A STORY ABOUT THE UNDERPANTS OF A ROYAL NAVY SIGNAL OFFICER WHICH LED TO HIS DOWNFALL AT THE HANDS OF THE KGB

 

This story, indeed, any and every story of the Hood, even a mention, is of some interest albeit for just a couple of words. Hood was called the 'mighty Hood' as much for her eight 15" guns as for her sheer size and displacement. There is a British naval saying which goes "Of what avail the loaded tube?; the cannon and the shell?; if Flags and W/T default, the Fleet will go to hell". 

I am going to steal this saying to introduce this page/story.

It tells us that with all these wonderful "killing" weapons, they need to be coordinated, controlled and above all else directed onto a target, and by that I don't mean by radar or by gunnery range finders: I mean by intelligence gathered and communicated by communicators.

What then might one think about a Signal Officer passing comment on the ability of the Gunnery Officers to hit the target, even having received the aforementioned intelligence and had time to assimilate it, feeding it into the radar picture in WW2, and into a visual system in WW1?  Imagine the wardroom' reaction in Whale Island in 1963 when the story first broke!

So who was the guy and after answering that question, what exactly did he say, to whom, and where?

He was Commander Anthony Tosswill COURTNEY OBE RN Rtd, listed rather strangely as a Commander WSR RN in the Navy List, WSR standing for "War Service Rank" but more about him in a moment. p.s. Yes I am aware of the WSR system but my point and use of the word strangely, is that there are so few uses of the acronym.

During a sitting of the House of Commons for a debate on Naval Estimates, 18th March 1963, he, as the Conservative MP for Harrow East, joined in when the debate got to the funding of our new DLG's [the county class]. He wanted to make sure that all weapons fitted were fit for purpose in this new technological era, and that there should be no corner-cutting especially when it came surface to surface attack weapons - the concept was to have turrets A and B fitted as twin-mounts with 4.5" guns [considered archaic weapons] with a weapon called 'seaslug' fitted aft of a flight deck which could accommodate a large Wessex helicopter with its own hangar and workshop, on top of which there was to be a 'seacat' missile launcher/director.

He introduced his concerns as follows:-

Commander Courtney

"We are being asked to vote nearly £26 million for research and development, and this is probably the moment to draw the Civil Lord's attention to a point of which I have given him notice—a serious gap in the Navy's research and development programme. In my view, this may amount to a rather serious error of judgment. I have spoken in the Committee before—perhaps wearied it—about my ideas of the evolution of weapons. Suffice it now to say that I believe that for purely naval purposes the era of the gun is virtually over and that it is already succeeded—having had a transitional stage in which man flew in his own projectile—by the guided missile.

Under its research and development programme, the Royal Navy has developed some excellent guided missiles. We know of Seacat, the short-range surface-to-air weapon, and there is Seaslug, of which the Mark II will soon come into service, which, from all information available to the Committee, is also an excellent surface-to-air anti-aircraft weapon. But whereas the Russians, the Americans, the Swedes and the French have developed in service, or are developing, a surface-to-surface guided missile to take the place of the old-fashioned naval gun, no mention of such a development appears in our research and development programme.

From what information is available to me, I believe that we have, as a deliberate stroke of policy some years ago, omitted to follow this line of development. The result is that in our fine "County" class of so-called guided missile destroyers—and many hon. Members have drawn attention to the irrelevancy, to put it mildly, of that description of these fine ships—we have Seacat and Seaslug for our surface-to-air weapons. These are anti-aircraft weapons—defensive, in fact. They are, in fact, anti-aircraft defences. But the surface-to-surface-weapons with which the "Devonshire" class are supposed to fight a day or night action are of an old design though, admittedly, they are rapid-firing 4.5 inch guns.

I would draw the Committee's attention to the fact, which the Civil Lord should know well, that the Russians, in their new type of guided missile destroyer, have probably perfected and have certainly fitted in a numerous class of ships what I believe to be an effective surface-to-surface guided missile. Furthermore, they have mounted this weapon in a small 40-knot armoured motor gunboat which, in the narrow waters where the Russians excel, might have a serious impact on our own forces.

The commander then went on to reveal his interest in gunnery suggesting that the navy's performance with such weapons had not been good at Jutland and that there was doubt about the Hood's performance during the Battle of Denmark Straits against the Bismarck and the Prinz Eugen? p.s. The very reason for Herbert Lott giving his money to the navy was to increase the skills in naval gunnery which he thought [and history shows they were] pathetic!

He continued:-

 I have a personal feeling about this, because by a mere chance *I was not appointed flag lieutenant and squadron signal officer*  to Vice-Admiral L. E. Holland in H.M.S. "Hood". I have studied the shortcomings of naval gunnery and I realise that but for the accident of not having that appointment I should not be addressing this Committee today. I feel, as a signals man, and I hope that other hon. and gallant Members will not take my comments amiss, that, as was the case in the past, the First World War not excepted, naval gunnery may again have slipped back a little. I should like the Civil Lord's emphatic assurance that these developments will go ahead and that in the light of Russian developments we shall not lag behind with Royal Navy surface-to-surface guided missiles.

*...* In the first quarter of 1941 HOOD carried the Flag of Vice Admiral W.J. Whitworth CB DSO and his Flag Lieutenant was Lt Cdr J.M. Villiers RN [Long course S&W/T 1933 Signal School RNB Portsmouth. Lt Cdr A. Courtney RN, [the man of our story] Long Course 1935 S&W/T, seniority 01.10.38 was appointed the Flag Lieutenant to the new Commander of Battlecruisers Vice Admiral L.E. Holland CB also in HOOD, in the second quarter of '41. However, before Courtney became a signal officer he was a fully qualified interpreter in Russian [1934 and prize], and was a knowledgeable russophile through his fathers long trading association with Russia. He was also a good linguist, rapidly learning German as a third language. The appointer was tasked to have a re-think on Courtney's appointment to sea in that role as he was earmarked for bigger and more important things, and so appointed Lt Cdr H.D. Wyldbore-Smith RN [Long Course 1931 S&W/T] in his place. He, regrettably, perished with the HOOD.   

Later on Courtney was proved right because the forward guns in some DLG's [and afterwards in other types of vessels] were replaced by guided missile weapons [Exocet], but the 'seaslug' was found to be a bit of an embarrassment, looking good and fierce, but mostly ineffective. Towards the end of the DLG's reign, specifically during the 1982 Falklands War, 'seaslug' was used as a shore bombardment weapon against Port Stanley's airfield. It was also used to launch its 'seaslug' missile into space as a target for the much more advanced 'seadart' missile system to destroy.

During 1982, there were fourteen recorded Seaslug firings/expenditures, six by the Antrim and eight by the Glamorgan, six before the Falklands Campaign and eight during it including two missile with warheads jettisoned by Glamorgan after she was hit aft by a land launched Exocet Missile whilst off Port Stanley.  Of those fired during the Falklands, one [from Glamorgan] was fired against the Port Stanley airfield, and the others at unknown land targets.

Concentrating only on the Mk2 Seaslug Missile, between November 1966 and the end of the Falklands Campaign in 1982, no fewer that one hundred and eighty seven [187] missiles were fired/disposed of.  To assess the weapons potency [and therefore battle worthiness] we will use a very simple method of assessment, where OS means Operational Success whilst OF means Operational Failure: both have mitigating reasons/amplifications as to why the shoot  was 'good' or 'bad',  but for our purposes we will ignore these.  In order to avoid being over-critical and thus erring on the side of success, we assess the overall score as being approximately 60% successes and 40% failures: not 'good' however expressed, and this was our main anti-air missile conceived in the very early  1950's !

Now a short break to look at Courtney's career before we expand further.

First off a picture, and because he was an MP, from the National Portrait Gallery.
http://www.npg.org.uk/collections/search/portrait/mw85754/Anthony-Tosswill-Courtney?LinkID=mp71642&role=sit&rNo=1#sitter

If that site should be taken down, here's a thumbnail stand alone picture

Courtney by all accounts was known as his own man, tough in every sense, ambitious and keen, fit and robust, and exceedingly clever.

Courtney studied at Dartmouth and the Greenwich. He joined the Navy at the age of 16, and served in it for thirty years. Midshipman 1925, sub lieutenant beginning 1930 and lieutenant end 1930, at which time he was in HMS Malaya. 1933 studied Russian in Bessarabia and in 1934 qualified as an interpreter. He then qualified at HM Signal School in Portsmouth in signals and wireless telegraphy. He served briefly on the staff of the Commander-in-Chief of the Fleet in Plymouth, before becoming Flag Lieutenant (later Flag Lieutenant-Commander) to a Flag Officer commanding a squadron of the Mediterranean Fleet. He was acting Squadron Signals and Wireless Telegraphy Officer. During the first two years of the Second World War he was on the staff of the Admiral commanding the 3rd Battle Squadron and the North Atlantic Escort Force, based in Halifax, Canada and was said to be an outstanding professional Communicator - meaning of course Signal OfficerIn 1941 and 1942 [having been reappointed away from the Flagship Hood] he served in Moscow as Deputy Head of the British Naval Mission, and he was head of the Soviet section of British Naval Intelligence from 1946 to 1948. His service was marked with the award of the Order of the British Empire in 1949. He was then an Intelligence Officer in Germany from 1951 operating in a tri-service role.

After retiring from the Navy in 1953 with the rank of commander, Courtney became an export consultant, setting up the Eastern Trading Group Consultancy Services which specialised in trade with the Soviet bloc. He also made a living writing and lecturing. At the 1955 general election, he fought unsuccessfully as a Conservative in Hayes and Harlington.

For the next election Courtney was reselected to fight the Hayes seat but by this time was chosen to follow Ian Harvey as Conservative candidate for Harrow East in early 1959. Harvey had been forced to resign over a homosexual scandal in which he was found making love to a burly guardsman in St. James's Park. Courtney took the seat in a by-election and held onto it at the general election.

Maintaining his way of doing things, Courtney could be a rebellious MP. He opposed the 1961 Defence White Paper and called for replacement of the Royal Air Force's V-bomber force with a fleet of submarines [the start of the Polaris idea and concept]. He supported corporal punishment. He was a consistent advocate of a strong Navy to counter the Soviet Union. In 1962, while on a business trip to Moscow, he demanded a personal visit to see Nikita Khrushchev over the case of Greville Wynne, a British businessman accused of spying by the Soviets. He often raised the issue of religious freedom in Russia. It should be digested at this point that whilst he and his father had earned their living, or a sizeable part of their income dealing with Russians [establishment and commerce, albeit the communist type of commerce], for near thirty years, he chose to knock Russia on the world-stage, infuriating the Kremlin and the KGB. He was heading for trouble!  Why?  Well, as you will see in one of the press cuttings he had a gripe against Russia that most of us can readily understand to this very day.

That was as follows. Russia was our ally in both WW1 and WW2, and in WW1 she let down the Allies badly by withdrawing her troops to go home to help fight the Russian Revolution in 1917, giving the Germans a big advantage. Come WW2 she became a reluctant ally once again, but they didn't complain when we manufactured and delivered thousands of tons of munitions at a terrible expense to our royal and merchant navies, not to mention a severe drain on our resources and finances. They never ever did thank us for our sacrifice as one would expect**, you know, three hundred huge cargo ships full of vodka and caviar plus untold priceless Faberge objet d'art by the ton-load. They lost far more human souls that any other nation did, and the two atomic bombs on Japan were as for nought compared to the slaughter meted out to the Russian Red Army and civilian population. What might have happened had we not been able to help her?: we saved the Red Army mechanised troops with our thousands of tanks etc, and even then, they had the gall to remind us that their T34's were superior to the British rubbish being delivered - it was, but it didn't need to be stated.

** Later on, many years after the war in the '80s, the "nicest" President of Russia, Mikhail Gorbachev, with his popular and well received gesture of Glasnost, went on record to thank, with open heart, the UK nation for all that it did for Russian in WW2. To its eternal shame, it was to be another THIRTY TWO years after the Russian thank you [December 2012] before the British Government thanked its own navy and the mercantile marine for what they achieved on the Russian Convoys, by grudgingly approving the Arctic Star for all "convoyers", the majority of who were already dead!

When the war finished, we immediately, over night [despite Churchill's fore-warning that it would happen] became persona non grata in Russia as many westerners found themselves, especially those associated with support-for-Russia where, remember, all your garden front iron railing had been sent for their benefit and our permanent loss, guess what? - made into T34 tanks! Our overt friendship was shunned and we were ostracised. However, we were prepared to continue that friendship especially in view that the Red Army had eventually destroyed the infrastructure and soldiers of the Wehrmacht in the East as we had done in the West, bringing the war to a close. As we had residual people left in Russia, so too did London host Russians in a most friendly way. Very soon thereafter in 1946 those numbers increased across victorious Europe and with it came the intelligence gathering organisations employing their own spies and grooming British spies to maximise their plunder of our data. Courtney, stationed in Moscow at this time and until 1948, saw this first hand, and became annoyed at the stupid European [but mainly the British] Governments, and wanted us to treat Russians in the same way that Russia treated him and many other westerners legitimately employed in their country/capital. None of the early-mid post war Governments legislated for that curtailment of the Russian covert modus operandi, which along the way included Attlee, Churchill, Eden, McMillan, Douglas-Home, Wilson, Heath and Callaghan. In all those years spying stories, agents, double-agents were everyday norms, and even one of my ships fell foul of a naval officer working for the Russians [HMS Rothesay, Sub Lieutenant David Bingham] and that was under our very noses! We had civilians galore doing it in the Admiralty, in naval dockyards, in secret trials establishments [AUEW Portland],  and even whilst working for and advising The Queen [Anthony Blunt] albeit in mere art, but nevertheless having The Queen's ear. It wasn't until the 1980's [and Courtney died in January 1988] a full thirty five years after the war, that Mrs Thatcher ordered a clamp down and started to check on the ultimate universities [Oxbridge] known to have former students [and quite possibly current students] who were violently distant-far-far-left of centre, oozing with privileges and sickening grotesque wealth, whilst in reality were enjoying selling the country down stream. Today, we rarely hear about such destructive spies, and the Wikileaky Aussie moron, currently awaiting deportation to Sweden on rape charges, is, by comparison, but a boy-racer in the espionage league of 0 to 60 in 3 seconds in a triple-turbo 20-ton juggernaut packed full of nitroglycerine detonated on contact.         

Courtney's first marriage had been successful and he was heartbroken when she died of a heart attack on the 1st February  1961 after twenty three years of marriage. I believe it grossly affected his ability to continue living a balanced life - he was bereft. 

Still an MP and keeping the House on its toes, he quite naturally missed his wife and sex, and had a fling in Moscow during a British Trade Fair in July of 1961. In spite of all his strengths and knowledge of the system plus that many in Moscow didn't like him, he threw all care to the wind and unwittingly exposed himself to KGB covert cameras and microphones. They took several pictures.

In 1963 he got married for a second time. Here, no news is good news, and there are no adverse reports on the marriage except the joint statements of infidelity mentioned in a newspaper cutting below. From all accounts his second wife was generous to a fault in giving, rather than taking from Courtney. As such, she was obviously very fond of him.

In 1965 four years after the affair of the KGB 1961 photographs and two years into his second marriage, on two occasions January and March, he, his stepson and the Leader of the Conservative Party Alec Douglas-Home*, were sent anonymous letters with photographs of the 1961 sexual fling. The KGB threat was intended for two purposes. The first was that those photographs would go elsewhere if necessary, but the letter, was the time-bomb. It stated that Courtney's new wife had been unfaithful to him whilst he was in Russia, and that it would be wise for him to step down from parliament to avoid a major scandal. As it turned out, the divorce newspaper cutting [below] showed this to be the case.

*Douglas-Home was the Prime Minister until the 1964 election when he lost to Harold Wilson who then led a Labour Government. Two years later in 1966, Wilson caused another General Election as a vote of confidence, the outcome of which secured his position as the Prime Minister in continuation.

Courtney did nothing, even though he was aware that Tory Central Office had the letter/pictures.

In August 1965, a new letter and the pictures were sent to many more people, this time to high profile businessmen and dignitaries in his constituency, plus the press including to the News of the World, and also to local clerics. Courtney had always maintained good contacts with MI5 and this time he consulted with them on the photographs.

Whilst it is not something one broadcasts to the world but one hundred percent feasible and credible, his new wife didn't fancy him in his under pants: they didn't turn her on or something like that, or perhaps they were old fashioned: most pants then, today we would call "passion killers." He, wanted to please his new wife in every possible way, so he threw away much of his wardrobe/attire and bought clothes of which she approved. Incidentally, I have had a peep on the WWW at men's underwear in 1961 [although at my age I needn't have bothered 'cos I knew the answer] and I can tell you that Y-Fronts were first sold in 1935 - if that knowledge helps to you to unravel the mystery. Boxer-shorts were well established in the first half of the 1960's.

M15 analyzed the photographs [as experts can and do do] and with that forensic knowledge plus Courtney was wearing his old pants belonging to his first marriage days of four years previously when a widower [involuntarily wifeless]- see newspaper cuttings below - they collectively sussed the subterfuge and informed Alec Douglas-Home that his MP had not, after all, been unfaithful inside marriage. Nor had he been a security risk, merely girding his loins - and don't and shouldn't we fellers all do that at home if married/long term partnership, or when out clubbing if not?

However, despite this revelation, and declaration of a Russian set-up, constituents chattered, mulled over, thought the best, thought the worst, and bit by bit, they deserted poor Courtney and he lost his seat in the 1966 general election.

It was a mean trick but Courtney was naive to believe that it wasn't going to happen, or that something far worse might happen - by all accounts, he was lucky to get away with just the photographs.

 Now outside of parliament, Courtney was lost and his second marriage was dissolved in 1968 and his core business failed; we really don't know why she didn't support her outwardly decent husband for the deceit was a clear set-up by the KGB, BUT We do know that the divorce was based on his adultery in London followed by her adultery as a 'what's good for the goose is good for the gander' submission which the judge absolved. She was evidently gracious at winning the divorce decree and from her personal wealth granted him a sum of £10,000 for him to have access to to live a dignified life. In 1971, Courtney married for the third time. He successfully sued Sir Theodore Constantine for slander when Constantine put his own interpretation of the KGB matter: Constantine became a peer and was a leading light in the Tory party hierarchy. To his shame, Alec Douglas-Home knew the truth about the Russian-sting but kept his own counsel.

Just simply putting two and two together and making close on four, it beggars belief that Douglas-Home, regularly debriefed by both MI5, MI6 and Scotland Yard didn't know about the rumblings going on in the armed forces about the course to be taken if, as widely thought, Wilson was indeed in the pay of the Kremlin, and moreover, it is romantic to believe that Mountbatten would have known of Courtney [both RN signal officers and probably members of the Signal Officers Association attending their reunions] and would have used his linguistic skills, his ability to gather trusted intelligence, and as much as anything, his natural dislike of Labour MP's and Labour Prime Ministers particularly]. I wrote about this story here many moons ago. http://www.godfreydykes.info/EXTRACT_FROM_ANOTHER_OF_MY_WEB_PAGES.htm

His new marriage acted as a kick-down and he started a new business venture. Again, there is nothing in the public domain to suggest that his third marriage was other than successful and that life was good to dear old Courtney till he popped his clogs.

Very rarely do Brits get a mention in the New York Times [NYT] Obituary Column unless they are VIP's, internationally well known, or, and at this time with the Cold War still raging and the USA's pre-occupation with it, you are famous or infamous for an involvement with the Kremlin or its feared policeman, the KGB. Commander Courtney did get a mention. This is the URL to the NYT http://www.nytimes.com/1988/01/27/obituaries/anthony-courtney-79-entrapped-by-kgb.html but just in case that page is taken down, I have copied the 'obit here:-

Courtneys NYT Obit.htm

Rather strangely, I can't find it in British broadsheets or anywhere else on the internet? The editor of the book "The Daily Telegraph Book of Naval Obituaries" David Twiston Davies, missed a trick by omitting Courtney from the book published in 2004 ISBN 1 904010 91 1. Some of those obits resembled men in the mould of Courtney!

Summary. I think, given all the evidence to hand, that I would have liked him but perhaps not his morals - who am I to judge? What I do know [or at least think] is that Anthony Courtney was a unique naval officer over and above his out-of-branch employment and his escapades. I have searched all records [and I mean all in the public domain] and I can find no other person with his qualifications to meet and match these criteria.

a.  He was an academic interpreter in Russian and German so WELL FITTED for duties in the CT Branch. He was fully au fait with the correct use of Russian and German and also with the colloquial usage.

b.  He was a pragmatic Russophile and knew of Russian life and its customs so could emulate all aspects of being indigenous.

c.  He was au fait with the comings and goings of the Russia fleet and Army and was ahead of most observers operating outside of Russia or the Warsaw Pact areas.

 d.  He was a full professional in S&W/T skill's so WELL FITTED for duties anywhere in the RN Communications Branch. In his day, Signal Officers actually learned the skills of the men, so could read and send Morse code, could type, read flashing light and flag signals, engage in code and cipher management. He would have been able to operate a stealth radio Morse Code transmitter/receiver station. See this little snippet from the 1950's after Courtney's time in the navy. http://www.godfreydykes.info/LONG%20COURSE%20COMMUNICATION%20OFFICER%20TRAINING%20IN%20THE%201950s.htm
c.  Put a&b together so WELL FITTED for duties in the  Electric Warfare Branch, in his day non existent, but monitoring [a part of the Branch to be] was practiced and encouraged by many Signal Officers, and more than well qualified for the CT Branch.
d.  He had an analytic and mathematical brain and as such could so easily have been a CRYTOANALYST on the level of Bletchley Park.

I believe that his outspokenness  and forceful mannerisms, his inability to tolerate fools, saw his rise to the relatively lowly rank of commander, a poor zenith after thirty years in the Service! Other officers with a better pedigree and perhaps better social attributes would have gone to the top, of this I am certain. Moreover, I believe that had he stayed in the navy as a zoned general list officer instead of going into the intelligence gathering world, he would have achieved sea-command and upwards through the desks of Admiralty at a time when officers of ability were in huge demand to prosecute the war, bringing his undoubted asset of a technical/academic brain coupled with his robust dynamism which the lower deck, and I suspect many on the upper deck would have admired. In the book [but no names mentioned so as not to upset or rock the boat as it were] "The British Admirals of the Fleet 1734-1995" by  T A Heathcote, published 2002 ISBN 0 85052 835 6, there are several stories of "forceful" men, who largely shot up the ladder because of the war years and the aftermath, who did so on uncontested merit, but without caring a toss for the sensitivities of others, as they rode roughshod over those who were frankly prepared to be led. In my own naval career, which as a communicator, brought me into a distant contact with several very senior officers, I well remember thinking that I would follow them to the end militarily, but that they were not the type of people who I look for when choosing a friend.

I don't do social networking [no way] but I'm told that they use DYK as an abbreviation a lot [and that's not the first three letters of my surname]. So, DYK that picture [above] of Courtney, reminds me a lot of Gamp Miers? Rear Admiral Sir Anthony Cecil Capel Miers, VC, KBE, CB, DSO & Bar (11 November 1906 – 30 June 1985) (known as "Crap Miers" and "Gamp") was a Royal Navy officer, who served in the submarine service during the Second World War. I met him several times socially at SOCA [Submarine Old Comrades Association] at our summer reunion get together in HMS Dolphin. In those far off days now, the officers did their thing in the wardroom on the Friday night and we, our things in the CPO's mess, then on the Saturday, we all got together in the CPO's mess and 'celebrated'. At those gatherings, though of course dispersed, were officers like Gamp, Godfrey Place, Ian McGeoch, John Fieldhouse, Tony Troup, and it was sometimes easy to see why and how they got to admirals. For example, John Fieldhouse got there by sheer style, personality, dignity and of course merit. Gramp on the other hand was an out and out bully, coarse, foul mouthed, pugnacious who had married his driver, a Wren, and he liked to tells us that he was closer to the lower deck than we could imagine. Godfrey was a gentleman, Ian was a lovely Scot but I wouldn't have wanted to cross him, and Tony was said to be nobody's fool and a hard man on the con, but delightful when not. All of them got there on merit but their personal attitudes differed widely. Submariners apart, I have no doubts that we would have found the same in any surface fleet gathering, men with different ways of getting there, and I like to think that Courtney is a missed opportunity for us to talk about. However, had he not been so useful to the navy in war to talk, in their own language to the enemy and also to our chief ally***an attribute most wartime commanders would desire, he would have gone to his premature death in HMS Hood, lamented, but unknown and forgotten.

*** Our chief foreign-speaking ally would of course been France, but the story is well aired that France was effectively split into four functions, the pro Allied Free French, the Capitulated French and the pro Nazi, Axis loyal Vichy French. De Gaulle, the leader of the tiny uniformed Free French element was domiciled in London throughout and it was incumbent upon him to speak English at all Allied meetings and gatherings. The fourth function was the French Resistance, a non-uniformed group of very brave men and women ably supported by an equally brave and very able group of men and women of the British SOE [Special Operations Executive] who were parachuted into France to supply and fight alongside the Resistance. Had it not been for the SOE that with the best will in the world, the French Resistance would have been overhauled by the SS, Waffen-SS and the Gestapo.   

This is relevant, and as it transpired a rare publication:-

 In an American book on the world of spies.htm

Finally, some associated press cuttings:-


1st Marriage which
 lasted 23 years
and ended with
death of wife



Diplomatic
immunity for
Soviets stationed
in UK

Courtney
allowed to travel
to Russia and
other communist
states.

Courtney
wins the seat
of his
constituency

2nd Marriage
divorce. Note
his generous
cash settlement

Dykes
[my namesake]
 takes
his seat and Courtney
is secretly
broken-hearted

Notice of
forthcoming
slander case

More than just
a money win
but pride saved!
 
Self evident



The slander case