SOE "Stay Behind" in Sweden

Discussion in 'SOE & OSS' started by TomJonas, Jul 5, 2011.

  1. TomJonas

    TomJonas Member

    During the war the British formed Stay-Behind groups with SOE personnel in Sweden. The man behind this was Wilfred Latham, called "the greek", a rather anonymus clerk at the British Embassy working under his boss the military attache Crofts. Latham was not popular among the Swedish Secret Service, becuse he went around and took photos of the men who were watching the embassy. The groups would operate in case of a german occupation or if the transit traffic by rail Germany-Norway would be to large.

    There were several teachers in radiotelegraphy, many Norwegians, such as John Palle Thu, AVOCET, and Knut Kjerland, OSPREY. There should be a report from the Security Police from April 1943. A professional criminal Norwegian by the name Thomas Randolf Meyer disclosed what he knew, in the groups there were Brits such as Ronald Turnbull, "Hawkuck", Albert Bleakley, "Nilsson", who dealt with the connections betwwen the groups and Reidar Hedemann, journalist at the Norwegian legation.

    The Security Police discovered the operation and several persons were expelled to Britain (including Thu and Kjerland)

    The Stay-behind groups were supposed to be located in towns like Stockholm (3 groups), Borås, Helsingborg, Göteborg, Linköping, Norrköping, Södertälje, Växjö, Västerås och Örebro.

    Has anyone more information about this?
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  2. john latham

    john latham New Member

    Hi, I´ve just joined this website and saw that you mentioned my father Wilfred Latham above. My father was second in command at the SOE office in Stockholm and left Stockholm in tte beginning of 1944 and joined SOE Force 136 i Malaya where he was among the first British officers to receive the Japanese armed fores when they surrendered. After the war daddy was posted as a security officer in Tripoli, Libya and in Melacca, Malaya. Daddy left the army in 1952 and settled down in Stockholm, Sweden, with his Swedish wife (my mother) and me as their son. Daddy became a representative of the British industrial group Birfield Industries (GKN) for Scandinavia a position he held till he retired. Daddy died here in Stockholm 1990 at the age of 97.
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  3. ChrisR

    ChrisR Senior Member

    I am guessing you already know that the SOE personnel file "HS 9/888/7 - Wilfred LATHAM - born 22.11.1902", is available at The National Archives.
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  4. Jedburgh22

    Jedburgh22 Very Senior Member

    SOE also had stay behind parties organized in Spain, Portugal, Turkey & Palestine
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  5. JJHH

    JJHH Member

    Former OSS Jedburg officer and later CIA director William Colby was also involved in Stay-Behind networks in Sweden..
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  6. Jedburgh22

    Jedburgh22 Very Senior Member

    Colby's involvement was post WWII several British and American Jeds were involved in setting up NATO Stay Behind
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  7. john latham

    john latham New Member

    Yes thank you, I have a copy of my fathers file from NA in Kew.
  8. tbaker

    tbaker Junior Member

    Hi John. On 18 September 1942, your father signed the visitors' book that was kept in the officers' mess at RAF Leuchars, when he arrived on a flight from Bromma, Sweden. There are almost 3,000 signatures in the visitors' book and several hundred relate to SOE staff and agents (as well as many escapees and evaders who managed to get into Sweden). In addition to his own TNA file, he is mentioned twice in HS2/262 (Officers & Staff Organisation Stockholm); five times in HS7/281 (War Diary Scandinavia Apr 43 - Sep 43); and seven times in HS7/282 (War Diary Oct 43 - Feb 44). With the assistance of my good friend, Bob Pearson, I have turned several hundred SOE files into searchable PDFs and I have software that lets me search (using a wide range of criteria including wildcard searches) my digitised reference library (which includes 137 HS2, 14 HS7, 20 HS8, and 514 HS9 files) in seconds. I also have copies of the Bromma departure records as well as the Bromma Journal, so it's very quick to check who and when someone arrived in this country from Sweden. If you're interested, I can tell you what flight he was on and who he shared it with (some interesting people). He also signed the visitors' book on 21 April 1943.
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  9. RvdK

    RvdK Member

    What is known about Stay Behind networks in Holland after the war? Was SOE responsible? When were the ideas of setting up such networks first formed?
  10. john latham

    john latham New Member

  11. john latham

    john latham New Member

    sorry for very late respons to your reply. I'm very interested if you have the possibility to send the above mentioned files to me including the passenger list of the two entries from Bromma Airport. My emailaddress is;
    john latham
  12. Thomas Tynander

    Thomas Tynander New Member

    do you have information about swedes in the SOE? I am doing some research on a man named ALLAN MANN. Born may 5th 1921 and member of Norwegian company Linge. I have been told he might be found in these files:
    * The operational papers about Norwegian /Linge Company operations supported by SOE in Class HS 2, files 126-252.
    * The history of the Norwegian Section and Milorg in Class HS 7, files 174-182.
    * Probably very important; SOE War Diaries in Class HS 7.

    Can you help?His Norwegian alias was OLA BLYTT-OLSEN.
    Many thanks.

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