HERE AT THE CRIME THROUGH TIME COLLECTION AT LITTLEDEAN JAIL WE FEATURE THE BRITISH SECRET AGENT – VIOLETTE SZABO, ALONG WITH OTHER SOE HERO’S AND HEROINES, SAS (SPECIAL AIR SERVICE) AND OTHER UK SPECIAL FORCES.
NOT FORGETTING OF COURSE OUR WW2 NAZI HOLOCAUST EXHIBITION FOR WHICH WE FEATURE AND INCLUDE MANY OF THE ABOVE WHO HAD BEEN CAPTURED, TORTURED AND SUBSEQUENTLY EXECUTED BY THE NAZI’S DURING THIS HORRIFIC PERIOD.
WE ALSO HAVE A NUMBER OF PERSONALLY SIGNED EXHIBIT ITEMS KINDLY DONATED TO THE MUSEUM AND ON DISPLAY FROM VIOLETTE SZABO’S DAUGHTER – TANIA WHO HAS CARRIED ON THE LEGACY OF HER MOTHER SINCE HER DEATH IN 1945 .
ABOVE & BELOW …. Original oil paintings by our in-house Gloucestershire artist Paul Bridgman here on display at The Crime Through Time Collection, Littledean Jail .
SOE HEROINE VIOLETTE SZABO
VIOLETTE’S DAUGHTER TANIA
ORIGINAL FILM POSTER FROM THE EPIC FILM BASED ON VIOLETTE SZABO
TANIA SZABO PROUDLY SHOWING HER MOTHER’S MEDALS SHE RECEIVED POSTHUMOUSLY TO ANDY JONES OF THE CRIME THROUGH TIME COLLECTION AT LITTLEDEAN JAIL
BELOW ARE A FEW PICTURES TAKEN AT A RECENT GET-TOGETHER AND CATCH-UP WITH TANIA , DAUGHTER OF WW2 S.O.E. ( SPECIAL OPERATIONS EXECUTIVE ) HEROINE – VIOLETTE SZABO … PARTICULARLY SPECIAL WHEREBY SHE KINDLY BROUGHT ALONG AS A SURPRISE , HER MOTHERS GEORGE MEDAL , CROIX DE GUERRE AND THE MEDAILLE DE LA RESISTANCE FOR WHICH TANIA HAD RECEIVED POSTHUMOUSLY AS A YOUNG CHILD. A GREAT PRIVILEGE TO HAVE SEEN AND HELD SUCH A HISTORICALLY IMPORTANT PIECE OF HISTORY .
BELOW: ANDY JONES OF LITTLEDEAN JAIL WITH ACTRESS VIRGINIA McKENNA STAR OF THE FILM ” CARVE HER NAME WITH PRIDE” AT A RECENT GARDEN PARTY FUNDRAISING EVENT AT THE LITTLE STONE SHED ‘VIOLETTE SZABO MUSEUM ‘ IN WORMELOW, HEREFORDSHIRE.
BELOW: ANDY JONES OF LITTLEDEAN JAIL WITH VIOLETTE SZABO’S DAUGHTER TANIA AT A RECENT GARDEN PARTY FUNDRAISING EVENT AT THE LITTLE STONE SHED ‘VIOLETTE SZABO MUSEUM ‘ IN WORMELOW, HEREFORDSHIRE.
Below is a signed image of Tania Szabo wearing the medals she received posthumously for and behalf of her mother Violette now on display at the Crime Through Time Collection
VIOLETTE WITH DAUGHTER TANIA
TANIA SZABO WEARING HER MOTHERS MEDALS
SOE HEROINE VIOLETTE SZABO
TANIA SZABO WEARING HER MOTHERS MEDALS
SOE HEROINE VIOLETTE SZABO
SOE HEROINE VIOLETTE SZABO
SOE HEROINE VIOLETTE SZABO
SOE HEROINE VIOLETTE SZABO
VIRGINIA McKENNA SIGNED FILM STILL
ACTRESS VIRGINIA McKENNA WITH TANIA SZABO
SOE HEROINE VIOLETTE SZABO
VIRGINIA McKENNA SIGNED FILM STILL
SOE HEROINE VIOLETTE SZABO
CARVE HER NAME WITH PRIDE FILM POSTER
TANIA SZABO VISITS LITTLEDEAN JAIL
SOE HEROINE VIOLETTE SZABO
CARVE HER NAME WITH PRIDE FILM POSTER
VIRGINIA McKENNA SIGNED FILM STILL
CARVE HER NAME WITH PRIDE FILM POSTER
1ST DAY COVER SIGNED BY WW2 SOE HEROINE NANCY WAKE
VIRGINIA McKENNA SIGNED FILM STILLS
ANDY JONES WITH TANIA SZABO AT A RECENT VIOLETTE SZABO MEMORIAL EVENT AT THE VIOLETTE SZABO MUSEUM , WORMELOW IN 2014
ANDY JONES WITH VIRGINIA McKENNA AT A RECENT VIOLETTE SZABO MEMORIAL EVENT AT THE VIOLETTE SZABO MUSEUM , WORMELOW IN 2014
TANIA SZABO AT THE UNVEILING OF THE PLAQUE COMMEMORATING HER MOTHER AND OTHER SOE MEMBERS IN 2013
TANIA SZABO’S BOOK ON HER MOTHER
1ST DAY COVER SIGNED BY WW2 SOE HEROINE ODETTE HALLOWES ALONG WITH TANIA SZABO
HERE AT THE CRIME THROUGH TIME COLLECTION , LITTLEDEAN JAIL, FOREST OF DEAN, GLOUCESTERSHIRE, UK ….. WE FEATURE MANY OF THE UK’S SPECIAL FORCES INCLUDING PERSONAL TESTAMENTS TO MANY OF OUR HEROINES INCLUDING SOE VIOLETTE SZABO WHO WAS CAPTURED , TORTURED AND MURDERED BY THE NAZI’S AT RAVENSBRUCK CONCENTRATION CAMP IN 1945 (AGED 23)
Violette Szabo was born Violette Reine Elizabeth Bushell in Paris, on 26 June 1921, the second child of a French mother and an English taxi-driver father, who had met during World War I. The family moved to London, and she attended school in Brixton until the age of 14. At the start of World War II, she was working at the perfume counter of Le Bon Marché, a department store in Brixton.
Violette met Étienne Szabo, a French officer of Hungarian descent, at the Bastille Day parade in London in 1940. They married on 21 August 1940 after a whirlwind 42-day romance. Violette was 19, Étienne was 31. Shortly after the birth of their only child, Tania, Étienne died from chest wounds at the Battle of El Alamein in October 1942. He had never seen his daughter. It was Étienne’s death that made Violette, having already joined the Auxiliary Territorial Service in 1941, decide to offer her services to the British Special Operations Executive (SOE).
Below shows Violette with her husband Etienne
After an assessment for fluency in French and a series of interviews, she was inducted into SOE. She received intensive training in night and daylight navigation; escape and evasion, both Allied and German weapons, unarmed combat, demolitions, explosives, communications and cryptography. In his book “Das Reich” Max Hastings comments that Szabo was adored by the men and women of SOE both for her courage and endless infectious cockney laughter. An ankle injury during parachute training delayed her deployment until 5 April 1944, when she parachuted into German-occupied France, near Cherbourg.
Under the code name “Louise”, which also happened to be her nickname, she and SOE colleague Philippe Liewer reorganised a Resistance network that had been broken up by the Germans. She led the new group in sabotaging road and railway bridges. Her wireless reports to SOE headquarters on the local factories producing war materials for the Germans were important in establishing Allied bombing targets. She returned to England by Lysander on 30 April 1944, landing at RAF Tempsford, after an intense but successful first mission.
She flew to the outskirts of Limoges, France on 7 June 1944 (immediately following D-Day) from RAF Tempsford. Immediately on arrival, she coordinated the activities of the local Maquis (led by Jacques Dufour) in sabotaging communication lines during German attempts to stem the Normandy landings.
She was a passenger in a car that raised the suspicions of German troops at an unexpected roadblock that had been set up to find SturmbannführerHelmut Kämpfe of the Das Reich Division, who had been captured by the local resistance.
A brief gun battle ensued. Her Maquis minders escaped unscathed in the confusion. However, Szabo was captured when she ran out of ammunition, around midday on 10 June 1944, near Salon-la-Tour. Her captors were most likely from the 1st Battalion of 3rd SS Panzer Grenadier Regiment Deutschland (Das Reich Division). In R.J. Minney’s biography she is described as putting up fierce resistance with her Sten gun, although German documents of the incident record no German injuries or casualties. A recent biography of Vera Atkins, the intelligence officer for the French section of SOE, notes that that there was a great deal of confusion about what happened to Szabo—the story was revised four times—and states that the Sten gun incident “was probably a fabrication.”
Violette Szabo was executed, aged 23, by SS firing squad on or about 5 February 1945. Her body was cremated in the camp’s crematorium.
Three other women members of the SOE were also executed at Ravensbrück: Denise Bloch, Cecily Lefort, and Lilian Rolfe. Of the SOE’s 55 female agents, thirteen were killed in action or died in Nazi concentration camps
BELOW ARE SOME BRIEF IMAGES OF AN ORIGINAL WW2 “F.A.N.Y” (FIRST AID NURSING YEOMANRY ) – WTS (WOMENS TRANSPORT SERVICES ) UNIFORM COMPLETE WITH ITS ORIGINAL WW2 ISSUE GAS MASK … AS WOULD HAVE ALSO BEEN WORN BY VIOLETTE SZABO DURING HER DUTIES PRIOR TO HAVING BEEN SECONDED TO THE SOE (SPECIAL OPERATIONS EXECUTIVE ) AS A BRITISH SECRET AGENT .
A VERY SCARCE AND HIGHLY SOUGHT AFTER HISTORIC ITEM IN ITS OWN RIGHT DISPLAYED HERE TOO IN AND AMONGST OTHER WW2 F.A.N.Y , ATS, WTS ETC ETC WOMEN IN WARTIME MOVEMENTS
BELOW AND ABOVE
World War 2 FANY ( First Aid Nursing Yeomany) uniform on mannequin displayed along with an original WW2 anti aircraft binocular gunsight on tripod now on display to the public here at the Crime Through Time Collection at Littledean jail, Gloucestershire
below… Film poster advertising “CARVE HER NAME WITH PRIDE” based on the heroine -Violette Szabo… starring Virginia McKenna and Paul Scofield
ORIGINAL 1958 CINEMA RELEASE POSTER
George Cross posthumously awarded to Violette Szabo’s daughter Tania
Tania Szabó is Violette’s daughter, although, as she says, she is of an age to be her mother’s grandmother by now. On her ninth birthday, in June 1951, she sailed forAustralia with her grandparents, Charles and Reine Bushell, on the £10 ticket. After college in Armidale, NSW and a stint as a psychiatric nurse in Sydney, she returned to England in the New Year of 1963. It was so very cold.
After working as a secretary, croupier, office administrator in various companies, completing a course in computing in the late 60s (cards with holes and no electronics) and spending a year in Beverley Hills studying Spanish while continuing her studies in the humanities, she returned to England and finally moved to Jersey in April 1976 where she opened her Language Studio with the help of Paul Emile Francis Holley, a friend of Violette’s. He also trained her in the recognition of German armaments and uniforms as he was a British Intelligence Officer during WWII.
Tania is an author as well as a professional multilingual translator and private tutor. The author, Avv. Mario Zacchi of Florence and author of Il Mastino Napoletano – the Italian Mastiff, the Standard and History of this amazing dog commissioned Tania to translate it. It is now lodged with the British Library. Zacchi’s writing in his native Italian immediately draws you into the mystery, fierce loyalty and funny antics of this Cerebus of dogs and it was a sheer delight for Tania to translate into English bringing his love and erudition of this remarkable breed to an anglophone readership.
On 29 April 2009, Paul Holley, the Intelligence officer, who had trained Violette in German armaments and uniforms, and was Tania’s friend and mentor, died one month into his 90th year. She continues to miss his friendship and invaluable support. She has closed her Language Studio and now retired could no longer afford to live in Jersey and now lives in a lovely 17th century cottage just outside Builth Wells in Wales. She is still sorting out all the books and archives before completing her paperback version of Young Brave and Beautiful and getting back down to writing Etienne’s amazing life’s story.
Violette’s only daughter Tania Szabo pictured at her home in Jersey i 2007
ABOVE … A BRIEF INSIGHT INTO THE FIRST SERVING GLOUCESTERSHIRE POLICEMAN TO BE KILLED IN THE LINE OF DUTY IN 1861. SERGEANT SAMUEL BEARD WAS , AT THE TIME STATIONED HERE AT LITTLEDEAN JAIL FOR SOME 16 YEARS . THE GLOUCESTERSHIRE POLICE FORCE WAS FORMED IN 1839, MAKING IT THE SECOND OLDEST COUNTY POLICE FORCE IN THE UK .
INCIDENTALLY , THE FIRST RECORDED DEATH OF A SERVING PARISH CONSTABLE (FORERUNNERS TO THE POLICE FORCE ) IN THE FOREST OF DEAN WAS HENRY THOMPSON IN THE PARISH OF RUARDEAN , 14 MAY 1817 , AGED 31 .
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION ON THE HISTORY OF THE GLOUCESTERSHIRE POLICE FORCE PLEASE CLICK ON THE TWO LINKSHERE OR HERE
BELOW …. A BRIEF LOOK AT THE ENTRANCE TO THE CRIME THROUGH TIME COLLECTION , LITTLEDEAN JAIL, FEATURING VARIOUS POLICE MANNEQUINS AND OTHER POLICE MEMORABILIA DISPLAYS .
HERE’S JUST A BRIEF PICTORIAL INSIGHT INTO SOME OF THE BRITISH POLICE MEMORABILIA AND EPHEMERA ON DISPLAY AT LITTLEDEAN JAIL WHICH COVERS THE HISTORY OF THE POLICE THROUGH THE AGES .
THIS COLLECTION IS BELIEVED TO BE ONE OF THE LARGEST PRIVATE COLLECTIONS OF POLICE MEMORABILIA IN THE UK . WE HAVE HUNDREDS OF VINTAGE HAND PAINTED TRUNCHEONS , RESTRAINTS , HELMETS, BADGES, UNIFORMS AND MUCH MORE .
SEE BELOW FOR PICTORIAL SLIDESHOW OF A FEW EXHIBITS ON DISPLAY
SEE BELOW VIDEO FOR EDUCATIONAL INSIGHT INTO THE HISTORY OF THE BRITISH POLICE
A SUPERB PIECE OF GLOUCESTERSHIRE POLICE CRIME SCENE MEMORABILIA ON DISPLAY AT LITTLEDEAN JAIL
JUST ONE OF A GREAT MANY BRITISH POLICE MEMORABILIA ITEMS THROUGH THE AGES ON DISPLAY IN ONE OF THE UK’S LARGEST PRIVATE COLLECTIONS OF LAW AND ORDER MATERIAL .
BELOW IS AN IMAGE OF WHAT IS BELIEVED TO BE ONE OF THE VERY FEW SURVIVING VINTAGE GLOUCESTERSHIRE CONSTABULARY’S FINGERPRINT KITS (CIRCA 1940’S) . COMPLETE WITH IT’S ORIGINAL BOX, INKS, ROLLER, POWDERS AND BRUSHES ETC .ALSO VARIOUS APPROPRIATE DOCUMENTATION FOR FINGERPRINT EVIDENCE PURPOSES . FOR MORE INFORMATION AND PICTURES RELATING TO THIS ITEM CLICK HERE
Picture By: Jules Annan Picture Shows:GLOUCESTERSHIRE POLICE FINGERPRINT KIT CIRCA 1940’S Date 25TH September 2011 Ref: *World Rights Only* *Unbylined uses will incur an additional discretionary fee!*
A short history of British Police focusing on truncheon and armour – Arms in Action
ORIGINAL PAINTING BY GLOUCESTERSHIRE ARTIST PAUL BRIDGMAN DEPICTING WPC YVONNE FLETCHER, WHO WAS FATALLY SHOT OUTSIDE THE LIBYAN EMBASSY , ST JAMES SQUARE, LONDON IN 1984 . THIS PAINTING IS ON DISPLAY AT LITTLEDEAN JAIL.
PC DAVID RATHBAND WHO WAS SHOT AND BLINDED BY RAOUL MOAT PERSONAL SIGNED PHOTOGRAPH ON DISPLAY AT LITTLEDEAN JAIL
A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE BRITISH POLICE
The word “Police” means, generally, the arrangements made in all civilised countries to ensure that the inhabitants keep the peace and obey the law. The word also denotes the force of peace officers (or police) employed for this purpose.
In 1829 Sir Richard Mayne wrote:
“The primary object of an efficient police is the prevention of crime: the next that of detection and punishment of offenders if crime is committed. To these ends all the efforts of police must be directed. The protection of life and property, the preservation of public tranquillity, and the absence of crime, will alone prove whether those efforts have been successful and whether the objects for which the police were appointed have been attained.”
In attaining these objects, much depends on the approval and co-operation of the public, and these have always been determined by the degree of esteem and respect in which the police are held. One of the key principles of modern policing in Britain is that the police seek to work with the community and as part of the community.
Origins of policing
The origin of the British police lies in early tribal history and is based on customs for securing order through the medium of appointed representatives. In effect, the people were the police. The Saxons brought this system to England and improved and developed the organisation. This entailed the division of the people into groups of ten, called “tythings”, with a tything-man as representative of each; and into larger groups, each of ten tythings, under a “hundred-man” who was responsible to the Shire-reeve, or Sheriff, of the County.
The tything-man system, after contact with Norman feudalism, changed considerably but was not wholly destroyed. In time the tything-man became the parish constable and the Shire-reeve the Justice of the Peace, to whom the parish constable was responsible. This system, which became widely established in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, comprised, generally, one unarmed able-bodied citizen in each parish, who was appointed or elected annually to serve for a year unpaid, as parish constable. He worked in co-operation with the local Justices in securing observance of laws and maintaining order. In addition, in the towns, responsibility for the maintenance of order was conferred on the guilds and, later, on other specified groups of citizens, and these supplied bodies of paid men, known as “The Watch”, for guarding the gates and patrolling the streets at night.
In the eighteenth century came the beginnings of immense social and economic changes and the consequent movement of the population to the towns. The parish constable and “Watch” systems failed completely and the impotence of the law-enforcement machinery was a serious menace. Conditions became intolerable and led to the formation of the “New Police”.
The Metropolitan Police
In 1829, when Sir Robert Peel was Home Secretary, the first Metropolitan Police Act was passed and the Metropolitan Police Force was established. This new force superseded the local Watch in the London area but the City of London was not covered. Even within the Metropolitan Police District there still remained certain police establishments, organised during the eighteenth century, outside the control of the Metropolitan Police Office, viz:-
The Bow Street Patrols, mounted and foot, the latter commonly called the “Bow Street runners”.
Police Office constables attached to the offices of, and under the control of, the Magistrates.
The Marine or River Police.
By 1839 all these establishments had been absorbed by the Metropolitan Police Force. The City of London Police, which was set up in 1839, remains an independent force to this day.
HISTORY OF THE METROPOLITAN POLICE
Time Line 1829 – 1849
Until 1829, law enforcement had been lacking in organisation. As London expanded during the 18th and 19th centuries the whole question of maintaining law and order had become a matter of public concern. In 1812, 1818 and 1822, Parliamentary committees were appointed to investigate the subject of crime and policing. But it was not until 1828 when Sir Robert Peel set up his committee that the findings paved the way for his police Bill, which led to the setting up of an organised police service in London.
The formation of the Metropolitan Police Force on 29 September 1829 by Sir Robert Peel.
Sir Charles Rowan and Richard Mayne are appointed as Justices of the Peace in charge of the Force.1830PC Joseph Grantham becomes first officer to be killed on duty, at Somers Town, Euston. The Metropolitan Police ranks were increased considerably to 3,300 men.1831Further riots. A crowd attacks Apsley House, home of the Duke of Wellington, and break all the windows. The police eventually restore order.1832Richard Mayne, the Commissioner, tries to clarify the roles of the Magistrates and the Commissioners as the Bow Street Runners continue their existance.1833Coldbath Fields Riot (Grays Inn Road). A major crowd disturbance was dealt with by the Metropolitan Police with controversial use of force.
PC Robert Culley was killed at this event, and the jury returned a verdict of Justifiable Homicide.
1834The Select Committee designated with the task of inquiring into the state of the Police of the Metropolis reported ‘that the Metropolitan Police Force, as respects its influence in repressing crime and the security it has given to persons and property, is one of the most valuable modern institutions’
1835In October a fire breaks out at the Millbank Penitentiary and 400 Metropolitan Police officers and a detachment of the Guards are called to restore order. This prompted the press to call for the police to be put in command at all large fires.
1836The Metropolitan Police absorb the Bow Street Horse Patrol into its control.
1837Select Committee appointed to look into the affairs of the police offices. They also propose that the City of London be placed under the control of the Metropolitan Police.
1838Select Committee finally reports and recommends incorporating of Marine Police and Bow Street Runners into the Metropolitan Police and the disbandment of the Bow Street Office and other Offices. These were all agreed and put into effect.
1839The two Justices of the Peace, Rowan and Mayne are termed Commissioners by the Metropolitan Police Act 1839. Enlargement of the Metropolitan Police District by the same Act
.1840Gould Interrogation case in which Police Sergeant Otway attempts induced self-incrimination in the accused, which is immediately discountenanced by the Courts and Commissioner Richard Mayne.
1841Formation of Dockyard divisions of the Metropolitan police
.1842Formation of the Detective Department
.1843The Woolwich Arsenal became part of the area to be patrolled by the Metropolitan Police
.1844Richard Mayne, Commissioner, called to give evidence to the Select Committee on Dogs. He stated that in the Metropolis there were a rising number of lost or stolen dogs. In the preceding year over 600 dogs were lost and 60 stolen. He declared the law to be in a very unsatisfactory state as people paid money for restoration of dogs. ‘People pay monies to parties whom they have reason to believe have either stolen or enticed them away in order to get the reward…’ Mayne believed it to be organised crime.
1845The Commissioners, in returns to the Home Office, states that the aim of the Force was to have one Policeman to 450 head of population.
1846Plain clothes officers were frequently used at this time, but a June order made clear that two officers per division would be employed on detective duties, but that police in plain clothes must make themselves known if interfered with in their duty.
1847Statistics for the year were; 14,091 robberies; 62,181 people taken in charge, 24,689 of these were summarily dealt with; 5,920 stood trial and 4,551 were convicted and sentenced; 31,572 people were discharged by the magistrates.
The Metropolitan Police were still, despite their good record on crime prevention, facing discipline problems amongst their officers on the 18 divisions, with 238 men being dismissed in the year.
1848Large scale enrolement of Special constables to assist the Metropolitan Police in controlling the Chartist Demonstrations
.1849Authorised strength 5,493. In reality 5,288 were available for duty. The population at this time in London was 2,473,758.
Time Line 1850 – 1869
Retirement of Sir Charles Rowan as joint Commissioner. Captain William Hay is appointed in his place.
The Great Exhibition with its special crowd problems forces the police to temporarily form a new police division. The total manpower of the force at this time was 5,551, covering 688 square miles.
Sir Charles Rowan, first joint Commissioner, dies. In his obituary note of 24 May The Times wrote: “No individual of any rank or station could be more highly esteemed or loved when living, or more regretted in death.”
Lord Dudley Stuart, MP for Marylebone and a persistent critic of the police, suggests in Parliament that the police are not worth the money they cost. He recommends that they be reduced in numbers, and a higher class of officers be recruited to control the constables.
Out of 5,700 in the Metropolitan Force, 2.5% were Scottish, 6.5% Irish. The Commissioner was not happy about employing these officers in areas of high Scottish or Irish ethnic concentrations.
Death of Captain William Hay. Sir Richard Mayne becomes sole Commissioner.
Detective Force increased to 10 men, with an extra Inspector and Sergeant.
The Commissioner Richard Mayne is paid a salary of £1,883, and his two Assistant Commissioners are paid salaries of £800 each.
First acquisition of Police van for conveying prisoners. These were horse drawn, and known as‘Black Marias’.
Police orders of 6 January state “It is a great gratification to the Commissioner that the number of police guilty of the offence of drunkenness during the late Christmas holidays has been much lower than last year… In A, F and R Division only one man was reported in each, and in H Division not one man was reported in the present or last year..”
Police begin the occasional use of hand ambulances for injured, sick or drunk people. Accommodation or ‘ambulance sheds’ are later provided for these in police station yards.
Police orders on the 25 January made allowance for one third of Metropolitan Police officers in Dockyards “to be relieved each Sunday, to give them an opportunity of attending Divine Service…”
The Metropolitan Police act as firemen at the British Museum. The Superintendent in charge said of them “From their manner of doing the work, I should be inclined to place considerable confidence in these men in an emergency.”
1862Further expansion in the Metropolitan Police with the formations of the X and W Divisions in the west, and Y Division in the north
1863Drunkenness is still a problem in the force, and in this year 215 officers were dismissed for this reason
.1864Execution of 5 pirates of the ship ‘Flowery Land’ at Newgate. The Metropolitan Police supply nearly 800 officers to keep the peace.
1865Further extensions of the Metropolitan Police District in terms of the area patrolled in north east London.
1866 3,200 police under the command of Commissioner Richard Mayne were used to control a serious riot in Hyde Park. 28 police were permanently disabled, and Mayne was hit by a stone which cut his head open. He was forced to call in the Military to restore order
.1867The Metropolitan Police are severely criticised after Commissioner Richard Mayne ignores a warning about the Clerkenwell bombing by the Fenians. Mayne offers his resignation, but it is refused.1868Death of Commissioner Sir Richard Mayne. Lieutenant Colonel Douglas Labalmondiere acts as Commissioner.
The standard height for Metropolitan Police officers is raised to 5ft 8ins, except for Thames Division, where it is 5ft 7ins.
As a result of frequent larcenies of linen, the Commissioner Edmund Henderson said, on the 21 April, “Constables are to call at the houses of all persons on their beats having wet linen in their gardens, and caution them of the risk they run in having them stolen…”
Police strike for the first time. Various men are disciplined or dismissed, although these latter are later allowed back in to the Force.
The Metropolitan Police acquire 9 new stations : North Woolwich, Rodney Road (Lock’s Fields), Chislehurst, Finchley, Isleworth, Putney, South Norwood, Harrow and Enfield Town.
A survey of recruiting over a 2 year period showed that of those who had joined the force; 31% came from land jobs, 12% from military services, and 5% from other police jobs. The remainder came mostly from manual jobs. The majority of recruits and serving officers came from outside of London.
New police offices at Great Scotland Yard are taken possession of on 4 October 1875 by the Detective and Public Carriage Departments.
8 January the following order was released : “Relief from duty during severe weather – dufing the present severe weather as much indulgence as possible is to be given to the men on night duty, due regard being had to public safety..”
Charles Vincent was appointed Director of Criminal Investigations, the reformed Detective Branch which became known as C.I.D.
Initial rules for dealing with Murder cases, released on 7 June, stated “the body must not be moved, nor anything about it or in the room or place interfered with, and the public must be excluded..”
Formation of the Convict Supervision Office for the assistance and control of convicts discharged upon license.
Possibly London’s most famous police station, Bow Street, was rebuilt in this year.
The growth of London and the area needing policing is illustrated in Tottenham, (Y Division) when 8 miles of new streets are formed in a year with nearly 4,000 houses on them.
The Metropolitan Police at Devonport Dockyard illustrate the diversity of the role of the force as the Police Fire Brigade has its busiest year since formation with 6 major fires
.1883Special Irish Branch formed
.1884A bomb explodes at Scotland Yard planted by the Fenians. The Special Irish Branch are hit.
1885The strength of the force at this time was 13,319, but statistics show that only 1,383 officers were available for beat duty in the day. The population of London at this time was 5,255,069.Public outrage at the explosions at the Tower of London and Houses of Parliament. Two men are sentenced to penal servitude for life as a result.
1891The Public Carriage and Lost Property Offices move from Great Scotland Yard to the new offices at New Scotland Yard on the 21 March.
1892Dismissals and rank and pay reductions were common at this point, and the case of Pc379A Best whose resignation on 21 July illustrates how the Metropolitan Police attempted to keep its men in order. He was “in possession of a tea-can, the property of another constable, obliterating the owners number, substituting his own name and number, telling a deliberate falsehood in connection therewith; and considered unfit for the police force
”1893PC George Cooke, a serving officer, is convicted for murder and hanged.
1894The Alphonse Bertillon system of identification comes into operation.1895To join the Metropolitan Police the following qualifications were necessary:
to be over 21 and under 27 years of age
to stand clear 5ft 9ins without shoes or stockings
to be able to read well, write legibly and have a fair knowledge of spelling
to be generally intelligent
to be free from any bodily complaint
The bodily complaints for which candidates were rejected included; flat foot, stiffness of joints, narrow chest and deformities of the face.
1896Public Carriage Office and Lost Property Offices amalgamate under the designation ‘Public Carriage Branch’.
1897Metropolitan Police Officers granted a boot allowance instead of being supplied with boots. Police boots at this time were loathed, only Sir Edward Bradford, the Commissioner, believing them suitable.
1898After a series of assaults and the murder of PC Baldwin in the vicinity of the Kingsland Road, there are calls for the Metropolitan Police to be armed with revolvers.
1899High rate of suicides amongst officers. This is blamed by certain commentators on harsh discipline and insensitive handling of the men.
As the century draws to a close it is worth noting that the Metropolitan Police on formation in 1829 had a force of about 3,000 men, and by 1899 16,000. The population of London had grown from 1,500,000 to 7 million.
1900Construction of a new floating police station at Waterloo Pier.Lord Belper Committee inquire into the best system of identification of possible criminals
.1901The Fingerprint Bureau commences operation after the findings of the Belper Report. Anthropometric measurements under the Bertillon system are still used, but begin to decline in importance.
1902The coronation of King Edward VII makes major demands on the police, resulting in 512 police pensioners being recalled for duty. Extra pay, leave and a medal were granted to all serving officers.
1903Sir Edward Bradford retires as Commissioner to be replaced by Edward Henry.
19046 new stations buildt at East Ham, Hackney, John Street, Muswell Hill, North Woolwich and Tower Bridge. 1 is near completion and 2 other started. Major works take place on 23 other stations.
1905An article in Police Review mentions that Pc William Hallett of Y Division, who had retired after 26 years as a mounted officer, had ridden 144,000 miles or more than 5 times around the world in the course of his duty.
1906The Metropolitan Police at this stage in their history are on duty for 13 days a fortnight and have an additional leave of 10 days.
1907Clash between the Metropolitan Police and 800 Suffragettes outside the House of Commons on 13 February. Mounted and Foot officers are used to disperse them, and allegations of brutality are made.
1908Police Review reports “the authorities at Scotland Yard have been seriously discussing the use of dogs as the constable companion and help, and Sir Edward Henry (Commissioner), who regards the innovation sympathetically, considers the only crucial objection to be the sentimental prejudices of the public.”
1909The Tottenham Outrage occurs, in the course of which PC William Tyler and a 10 year old boy are shot dead by anarchists.
Time Line 1910 – 1929
Radio Telegraphy used for the first time, resulting in the capture of Doctor Crippen.
The miners strike in South Wales results in many Metropolitan Police officers assisting to maintain law and order.
1911The Siege of Sidney Street results in armed Metropolitan Police officers taking to the streets with the military to deal with armed anarchist criminals.
1912Assassination attempt on the life of the Commissioner, Sir Edward Henry.
Establishment of the Metropolitan Police Special Constabulary on a permanent basis.
1913The Commissioner calls for legislation to be introduced to restrict the trade in pistols following the assassination attempt on his own life.
1914With the outbreak of war, 24,000 Special Constables are sworn in, and by the end of the year there are 31,000. Annual leave is suspended for the first year of the war.
Lord Trenchard retires as Commissioner, and Sir Philip Game is appointed in his place.
1936The Battle of Cable Street involves the Metropolitan Police in street battles with opposing political factions.
1937The 999 system is introduced.
1938Civil Defence starts with the formation of two Reserves in the event of war. The first are retired officers, the second Special Constables.
1939I.R.A. activity results in 59 explosions in the Metropolitan Police District. 55 people are convicted for these offences.
194098 Metropolitan Police officers killed during air raids.
Click here to read about the MPS officer murdered in Hyde Park during the war
1941Air raid bombings continue, and Holloway police station is destroyed. Somers Town, Sydenham and Brixton stations are too badly damaged to be used.
1942Police officers allowed to volunteer for the Armed Forces.
1943In an attempt to curb housebreaking, the Commissioner Sir Philip Game asks people not to keep furs, saying “they are no doubt warmer, and look nicer than a tweed coat, but a live dog is better than a dead lion.
”1944Looting reaches an all time record.
1945Sir Philip Game retires and is replaced as Commissioner by Harold Scott
.1946The Metropolitan and City Police Company Fraud Department is formed.
1947Metropolitan Police face a deficiency of 4,730 men as a result of the war.
1948Indictable crime rate falls to 126,000 crimes, but this is still 40% higher than before the war.
1949Lord Oakseys committee reports on police pay, recommending small increases and London weighting.
Time Line 1950 – 1969
The Metropolitan Police Roll of Honour is unveiled at Westminster Abbey by the Queen, displaying the names of officers killed in the 1914-1918 and 1939-1945 wars.
Commissioner Harold Scott introduces training of cadets aged 16 – 18 to become police officers.
The Dixon Report advocates many changes in the Metropolitan Police, including greater civilianisation.
Serious understaffing problems, with the force consisting of only 16,000 and needing an estimated 4,000 men, mainly Police Constables.
Formation of the Central Traffic Squad, consisting of 100 men.
Flying Squad makes over 1,000 arrests, a record since its formation.
New Information Room opens at New Scotland Yard.
Sir John Nott-Bower retires as Commissioner. He is replaced by Joseph Simpson.
Indictable offences reach over 160,000, the highest recorded to date.
Traffic Wardens introduced.
Criminal Intelligence Section and Stolen Motor Vehicle Investigation branches established.
1961The Receivers Office moved from Scotland House to new premises at Tintagel House.
The Minicab arrives on the London scene, and the Metropolitan Police obtain 24 convictions for illegal plying for hire.
1962The rate of indictable crimes for this year reaches an all time high – 214,120.
The series ‘Police 5′, designed to prevent crime, begins on BBC.
1963The Commissioner, Joseph Simpson, stresses the need for the Beat system to reduce motorised patrols and deter incidents of crime.
The first computer to be used by the Met (an ICT 1301) was set up in the office of the Receiver for use on pay and crime statistics.
1964The worst year so far this century for crime, with over a quarter of a million indictable crimes.
Regional Crime Squads formed.
Police face major criticism and complaints as a result of the Challenor Case, in which a policeman was diagnosed as paranoid schizophrenic and made infamous for planting evidence
.1965Special Patrol Group formed consisting of 100 officers. It arrested 396 people in its first 9 months of operation.
1966The Commissioner’s Office and the Receiver’s Office are combined.
3 Metropolitan Police officers murdered at Shepherds Bush.
1967The headquarters is moved from the Norman Shaw Building to a new building in Broadway, just off Victoria Street. The name of New Scotland Yard is retained.
Norwell Roberts joins the Met as the first black police officer. He retired after 30 years service with the rank of Detective Sergeant and received the QPM in 1996.1968Sir Joseph Simpson dies in service, and is replaced as Commissioner b
1981Brixton Riots involve the Metropolitan Police in the largest civil disturbance this century.
1982Sir David McNee retires as Commissioner to be replaced by Sir Kenneth Newman.
1983With the aid of the MPS Policy Committee Sir Kenneth Newman devises a new statement of the Principles of Policing, and in doing so changes the emphasis from the primary objectives of policing established by Richard Mayne and Sir Charles Rowan in 1829.
1984PC Jon Gordon lost both legs and part of a hand in the IRA bomb attack on Harrods in 1983. On 10 December 1984 he resumed duty by walking unaided up the steps to his new office.
Whilst policing a demonstration in St James’s Square, WPC Yvonne Fletcher was shot in the back and mortally wounded by shots fired from the Libyan People’s Bureau. WPC Fletcher’s murder led to the creation of the Police Memorial Trust, an organisation dedicated to placing memorials at the locations of fallen officers
1985Tottenham Riots (also known as ‘Broadwater Farm’ riot) result in the murder of PC Keith Blakelock.
1986Identification Parade screens introduced at Clapham police station.
The Police and Criminal Evidence Act comes into force in January.
Mounted Branch celebrates its 150th anniversary.
1987Sir Kenneth Newman retires, and is replaced as Commissioner by Peter Imbert.
1988The Commissioner stresses the need for close community liaison between the Police and Consultative Groups to foster the police / public partnership.
1989‘Plus Programme’ launched to improve the corporate image and quality of the service of the Metropolitan Police. It significantly altered attitudes within the MPS, and included the Statement of Common Purpose and Values.
1997Installation of N.A.F.I.S. the National Automated Fingerprint Identification System.
1998The Metropolitan Police launch the Policing Diversity Strategy in response to the majority of issues raised into the Inquiry into the death of Stephen Lawrence. The aim is to provide better protection to ethnic communities from racial and violent crime and demonstrate fairness in every aspect of policing.
1999The handling of the Greek Embassy siege demonstrates the professionalism of the Metropolitan Police Service.
TRUE CRIME, MURDERABILIA , MAIMERABILIA , WITCHCRAFT,SATANISM, THE OCCULT,THE ILLUMINATI, SECRET SOCIETIES …. AND MUCH MORE HERE AT THE UK’S CRIME THROUGH TIME COLLECTION , LITTLEDEAN JAIL .
TOUCHING UPON A GREAT MANY SAD, DISTURBING AND MACABRE SUBJECT MATTERS THAT NO OTHER VISITOR ATTRACTION DARE COVER . CERTAINLY NOT SUITABLE FOR CHILDREN OR THOSE EASILY OFFENDED OR OF A SENSITIVE NATURE .
IAN BRADY AND MYRA HINDLEY
‘ MAY THEY ROT IN HELL !’
ABOVE: ORIGINAL OIL PAINTING BY GLOUCESTERSHIRE ARTIST PAUL BRIDGMAN OF IAN BRADY AND MYRA HINDLEY ALONG WITH THE BAPHOMET SATANIC SYMBOLISM.
THIS PAINTING IS ON PERMANENT DISPLAY WITHIN THE BRADY & HINDLEY EXHIBITION AREA HERE AT THE JAIL .
ABOVE: ORIGINAL PHOTOGRAPH OF BRADY AND HINDLEY LOVED UP PRIOR TO THEIR ARREST FOR THE CHILD MURDERS .
HERE BELOW IS SOME INTRIGUING INTERACTIVE BACKGROUND INFORMATION AND VARIOUS VIDEO FOOTAGE RELATING TO THESE HIDEOUS MURDERS COMMITTED BY THESE SATANIC DRIVEN KILLERS. BOTH OF WHOM HAD A FASCINATION IN WITCHCRAFT AND THE OCCULT .
WE ALSO FEATURE VARIOUS PERSONAL BELONGINGS AND HANDWRITTEN MEMORABILIA ITEMS FROM BOTH BRADY AND HINDLEY .
ABOVE AND BELOW: ORIGINAL OIL PAINTINGS BY GLOUCESTERSHIRE ARTIST PAUL BRIDGMAN OF EVIL CHILD KILLERS BRADY AND HINDLEY, HERE ON DISPLAY AT THE JAIL
ABOVE IS AN EDITORIAL PIECE DONE BY THE SUNDAY PEOPLE ON VARIOUS EXHIBIT ITEMS KINDLY DONATED TO THE CRIME THROUGH TIME COLLECTION BY LINDA CALVEY – THE BLACK WIDOW , WHO HAD SERVED TIME WITH MYRA HINDLEY …. WHOM SHE HAD HATED BUT HAD TO TOLERATE WITHIN THE PENAL SYSTEM . THESE ITEMS WERE FOR SOME UNKNOWN REASON LEFT TO LINDA PRIOR TO THE DEATH OF HINDLEY. AND FOR OBVIOUS REASONS NOT WANTED BY HER. … HENCE NOW THEY ARE IN OUR POSSESSION FOR DISPLAY HERE AT THE JAIL
BELOW IS A HANDWRITTEN AND SIGNED CHRISTMAS CARD FROM MYRA HINDLEY GIVEN TO HER FELLOW INMATE AND HER THEN PERSONAL HAIRDRESSER …. LINDA CALVEY – “THE BLACK WIDOW”
BELOW : A SIMPLE HAND SIGNED GREETINGS CARD FROM MYRA HINDLEY TO ONE OF THE PRISON GUARDS
BIZARRE GIFT FROM MYRA HINDLEY TO LINDA CALVEY “BLACK WIDOW” , WHILST INCARERATED IN THE SAME PRISON AT HMP HIGHPOINT .
BELOW: FROM THE HANDS OF EVIL SERIAL KILLER IAN BRADY . HERE ARE SOME EXAMPLES OF HIS VARIOUS HANDWRITTEN AND SIGNED LETTERS ON DISPLAY AT THE CRIME THROUGH TIME COLLCTION LITTLEDEAN JAIL
PROBABLY THE LAST CLOTHING WORN BY MYRA HINDLEY DURING HER LAST DAYS IN HIGHPOINT PRISON BEFORE SHE DIED IN 2002 AT A NEARBY HOSPITAL AGED 60. THESE CLOTHES AND OTHER PERSONAL ITEMS WHICH HAD BEEN GIVEN TO LINDA CALVEY “THE BLACK WIDOW ” TO LOOK AFTER ON HER BEHALF.
ON LINDA’S RELEASE FROM PRISON IN 2008, SHE LATER DONATED THESE ITEMS TO THE CRIME THROUGH TIME COLLECTION , LITTLEDEAN JAIL , UK .
BELOW ARE VARIOUS IMAGES RELATING TO SOME OF THE EXHIBIT MATERIAL WE HAVE ON DISPLAY HERE AT THE CRIME THROUGH TIME COLLECTION , LITTLEDEAN JAIL
Few have attracted such notoriety or public loathing as the Moors murderers, so-named after they kidnapped and murdered five children over 18 months, between July 1963 and October 1965.
The pair were jailed for life in 1966 for murdering five children – Pauline Reade, 16, John Kilbride, 12, Keith Bennett, 12, Lesley Ann Downey, 10, and Edward Evans, 17, all from the Manchester area.
Brady and Hindley, who were both in their 20s, lured the youngsters to their deaths, sexually torturing their victims before burying them on Saddleworth Moor in the Pennines above Manchester.
Pauline disappeared on her way to a disco on July 12 1963 and John was snatched in November the same year.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Ian Brady and Myra Hindley
Brady (left) and Hindley, October 1965
Ian Duncan Stewart
Also known as
The Moors murderers
Brady: 2 January 1938 (age 74) Hindley: 23 July 1942
The Moors murders were carried out by Ian Brady and Myra Hindley between July 1963 and October 1965, in and around what is now Greater Manchester, England. The victims were five children aged between 10 and 17—Pauline Reade, John Kilbride, Keith Bennett, Lesley Ann Downey and Edward Evans—at least four of whom were sexually assaulted. The murders are so named because two of the victims were discovered in graves dug onSaddleworth Moor, with a third grave also being discovered there in 1987, over 20 years after Brady and Hindley’s trial in 1966. The body of a fourth victim, Keith Bennett, is also suspected to be buried there, but despite repeated searches it remains undiscovered.
The police were initially aware of only three killings, those of Edward Evans, Lesley Ann Downey and John Kilbride. The investigation was reopened in 1985, after Brady was reported in the press as having confessed to the murders of Pauline Reade and Keith Bennett. Brady and Hindley were taken separately to Saddleworth Moor to assist the police in their search for the graves, both by then having confessed to the additional murders.
Characterised by the press as “the most evil woman in Britain”, Hindley made several appeals against her life sentence, claiming she was a reformed woman and no longer a danger to society, but she was never released. She died in 2002, aged 60. Brady was declared criminally insane in 1985, since when he has been confined in the high-security Ashworth Hospital. He has made it clear that he never wants to be released, and has repeatedly asked that he be allowed to die.
The murders, reported in almost every English-language newspaper in the world, were the result of what Malcolm MacCulloch, professor of forensic psychiatry at Cardiff University, called a “concatenation of circumstances”, which brought together a “young woman with a tough personality, taught to hand out and receive violence from an early age” and a “sexually sadistic psychopath”.
Saddleworth Moor, viewed from Hollin Brown Knoll. The bodies of three of the victims were found in this area.
The full extent of Brady and Hindley’s killing spree did not come to light until their confessions in 1985, as both had until then maintained their innocence. Their first victim was 16-year-old Pauline Reade, a neighbour of Hindley’s who disappeared on her way to a dance at the British Railways Club in Gorton on 12 July 1963. That evening, Brady told Hindley that he wanted to “commit his perfect murder”. He told her to drive her van around the local area while he followed behind on his motorcycle; when he spotted a likely victim he would flash his headlight, and Hindley was to stop and offer that person a lift.
Driving down Gorton Lane, Brady saw a young girl walking towards them, and signalled Hindley to stop, which she did not do until she had passed the girl. Brady drew up alongside on his motorbike, demanding to know why she had not offered the girl a lift, to which Hindley replied that she recognised her as Marie Ruck, a near neighbour of her mother. Shortly after 8:00 pm, continuing down Froxmer Street, Brady spotted a girl wearing a pale blue coat and white high-heeled shoes walking away from them, and once again signalled for the van to stop. Hindley recognised the girl as Pauline Reade, a friend of her younger sister, Maureen. Reade got into the van with Hindley, who then asked if she would mind helping to search for an expensive glove she had lost on Saddleworth Moor. Reade said she was in no great hurry, and agreed. At 16, Pauline Reade was older than Marie Ruck, and Hindley realised that there would be less of a hue and cry over the disappearance of a teenager than there would over a child of seven or eight. When the van reached the moor, Hindley stopped and Brady arrived shortly afterwards on his motorcycle. She introduced him to Reade as her boyfriend, and said that he had also come to help find the missing glove. Brady took Reade onto the moor while Hindley waited in the van. After about 30 minutes Brady returned alone, and took Hindley to the spot where Reade lay dying, her throat cut. He told her to stay with Reade while he fetched a spade he had hidden nearby on a previous visit to the moor, to bury the body. Hindley noticed that “Pauline’s coat was undone and her clothes were in disarray … She had guessed from the time he had taken that Brady had sexually assaulted her.” Returning home from the moor in the van—they had loaded the motorcycle into the back—Brady and Hindley passed Reade’s mother, Joan, accompanied by her son, Paul, searching the streets for Pauline.
Accompanied by Brady, Hindley approached 12-year-old John Kilbride in the early evening of 23 November 1963 at a market in Ashton-under-Lyne, and offered him a lift home on the pretext that his parents would be worried about him being out so late. With the added inducement of a proffered bottle of sherry, Kilbride readily agreed to get into the Ford Anglia car that Hindley had hired. Brady told Kilbride that the sherry was at their home, and they would have to make a detour to collect it. On the way he suggested that they take another detour, to search for a glove he said that Hindley had lost on the moor. When they reached the moor Brady took the child with him while Hindley waited in the car. Brady sexually assaulted Kilbride and attempted to slit his throat with a six-inch serrated blade before fatally strangling him with a piece of string, possibly a shoelace.
Twelve-year-old Keith Bennett vanished on his way to his grandmother’s house in Longsight during the early evening of 16 June 1964, four days after his birthday. Hindley lured him into her Mini pick-up—which Brady was sitting in the back of—by asking for the boy’s help in loading some boxes, after which she said she would drive him home. She drove to a lay-by on Saddleworth Moor as she and Brady had previously arranged, and Brady went off with Bennett, supposedly looking for a lost glove. Hindley kept watch, and after about 30 minutes or so Brady reappeared, alone and carrying a spade that he had hidden there earlier. When Hindley asked how he had killed Bennett, Brady said that he had sexually assaulted the boy and strangled him with a piece of string.
Brady and Hindley visited a fairground on 26 December 1964 in search of another victim, and noticed 10-year-old Lesley Ann Downey standing beside one of the rides. When it became apparent that she was on her own, they approached her and deliberately dropped some of the shopping they were carrying close to her, before asking for the girl’s help to carry some of the packages to their car, and then to their home. Once inside the house Downey was undressed, gagged, and forced to pose for photographs before being raped and killed, perhaps strangled with a piece of string. Hindley maintained that she went to draw a bath for the child and found the girl dead (presumably killed by Brady) when she returned. In Dr. Chris Cowley’s book Face to Face with Evil: Conversations with Ian Brady, Brady states that it was Hindley who killed Lesley Ann Downey. The following morning Brady and Hindley drove with Downey’s body to Saddleworth Moor, where she was buried, naked with her clothes at her feet, in a shallow grave.
The empty plot where 16 Wardle Brook Avenue in Hattersley, once stood. The house was demolished in the 1980s by the local council.
The attack on Edward Evans was witnessed by Hindley’s 17-year-old brother-in-law, David Smith, the husband of her younger sister Maureen. The Hindley family had not approved of Maureen’s marriage to Smith, who had several criminal convictions, including actual bodily harm and housebreaking, the first of which, wounding with intent, occurred when he was aged eleven. Throughout the previous year Brady had been cultivating a friendship with Smith, who had become “in awe” of the older man, something that increasingly worried Hindley, as she felt it compromised their safety.
On the evening of 6 October 1965 Hindley drove Brady to Manchester Central Station, where she waited outside in the car while he selected their victim; after a few minutes Brady reappeared in the company of Edward Evans, to whom he introduced Hindley as his sister. After they had driven back home and relaxed over a bottle of wine, Brady sent Hindley to fetch her brother-in-law. When they got back to the house Hindley told Smith to wait outside for her signal, a flashing light. When the signal came Smith knocked on the door and was met by Brady, who asked if he had come for “the miniature wine bottles”. Brady led Smith into the kitchen and left him there, saying that he was going to collect the wine. A few minutes later Smith heard a scream, followed by Hindley shouting loudly for him to come and help. Smith entered the living room to find Brady repeatedly striking Evans with the flat of an axe, and watched as he then throttled Evans with a length of electrical cord. Evans’ body was too heavy for Smith to carry to the car on his own—Brady had sprained his ankle in the struggle—so they wrapped it in plastic sheeting and put it in the spare bedroom.
Smith agreed to meet Brady the following evening to dispose of Evans’ body, but after returning home he woke his wife and told her what he had seen. Maureen told him that he must call the police. Three hours later the couple cautiously made their way to a public phone box in the street below their flat, Smith taking the precaution of arming himself with a screwdriver and a kitchen knife to defend them in the event that Brady suddenly appeared and confronted them. At 6:07 am Smith made an emergency services call to the police station in nearbyHyde and told his story to the officer on duty. In his statement to the police Smith claimed that:
[Brady] opened the door and he said in a very loud voice for him … “Do you want those miniatures?” I nodded my head to say yes and he led me into the kitchen … and he gave me three miniature bottles of spirits and said: “Do you want the rest?” When I first walked into the house, the door to the living room … was closed. … Ian went into the living room and I waited in the kitchen. I waited about a minute or two then suddenly I heard a hell of a scream; it sounded like a woman, really high-pitched. Then the screams carried on, one after another really loud. Then I heard Myra shout, “Dave, help him,” very loud. When I ran in I just stood inside the living room and I saw a young lad. He was lying with his head and shoulders on the couch and his legs were on the floor. He was facing upwards. Ian was standing over him, facing him, with his legs on either side of the young lad’s legs. The lad was still screaming. … Ian had a hatchet in his hand … he was holding it above his head and he hit the lad on the left side of his head with the hatchet. I heard the blow, it was a terrible hard blow, it sounded horrible.”
Early on the morning of 7 October, shortly after Smith’s call, Superintendent Bob Talbot of the Cheshire Police arrived at the back door of 16 Wardle Brook Avenue, wearing a borrowed baker’s overall to cover his uniform. Talbot identified himself to Hindley as a police officer when she opened the door, and told her that he wanted to speak to her boyfriend. Hindley led him into the living room, where Brady was sitting up in a divan writing a note to his employer explaining that he would not be able to get into work because of his ankle injury. Talbot explained that he was investigating “an act of violence involving guns” that was reported to have taken place the previous evening. Hindley denied that there had been any violence, and allowed police to look around the house. When they came to the upstairs room in which Evans’ body was stored the police found the door locked, and asked Brady for the key. Hindley claimed that the key was at work, but after the police offered to drive her to her employer’s premises to retrieve it, Brady told her to hand the key over. When they returned to the living room the police told Brady that they had discovered a trussed up body, and that he was being arrested on suspicion of murder. As Brady was getting dressed, he said “Eddie and I had a row and the situation got out of hand.”
Hindley was not arrested with Brady, but she demanded to go with him to the police station, accompanied by her dog Puppet, to which the police agreed. Hindley was questioned about the events surrounding Evans’ death, but she refused to make any statement beyond claiming that it had been an accident. As the police had no evidence that Hindley was involved in Evans’ murder she was allowed to go home, on condition that she return the next day for further questioning. Hindley was at liberty for four days following Brady’s arrest, during which time she went to her employer’s premises and asked to be dismissed, so that she would be eligible for unemployment benefits. While in the office where Brady worked she found some papers belonging to him in an envelope that she claimed she did not open, which she burned in an ashtray. She believed that they were plans for bank robberies, nothing to do with the murders. On 11 October Hindley was charged as an accessory to the murder of Edward Evans and was remanded at Risley.
Brady admitted under police questioning that he and Evans had fought, but insisted that he and Smith had murdered Evans between them; Hindley, he said, had “only done what she had been told”.Smith told police that Brady had asked him to return anything incriminating, such as “dodgy books”, which Brady then packed into suitcases. Smith had no idea what else the suitcases contained or where they might be, but he mentioned in passing that Brady “had a thing about railway stations”. The police consequently requested a search of all Manchester’s left-luggage offices for any suitcases belonging to Brady, and on 15 October British Transport Police found what they were looking for at Manchester Central railway station—the left-luggage ticket was found several days later in the back of Hindley’s prayer book. Inside one of the suitcases were nine pornographic photographs taken of a young girl, naked and with a scarf tied across her mouth, and a 13-minute tape recording of her screaming and pleading for help. Ann Downey, Lesley Ann Downey’s mother, later listened to the tape after police had discovered the body of her missing 10-year-old daughter, and confirmed that it was a recording of her daughter’s voice.
Police searching the house at Wardle Brook Avenue also found an old exercise book in which the name “John Kilbride” had been scribbled, which made them suspicious that Brady and Hindley might have been involved in the unsolved disappearances of other youngsters. A large collection of photographs was discovered in the house, many of which seemed to have been taken on Saddleworth Moor. One hundred and fifty officers were drafted to search the moor, looking for locations that matched the photographs. Initially the search was concentrated along the A628 road near Woodhead, but a close neighbour, 11-year-old Pat Hodges, had on several occasions been taken to the moor by Brady and Hindley and she was able to point out their favourite sites along the A635 road. On 16 October police found an arm bone sticking out of the peat; officers presumed that they’d found the body of John Kilbride, but soon discovered that the body was that of Lesley Ann Downey. Her mother (later Ann West after her marriage to Alan West) had been on the moor watching as the police conducted their search, but was not present when the body was found. She was shown clothing recovered from the grave, and identified it as belonging to her missing daughter.
A photograph taken by Ian Brady of Myra Hindley with her dog, Puppet, crouching over John Kilbride’s grave on Saddleworth Moor in November 1963.
Detectives were able to locate another site on the opposite side of the A635 from where Downey’s body was discovered, and five days later they found the “badly decomposed” body of John Kilbride, whom they identified by his clothing. That same day, already being held for the murder of Evans, Brady and Hindley appeared at Hyde Magistrate’s Court charged with Lesley Ann Downey’s murder. Each was brought before the court separately and remanded into custody for a week. They made a two-minute appearance on 28 October, and were again remanded into custody.
The search for bodies continued, but with winter setting in it was called off in November. Presented with the evidence of the tape recording Brady admitted to taking the photographs of Lesley Ann Downey, but insisted that she had been brought to Wardle Brook Avenue by two men who had subsequently taken her away again, alive. Brady was further charged with the murder of John Kilbride, and Hindley with the murder of Edward Evans, on 2 December. At the committal hearing on 6 December Brady was charged with the murders of Edward Evans, John Kilbride, and Lesley Ann Downey, and Hindley with the murders of Edward Evans and Lesley Ann Downey, as well as with harbouring Brady in the knowledge that he had killed John Kilbride. The prosecution’s opening statement was held in camera, and the defence asked for a similar stipulation, but was refused. The proceedings continued in front of three magistrates in Hyde over an 11-day period during December, at the end of which the pair were committed for trial at ChesterAssizes.
Many of the photographs taken by Brady and Hindley on the moor featured Hindley’s dog Puppet, sometimes as a puppy. Detectives arranged for the animal to be examined by a veterinary surgeon to determine its age, from which they could date when the pictures were taken. The examination involved an analysis of the dog’s teeth, which required a general anaesthetic from which Puppet did not recover, as he suffered from an undiagnosed kidney complaint. On hearing the news of her dog’s death Hindley became furious, and accused the police of murdering Puppet, one of the few occasions detectives witnessed any emotional response from her. In a letter to her mother shortly afterwards Hindley wrote:
I feel as though my heart’s been torn to pieces. I don’t think anything could hurt me more than this has. The only consolation is that some moron might have got hold of Puppet and hurt him.
The trial was held over 14 days beginning on 19 April 1966, in front of Mr Justice Fenton Atkinson. Such was the public interest that the courtroom was fitted with security screens to protect Brady and Hindley. The pair were each charged with three murders, those of Evans, Downey, and Kilbride, as it was considered that there was by then sufficient evidence to implicate Hindley in Kilbride’s death. The prosecution was led by the Attorney General, Frederick Elwyn Jones. Brady was defended by the LiberalMember of ParliamentEmlyn Hooson, and Hindley was defended by Godfrey Heilpern, recorder of Salford from 1964—both experienced QCs. David Smith was the chief prosecution witness, but during the trial it was revealed that he had entered into an agreement with a newspaper that he initially refused to name—even under intense questioning—guaranteeing him £1,000 (equivalent to about £10,000 as of 2012) for the syndication rights to his story if Brady and Hindley were convicted, something the trial judge described as a “gross interference with the course of justice”. Smith finally admitted in court that the newspaper was the News of the World,which had already paid for a holiday in France for him and his wife and was paying him a regular income of £20 per week, as well as accommodating him in a five-star hotel for the duration of the trial.
Brady and Hindley pleaded not guilty to the charges against them; both were called to give evidence, Brady for over eight hours and Hindley for six. Although Brady admitted to hitting Evans with an axe, he did not admit to killing him, arguing that the pathologist in his report had stated that Evans’ death was “accelerated by strangulation”. Under cross-examination by the prosecuting counsel, all Brady would admit was that “I hit Evans with the axe. If he died from axe blows, I killed him.” Hindley denied any knowledge that the photographs of Saddleworth Moor found by police had been taken near the graves of their victims.
The tape recording of Lesley Anne Downey, on which the voices of Brady and Hindley were clearly audible, was played in open court. Hindley admitted that her attitude towards the child was “brusque and cruel”, but claimed that was only because she was afraid that someone might hear Downey screaming. Hindley claimed that when Downey was being undressed she herself was “downstairs”; when the pornographic photographs were taken she was “looking out the window”; and that when the child was being strangled she “was running a bath”.
On 6 May, after having deliberated for a little over two hours, the jury found Brady guilty of all three murders and Hindley guilty of the murders of Downey and Evans. The Murder (Abolition of Death Penalty) Act had come into force during the time that Brady and Hindley were held in prison, abolishing the death penalty for murder, and therefore the judge passed the only sentence that the law allowed: life imprisonment. Brady was sentenced to three concurrent life sentences and Hindley was given two, plus a concurrent seven-year term for harbouring Brady in the knowledge that he had murdered John Kilbride. Brady was taken to Durham Prison and Hindley was sent to Holloway Prison.
In his closing remarks Mr Justice Atkinson described the murders as a “truly horrible case” and condemned the accused as “two sadistic killers of the utmost depravity”. He recommended that both Brady and Hindley spend “a very long time” in prison before being considered for parole but did not stipulate a tariff. He stated that Brady was “wicked beyond belief” and that he saw no reasonable possibility of reform. He did not consider that the same was necessarily true of Hindley, “once she is removed from [Brady’s] influence”. Throughout the trial Brady and Hindley “stuck rigidly to their strategy of lying”, and Hindley was later described as “a quiet, controlled, impassive witness who lied remorselessly”.
In 1985 Brady allegedly confessed to Fred Harrison, a journalist working for The Sunday People, that he had also been responsible for the murders of Pauline Reade and Keith Bennett, something that the police already suspected, as both children lived in the same area as Brady and Hindley and had disappeared at about the same time as their other victims. The subsequent newspaper reports prompted the Greater Manchester Police (GMP) to reopen the case, in an investigation headed by Detective Chief Superintendent Peter Topping, who had been appointed Head of GMP’s Criminal Investigation Department (CID) the previous year.
On 3 July 1985 Topping visited Brady, then being held at Gartree Prison, but found him “scornful of any suggestion that he had confessed to more murders”. Police nevertheless decided to resume their search of Saddleworth Moor, once more using the photographs taken by Brady and Hindley to help them identify possible burial sites. Meanwhile, in November 1986 Winnie Johnson, Keith Bennett’s mother, wrote a letter to Hindley begging to know what had happened to her son, a letter that Hindley seemed to be “genuinely moved” by. It ended:
I am a simple woman, I work in the kitchens of Christie’s Hospital. It has taken me five weeks labour to write this letter because it is so important to me that it is understood by you for what it is, a plea for help. Please, Miss Hindley, help me.
Police visited Hindley, then being held in Cookham Wood, a few days after she had received the letter, and although she refused to admit any involvement in the killings, she agreed to help by looking at photographs and maps to try to identify spots that she had visited with Brady. She showed particular interest in photographs of the area around Hollin Brown Knoll and Shiny Brook, but said that it was impossible to be sure of the locations without visiting the moor. The security considerations for such a visit were significant; there were threats made against her should she visit the moors, but Home SecretaryDouglas Hurd agreed with Topping that it would be worth the risk. Writing in 1989, Topping said that he felt “quite cynical” about Hindley’s motivation in helping the police. Although the letter from Winnie Johnson may have played a part, he believed that Hindley’s real concern was that, knowing of Brady’s “precarious” mental state, she was afraid that he might decide to co-operate with the police, and wanted to make certain that she, and not Brady, was the one to gain whatever benefit there may have been in terms of public approval.
Hindley made the first of two visits to assist the police search of Saddleworth Moor on 16 December 1986. Four police cars left Cookham Wood at 4.30 am. At about the same time, police closed all roads onto the moor, which was patrolled by 200 officers, 40 of them armed. Hindley and her solicitor arrived by helicopter from an airfield near Maidstone, touching down at 8:30 am. Wearing a donkey jacket and balaclava, she was driven, and walked around the area. It was difficult for Hindley to make a connection between her memories of the area and what she saw on the day, and she was apparently nervous of the helicopters flying overhead. At 3:00 pm she was returned to the helicopter, and taken back to Cookham Wood. Topping was criticised by the press, who described the visit as a “fiasco”, a “publicity stunt”, and a “mindless waste of money”. He was forced to defend the visit, pointing out its benefits:
We had taken the view that we needed a thorough systematic search of the moor […] It would never have been possible to carry out such a search in private.
Topping continued to visit Hindley in prison, along with her solicitor Michael Fisher and her spiritual counsellor, the Reverend Peter Timms, who had been a prison governor before resigning to become a minister in the Methodist Church. She made a formal confession to police on 10 February 1987, admitting her involvement in all five murders, but news of her confession was not made public for more than a month. The tape recording of her statement was over 17 hours long; Topping described it as a “very well worked out performance in which, I believe, she told me just as much as she wanted me to know, and no more”. He also commented that he “was struck by the fact that she was never there when the killings took place. She was in the car, over the brow of the hill, in the bathroom and even, in the case of the Evans murder, in the kitchen.” Topping concluded that he felt he “had witnessed a great performance rather than a genuine confession”.
During the 1987 search for Pauline Reade and Keith Bennett, Hindley recalled that she had seen the rocks of Hollin Brown Knoll silhouetted against the night sky.
Police visited Brady in prison again and told him of Hindley’s confession, which at first he refused to believe. Once presented with some of the details that Hindley had provided of Pauline Reade’s abduction, Brady decided that he too was prepared to confess, but on one condition: that immediately afterwards he be given the means to commit suicide, a request that was impossible for the authorities to comply with.
At about the same time, Winnie Johnson sent Hindley another letter, again pleading with her to assist the police in finding the body of her son Keith. In the letter, Johnson was sympathetic to Hindley over the criticism surrounding her first visit. Hindley, who had not replied to the first letter, responded by thanking Johnson for both letters, explaining that her decision not to reply to the first resulted from the negative publicity that surrounded it. She claimed that, had Johnson written to her 14 years earlier, she would have confessed and helped the police. She also paid tribute to Topping, and thanked Johnson for her sincerity. Hindley made her second visit to the moor in March 1987. This time, the level of security surrounding her visit was considerably higher. She stayed overnight in Manchester, at the flat of the police chief in charge of GMP training at Sedgley Park, and visited the moor twice. She confirmed to police that the two areas in which they were concentrating their search—Hollin Brown Knoll and Hoe Grain—were correct, although she was unable to locate either of the graves. She did later remember, though, that as Pauline Reade was being buried she had been sitting next to her on a patch of grass and could see the rocks of Hollin Brown Knoll silhouetted against the night sky.
In April 1987 news of Hindley’s confession became public. Amidst strong media interest Lord Longford pleaded for her release, writing that her continuing detention to satisfy “mob emotion” was not right. Fisher persuaded Hindley to release a public statement, in which she explained her reasons for denying her complicity in the murders, her religious experiences in prison, the letter from Johnson, and that she saw no possibility of release. She also exonerated David Smith from any part in the murders, except that of Edward Evans.
A map of Saddleworth Moor, showing the areas in which the bodies of three of the children were found, and the general area in which police searched for the body of Keith Bennett
Over the next few months interest in the search waned, but Hindley’s clue had directed the police to focus their efforts on a specific area. On the afternoon of 1 July 1987, after more than 100 days of searching, they found a body lying in a shallow grave 3 feet (0.9 m) below the surface, only 100 yards (90 m) from the place where Lesley Ann Downey had been found.Brady had been co-operating with the police for some time, and when news reached him that Reade’s body had been discovered he made a formal confession to Topping. He also issued a statement to the press, through his solicitor, saying that he too was prepared to help the police in their search. Brady was taken to the moor on 3 July, but he seemed to lose his bearings, blaming changes that had taken place in the intervening years, and the search was called off at 3:00 pm, by which time a large crowd of press and television reporters had gathered on the moor.
Topping refused to allow Brady a second visit to the moors, and a few days after his visit Brady wrote a letter to BBC television reporter Peter Gould, giving some sketchy details of five additional murders that he claimed to have carried out.Brady refused to identify his alleged victims, and the police failed to discover any unsolved crimes matching the few details that he supplied. Hindley told Topping that she knew nothing of these killings.
Hoe Grain leading to Shiny Brook, the area in which police believe Bennett’s undiscovered body is buried
On 24 August 1987 police called off their search of Saddleworth Moor, despite not having found Keith Bennett’s body. Brady was taken to the moor for a second time on 1 December, but he was once again unable to locate the burial site. Keith Bennett’s body remains undiscovered as of 2012, although his family continues to search the moor, over 40 years after his disappearance.
Although Brady and Hindley had confessed to the murders of Pauline Reade and Keith Bennett, the Department of Public Prosecutions (DPP) decided that nothing would be gained by a further trial; as both were already serving life sentences no further punishment could be inflicted, and a second trial might even have helped Hindley’s case for parole by giving her a platform from which to make a public confession.
In 2003 the police launched Operation Maida, and again searched the moor for the body of Keith Bennett. They read statements from Brady and Hindley, and also studied photographs taken by the pair. Their search was aided by the use of sophisticated modern equipment, including a US satellite used to look for evidence of soil movement. The BBC reported on 1 July 2009 that Greater Manchester Police had officially given up the search for Keith Bennett, saying that “only a major scientific breakthrough or fresh evidence would see the hunt for his body restart”. Detectives were also reported as saying that they would never again give Brady the attention or the thrill of leading another fruitless search on the moor where they believe Keith Bennett’s remains are buried. Donations from members of the public funded a search of the moor for Bennett’s body by volunteers from a Welsh search and rescue team that began in March 2010.
Ian Brady was born in Glasgow as Ian Duncan Stewart on 2 January 1938 to Maggie Stewart, an unmarried 28-year-old tea room waitress. The identity of Brady’s father has never been reliably ascertained, although his mother claimed he was a reporter working for a Glasgow newspaper, who died three months before Brady was born. Stewart had little support, and after a few months was forced to give her son into the care of Mary and John Sloan, a local couple with four children of their own. Brady took their name, and became known as Ian Sloan. His mother continued to visit him throughout his childhood. As a young child he took pleasure in torturing animals; he broke the hind legs of one dog, set fire to another, and decapitated a cat. Aged nine, Brady visited Loch Lomond with his family, where he reportedly discovered an affinity for the outdoors, and a few months later the family moved to a new council house on an overspill estate at Pollok. He was accepted forShawlands Academy, a school for above average pupils. As he grew older Brady’s “brutality escalated”, and soon he was hurting children smaller than himself. At Shawlands his behaviour worsened; as a teenager he twice appeared before a juvenile court for housebreaking. He left the academy aged 15, and took a job as a tea boy at a Harland and Wolff shipyard in Govan. Nine months later he began working as a butcher’s messenger boy. He had a girlfriend, Evelyn Grant, but their relationship ended when he threatened her with a flick knife after she visited a dance with another boy. He again appeared before the court, this time with nine charges against him, and shortly before his 17th birthday a court put him on probation on the condition that he went to live with his mother,who had by then moved to Manchester and married an Irish fruit merchant named Patrick Brady, who got him a job as a fruit porter at Smithfield Market.
Within a year of moving to Manchester, Brady was caught with a sack full of lead seals he had stolen and was trying to smuggle out of the market. Because he was still under 18, he was sentenced to two years in borstal for “training”. He was initially sent to Hatfield but after being discovered drunk on alcohol he had brewed he was moved to the much tougher unit at Hull. Released on 14 November 1957 Brady returned to Manchester, where he took a labouring job, which he hated, and was dismissed from another job in a brewery. Deciding to “better himself”, Brady obtained a set of instruction manuals on book-keeping from a local public library, with which he “astonished” his parents by studying alone in his room for hours. In January 1959, Brady applied for and was offered a clerical job at Millwards Merchandising, a wholesale chemical distribution company based in Gorton. He was regarded by his work colleagues as a quiet, punctual, but short-tempered young man. He read books such as Teach Yourself German, and Mein Kampf, as well as works on Nazi atrocities. He rode a Tiger Cub motorcycle, which he used to visit the Pennines.
Myra Hindley was born on 23 July 1942 and raised in Gorton, then a working class area of Manchester. Her parents, Nellie and Bob Hindley (the latter an alcoholic), beat her regularly as a young child. The small house the family lived in was in such poor condition that Hindley and her parents had to sleep in the only available bedroom, she in a single bed next to her parents’ double. The family’s living conditions deteriorated further when Hindley’s sister, Maureen, was born in 1946. Shortly after the birth, Hindley, then aged five, was sent by her parents to live with her grandmother, who lived nearby.
Hindley’s father had fought in North Africa, Cyprus, and Italy during the Second World War, and had served with the Parachute Regiment. He had been known in the army as a “hard man” and he expected his daughter to be equally tough; he taught her how to fight, and insisted that she “stick up for herself”. When Hindley was aged 8, a local boy approached her in the street and scratched both of her cheeks with his fingernails, drawing blood. She burst into tears and ran into her parents’ house, to be met by her father, who demanded that she “Go and punch him [the boy], because if you don’t I’ll leather you!” Hindley found the boy and succeeded in knocking him down with a sequence of punches, as her father had taught her. As she wrote later, “at eight years old I’d scored my first victory”.
Malcolm MacCulloch, professor of forensic psychiatry at Cardiff University, has suggested that the fight, and the part that Hindley’s father played in it, may be “key pieces of evidence” in trying to understand Hindley’s role in the Moors murders:
The relationship with her father brutalised her […] She was not only used to violence in the home but rewarded for it outside. When this happens at a young age it can distort a person’s reaction to such situations for life.
One of her closest friends was 13-year-old Michael Higgins, who lived in a nearby street. In June 1957 he invited her to go swimming with friends at a local disused reservoir. A good swimmer, Hindley chose not to go and instead went out with a friend, Pat Jepson. Higgins drowned in the reservoir, and upon learning of his fate Hindley was deeply upset, and blamed herself for his death. She collected for a funeral wreath, and his funeral at St Francis’s Monastery in Gorton Lane—the church where Hindley had been baptised a Catholic on 16 August 1942—had a lasting effect on her. Hindley’s mother had only agreed to her father’s insistence that she be baptised a Catholic on the condition that she was not sent to a Catholic school, as her mother believed that “all the monks taught was thecatechism“. Hindley was increasingly drawn to the Catholic Church after she started at Ryder Brow Secondary Modern, and began taking instruction for formal reception into the Church soon after Higgins’s funeral. She took the confirmation name of Veronica, and received her first communion in November 1958. She also became a godparent to Michael’s nephew, Anthony John. It was also at about this time that Hindley first began bleaching her hair.
Hindley’s first job was as a junior clerk at a local electrical engineering firm. She ran errands, made tea, and typed. She was well liked at the firm, enough so that when she lost her first week’s wage packet, the other girls had a collection to replace it. She had a short relationship with Ronnie Sinclair from Christmas 1958, and became engaged aged 17. The engagement was called off several months later; Hindley apparently thought Sinclair immature, and unable to provide her with the life she envisaged for herself.
Shortly after her 17th birthday she changed her hair colour, with a pink rinse. She took judo lessons once a week at a local school, but found partners reluctant to train with her, as she was often slow to release her grip. She took a job at Bratby and Hinchliffe, an engineering company in Gorton, but was dismissed for absenteeism after six months.
As a couple
In 1961, the 18-year-old Myra Hindley joined Millwards as a typist. She soon became infatuated with Brady, despite learning that he had a criminal record. She began a diary and, although she had dates with other men, some of the entries detail her fascination with Brady, whom she eventually spoke to for the first time on 27 July 1961. Over the next few months she continued to make entries, and grew increasingly disillusioned with him, until 22 December when Brady asked her on a date to the cinema, where they watched the biblical epic King of Kings.[nb 1] Their dates together followed a regular pattern; a trip to the cinema, usually to watch an X-rated film, and then back to Hindley’s house to drink German wine. Brady then gave her reading material, and the pair spent their work lunch breaks reading aloud to one another from accounts of Nazi atrocities. Hindley began to emulate an ideal of Aryan perfection, bleaching her hair blonde and applying thick crimson lipstick. She expressed concern at some aspects of Brady’s character; in a letter to a childhood friend, she mentioned an incident where she had been drugged by Brady, but also wrote of her obsession with him. A few months later she asked her friend to destroy the letter. In her 30,000-word plea for parole, written in 1978 and 1979 and submitted to Home SecretaryMerlyn Rees, Hindley said:
Within months he [Brady] had convinced me that there was no God at all: he could have told me that the earth was flat, the moon was made of green cheese and the sun rose in the west, I would have believed him, such was his power of persuasion.
Hindley began to change her appearance further, wearing clothing considered risqué such as high boots, short skirts, and leather jackets, and the two became less sociable to their work colleagues. The couple were regulars at the library, borrowing books on philosophy, as well as crime and torture. They also read works by the Marquis de Sade, and Fyodor Dostoyevsky‘s Crime and Punishment. Although she was not a qualified driver (she passed her test on the third attempt, late in 1963), Hindley often hired a van, in which the two planned bank robberies. Hindley befriended George Clitheroe, the President of the Cheadle Rifle Club, and on several occasions visited two local shooting ranges. Clitheroe, although puzzled by her interest, arranged for her to buy a .22 rifle from a gun merchant in Manchester. She also asked to join a pistol club, but she was a poor shot and allegedly often bad-tempered, so Clitheroe told her that she was unsuitable; she did, though, manage to purchase a Webley .45 and a Smith and Wesson .38 from other members of the club. Brady and Hindley’s plans for robbery came to nothing, but they became interested in photography. Brady already owned a Box Brownie, which he used to take photographs of Hindley and her dog, Puppet, but he upgraded to a more sophisticated model, and also purchased lights anddarkroom equipment. The pair took photographs of each other that, for the time, would have been considered explicit. For Hindley, this demonstrated a marked change from her earlier, more shy and prudish nature.
Hindley claimed that Brady began to talk about “committing the perfect murder” in July 1963, and often spoke to her about Meyer Levin‘s Compulsion, published as a novel in 1956 and adapted for the cinema in 1959. The story tells a fictionalised account of the Leopold and Loeb case, two young men from well-to-do families who attempt to commit the perfect murder of a 12-year-old boy, and escape the death penalty because of their age.
By June 1963, Brady had moved in with Hindley at her grandmother’s house in Bannock Street, and on 12 July 1963 the two murdered their first victim, 16-year-old Pauline Reade. Reade had attended school with Hindley’s younger sister, Maureen, and had also been in a short relationship with David Smith, a local boy with three criminal convictions for minor crimes. Police could find nobody who had seen Reade before her disappearance, and although the 15-year-old Smith was questioned by police he was cleared of any involvement in her death. Their next victim, John Kilbride, was killed on 23 November 1963. A huge search was undertaken, with over 700 statements taken, and 500 “missing” posters printed. Eight days after he failed to return home, 2,000 volunteers scoured waste ground and derelict buildings.
Hindley hired a vehicle a week after Kilbride went missing, and again on 21 December 1963, apparently to make sure the burial sites had not been disturbed. In February 1964, she bought a second-hand Austin Traveller, but soon after traded it for a Mini van. On 16 June 1964, 12-year-old Keith Bennett disappeared. His stepfather, Jimmy Johnson, became a suspect; in the two years following Bennett’s disappearance, Johnson was taken for questioning on four occasions. Detectives searched under the floorboards of the Johnsons’ house, and on discovering that the houses in the row were connected, extended the search to the entire street.
David and Maureen Smith, pictured around the time of the murders. David Smith’s statement to the police led to Brady’s arrest.
Maureen Hindley married David Smith on 15 August 1964. The marriage was hastily arranged and performed at a register office. None of Hindley’s relatives attended; Myra did not approve of the marriage, and her mother was too embarrassed—Maureen was seven months pregnant. The newlyweds moved into Smith’s father’s house. The next day, Brady suggested that the four take a day-trip to Windermere. This was the first time Brady and Smith had met properly, and Brady was apparently impressed by Smith’s demeanour. The two talked about society, the distribution of wealth, and the possibility of robbing a bank. The young Smith was similarly impressed by Brady, who throughout the day had paid for his food and wine. The trip to the Lake District was the first of many outings. Hindley was apparently jealous of their relationship, but became closer to her sister.
In 1964 Hindley, her grandmother, and Brady were rehoused as part of the post-war slum clearances in Manchester, to 16 Wardle Brook Avenue in the new overspill estate of Hattersley. Brady and Hindley became friendly with Patricia Hodges, an 11-year-old girl who lived at 12 Wardle Brook Avenue. Hodges accompanied the two on their trips to Saddleworth Moor to collect peat, something that many householders on the new estate did to improve the soil in their gardens, which was full of clay and builder’s rubble. She remained unharmed; living only a few doors away, her disappearance would have been easily solved.
Early on Boxing Day 1964, Hindley left her grandmother at a relative’s house and refused to allow her back to Wardle Brook Avenue that night. On the same day, 10-year-old Lesley Ann Downey disappeared from a funfair in Ancoats. Despite a huge search she was not found. The following day Hindley brought her grandmother back home. By February 1965 Patricia Hodges had stopped visiting 16 Wardle Brook Avenue, but David Smith was still a regular visitor. Brady gave Smith books to read, and the two discussed robbery and murder. On Hindley’s 23rd birthday, her sister and brother-in-law, who had until then been living with relatives, were rehoused in Underwood Court, a block of flats not far from Wardle Brook Avenue. The two couples began to see each other more regularly, but usually only on Brady’s terms.
During the 1990s, Hindley claimed that she took part in the killings only because Brady had drugged her, was blackmailing her with pornographic pictures he had taken of her, and had threatened to kill her younger sister, Maureen. In a 2008 television documentary series on female serial killers broadcast on ITV3, Hindley’s solicitor, Andrew McCooey, reported that she had said to him:
I ought to have been hanged. I deserved it. My crime was worse than Brady’s because I enticed the children and they would never have entered the car without my role … I have always regarded myself as worse than Brady.
Following his conviction, Brady was moved to Durham prison, where he asked to live in solitary confinement. He spent 19 years in mainstream prisons before he was declared criminally insane in November 1985 and sent to the high-security Ashworth Psychiatric Hospital; he has since made it clear that he never wants to be released. The trial judge had recommended that his life sentence should mean life, and successive Home Secretaries have agreed with that decision. In 1982, the Lord Chief JusticeLord Lane said of Brady: “this is the case if ever there is to be one when a man should stay in prison till he dies”.
In contrast to the common belief that serial killers often continue with their crimes until they are caught, Brady claimed in 2005 that the Moors murders were “merely an existential exercise of just over a year, which was concluded in December 1964″. By then, he went on to claim, he and Hindley had turned their attention to armed robbery, for which they had begun to prepare by acquiring guns and vehicles. In 2001 Brady wrote The Gates of Janus, which was published by Feral House, an underground US publisher. The book, Brady’s analysis of serial murder and specific serial killers, sparked outrage when announced in Britain.
Winnie Johnson, the mother of undiscovered victim, 12-year-old Keith Bennett, received a letter from Brady at the end of 2005 in which, she said, he claimed that he could take police to within 20 yards (18 m) of her son’s body but the authorities would not allow it. Brady did not refer directly to Keith by name and did not claim he could take investigators directly to the grave, but spoke of the “clarity” of his recollections. In early 2006, prison authorities intercepted a package addressed to Brady from a female friend, containing 50 paracetamol pills, a potentially lethal dose, hidden inside a hollowed-out crime novel.
The death, in November 2007, of John Straffen, who had spent 55 years in prison for murdering three children meant that Brady became the longest serving prisoner in England and Wales. As of 2012, he remains incarcerated in Ashworth. After Brady began a hunger strike in 1999 he was force-fed, fell ill, and was transferred to another hospital for tests. He recovered, and in March 2000 asked for a judicial review of the decision to force-feed him, but was refused permission.
Myra gets the potentially fatal brain condition, whilst I have to fight simply to die. I have had enough. I want nothing, my objective is to die and release myself from this once and for all. So you see my death strike is rational and pragmatic. I’m only sorry I didn’t do it decades ago, and I’m eager to leave this cesspit in a coffin.
Immediately following the trial, Hindley lodged an unsuccessful appeal against her conviction. Brady and Hindley corresponded by letter until 1971, when she ended their relationship. The two remained in sporadic contact for several months, but Hindley had fallen in love with one of her prison officers, Patricia Cairns. A former assistant governor claimed that such relationships were not unusual in Holloway at that time, as “many of the officers were gay, and involved in relationships either with one another or with inmates”. Hindley successfully petitioned to have her status as acategory A prisoner changed to category B, which enabled Governor Dorothy Wing to take her on a walk round Hampstead Heath, part of her unofficial policy of reintroducing her charges to the outside world when she felt they were ready. The excursion caused a furore in the national press and earned Wing an official rebuke from the then Home Secretary Robert Carr. With Cairns’ assistance and the outside contacts of another prisoner, Maxine Croft, Hindley planned a prison escape, but it was thwarted when impressions of the prison keys were intercepted by an off-duty policeman. Cairns was sentenced to six years in jail for her part in the plot. While in prison, Hindley wrote her autobiography, which remains unpublished.
Hindley was told that she should spend 25 years in prison before being considered for parole. The Lord Chief Justice agreed with that recommendation in 1982, but in January 1985 Home SecretaryLeon Brittan increased her tariff to 30 years. By that time, Hindley claimed to be a reformed Roman Catholic. Ann West, the mother of Lesley Ann Downey, was at the centre of a campaign to ensure that Hindley was never released from prison, and until West’s death in February 1999, she regularly gave television and newspaper interviews whenever Hindley’s release was rumoured.
In 1990, then Home Secretary David Waddington imposed a whole life tariff on Hindley, after she confessed to having a greater involvement in the murders than she had previously admitted. Hindley was not informed of the decision until 1994, when a Law Lords ruling obliged the Prison Service to inform all life sentence prisoners of the minimum period they must serve in prison before being considered for parole. In 1997, the Parole Board ruled that Hindley was low risk and should be moved to an open prison. She rejected the idea and was moved to a medium security prison; the House of Lords ruling left open the possibility of later freedom. Between December 1997 and March 2000, Hindley made three separate appeals against her life tariff, claiming she was a reformed woman and no longer a danger to society, but each was rejected by the courts.
When in 2002 another life sentence prisoner challenged the Home Secretary’s power to set minimum terms, Hindley and hundreds of others, whose tariffs had been increased by politicians, looked likely to be released from prison. Hindley’s release seemed imminent and plans were made by supporters for her to be given a new identity. Lord Longford, a devout Roman Catholic, campaigned to secure the release of “celebrated” criminals, and Myra Hindley in particular, which earned him constant derision from the public and the press. He described Hindley as a “delightful” person and said “you could loathe what people did but should not loathe what they were because human personality was sacred even though human behaviour was very often appalling”. Home Secretary David Blunkett ordered Greater Manchester Police to find new charges against her, to prevent her release from prison. The investigation was headed by Superintendent Tony Brett, and initially looked at charging Hindley with the murders of Pauline Reade and Keith Bennett, but the advice given by government lawyers was that because of the DPP’s decision taken 15 years earlier, a new trial would probably be considered an abuse of process.
Part of Stalybridge Country Park, where Hindley’s ashes were scattered in 2003
David Smith became “reviled by the people of Manchester”, despite having been instrumental in bringing Brady and Hindley to justice. While her sister was on trial, Maureen—eight months pregnant—was attacked in the lift of the building in which she and David lived. Their home was vandalised, and hate mail was regularly posted through their letterbox. Maureen feared for her children: “I couldn’t let my children out of my sight when they were little. They were too young to tell them why they had to stay in, to explain why they couldn’t go out to play like all the other children.”
After knifing another man during a fight, in an attack he claimed was triggered by the abuse he had suffered since the trial, Smith was sentenced to three years in prison in 1969. That same year his children were taken into the care of the local authority. His wife Maureen moved from Underwood Court to a single-bedroom property, and found work in a department store. Subjected to whispering campaigns and petitions to remove her from the estate where she lived, she received no support from her family—her mother had supported Myra during the trial. On his release from prison, David Smith moved in with the girl who became his second wife and won custody of his three sons. Maureen managed to repair the relationship with her mother, and moved into a council property in Gorton. She divorced Smith in 1973, and married a lorry driver, Bill Scott, with whom she had a daughter.
Maureen and her immediate family made regular visits to see Hindley, who reportedly adored her niece. In 1980 Maureen suffered a brain haemorrhage; Hindley was granted permission to visit her sister in hospital, but she arrived an hour after Maureen’s death. Sheila and Patrick Kilbride, who were by then divorced, were present at Maureen’s funeral, believing that Hindley might make an appearance. Patrick Kilbride mistook Bill Scott’s daughter from a previous relationship, Ann Wallace, for Hindley and tried to attack her before being knocked to the ground by another mourner; the police were called to restore order. Shortly before her death at the age of 70 Sheila Kilbride said: “If she [Hindley] ever comes out of jail I’ll kill her.” It was a threat repeated by her son Danny, and Ann West.
In 1972, David Smith was acquitted of the murder of his father, who had been suffering from an incurable cancer. Smith pleaded guilty to manslaughter and was sentenced to two days’ detention. He remarried and moved to Lincolnshire with his three sons, and was exonerated of any participation in the Moors murders by Hindley’s confession in 1987.
Joan Reade, Pauline Reade’s mother, was admitted to Springfield Mental Hospital in Manchester. She was present, under heavy sedation, at the funeral of her daughter on 7 August 1987. Five years after their son was murdered, Sheila and Patrick Kilbride divorced. Ann West, mother of Lesley Ann Downey, died in 1999 from cancer of the liver. Since her daughter’s death, she had campaigned to ensure that Hindley remained in prison and doctors said that the stress had contributed to the severity of her illness. Winnie Johnson, mother of Keith Bennett, continues to visit Saddleworth Moor, where it is believed that the body of her son is buried.
The house in which Brady and Hindley lived on Wardle Brook Avenue, and where Edward Evans was murdered, was demolished by the local council.
Hindley died from bronchial pneumonia caused by heart disease, at the age of 60, on 15 November 2002. Cameras “crowded the pavement” outside, but none of Hindley’s relatives were among the congregation of six who attended a short service at Cambridge crematorium, as they were living anonymously in Manchester under assumed names. Such was the strength of feeling more than 35 years after the murders that a reported 20 local undertakers refused to handle her cremation. Four months later, Hindley’s ashes were scattered by a former lover, a woman she had met in prison, less than 10 miles (16 km) from Saddleworth Moor in Stalybridge Country Park. Fears were expressed that the news might result in visitors choosing to avoid the park, a local beauty spot, or even in the park being vandalised. Less than two weeks after Hindley’s death, on 25 November 2002, the Law Lords agreed that judges, not politicians, should decide how long a criminal spends behind bars, and thus stripped the Home Secretary of the power to set minimum sentences.
A 1977 BBC television debate discussed arguments for and against Myra Hindley’s release, with contributions from the parents of some of the murdered children. The case has been dramatised on television twice: in See No Evil: The Moors Murders and Longford (both 2006).
Hindley “shouldered the greater public outrage” because of her gender, and she was popularly assumed to be “the devil incarnate”. The photographs and tape recording of the torture of Lesley Ann Downey, demonstrated in court to a disbelieving audience, and the cool responses of Brady and Hindley, helped to ensure the lasting notoriety of their crimes. Brady, who says that he does not want to be released, is rarely mentioned in the news, but Hindley’s repeated insistence on her innocence, and attempts to secure her release from prison, resulted in her becoming a figure of hate in the national media. Retribution was a common theme amongst those who sought to keep her locked away, and even Hindley’s mother insisted that she should die in prison—although out of fear for her daughter’s safety, and the desire to avoid the possibility that one of the victims’ relatives might kill her. Some commentators expressed the view that of the two, Hindley was the “more evil”. In 1987 she admitted that the plea for parole she had submitted to the Home Secretary eight years earlier was “on the whole […] a pack of lies”, and to some reporters her co-operation in the searches on Saddleworth Moor “appeared a cynical gesture aimed at ingratiating herself to the parole authorities”.0
ABOVE AND BELOW : COMMEMORATIVE BRONZE FIGURINE DEPICTING COLONEL H JONES , 2 PARA ON DISPLAY IN AND AMONGST THE UK SPECIAL FORCES EXHIBITION AREA AT THE CRIME THROUGH TIME COLLECTION , LITTLEDEAN JAIL
On 2 April 1982, Argentina invaded the Falkland Islands, a remote UK colony in the South Atlantic. The move led to a brief, but bitter war.
Argentina’s military junta hoped to restore its support at a time of economic crisis, by reclaiming sovereignty of the islands. It said it had inherited them from Spain in the 1800s and they were close to South America.
The UK, which had ruled the islands for 150 years, quickly chose to fight. Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher said the 1,800 Falklanders were “of British tradition and stock”. A task force was sent to reclaim the islands, 8,000 miles away.
In the fighting that followed, 655 Argentine and 255 British servicemen lost their lives, as did three Falkland Islanders.
medals awarded to H Jones posthumously .
Rare bronze statue on plinth ( 18 inch tall ) of Colonel H Jones , now on display at Littledean Jail .
Plaque on side of Rare bronze statue on plinth ( 18 inch tall ) of Colonel H Jones , now on display at Littledean Jail .
Rare bronze statue on plinth ( 18 inch tall ) of Colonel H Jones , now on display at Littledean Jail .
Colonel H Jones memorial situated oa the Falkland Islands
Colonel H Jones memorial plaque
Colonel H Jones gravestone
Memorial , listing some of those soldiers who were killed in action during the 1982 Falklands War
Was Colonel ‘H’ a mad fool?
Last updated at 00:39 12 May 2007
Much has been written about the hero’s death that won Colonel ‘H’ Jones a Falklands VC.
Here, for the first time, is the brutally honest and vivid account of one of the Paras who fought with him.
It raises some deeply unsettling questions
My breath sounded like a storm in my ears. Surely they could hear it? They were only a dozen metres away – no distance at all.
You know you’re really scared when you think your own breathing is going to betray you.
Sliding my weapon into the crook of my arms, I inched forward on my elbows, pushing slowly, very slowly, with my feet.
The slightest sound could lead to catastrophe for our patrol. Every movement I made was carefully measured and weighed.
I was soaked to the skin, and my knees and thighs were bruised by the rocky ground I’d crawled over.
My hands were numb with cold, and the muscles on my neck and shoulders were clenched like a vice. But I had to concentrate.
There was an Argy trench directly in front of me. No enemy visible. One heavy machine gun in place. Couldn’t miss that. I was staring straight down its barrel.
Another trench 20 yards to the left. Two enemy talking – and pink toilet paper everywhere.
The dirty devils had not dug latrines, they’d just walked out of their trenches and fouled the ground in front of their own positions.
This was encouraging. It told us they’d been worn down by the wind and weather and couldn’t be bothered to dig pits in the freezing cold.
If they were similarly sloppy about sentry duty, that was good news for our lads.
Surprisingly, no one seemed to be manning the gun pointing straight up my nose. What was going on in that trench? Better take a closer look.
As I inched forward, I could hear the Argies still chatting away in a low murmur. What were they talking about? Girlfriends? Mothers? The price of penguin meat?
All that mattered was that there was no edge of alarm in their voices; no hint they’d heard anything. I didn’t need Spanish to know they hadn’t rumbled us.
One more push and I was nearly close enough to touch the ice-cold barrel of that machine-gun.
Cloaked by the mist, I lifted myself onto one knee, rifle at the ready, and peered down into the gloom of the trench.
There they were. Three of them. Sleeping like babes, tucked up nicely in their sleeping bags, counting Falklands sheep in their sleep.
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I could have killed all three before they could say their Hail Marys. This was a unit that was exhausted and couldn’t give a damn. More good news for our lads.
It was time to pull back. But as I crawled away in reverse, slowly and deliberately, I had a hunch that we hadn’t discovered all the Argy positions and decided we should look further over to the east.
There was no way that we’d let our mates run into a lead storm that they hadn’t been warned about.
They were depending on us to recce these outlying positions before we launched our attack on Goose Green.
As we began eyeballing the ground we hadn’t covered, we were ready for anything. Or so we thought.
It was Pete Myers, the youngest member of our patrol, who spotted them first, swirling around like spirits in the mist.
“What’s that over there?” he growled.
“Get down,” I ordered. We hit the ground and tried to make out what the hell we were looking at.
One thing was for sure, they weren’t spirits. These things were neighing and whinnying.
“They’re f****** wild horses,” said Steve Jones, our Welsh lead scout. At that moment, they came thundering straight for us. It was scary as hell.
“F*** it. Let’s drop the b*******,” I spat.
“No, don’t!” said Jonesy. “Just lie still and flat! They’ll run over you! Horses hate stepping on living things!”
What did he know that I didn’t? Had he been a hussar before he joined the Paras? I didn’t think so.
There was no time to argue. The herd was upon us. I looked up at them for a moment before pressing my nose to the ground and squeezing my eyes shut.
Heads and manes tossing, they charged over us, pounding the ground in every direction, filling our senses.
I opened one eye and looked up as a mustang leapt over me. I could see the blur of its legs for a split second before one of its hooves slapped into the peat inches from my head.
Then gun shots! One, two, three! The Argies must have stampeded the horses to flush us out and pinpoint our position.
We were done for – laid out in the middle of nowhere with only horse-dung to hide behind.
As the horses vanished into the darkness, I snatched up my rifle and took aim. But it was OK. The shooting had stopped.
The Argies had only been firing to scare the horses off, turning them away from their trenches.
A few relieved shouts and nervous laughter from the enemy. The sight of wild animals coming out of the dark had rattled them, too.
“Everyone all right?” A quick head check confirmed that no one had been hoof-minced.
“How did you know they wouldn’t stamp the f*** out of us?” I asked Steve. “Some ancient bit of Welsh folklore?”
“Nah,” he answered, “Grand National. You know when those jockeys come off at Beechers Brook?
“They just roll into a ball and stay still as f***, then the horses do anything they can not to put a hoof on ’em.”
“Really?” I said. “Interesting.” My heart was pounding, I’d just produced enough adrenaline to fuel a rocket, and my second in command was telling me the reason we’d lived through it was the Grand National.
Still, the Argies didn’t suspect it was us who had spooked the horses or they would have mown the grass with machine guns. God, they were sloppy.
Careless soldiering costs lives, I reflected as we made our way back to base.
Those poor devils were going to discover the truth of that within the next three hours when our lads got stuck into them. The trouble was, so would we.
FLASHBACK. December 1981. Kenya. An hour after dawn.
As I gazed out over the African plain stretching far away into the heat haze, I blinked the salty sweat out of my eyes and tried to concentrate on the view through the sight of my rifle as I searched for the enemy.
Movement was not an option. One absent-minded swat at the cluster of flies drinking on my sweat and the game was up.
We’d laid three long snakes of green parachute cord across the bush and they slithered invisibly through the landscape.
Suddenly one came to life with a rapid tattoo of tugs – a signal from one of the other lads that the enemy was advancing into our trap.
We watched them every step of the way. They were inching forward, knowing we were out there. And every second took them deeper into our ambush.
It was only an exercise. The yellow blank-firing attachments on the muzzles of our rifles showed that. The enemy were just other lads from 2 Para.
But the stakes were high. To the victor went the spoils and that meant the right to taunt the losers over free beer for weeks to come. A prize not to be scoffed at.
Then I spotted him, moving up through the scrub to the foot of the ridge we were lying on, right up with the enemy’s lead section.
It was our boss, 2 Para’s commanding officer, Colonel Herbert ‘H’ Jones.
What the hell was H doing there? He should have been back with his tactical headquarters unit conducting operations, not up with the front platoons.
Mark Sleap saw him too. Sleapy by name but not sleepy by nature, Mark was sharp as a tack and one of our top guys. As H handed out instructions to his men, Sleapy opened up.
The ambush erupted as rifles and machine guns raked the enemy. It was fast, brutal and effective. The colonel was dead. Direct hit.
He wasn’t happy. No one likes to be killed and H humped and grumped about it. “It wouldn’t have happened,” he told Mark later.
“We’d have got you lot with our artillery when we softened up your area before moving in.”
“Maybe, sir,” said Sleapy diplomatically. “But I did get you, sir.”
It was a prophetic moment, a glimpse into a future some six months ahead. Next time, though, 2 Para wouldn’t be sweltering in Kenya; we’d be freezing our backsides off in the Falklands.
ONCE again, H would be leading from the front, where he shouldn’t be, but this time it wouldn’t be an exercise. It would be live rounds and H really would be dead.
The posthumous Victoria Cross he earned at Goose Green is probably the most controversial VC of all time.
The accounts of the events surrounding his death have mostly been written by former officers and military historians.
They’re fine as far as they go, but they can’t tell it like a front-line para – or Toms as we call ourselves – and they haven’t told the whole story. But I can. I was there.
The first thing to say is that H was a cracking bloke, the best boss I ever had in the army.
He was what we called a “crap-hat” – a soldier from a non-Para regiment, and thus a stranger to the coveted red beret – but he made an immediate impact the moment he joined us.
The hard-core Toms loved the way he called battalion meetings in the drill hall and then announced:
“Right, now that you’re all here we’re going on a ten-mile run.”
All the fat HQ wallahs, drivers and officers, who normally skived off battalion runs, were trapped and H ran the life out of them.
Like any good commander, H wanted action and if there was any glory about, he wanted it for his men and not the “Booties”, the Royal Marines who led the task force sent to the Falklands after the Argentinian invasion in April 1982.
H’s distrust of the “Booties” was apparent from the moment we tried to come ashore on the night of May 21, scrambling off the converted car ferry which had brought us south and cramming into landing craft driven by the marines.
As the boats swayed and dipped in the swell, sea-sickness was only part of the problem. There was something else in the air.
Raw fear. Any minute now a fusillade from the shore might cut us into pieces.
We thought we would head straight for the beach but, instead, we went round and round in endless circles like day-trippers on a municipal boating lake.
Just in case the enemy might have any problem spotting us, the whole performance took place in the light of a near-full moon.
Boat engines throbbed, chains rattled and clanked, and friendly Booties flashed lights and called out to one another across the water.
I was not impressed – and neither was H. We heard him bellowing as he verbally castrated a few gobby marines.
When we finally got ashore, we holed up for two days on the freezing slopes of Sussex Mountain before London gave us the go-ahead for a raid on the airfield at Goose Green to the south.
H was on top form. He had plans to formulate and there isn’t an officer on the planet that doesn’t love planning.
Critics now say his plan was too complex, with lots of overlapping waves of attack. It certainly started to come unstuck pretty quickly.
On the night of May 23, we pressed through dense mist and rain towards Camilla Creek House -a sheep farm which was our initial base for the attack.
But after seven stumbling, mind-numbing, muscle-tearing miles in full kit, we were almost there when we were told to turn back.
Bad weather had grounded the Sea King helicopters that were supposed to be moving our artillery forward and Brigadier Julian Thompson, the Bootie in charge of the task force, had called the mission off.
H kicked off like a firecracker. “I’ve waited 20 years for this,” he snarled. “Now some f****** marine’s cancelled it.”
There was nothing for it but to slog back to Sussex Mountain. With the gallows humour typical of the paras, me and the lads from the Patrols Platoon started belting out a song: John Lennon’s Give Peace A Chance.
Suddenly a head popped out of the command HQ tent flap. It was H. He didn’t say anything. He just looked at us with an expression that said:
“Oh, it’s those f****** nutters from Patrols.”
H loved the Patrols Platoon – fit, aggressive soldiers whose speciality was getting up close to the enemy, acting as the eyes and ears of the regiment.
He just looked at us like a patient father with some naughty kids and never said a word.
Four days later, the battle was on for real -but there was more grief for H. On the morning of May 27, we were awaiting orders at Camilla Creek House when suddenly a melee of officers and sergeants appeared among the men. They were in a right flap.
“Move out! Move out! Away from these buildings on the double!” one of them yelled. “Grab your kit and f****** get out of here!”
It turned out the BBC had announced that we were about to attack Goose Green and, according to some of the men, had even revealed our position at Camilla Creek House.
Ironically, it turned out later that the Argy high command thought the bulletins were a double bluff, designed to wrong-foot them.
But the BBC announcement was a real jolt for H and left him wondering how much the enemy knew about his intentions.
It wasn’t his day. The chaos caused by the BBC meant that several officers failed to make a vital briefing meeting.
On top of that, the Special Forces recces that he’d been relying on to assess the readiness of the enemy were turning out to be a fairytale, while a Harrier jet had just been lost in a raid that left the enemy unscathed and on full alert.
All of which was enough to put any colonel into a spin on the eve of a battle.
Nothing travels faster in a battalion than news of the boss’s mood and the word was out. H was not a happy man.
CLICK, click. Click, click, click. It sounded like sinister insects calling out to each other in the darkness and the hairs on the back of my neck stood on end.
For this wasn’t insects. It was our lads fixing their bayonets and preparing to advance down the narrow isthmus of land leading to Goose Green.
I was thrilled and I’m not ashamed to say it. I was a soldier and the thought of the fight to come gave me a warrior’s rush.
One or two hands reached out and briefly clasped mine as they slipped by me into the darkness. Somewhere in the gloom a young para puked up with the tension.
He got that off his chest and went on to fight like a demon.
Things kicked off around 3am when one of the lads from B Company spotted a silhouette in the middle of a field. “It must be a scarecrow,” whispered a young officer.
A scarecrow? He was on the Falklands, the place was crawling with Argies and he thought he was seeing a scarecrow.
“Hands up!” shouted one of the lads. With that, the scarecrow came to life. “Por favor?” he said and reached under his poncho for his weapon.
Two rifles and two machine guns opened up on him without a moment’s hesitation. Bullets tore through him and tracer rounds ignited his clothing, lighting him up like a Halloween pumpkin.
Soon B Company had taken out nearly 20 Argy trenches, tearing through them with machine-guns, grenades and bayonets.
It was a good start to their advance but elsewhere H’s plans were evaporating as fast as a bottle of port in the officers’ mess.
We were supposed to be receiving support from HMS Arrow, softening up the enemy positions with bombardments of huge shells at the rate of 30 a minute. This would have shortened the engagement by hours.
In the event, Arrow had fired just one shell before her gun jammed. Meanwhile, the Harrier jets we had been promised were fog-bound on their carriers.
Here below is a very brief look and insight into our Nazi Holocaust Years Exhibition here at The Crime Through Time Collection , Littledean Jail, UK
Original painting by Gloucestershire artist Paul Bridgman of Adolf Hitler here on display at The Crime Through Time Collection , Littledean Jail , UK .
ABOVE : Original handwritten, inscribed and signed Adolf Hitler photo dated 9 November 1943 here on display at the Jail .
HERE IS A PICTURE OF SOME OF THE EMPTY ZYKLON B CANISTERS USED AT VARIOUS NAZI DEATH CAMP GAS CHAMBERS , AS CAN BE SEEN HERE ON DISPLAY . ( LEST WE FORGET )
POLITE WARNING … THE CRIME THROUGH TIME COLLECTION AT LITTLEDEAN JAIL (WHERE UPON THIS EXHIBITION IS HOUSED ) IS NOT SUITABLE FOR CHILDREN OR THOSE OF YOU WHO ARE EASILY OFFENDED , DISTURBED OR OF A SENSITIVE NATURE
Original painting by Gloucestershire artist Paul Bridgman on display at The Crime Through Time Collection, Littledean Jail ,UK.
THE CONTENT HERE ON DISPLAY BOTH ONLINE AND WITHIN THE JAIL IS IN THE MAIN HARD HITTING , GRAPHIC, EXPLICIT , IN YOUR FACE , TONGUE IN CHEEK , CONTROVERSIAL AND TO MANY … VERY DISTURBING .
WITH THIS IN MIND AND FOR YOUR BENEFIT AND COMFORT … PLEASE DO TAKE A LOOK AT SOME OF OUR FACEBOOK POSTS , READ OUR TOURISM LEAFLETS AND DO TAKE NOTICE OF ALL OUR WARNING SIGNAGE PRIOR TO ENTERING THE JAIL .
Above : Original painting by Gloucestershire Artist Paul Bridgman on display here at Littledean Jail, of the sadistic Irma Grese …. deemed to be “The Angel of Death ” , who was subsequently arrested and later hanged by British Hangman Albert Pierrepoint
Irma Ida Ilse Grese (7 October 1923 – 13 December 1945) was a female SS guard at the Nazi concentration camps of Ravensbrück and Auschwitz, and served as warden of the women’s section of Bergen-Belsen.
Grese was convicted for crimes against humanity committed at Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen, and sentenced to death at the Belsen trial. Executed at 22 years of age, Grese was the youngest woman to die judicially under British law in the 20th century. She was nicknamed by the camps’ inmates “the Hyena of Auschwitz Above : Original painting by Gloucestershire Artist Paul Bridgman on display here at Littledean Jail, of the sadistic Irma Grese ….
Josef Kramer (10 November 1906 – 13 December 1945) was the Commandant of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. Dubbed The Beast of Belsen by camp inmates, he was a notorious German Nazi war criminal, directly responsible for the deaths of thousands of people. He was detained by the British army after the Second World War, convicted of war crimes and hanged on the gallows in Hamelin prison by British executioner Albert Pierrepoint.
Above : Original oil painting by Gloucestershire Artist Paul Bridgman of Josef Kramer , The Beast of Belsen , on display here at Littledean Jail,
Below: Original painting by Gloucestershire Artist Paul Bridgman on display here at Littledean Jail, of the evil and sadistic Josef Kramer …. better known as “The Beast of Belsen “
Used original Zyklon B 100gram sized canisters from one of the first Nazi gas chambers situated at Grafeneck Euthanasia Center, housed in Grafeneck Castle, Germany . It had officially opened in January 1940 and was closed on the orders of Nazi warlord Himmler in December 1940 . This facility was mainly used to exterminate mentally Handicapped and retarded victims as part of the Nazi euthanasia program. These canisters are exceptionally rare find from what was one of the earliest gas chambers and crematorium facilities . There is evidence that exists to the effect that a minimum 10, 654 were gassed there, though inevitably many more victims were murdered there before its closure . these canisters are now on public display at the Crime Through Time Collection, Littledean Jail
Here is some more interactive, historical and hopefully educational background footage and insight into the horrors of the Nazi Holocaust years. The photo gallery below the first video also provides a brief pictorial glimpse into our own disturbing Nazi Holocaust exhibition here at the jail .
We also feature a great many interactive pieces in relation to UK World War 2 Special Forces, including the SOE (Special Operations Executive) and the SAS (Special Air Service) …. whom were both actively involved in a great many operations against the Nazi’s during this period .
Original painting by Gloucestershire artist Paul Bridgman on display at The Crime Through Time Collection, Littledean Jail , UK
BELOW IS A BRIEF PICTORIAL GLIMPSE INTO SOME OF THE EXHIBIT ITEMS HERE ON DISPLAY AT LITTLEDEAN JAILS NAZI HOLOCAUST EXHIBITION .