French/UK Military Intelligence

Discussion in 'The Intelligence Cell' started by linlin, Jun 8, 2009.

Welcome to the Army Rumour Service, ARRSE

The UK's largest and busiest UNofficial military website.

The heart of the site is the forum area, including:

  1. I've been researching my dad for some while now and have some new information which I would appreciate some help.

    The basic essentials are - he was born in France, served with the French army in North Africa until 1943 when he was flown to the UK. I have his RPS report and am 100% certain he worked for MI6 from then until Sept 1944. (I have documentary evidence to support this). He then joined the Territorial Army (Dec 1944 - 1952) - I have his service record.
    He died in 1964 in Tiko, Cameroon - circumstances suspicious.

    The new information is his French Army record, recently received. This shows his time in North Africa (known). Then the following:
    Remis a la disposition de l'Armee de Terre a compter du: 15.6.52
    Pass en domicile au Bureau de Recruitment de l'ADT Dakar (not sure about ADT - handwriting is poor): 28.5.59
    There's a final entry (also partly unreadable)xxxx sa subdivision d'origine le 6.7.61
    Unless the French have got their wires crossed, this shows he was working for them in Dakar in 1961 - adding to my suspicions about his death in 1964.
    Can anyone offer help or ideas?
    I've included the French Service record as item 10 on this page:
    http://www.activeservice.co.uk/familytree/joneslinda/2DAD&MUM/dadwar.htm
     
  2. ADT = Armee de Terre i.e Army

    underneath it is written "as a Nigeria resident" (As you know, Nigeria borders Cameroon)

    then "reintegrated to his subdivision of origin on 6.7.61"

    His war stories are quite a good read too !

    Good luck
     
  3. A huge thanks for that. From my family notes, my mother wrote that he started work for John Holts and went to Port Harcourt, Nigeria in August 1959. My mother and my sisters were in the UK at that time, but joined him in Port Harcourt in April 1960. We had no idea he'd rejoined the French, but given that the Brits wouldn't allow anyone of dual nationality into any intelligence work, perhaps he was open to offers.

    Can I surmise from the French army record that he was also working for them during the time he was in Port Harbcourt and (in mid 1960) in Ibadan?

    "reintegrated to his subdivision of origin on 6.7.61" - would that mean he was still with the French army after 1961? Doing what I wonder? I certainly can't remember any uniforms....... Would he still have been with them in 1964 when he died?
     
  4. The port Harcourt area because of its oil ressources has always been a huge bone of contention between Cameroon and Nigeria. It has only been very recently settled to the benefit of French-supported Cameroon.

    It is thus not impossible that your father was engaged in some sort of intel work for the French passing infos on what was going on on the nigerian side of the border especially at a time (1960) when Nigeria had tried to raise the rest of Africa against French nuclear tests in Algeria and had expelled the French ambassador and prohibiten French planes and ships to do stop-overs in Nigeria. It would have been considered by French authorities that is English background probably played in his favour in a former British colony.

    BTW, this latter led France to be the main support of the Colonel Ojukwu's Ibo tribe (Christian an animist) when they rebelled against the nigerian central Gvt (muslim) between 1967 and 1970...

    Anyway, this is all just guesswork but it could have happened like that.
     
  5. It may be guess work but it certainly gives me a flavour of the politics going on at the time.

    From the French Service record - could you please let me know if it says what subdivision he was reintegrated to? And do you think that last entry was the end of his time with the French?

    I'd obviously like to find out if he was working for them - or anyone else - in 1964 when he was supposedly working for Unilever in Tiko.

    Finally, I'm actively looking for an investigative journalist who could write the whole thing up and hopefully find out more - any ideas on that one?
     
  6. The stamp in a box at the bottom of the record states that he was "freed from all military obligations at the age of 35". No mention of the unit/service he was reintegrated into; the fact that he was registered by the Dakar recruiting office was normal. When France was still using the conscription system, each male French citizen was registered into a specific recruiting centre until freed from all military obligations.

    One decoration is also mentioned, http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/M%C3%A9daille_comm%C3%A9morative_de_la_guerre_1939-1945, with clasps "Liberation" and 'Afrique"

    No idea for a journo....
     
  7. Thanks for all your help - I really appreciate it.

    Can I ask one final question? You say that registration in Dakar was normal, but at that time he travelled on a British Passport and was to all intents and purposes British. So he would have needed to approach them?
     
  8. Yes or maybe he was a bi-national ? But the Brits were supporting the other side in the Biafra issue ; John Lennon even sent his MBE back to the queen for that....or maybe, because of his WW2 past he was "reactivated" by a French service (a lot of networking based on former Free French friendships went on in French speaking Africa until the 80s)...
     
  9. He was dual nationality but after his experiences with the French Army (which he apparently only joined to get out of France - see his RPS report re shooting Germans) he wanted nothing more to do with the French (accusations by the French of being a British spy - also in RPS report).

    I've been given to understand that he was with French friends when he died - would be good to find out who and have a witness to his death.
     
  10. A new book by Phil Tomaselli "Tracing your Secert Service Ancestors" published by www.pen-and-sword.co.uk may be of interest