (Gwilym Williams). He has, of course, not yet had the opportunity of seeing GW (Gwilym Williams), and is going down to see him today (30th October) when they will have an opportunity of discussing their adventures.
KV 2/446-2, page 51 (F20) ↓↓↓ (F20return)
W.W. (?) rang me up this morning to say that he had got hold of a Welshman named GW (Gwilym Williams), a man of about ??, who is an ex-Police Inspector. He is living in ? and would be willing to go abroad.
I told WW (??) (file no longer exists) to send me a report on their visit to ?? and also to let me have GW (Gwilym Williams)'s passport application.
Snow (Arthur Owens) rang up and said that he was going to Brussels tomorrow by the 7.30 train from Victoria and there was no boat going on Friday. I took his passport to him and bought him a 3rd class return ticket to Brussels (£4.2s.9d) with his money.
After getting his visa, we had a talk about various things connected with his trip. He seems quite certain that he will be able to get over the difficulty of not taking anyone with him from Wales.
He is going to make tentative suggestions that he should move from his present address.
I also suggested that in view of the of the difficulty of getting people out of the country at the present moment, he might say that he would be willing to run the Welsh Nationalist Movement from London and would they give him the necessary instructions.
I further said that I thought it would be a good thing if he prepared to be a little worried about not receiving any money.
I gave Snow (Arthur Owens) some information which I had received from Major Sinclair (Likely War Office) earlier on. This was referring to the fact that new British Divisions had taken up their position in the French defence. I instructed him to send this over, together with the fact that he was going over tomorrow.
B.3. 11.10.39 Sgd. T.A. Robertson (TAR)
I gave inspector (xx deleted) £6.10.0 to pay for a further two weeks rent for the flat and a further two weeks for the furniture. He is going down tomorrow to pay this for me.
11.10.39 Sgd T.A.R.
KV 2/446-2, page 56
7.10.39 Switched on at 2000 hrs Sheet one
2005 hrs BRZ (Owens' current W/T call sign) de QRV (he is ready for communication) K (Morse sign for switching over to the counter station)
2007 hrs OEZ (The call sign of the German station) BT PSE PSE (2 x please) RPT RPT (2 x repeat) K (he switches over on reception)
BRZ de STCS (start of coded message) OSSS SUS SCU BT
FSOSE DIAG OIRFG LNFNN NISGS
HWYCD SWMRI EMLSS ASAAN WESYO
NEI0C RORFE ANAOT SRCSA FAIID
2016 hrs XVO XHC XWC XFRS XPC XRN K
FIFTY RAF OFFICERS GOING CANADA FOR NEW TRAINING SCHEME GOING WALES WILL RADIO MONDAY.
OEA (likely the German call sign) de BT de BT RRR BT (maybe Owens' cover code)
STCS OICR ITU ITU SSN BT
EAFAH SYBSN TEPOU YRLMD EOGRD
RNREI LHRSA NOLSA ENGON SRUTL
ODNNS NANER QEEDO PDETU NKDEF
2030 hrs EIN BT K K (switching over on reception; as the regular signal indicating the closure of the communication was-and-is SK)
KV 2/446-2, page 57
7.10.39 SHEET TWO
NEED URGENTLY REPORTS OF NUMBER OF PLANES AND SQUADRONS IN KENLEY HENDON AND OTHERS
2041 hrs BRZ (Owens' call sign) de BT OK DETAILS MONDAY K
2047 hrs OEA (German call sign) de BT RRR GN OB PR AR
2049 hrs BRZ (Owens' call sign) de BT OK AR
Switched off at 2052 hrs
Signal strength of BRZ (Owens') R 6 (AOB, I suppose this is what British RSS received)
Slight interference from local electric
Motor - presumably SR Transmision?
KV 2/446-2, page 58 (minute 328a)
Extract from B.3.a. DIARY OF Snow's (Arthur Owens') ACTIVITIES OF 3.10.39 FILED AT 23a in WIRELESS FOLDER (RSS?)
"The message which could not be decoded last night was eventually got out by Lily (Bade, Owens girlfriend) and read as follows;-
Keep us posted on airports and troops movement, Cheerio."
The reason that it could not be decoded was apparently due to the fact that the senders of the message based the code on the 2nd day of the month instead of the 3rd.
Snow (Arthur Owens) reported to us (Mr. Robertson and Mr. Ryle0 that at about 11 o'clock this morning there was a knock at the door of his flat and on opening the door he found himself confronted by a man of the following description:-
Tall; thin face; dark hat and light coat; wearing glasses; spoke with a slight American accent.
This man opened the conversation by saying: "Are you in touch with the Doctor?". To which Snow (Arthur Owens) replied "Yes" . Snow was then asked what his telephone number was replied that the order for a telephone installation had been given to the Post office about a week ago, and that owing to the situation there was a considerable delay in getting a telephone installed and he hoped to have one within the next week, or ten days.
The man told Snow (Arthur Owens) that he would probably visit him again and also that Snow (Arthur Owens) might be contacted in the streets or in a public house.
It seems clear from above that we must assume from now on the Snow (Arthur Owens) probably be followed, at least for some time to time, by some-one from the other side....
KV 2/446-2, page 59 (minute 326r) L14 ↓↓↓ L14return M15 ↓↓↓↓ M15return
Defence Regulation 1913.
The Home Secretary has revoked the detention Order made against Snow (Arthur Owens). As you informed me that he has been released, we are taking no further action.
B 3 (AOB, is pointing at M.I.5 section
Please bear time-and-again in mind: that the sequence of the KV 2/xxx file series are running "inversed in time"' consequently, with increasing PDF page numbers, you are going backwards in time. Therefore, the latter reference took place before all foregoing shown documents.
KV 2/446-2, page 60 (minute 322a) F11 F11return
I had a long talk with Snow (Arthur Owens), who told me that he had a very successful visit to Swansea (Wales) (date presumably ca. 29th September 1939), where had met WW (AOB, don't know yet whom the latter actually was) , and a friend of his name deleted strongly approved of both individuals, and said that he thought WW ? was eminently suitable for the job.
On Wednesday night after they had met at the hotel they set out for the valley behind Swansea and eventually arrived at a pub in Pontardawe. In this pub they were fortunate in finding two people were discussing the expenses of living in Belgium, the exchange rate and various other things. Snow (Arthur Owens) immediately jumped to the conclusion - and I think probably rightly so too - that one of the talkers was a German agent endeavouring to enlist the service of a member of the Welsh Nationalist Party. Snow (Arthur Owens) seemed so certain of this that I did not question him further.
On the following day they took a car and went a long drive on the South coast of Wales, as far as Haverfordwest. They discussed places to land arms or submarines. Both WW ? and his friend know this coast exceedingly well,, as does Snow (Arthur Owens) and they came to the conclusion, after duly inspecting the site, that Oxwich Bay was eminently suitable for this project.
I shall be receiving a report of Snow's (Arthur Owens') visit from WW (AOB, might this imply that WW is a double-cross agent as well?) in a short time, and it can be compared with Snow's (Arthur Owens') statement.
29.9.39 Sgd. likely by TAR = Robertson of M.I.5
KV 2/446-3, page 1 (minute 320a)
At 9.15 p.m. Mr. (Michael?) Ryde and I parked the car outside Norbiton Station. Upon walking through the subway we noticed several people hanging about,, but no one particularly suspicious. On arriving at Snow's (Arthur Owens') flat we found that he was not in and we therefore left the batteries covered outside his door and left the building. On returning at 9.35 p.m. we saw a car draw up and three men and a girl get out; two of them were Snow (Arthur Owens) and Lily (Bade, Arthur's girlfriend) Not knowing who the occupants might be, I returned through the subway and rang up Mr. Robertson (TAR). D11 D11return → There I noticed a girl hanging about and also I was aware that I was being followed by a man. After telephoning Mr. Robertson (TAR) , who said that the car, being a Vauxhall, was probably Inspector (name deleted) . I again returned through the subway to enter Snow's (Arthur Owens') flat. The girl was still hanging about at the mouth of the subway. She was fairly thick set, short, aged about 25-30, wearing a dark blue felt hat and a dark coat in some in some tweed material with, I think, a leather belt. In the darkness of the subway I could not be certain of the colour of her hair although I passed very close to her, but my impression was that it was dark.
On arriving at Snow's (Arthur Owens') flat I found Inspector (name deleted) and Sergeant (name deleted) of S.B. (Special Branch) there and ascertained that the man who had been following me was in fact (M? rest too much invisible) whom (Sergeant?), being suspicious of my walking past the flat, had told to follow me.
Bt this time it was about ten to ten and the whole performance caused an immense rush to get out code message on the air at 10 o'clock, more so as I had the key to of the wireless of the wireless room and had also and had also intercepted the operator and prevented him from going into the building. Both sets, therefore, also had to be prepared.
At 10 o'clock we sent the following message using the full "Congratulation" code:-
"Leaving for Wales. will radio Friday night at 12. Seeing WW? (AOB, actually a double-cross agent) Please reply"
After two requests for a repeat, the Germans signified the reception of our message and after a lapse of time, while presumably they were decoding our message they sent the following reply:-
"Need military and general news urgently daily."
This message was sent in the full "CONGRATULATIONS" code.
We then sent the weather report in the usual form and after two repeats they signified their reception.
The intercourse (German word: Verbindung) then ceased by the German station sending "Goodnight, old boy" (likely the used the usual amateur language OM which stood for "Old Man") etc.
I (Mr. Michael Ryde?) them showed Snow (Arthur Owens) the map of Wales as arranged with Mr. Robertson (TAR) and asked him to mark the likely places where it is anticipated that arms will be run in by submarines to the Welsh. This he did and I have the map in my possession.
He said that they proposed to make their first attempt, provided that the British Channel was not considered too dangerous, to land somewhere between Penmaen in Oxwich Bay and Rhosill Bay, which is north of Worms head, their object being to make an effort to sabotage what they believe to be an ammunition dumps and steel works at Briton Ferry near Port Talbot.
If this attempt failed or if they consider the → (page 2)
KV 2/446-3, page 2
Bristol Channel, too dangerous, they were to try and land near Linney Head with the object of sabotaging the military positions and supplies round Pembroke and the Milford Haven seaplane base (I believe very considerable supplies of petrol are stored there).
I continued my conversation with Snow (Arthur Owens) upon general lines and he said that if possible it was very necessary that whoever was employed to go out with him as a representative of the Welsh Nationalist Party should be able to speak fluent German, as Snow (Arthur Owens) is unable to understand the various asides during his conversation with (Dr.) Rantzau (Major Ritter, Leiter I L, Ast Hamburg) made to the other members of Rantzau's entourage, since he himself is unable to understand German language sufficiently well. (AOB: Major Ritter spoke with a US accent, but perfectly!)
Snow (Arthur Owens) impressed on me that it was absolutely necessary that this man should look, speak and act like a Welshman, and should at least have a slight smattering of the Welsh language. Snow (Arthur Owens) said that the German do not understand Welsh as he had tried them out upon the language, but they know what it sounds like and would not be easily taken as an importer.
Inspector (name deleted), perhaps rather unfortunately suggested that Sergeant (name deleted) might go out with Snow (Arthur Owens) as he apparently speaks fluent German. I did not subscribe to this suggestion, as although (name deleted) certainly has the appearance of a Welshman, I think it would probably be impossible to coach him him sufficiently in the Welsh speech and habits in the time at our disposal (perhaps a fortnight).
I then asked Snow (Arthur Owens) what type of military and general information he thought the Germans would require. he replied that he had been asked to obtain as much as possible of all troop movements, particularly those pertaining to avenues obviously leading to the coast and indicating the movements of troops abroad in large quantities.
I asked him whey the Germans were so keen to have the information and his reply was, to say the least of it, surprising. He said that Rantzau (Major Ritter), although realising that the scheme would only have moral effect, has decided that when the majority of troops have left England, to send over large flights of aeroplanes to drop German troops in England, armed with machine guns and any other light weapons. he impressed on me that Rantzau has lived a lot in America and he acquired the American outlook of showmanship. He said that Rantzau fully realised that the German troops dropped in this country would have no hope of of surviving and would probably do little actual damage, but that Rantzau realises the immense effect on the general public populace of England of seeing German troops in German uniform actually on English soil.
I then questioned him as to what in the way of general information he thought they would require. He immediately said that one of the things he had been asked for for months to find out was the exact position of all reservoirs in the country if possible, and especially those around London. He said that, although he himself had not given then this information, he knew that they had acquired it through various minor agents in this country. I questioned him as to why the Germans should consider this information of paramount importance and he replied that Rantzau had told him that, although it would be the last weapon they would use, if all else failed they were going to start concentrated bacteriological warfare upon this country and that as far as he could gather, their main objective would be the reservoirs, into which they would endeavour to drop bombs charged with bacteria.
KV 2/446-3, page 3
Snow (Arthur Owens) particularly asked that any letters arriving addressed to him c/o Expanded metal Company, Burwood House, Tothill Street, Westminster, S.W.1 should be intercepted and held by us until his return from Wales. He said that these letters would contain the names and addresses of various agencies abroad which would be in effect be "spy bases" and it was essential that these should not get into the hands of the Expanded Metal Company.
I asked him if he wished us to open them or not and he immediately said "Oh yes, certainly open them if you like. then you will have the information immediately".
The logs of the last night's transmissions and receptions are attached.
N.B. Snow (Arthur Owens) numbered last night's message as No. 13 report and message from the Germans as No. 1 It is most important that the next message sent out should be No. 14, as if the numbers of messages sent are not consecutive it will mean that the sender is suspicious and that everything is not right (as a security code). Similarly, if the Germans are not satisfied they will number their messages 3 instead of 2.
As arranged with Mr. Robertson (TAR) on the telephone, I intimated to Snow (Arthur Owens) that we were suspicious that someone had been watching us, possibly possibly a girl (D11 D11return), and told him to keep his eyes open and to let us know if he was suspicious that anyone was following him at any time. he said he would be especially careful, but I am afraid the news appeared to make him somewhat nervous.
He has apparently the greatest respect for Rantzau's (Major Ritter's) brains and ability and he says that his power is quite extraordinary, not only in Germany but outside. He says that Brussels is interested with German S.S. (Secret Service) men and that Rantzau can do exactly what he likes there. When he was out there he asked Rantzau how he had got in. Rantzau laughed and said that he could go anywhere, and that in this case he had been made a director of a big hemp manufactory company in Germany the week before and was in Brussels for the purpose of selling hemp. Snow (Arthur Owens) also said that Rantzau had been married fairly recently and that he understood from various minor agents, who sometimes talked out on their turn, that his wife was about as clever as Rantzau at the game and was at present talking a very active part with him. She is apparently generally referred to as the "Baroness".
Snow (Arthur Owens) particularly requested that his flat should be watched during absence in order to be certain that nobody should break in.
- - -
The fact the neither Mr. (Michael) Ryde nor I were aware that the Inspector S (rest made in visible) was intending to appear at Snow's (Arthur Owens') flat very nearly resulted in a major calamity, as had I been unable to get into touch with Mr. Robertson (TAR), who was able to identify S (rest too much made invisible), we should not have entered the flat in time to come up at 10 o'clock as arranged. Snow (Arthur Owens) has frequently impressed upon me that the Germans will accept no excuses for delays or mistakes and that were he to be late in coming up one evening it might destroy the whole programme. He was certainly in a fever last light, so much so that I had to code most of his messages myself.
I think it of paramount importance that such a → (page 4)
KV 2/446-3, page 4
misunderstanding should not occur again. I also think it essential that the minimum possible number of people should be seen to enter and leave Snow's (Arthur Owens') flat, and it is taking a quite unnecessary risk to allow (name made invisible) in a large and shiny car, which he parked outside the door, accompanied by another S.B. (Special Branch) officer to go in and out of this flat as he chooses, His attendance on this occasion was quite unnecessary and only aroused suspicions among the neighbouring tenants. The good lady in the flat opposite did in fact put her head out of the door to see who all the people were going up and down her back stairs.
27.9.39 Sgd SMP (AOB, I have to be keen finding out about these initials; I am sure I that have once encountered them before, but it might have been years ago)
KV 2/446-3, page 6 (minute 319a)
In conversation afterwards with Snow (Arthur Owens) he expressed his desire to go down to Swansea (South Wales) as soon as possible, preferably on Wednesday (we have dealt with this event previously, see: F11 F11return). he also mentioned the question of his £40 and some sort of payment from this office (M.I.5.). I said that both matters would be discussed by us this morning and I would let him know.
Through Inspector (of Special Branch, name made invisible) I have arranged to meet Snow (Arthur Owens) at 6.30 at the Castle Hotel, Richmond tonight, the 26th (September 1939).
I also discussed what action should be taken in the event of his transmitting set failing. He said that he would arrange this himself, as he could get the necessary parts from Germany as and when he required them. (AOB: as long as the German did not invade western Europe)
The other point we discussed was the desirability of moving him from his present address. He said that this point would clear itself up as it would probably be brought up next time he sees them (the Abwehr) in Belgium and they would give a ruling.
This morning Air Commodore Buss rang me up to say that he had referred this matter to C.A.S. and D.C.A.S., who see no objection to weather reports being allowed to go out, at any rate for the present. I said that so far nothing unusual had happened, but that immediately it did I would inform the Air Commodore Buss.
I discussed the question of sending Snow (Arthur Owens) to Wales to see him to go tomorrow so that he can contact WW? (once his file reference was PF 603846 which does no longer exist) and him. As far as contacting the alternatives concerned, it was decided to leave this for the present and to bring the alternative up to London in the near future so that he can and Snow (Arthur Owens) can discuss what action they are to take.
It has been arranged that (name made invisible) and (invisible) should go to Snow's (Arthur Owens') home and that (made invisible) should take a map of the coast of South Wales with him to discuss various points with Snow (Arthur Owens).
B3 (M.I.5; by then also T.A. Robertson's office)
KV 2/446-2, page 12 G12 G12return
OEA (German station call-sign) v RRR
PSE (please) direction of WW (wind) KKK (switching over to the counter station)
OEA v RRR
PSE PSE (2x please) DIRECTION OF OF THE WW KKK (switching over to Owens' station BRZ) (BRZ Owens's call sign)
KV 2/446-3, page 13
BRZ (Owens' call sign)
XVN. XHC. XWC. XFRT. XTC.
Wind South East (English)
(S18) ↓↓↓ (S18return)
O N G R A T U L
T I O N S
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 0
KV 2/446-3, page 14
OEA v RRR
PSE (please) RPT (repeat) K (switching over to Owens' counter station BRZ)
OEA. v RRR
PSE PSE (2 x please) RPT (repeat)
RPT (repeat) K (switching over to Owens' station BRZ)
OEA (German station call sign) v RRR
RR PSE PSE (2 x please)
DIRECTION OF OF WIND
WW K K
KV 2/446-3, page 15
OEA (German station call-sign) TKS TKS (2 x thanks)
GN GN OBOB AR AR AR (acknowledgement)
HI HI AR AR AR (smiling acknowledgement)
Quite some of the Morse codes commenced are equalling HAM practices, still even up to today.
KV 2/446-3, page 17
O N G R A T U L
T I O N S
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 0
8.15 (B.S.T.) (British Standard time) BRZ (Owens' call-sign)
XVG, XHO, XWO, XFRR, XHC, W. North East
KKK (switching over to the counter station)
Repeated at 8.24
Repeated at 10,23 and 10.33
Still no reply
Repeated same message at 00.15 (B.S.T.) 25th September
0024 Repeated message Signals R. 9 (sound readability, likely R9 = S9 a solid signal strength)
0026 OEA vv RRR
PSE PSE RPT RPT K
00.30 Repeated each group twice
00.35 OEA PSE RPT RPT QRM QRM (international Q-code for interference)
continuing without result.
KV 2/446-3, page 18
00.48 Repeated each group twice.
00.53 OEA QRM QRM QRM PSE PSE RPT RPT K
00.55 Repeated each group twice
00.57 Bad jamming from 14F
0100 OEA ALL ALL OK OK (in order) TKS TKS (2 x thanks) GN GN
OB OB AR AR AR.
0012(0112?) BRZ (Owens' call-sign) AR AR.
KV 2/446-3, page 20 (minute 314a)
Together with Mr. Meakin and (name made invisible) and (name made invisible) I (T.A. Robertson) went to Snow's (Arthur Owens') home last night. We arrived there just before 8 p.m. We fixed up an HRO receiver (in Germany known as type KST) in the room next door to the transmitting set. A complete log of the signals sent and received is attached to this note ( see: G12 G12return).
During the course of the evening I spoke to Snow (Arthur Owens) with regard to WW (yet still unknown, as his file had been destroyed once) at the beginning of next week, when he could discuss this particular question with him.
I also explained to Snow (Arthur Owens) that we had been able to get hold of someone else who was reliable and who could make the journey make the journey to Belgium if necessary.
Colonel Hinchley Cooke and I went to see D.S.S. about the case of Snow (Arthur Owens) today, with a view to explaining to him the necessity, if possible, of prevailing upon the Air Ministry to allow Snow (Arthur Owens) to continue sending his weather reports. He was shown a copy of (minute) of 309a.
Later it was arranged that I should that I should go to the Air Ministry at 3 p.m. and discuss with Air Commodore Buss the whole case. At this interview he explained that he had received a note from Major Boyle and had been making enquiries of the meteorological section of the Air Ministry, who had considered the case very thoroughly and had put their conclusions to Buss. It is now his intention to have a word with the operational branch of the Air Ministry, in order to obtain their reactions. he will then take the matter up with C.A.S., as he considers this to be one of major policy.
It appeared to me that the advantages of continuing with these weather reports was appreciated by Buss, and I impressed on him that that I was most anxious that if possible they should be allowed to go on.
Buss pointed out that curiously enough they had information and had recently received reports that the Germans were taking increased interest in the meteorological matters. They are, I understand, already receiving reports from Iceland, Pharoah Islands, Spain and Portugal, and their aeroplanes are very active on the Dutch frontier, making meteorological surveys.
In the meantime Snow (Arthur Owens) is to be allowed to continue to send these reports, but if by any chance he could get a request from the Germans to furnish them with a weather report on any particular town other than London, I am to get in touch with Air Commodore Buss or the duty officer at the Air Ministry, Abbey 3411 (telephone number), extension 5251.
It has been arranged that Colonel Simpson and I (TAR), together with Meakin, should go to 9 Norbiton Avenue tonight.
I informed (Special Branch) Inspector (name made invisible) this morning that I (TAR) should not require him at Snow's (Arthur Owens') address, and I also suggested that it would be very much better if he kept away from there for the present.
TAR (T.A. Robertson of M.I.5 then section B 3)
KV 2/446-3, page 21 (minute 312a)
23rd September, 1939
Dear Vivian (S.I.S.),
The following items of information have been supplied to us by reliable source who has been in touch with German Intelligence personnel.
1) The German intelligence Service have received reports of large concentration of British and French troops on the French-Belgium frontier. The Germans are surprised that there is no heavy artillery with the British troops on this frontier. It is understood that the German Intelligence Service fear that the Allied Forces will make a sudden push through Belgium and Holland, and they are preparing to get in first. The Germans are expecting to make their push into Holland and Belgium in the very near future. (In relation to this information it is interesting to compare the report, contained in our R.S./B.2 of 15 September, 1939, to the effect that German agents in Belgium unanimously reported that the French would march through Belgium. It would appear possible, therefore, that, basing themselves on this information, the German General Staff have decided to be first in the field.)
(M.I.3.b have been informed)
2) The same source informed us there is too be a general meeting of the German secret agents from all over the world in Spain within 4 or 5 months from now. It is understood that this meeting is for the purpose of improving the working of the present German Secret Service organisation in foreign countries. An intermediary meeting within a month or 5 weeks will be held in Sweden, Norway or Denmark, preferably the latter country.
3) The following description has been supplied to us by the same source of Dr. Rantzau, head of the German Intelligence Service in Hamburg. (AOB, not quite correct: Dr. Rantzau, real name Major Ritter, was only Leiter of I L of Ast Hamburg) (This man is responsible for wireless communication with German secret agents in foreign countries. height 6'; well-built; clean-shaven; broad shoulders; fair hair; gold tooth on the top, right side; has the appearance of an American.
4) The Germans have been importing submarine parts from Italy for some time past. These have been assembled in various towns throughout Germany. The Germans are now said to have between three and four hundred submarines, are capable of a range of 9,000 miles and carry 16 torpedoes. Their main bases are believed to be Cuxhaven (AOB, most likely a hoax) and Kiel.
(N.I.D. have been informed)
Lieut.-Colonel V. Vivian C.B.E.,
KV 2/446-3, page 33 (minute 305c)
Arrangements were made for Colonel Hinchley Cooke and I see Snow (Arthur Owens) yesterday at Special Branch (a section of Scotland Yard), after which Snow (Arthur Owens) was taken by Inspector (name made invisible) and I to Frenchurch Street Station where he caught the 5.8 train to Tilbury.
A letter was received for Snow (Arthur Owens) at Mrs. (name made invisible) address containing two £5 notes and 10 £1 notes. The letter was registered and posted in Amsterdam.
Before leaving, Snow (Arthur Owens) was told of this and the previous sum of £20 which was sent to him from the same place. (AOB, likely sent on behalf of Mrs. Krafft, initiated by the German Abwehr; see: J12 J12return)
KV 2/446-3, page 35 (minute 304a)
Snow (Arthur Owens) (see also: L14 L14return)
On Monday, the 11th September, 1939, Inspector and I (T.A. Robertson) removed Snow from Wandsworth Goal (prison) to Kensington Police Station, where it was arranged that he should be treated as a special prisoner and should be released only at the request of one of us (M.I.5 Section B.3.) Our reason for doing this was to get Owens established, plus Lily (Bade Arthur Owens' girlfriend) in a flat somewhere in the Kingston district.
On the 12th September Inspector (name made invisible) and I (TAR), together with Snow (Arthur Owens), went flat hunting, and finally obtained a top flat (address made invisible) with the help of Mr. Meakin of M.I.1g we managed to put up Snow's (Arthur Owens') W/T set, with the aerials concealed in the roof. The flat unfortunately was not furnished.
Having fixed up the set we transmitted a message to Germany at 11.30. "Must meet you Holland at once. Bring weather code radio town and hotel. Wales ready". This message was allowed to go after Snow (Arthur Owens) had explained that in accordance with the instructions he had received from (Dr.) Rantzau (real name Major Ritter), he was to meet in Holland as soon as possible in order to pick up the weather code which would enable Snow (Arthur Owens) to give the Germans information regarding the state of the weather over certain places in England, which they, which they intended to bomb. The references to Wales is explained by the fact that Rantzau is anxious to get hold of a Welshman who is a permanent member of the Welsh Nationalist Party. Apparently Rantzau (Major Ritter) wishes to use this organisation to create disturbance in Wales. Once he has established this link he proposes to supply them with arms, which will be brought up the Bristol Channel in a submarine. Snow (Arthur Owens) has clearly had no opportunity to contact anyone in the Welsh Nationalist → (page 36)
KV 2/446-2, page 36
Party, and suggested that we should provide someone to go over.
Unfortunately, we received no reply to this message, so we decided to send it again at 4 o'clock; this we did, and immediately received a reply, which was prefaced by the call sign OEA (the German station call-sign), which is the call sign made by Hamburg station (Domäne?) when they wish to to get into touch with Snow (Arthur Owens). The message sent by the German station was quite undecipherable, so we asked for a repeat, whereupon the German station replied they wanted a repeat. After this last message we decided that it was high time we gave it up.
On the 13th I (TAR) discussed the whole of this case with colonel Hinchley Cooke and Mr. Harker, who both agreed that it would be as well to allow Snow (Arthur Owens) to go to Holland, in order to contact Dr. Rantzau (Major Ritter). Mr. Harker also obtained permission from the S. of S. and Sir Alexander Maxwell (Home Office) for the suspension of the 18B order against (M15 M15return).
I then went down to see Snow (Arthur Owens) at Kingston and took with me a passport and permit form.
Colonel Hinchley Cooke arranged with Superintendent Forster that we should borrow the services of two watchers from Special Branch (a section to Scotland Yard), whose duty it would be to keep an eye on Lily (Bade; Owens' girl friend) and Snow (Arthur Owens).
On September 14th I went to see Mr. Stafford at the Passport Office in order to have Snow's (Arthur Owens') passport regularised.
I then again went down to see Snow (Arthur Owens) at Kingston and arranged for a certain amount of furniture to be bought fro Mr. Chapman (not equal to the later Zigzag, because this person was in prison on Jersey), a furniture dealer. Inspector (made invisible) had in the meantime collected Lily (Bade) and he gave instructions to her to furnish the house and get everything she required.
KV 2/446-3, page 37
She is taking up her residence there tonight.
I also handed Snow (Arthur Owens) his passport and told him that the next boat was leaving for Flushing (Vlissingen) from Tilbury on Saturday, and that he must leave Fenchurch Street tomorrow, the 15th, not later than 5 o'clock.
I also explained to Snow (Arthur Owens) that on no account when he returns to this country is he to give the impression that he is on a special mission, but is to confirm in every way to the requirements of the Emigration authorities. He quite understands this and will not give his papers up on arriving in England.
Snow (Arthur Owens) has ask me to produce someone for tomorrow, before he leaves England, who is a member of the Welsh Nationalist Party. He says that he will have to give his name and address to (Dr.) Rantzau (Major Ritter, actually being Leiter I L of Ast Hamburg), who will then get in touch with him.
B.3. 14.9.39. Sgd. T.A. Robertson.
KV 2/446-3, page 38 (minute 304x)
The Under Secretary of State (Home Office) for the Home Department presents his compliments to the Governor of Wandsworth Prison, and with reference to the case of "Snow" (Arthur Owens), who is at present detained in the prison under an Order made under regulation 18B of the Defence Regulations (please notice: N15 N15return), has to inform him that the Secretary of State has directed that this man shall be transferred to and detained at Kingston police station. The Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis has been instructed to arrange for his transfer and detention accordingly. The prisoner should be released into the custody of the police escort which will call for him.
11th September, 1939
(Please, bear still in mind that the sequence of the documents are running reversed in time)
KV 2/446-3, page 39 (minute 303c)
11th September 39
On Friday, 8th instant, Mrs. (name made invisible) sister-in-law of Snow (Arthur Owens) subject of home Office detention Order, now in Wandsworth Prison, residing at Stratford Road, Plaistow, called at West Ham Police Station and stated she she desired to give further information to a Special Branch officer.
The following day, Detective Inspector Jones, "K" Division was requested to see Mrs. (name made invisible) and on arrival she handed over to him a registered letter posted in Amsterdam on 7.9. 1939 addressed to "Mr Wilson, c/o Mrs. (name invisible), Stratford Road, Plaistow, London East", which had arrived the previous day, Wilson was an alias used by "Snow" (Arthur Owens)
The letter when opened, contained four £5 Bank of England notes, Nos B/226 39162 dated 3.6.1938; T/283 10615 dated 22.1.38 (Manchester); B/225 19505 dated 2.6.1938; and B/182 8909 dated 7.1.1938. They were wrapped in white tissue paper, there being no indication as to the sender.
Col. Hinchley Cooke, M.I.5 was communicated with and he requested that the notes be forwarded to him.
The notes and envelope are submitted herewith.
Sgd G. Holmes Inspector. (not determined) Superintendent.
KV 2/446-3, page 45
Two registered letter envelopes we know from the above one that this was the letter which was handed over at Special Branch, the second sample being not delt with in this file series.
Please notice: that what isn't visible or noticed within this file, apparently two letters had been sent: one handed in on: 7 September 1939 and the second one on 11 September
KV 2/446-3, page 44 (minute 303a)
"Snow" (Arthur Owens)
On Friday September 8th I (name not determined, because this document does not end with a space for a signature) went with Meakin of M.I.1G to Wandworth Prison, in order to get Snow (Arthur Owens) to operate his transmitter apparatus with the object of getting in touch with his connections in Germany. Having put the set in order we arranged to come up at 6 o'clock, and M.I.1.g. were advised to listen, not only to report upon transmission but also for a reply from Germany. Unfortunately, Snow (Arthur Owens), in looking over his set to satisfy himself, at our request, - that his set was exactly in the manner in which he had been instructed, pushed a switch at the base of the set which caused a fuse to blow. This ended our activities for the day as we were unable to repair the set before the following morning.
On Saturday September 9th Meakin and I again went to Wandsworth and succeeded the transmitting at 6 o'clock and 7.45with Snow (Arthur Owens) keying. The message keyed was sent out in code and was: "AEL (I suppose Owens' current call-sign) READY HAVE REPARED RADIO SEND INSTRUCTIONS NOW WAITING REPLY". It was reported through M.I.1.g. that our transmission was poor, about R (readability) 3 (on a scale of 5), and no definite reply was picked up. According to to Snow's (Arthur Owens') information, the reception station in Germany would be particularly active at 4 o'clock in the morning and would be then listening for him more particularly than at at any other time in the day. We therefore came up again at exactly 4 a.m. on the morning of Sunday 10th, but unfortunately our transmission was reported by M.I.1.g (RSS ?) as completely jammed by a powerful station. unidentified, although it is of course possible that the message might have been received in Germany. No reply was picked up by M.I.1.g.
On Saturday 9th and the early hours of Sunday morning I had various conversations with Snow (Arthur Owens). On Saturday morning I made an abundantly clear to him that it was in the interests to use the best endeavours to get in touch with Germany. (AOB, colonially they were used to rule the waves, but there is a huge difference when the same individuals are attempting those ruling kept in captivity!) Previously to this conversation it had been my impression that → (page 45)
KV 2/446-3, page 45
he was not telling us by any means all he knew (AOB, should someone do, when kept in captivity?), and furthermore, there were inconsistencies in his interpretations of various points of the code of transmission. It is now my impression that, since that conversation, he is doing all he can to get in touch with Germany, although I would not be prepared to say whether he is now still with-holding a certain amount of knowledge from us. (AOB, very poor man!)
He gave me various pieces of information, most of which he confided to members of our department at previous interviews. The only fresh information I acquired was as follows:-
1. That he did not expect air raids in this country at the present time as Germany was expecting weather reports from him in connection with any proposed air raids.
(It is my impression that his information is correct).
That if he, Snow (Arthur
Owens) was unable to
make wireless contacts with Germany his instructions were to write to an address
which he gave as Auerbach,
The text of the letter to read: ".... the salesman will arrive on ( such and
such day) at (such and such a time).
I gather the address was a certain Dr. Rantzau (actually Major Ritter) - whether he was too be addressed under this name I am not quite clear. I understood that the date amd tie given in the text of the letter was the date and time that Snow (Arthur Owens) wished Rantzau (Major Ritter) to transmit from Germany to him Snow (Arthur Owens).
Meakin, who has seen Snow (Arthur Owens) once or twice when I myself was not present, thinks that the date and time stated were to refer to the moment at which Snow (Arthur Owens) should transmit to Germany. It is my impression that he clearly stated the reverse to me, and it seems illogical that the latter should be the case, as it is understood that during ware time Snow (Arthur Owens) could get through to Germany at any time during the 24 hours and that a special watch with an English speaking operator would always be kept → (page 46)
KV 2/446-3, page 46
at and about 4 a.m. upon each day in order that an immediate reply might be received.
As I see it, the method of communication by letter was one which would only be used supposing for some reason - either by the breakdown of his set or other causes - Snow (Arthur Owens) was temporarily incapacitated either from sending or receiving messages (bear in mind: during his captivity at Wandsworth Prison!), and therefore got out of touch with current (British Secret Service) instructions. (AOB, world-wide: - civil servants stay being civil-servants) By letter he would have been able to communicate this happening to them by the simple message that he required them to come up for him to pick up at given time, when presumably he hoped that his temporary difficulties would be resolved.
The reason that I did not in certain instances in this report give the exact details to Snow's (Arthur Owens') statements is that I did not make obvious notes at the time. It appeared to me that he was in the mood to talk and I was as pleasant to him as possible (acting as such, not spontaneously?), and simply allowed him to ramble on.
Other pieces of extraneous information which I obtained which may not be of any importance are as follows:-
1. That he was employed as a public utility engineer by the Canadian Government at some time unspecified.
2. That his father had left him a fairly substantial sum of money. I gathered that the fact that the squandered (fruitless) this was his reason for leaving Canada.
3) That he was a more or less qualified chemist - he mentioned that he had a degree as A.P.S.
4) he mentioned in connection with his education that he had been at (name made invisible) County School, Glamorgan, and afterwards had served an apprenticeship at Clydach. I gathered in connection with his engineering qualifications.
A copy of the code employed by Snow (Arthur Owens) for transmission is → (page 47)
KV 2/445-3, page 47 (minute 14a)
attached. he states that this is also the code for receiving.
During the course of conversation with Snow (Arthur Owens) between 6. and 7.45 on the evening of the 9th (September '39), the following incident occurred.
He is sitting in the cell (what is going on the minds of those - expecting a full dedications concerning the matters of M.I.5; whereas someone is being kept in captivity on their behalf?) in which the transmitter was rigged up, the door being ajar (partly open), and a warder standing outside (do we deal here with apparently brave humans recording this event?), as I discovered afterwards, apparently for hanging up curtains or some other purpose. Both Snow (Arthur Owens) and I interpreted his remark at that moment to mean that the prisoners along that passage were going to be returned to their cells, and would therefore be passing the open door of the cell in which Snow (Arthur Owens) and I were sitting (including communication equipments). Snow (Arthur Owens) became very white and was obviously terrified, and said to me "Don't let them see me -whatever happens don't let them see me". (do we deal here with the crème of the civil servants?) I therefore shut the door and told him that there was nothing whatever to be frightened of as he would be absolutely safe where he was. I then asked him what had upset him so much.
He said that he met a certain prisoner, whose name he did not give, in the prison that morning and that he had taken Snow (Arthur Owens) into the corner and told him that he knew he had been "quizzed (interrogated) by the Intelligence cops" and the day before, and I gathered had tried to get out of him what he had said. Snow (Arthur Owens) repudiated the statement I believe. I did not ask him the man's name as I did not wish to appear too much curious (the latter guy should have been cleverer before he came involved). The result being that he continued to talk of the man and said that he knew him well and also knew that he had only just returned from Germany. I communicated this information verbally with Colonel Hinchley Cooke and he thinks that the man in question is Percy William Rapp about whom he has considerable information.
KV 2/446-3, page 48 (minute 302a)
6th September 39
With reference to "Snow" (Arthur Owens) of Grosvenor Court, Morden, Surrey:
For some time - acting on instructions - I have maintained contact with this man, and I have submitted the information he has given me to M.I.5.
On Friday 1st. September 1939, (the very day when Hitler declared war on Poland directly followed by its invasion) a Detention Order under regulation 18B of the Defence Regulations 1939 was made against Snow (Arthur Owens).
Enquiries were made by Inspector Holmes with a view to effecting his arrest, but this was not possible because Snow (Arthur Owens) had left his regular address, and he could not be traced.
About noon on Monday (4th Sept.; the day England and France declared war on Germany) 1939, Snow (Arthur Owens) telephoned me to make an appointment, With Inspector Holmes I saw Snow (Arthur Owens) at Waterloo Station at 4. p.m.. He stated he wished to offer his services to the British government, but declined to reveal his address. He was taken to Wandsworth Prison, a copy of Detention Order was served on him (Original is endorsed (permitted) en submitted (handed over to the Prison?), and he was detained. Just before he entered the prison he entered the prison he gave the as: (house number made invisible) Parkland, Surbiton, Surrey, and added that a transmitting set would be found in his bath. This set has previously seen by M.I.5.
Inspector Holmes, Mr. Robertson (TAR), M.I.5, Col. Simpson, M.I.5 , and myself called the same evening at (house number deleted) Parklands, and there saw Mr. and Mrs. (name made invisible, but replaced by:) "X" the occupants → (page 49)
KV 2/446-3, page 49
of the flat where Snow (Arthur Owens) was staying with Miss Lily (Bade; Owens' girlfriend).
At first these people denied all knowledge of Snow (Arthur Owens), but later admitted he was living there as a husband of Lily (Bade). A search of the flat was made, but the transmitter set could not be found. In a cupboard in the bathroom, however, we a two valve receiving set which had been made by Snow (Arthur Owens)
After sharp questioning Mr. X said that Lily had arrived home about 5 p.m. same day, and asked him to 'get rid' of a parcel belonging to Snow (Arthur Owens) was aware that Snow (Arthur Owens) was living apart of his wife, and was under the impression that the parcel was something to do with Snow's domestic quarrel. He thereupon buried the parcel in a corner of the garden, not knowing its contents. Mr. X pointed out the spot where we found the transmitting set in a paper carrier.
By this time Lily (Bade) had returned to the house, and she and (Mr. X?) were taken to Kingston Police Station, where statements were taken from them. Copies attached.
It appears that Snow (Arthur Owens) had suggested that he could put various agencies in Mr. X's way, and for that purpose invited him to Hamburg. Mr X accompanied Snow (Arthur Owens) and Lily (Bade) to Hamburg where they arrived about 10 p.m. 11th August 1939. He was there introduced to various to various ? by the names of Kurtz (Decarded; removed from suspected card index April 1953), Schneider, 'Herr Doctor' (Likely Major Ritter, Leiter I L, Ast Hamburg) and Leitz. Nothing materialized in the way of business from these meetings, but Leitz asked Mr. X to meet him at the Great Eastern Hotel, Liverpool Street on Thursday 17th August 1939. Mr. X kept the appointment , but was informed that Leitz had returned to Germany by air. (AOB: Germans had been generally informed that war was eminent soon, and quite many Germans left England soon. Such as did also Salzmann and his wife, a daughter just married an British citizen, as to prevent internment; see KV 2/910 ...914 a very sad and tragic story, which I would like to deal with soon)
Snow (Arthur Owens) and his girlfriend (Lily Bade) returned on the 24th August, 1939, and have stayed at (house number deleted) Parklands since. On the 4th September, 1939, the couple left the house about 3.15 p.m. and the girl arrived back - as before stated - about 5 p.m. She informed Mr. X that Snow 'Had been taken way'. X admits that he highly indiscreet in burying the parcel, and being evasive when first seen, but said he → (page 50)
AOB: in the meantime of processing - this web page have become too much loaded. As to anticipate on any form over overloading - I have to introduce a succession page which without a break continues
Arthur Owens page 2
continuing with Chapter 5a
By Arthur O. Bauer