PRISONERS OF WAR IN GERMANY AND M.I.9 Papers, photographs and effects of Captain Julius Morris Green, TD, of the Army Dental Corps, relating to his espionage activities on behalf of the British Directorate of Military Intelligence Section 9 (MI9) while a prisoner-of-war at Colditz and other camps in Germany during the Second World War, including a run of original coded letters sent and received by him;
Lot 231
PRISONERS OF WAR IN GERMANY AND M.I.9
Papers, photographs and effects of Captain Julius Morris Green, TD, of the Army Dental Corps, relating to his espionage activities on behalf of the British Directorate of Military Intelligence Section 9 (MI9) while a prisoner-of-war at Colditz and other camps in Germany during the Second World War, including a run of original coded letters sent and received by him;
Sold for £6,500 (US$ 10,098) inc. premium

Lot Details
PRISONERS OF WAR IN GERMANY AND M.I.9 Papers, photographs and effects of Captain Julius Morris Green, TD, of the Army Dental Corps, relating to his espionage activities on behalf of the British Directorate of Military Intelligence Section 9 (MI9) while a prisoner-of-war at Colditz and other camps in Germany during the Second World War, including a run of original coded letters sent and received by him; PRISONERS OF WAR IN GERMANY AND M.I.9 Papers, photographs and effects of Captain Julius Morris Green, TD, of the Army Dental Corps, relating to his espionage activities on behalf of the British Directorate of Military Intelligence Section 9 (MI9) while a prisoner-of-war at Colditz and other camps in Germany during the Second World War, including a run of original coded letters sent and received by him; PRISONERS OF WAR IN GERMANY AND M.I.9 Papers, photographs and effects of Captain Julius Morris Green, TD, of the Army Dental Corps, relating to his espionage activities on behalf of the British Directorate of Military Intelligence Section 9 (MI9) while a prisoner-of-war at Colditz and other camps in Germany during the Second World War, including a run of original coded letters sent and received by him; PRISONERS OF WAR IN GERMANY AND M.I.9 Papers, photographs and effects of Captain Julius Morris Green, TD, of the Army Dental Corps, relating to his espionage activities on behalf of the British Directorate of Military Intelligence Section 9 (MI9) while a prisoner-of-war at Colditz and other camps in Germany during the Second World War, including a run of original coded letters sent and received by him; PRISONERS OF WAR IN GERMANY AND M.I.9 Papers, photographs and effects of Captain Julius Morris Green, TD, of the Army Dental Corps, relating to his espionage activities on behalf of the British Directorate of Military Intelligence Section 9 (MI9) while a prisoner-of-war at Colditz and other camps in Germany during the Second World War, including a run of original coded letters sent and received by him;
Papers of General Sir Miles Dempsey, GBE, KCB, DSO, MC
PRISONERS OF WAR IN GERMANY AND M.I.9
Papers, photographs and effects of Captain Julius Morris Green, TD, of the Army Dental Corps, relating to his espionage activities on behalf of the British Directorate of Military Intelligence Section 9 (MI9) while a prisoner-of-war at Colditz and other camps in Germany during the Second World War, including a run of original coded letters sent and received by him; the archive comprising approximately 40 autograph coded letters by Green to his parents, John and Clara Green of Dumferline, a few to his sister Kathleen; 10 uncoded letters by his parents to him; and 6 coded letters to him, by fictional characters dreamt up by MI9 (Charles Outram, his daughter Philippa, and "Harry"), the correspondence running from May 1941 through to 1944, all when Green was a prisoner-of-war, at many camps including Oflag IV-C (Colditz Castle), where he was imprisoned in 1944-45, Bau und Arbeits Battalion 21 (Blechhammer), Stalag VIII-B (Lamsdorf), Stalag X-B (Sandbostel), Marlag und Milag Nord (Westertimke ), and Kgf.B.A.B.20 (Heyderbreck), on 'Prisoner of War' post forms, incorporating addressed of sender and recipient, with censor marks, etc., some small sections torn or missing, occasional tape repairs, but overall in good condition, narrow folio; with these are 7 typed letters signed to Captain Green's parents at Dumferline, signed on behalf of Majors L. Winterbottom and H.D. White, c/o Room 311, War Office, Metropole Buildings, Northumberland Avenue, and c/o Room 527, War Office, Hotel Victoria, Northumberland Avenue; with two original OHMS envelopes sealed in red wax and stamped in red 'Most Secret'; plus a quantity of other non-MI9 official correspondence, relating Green's imprisonment, military service, entitlements, post-war honorary captaincy, etc.; a fine set of snapshots (vintage prints bearing the stamp of Bau und Arbeits Battalion 21 on the reverse) taken in prisoner-of-war camp, showing fellow prisoners and him undertaking dentistry work; a water-colour portrait of Green as a P-o-W; a Christmas postcard from Oflag VII-C/Z (Laufen Castle) for 1940; caricatures of Green and friends done in camp; two autograph letters signed ("Julie") to his parents, sent soon after his capture ("...We are all together & are running a Hospital for British Prisoners of War. I am the officer I/C supply and provisions & sometimes help at operations, give anaesthetics etc. All my dental equipment got destroyed in the battle on the night of 11th & 12th June..."), 16 and 21 June 1940; identity and registration cards; his service medals; photocopies of ten letters present by Green to the Imperial War Museum; two pen-ink and collage-hatching drawings by 'Martin' of the Sunday Express, illustrating Green's memoirs; presentation copy of J.M. Green, From Colditz in Code (1989), inscribed to his son Alan

Footnotes

  • 'SUBS REFUELLING ABOUT 4 NORTH 27 WEST' – ARCHIVE OF CODED ESPIONAGE REPORTS SMUGGLED INTO AND OUT OF GERMAN PRISON CAMPS DURING WORLD WAR II, the messages exchanged between the British Directorate of Military Intelligence Section 9 (MI9) and Captain J.M. Green, ADC, British Prisoner of War in Germany, coded into letters to and from his parents and pseudonymous correspondents.

    Julius Morris Green was born in 1912 and spent his early childhood in Killarney where his father had a dental practice. He studied at the Dental School of the Royal College of Surgeons in Edinburgh and was practising in Glasgow when he joined the Territorial Army in 1939, being posted to the 152 (H) Field Ambulance of the 51 Highland Division. He was captured with his brigade at St Valery in June 1941 and spent the remainder of the war in a succession of camps, his misbehaviour meaning that he eventually received the honour of being confined to Oflag IV-C, better known as Colditz. His far more serious lack of co-operation, for which he would have faced certain death, can be traced back to January 1941, when at Ilag VII (Tittmoning) he was taught the code used to communicate with MI9, the War Office department tasked with aiding resistance fighters in enemy occupied territory and gathering intelligence from British prisoners of war. Being a dentist, he was in an especially good position to carry out such espionage work; as he spent much of his time travelling from camp to camp, treating patients. After the war, he was to present a portion of his papers to the Imperial War Museum; many of the letters no longer in the present archive he illustrates in his memoir, From Colditz in Code (1989). Nevertheless what remains is substantial, and includes at least one letter received by him when at Colditz (see below).

    In communicating with Green, MI9 usually used the conduit of his parents in Scotland. A group of letters by MI9 officers to his parents illustrate how they went about this. On 16 December 1942, they write to his mother: "Dear Madam,/ Enclosed is one letter from your son Captain J.M. GREEN, Army Dental Corps, P/W. No. 02601 at Marlag and Milag Nord./ You will see that in lines 20, 21 and 22 your son refers to certain matters which will have no meaning for you. These remarks are intended for us, so please do not worry about them, nor refer to them in any way when replying to your son./ For your private information, we are very glad to tell you that your son is continuing to do most valuable work./ Please do not show this letter to anyone outside the immediate family circle, and remember to burn our letter when read". On 23 June 1943, they make the request: "We should be very grateful for a 'draft' letter to you son within the next week or so"; and follow this up on 30 June: "We enclose draft letter to be copied and returned to us. We have dated it well ahead, as you will observe". On 4 February 1944 they write: "Capt. Green has told us to look out for a letter dated 17th January which he is going to send. Will you please keep a special look-out for one of that date in case it slips through the censors"; and on 27 March ask them to keep a look-out: "If you receive any letters from anyone called Davidson (not bearing our mark) we should be glad to see them". Round about the time he is trouble with the German authorities and is sent to Colditz, their anxiety is clearly making itself felt, and the operatives of MI9 hasten to reassure them: "Thanks you very much for your letter of the 28th March. We quite understand your very natural anxiety regarding your son's intentions, however Capt. Green appears to be a young man of great resource and we think can he relied upon to handle the situation competently... Please try not to worry. We will do everything we can to help from this end and we have great confidence in your son" (31 March 1944).

    A smaller group of letters are written by non-existent people concocted by the operatives of MI9. Charles Outram of 229A Church Street, Chelsea, SW3, first puts in an appearance in our section of the archive on 19 April 1943, telling Green that "Philippa is still busy with her Red Cross activities, they all work very hard and any slackers are soon rebuked by the others. However Philipps always finds time to dance and drink (in moderation naturally!) with her many friends. Young men flock around and she has a very good time I'm glad to say"; the full letter when decoded reading: "Urgent warn all don't cooperate Black Front or any Anti Nazi parties all riddled with Nazi agents". This is followed by a letter dated 30 June 1943, in which Charles tells Green all about his problems with the greenfly on his roses; the letter when decoded reading: "Continue send outputs Blechhammer plants. If possible say how many trains leaving plants and how many trucks in each". On 7 November 1943, Green writes to his (real-life) father: "Philippa appears quite the most winsome lass, but don't get frightened, she's not my type! I think that I'm a great deal too slow for her & anyway, I could never marry a girl whose idea of enjoyment is to dance until 3 A.M. every night"; the whole letter when decoded reading "Making diesel only petrol a failure". On 12 November 1943, Miss Philippa Outram of 229A Church Street, Chelsea SW3, writes in person: "Dear Captain Green,/ I've been meaning to write for ages but somehow or other the time passes so quickly that I never seem to get down to letters. We've acquired a rather noisy but quite fantastic puppy, he's quite unbelievably foolish and I'm afraid Daddy doesn't appreciate him fully..."; the letter when decoded reading: "Important keep us posted monthly output each individual product of Blechhammer". Among the post-war correspondence in the archive is a letter to Green of 1974 by the former MI9 operative had written him the Philippa Outram letters: "I have now given them your 'Philippa' letter, but asked them to send you back the original as it was the last one you had... When I think what all you chaps went through -- & what a state the country is in now – it makes me wonder what it is all about", signing herself "Mary Trevor – or Phillipa".

    Further letters follow from Charles Outram (whose handwriting fluctuates alarmingly), and on 26 March 1944 he writes: "I expect you're conversant with news of Philippa's engagement. Their intentions regarding the future, and the actual date of the wedding are, of course, in abeyance at present", adding "I like the boy very much but, perhaps naturally, I think Philippa's too good for him"; the actual purport of the letter being decoded as: "Your parents warned regarding your intentions act with caution". This letter was sent to Green when imprisoned at Colditz (forwarded by the German authorities from Oflag VIII-F).

    The letters sometimes read like a caricature of a faulty language manual, and had the German censors employed someone with a native command of English they would have immediately spotted that something untoward was going on, a fact of which (as he tells us in his memoir) Green himself was all too aware. The risks he was running, as a Jewish prisoner-of-war in Nazi hands, hardly bear thinking about. Take for example the letter he writes his sister Kathleen on 7 November 1943: "Are you very upset about the beret? Well never mind you couldn't help it. Here is the solution. It has produced a nice dressing gown. The thing fitted Davidson so he gave me a useful dressing gown for it & I'm delighted. In the end it's come even. The dressing gown is looked on in the aspect of the extremely useful substitute & the beret covers Davidson's bald patch". This 'Allo 'Allo style diction could be said to invite cryptographic analysis. The code is very simple; and when broken the whole letter reads: "Probably only one truck of experimental luboil ever produced here". The slave labourers at Blechhammer were afterwards to be shipped off to Bergen-Belsen. Underneath the surreal humour lies horror, and on the part of Captain Green, quite extraordinary bravery.

Saleroom notices

  • Capt. Julius Morris Green was captured in June 1940, not 1941 as stated
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