Mi5 in the Great War

By Nigel West

In 1921, MI5 commissioned a finished, top-secret evaluate of the organisation's operations in the course of the First international warfare. by no means meant for movement outdoors of the govt, all seven volumes of this attention-grabbing and distinct record remained locked away in MI5's registry - previously. lately declassified and released right here for the 1st time, MI5 within the nice warfare is full of particular, and formerly undisclosed, debts centring at the protection Service's actions through the clash. the most narrative examines MI5's quite a few makes an attempt to either deal with and notice double brokers; the detection and execution of enemy spies; its research of German pre-war espionage; and the Kaiser's own community of spies looking to infiltrate British intelligence. Coinciding with the centenary of the beginning of the nice struggle, this traditionally major record has been edited and taken brand new through bestselling author and historian Nigel West, supplying a rare perception into the early years of MI5 and its first counterintelligence operations.

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The police acknowledged that he had now not visited Pagitt highway for the reason that December 1912, yet couldn't provide his identify, which was once finally found in Melville’s file of February 1914. The Admiralty hint confirmed that George Pelling had served within the Actaeon from 1 March to eight August 1911. The police pointed out Pelling as Mrs Riley’s son-in-law, an artificer serving in a torpedo boat, HMS joyful, stationed off Harwich with the eighth Flotilla. In December 1913, Mrs Pelling used to be put on the PSL. whilst Nellie took up correspondence with Fels and Schulz, and a distinct supply of labor was once made to herself, her sister and George Pelling, an enquiry was once requested for roughly the total kin. the answer got here that Edith used to be engaged to Penrose, and Nellie was once visited via Captain Fels. Then got here information regarding, Mr Riley. The photo of Fels used to be got, and the participants of the gang with whom he was once photographed have been pointed out as George Pelling, Emily Pelling, Nellie and Edith Riley. whilst info was once acquired approximately John George Riley, a clerk within the ASG and hired within the headquarters workplace at Cairo. The letters comprise repeated references to Edith’s ill-health. She doesn't appear to have been capable of paintings for her dwelling, yet she maintained an affectionate correspondence with numerous younger males belonging to the prone, and to the service provider Marine. Enquiries have been made as to the identification of a few of those, yet with out consequence. MO5 endeavoured to acquire the removing of Pelling and Penrose from their posts, as a result of their reference to the Rileys, Hentschel and Fels. Pelling used to be wear the SWL lower than the heading ‘Search’. Patricia in the meantime had replaced her identify to Howarth. whereas the case approximately Hentschel was once nonetheless pending she made an attempt to suppress any facts of her personal reference to espionage. there has been one letter which brought on anxiousness and that used to be the reproduction despatched through Otto Kruger in March 1912, during which she had utilized for her husband’s re-engagement within the German mystery carrier. In February ‘Gerald’ wrote from Brighton, that Mrs F (or Mrs R, most likely) had simply guaranteed him by means of letter yes communique were destroyed, not anyone had ever referred to as to make enquiries approximately it, and no incriminating facts may ever be impending from that region. ‘Gerald’ additional that it'd be too dicy to ahead that letter, and he took the precaution of posting his personal lower than conceal to Edith Riley. Enquiry did not elicit any information regarding ‘Gerald’ who had written from Brighton. it appears Penrose’s recommendation that Mrs Riley can be interviewed so that it will let her to turn out her personal innocence was once to were acted upon, yet ultimately the interview used to be indefinitely postponed, because the celebration was once being damaged up by means of Karl’s departure, Patricia’s leaving for Weybridge, and Pelling’s potential elimination. As for Nellie, Edith and Penrose, it was once most unlikely to house them with out revealing an excessive amount of inside of wisdom. Penrose used to be, even if, as we've seen, submitted to a critical interrogation relating his kin with the Rileys, and failure to record the visits of Fels.

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