Harry Williamson Watford

Discussion in 'Searching for Someone & Military Genealogy' started by TomJonas, Jan 31, 2010.

  1. TomJonas

    TomJonas Member

    Does anyone know something about this man. Stories, newspaper articles, personal recollections??

    He was one of the most famous of the Double Cross agents. A Dane by the name Wulf Schmidt and with covername TATE.
    After the war he lived a very secluded life in Watford until he died in 1990. He was finally found out by some journalist in the late 70s, and his story was revealed. He worked for some time as a photographer at the Watford Chronicle (I think the name is correct).

    There must be people who have memories of him in Watford. Maybe not alive today, but they might have told about him to younger relatives.

    We are very interested in this man. There is no final and complete book about him, which he really deserves.
     
  2. englandphil

    englandphil Very Senior Member

  3. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

  4. TomJonas

    TomJonas Member

    Yes Drew, I made an other attempt.
    But now I asked about Harry Williamson.
    Maybe I should try to get information from institutions in Watford.
    Local historians, Town Council and so on.
     
  5. Oldman

    Oldman Very Senior Member

    Try your local library first have a look at their archives, then the local paper who he worked for and contact the local history society.
    Also see if you can get the electorial roles for the period before his death they will give you a area to work in, also if he was as you say a photographer try the local photograhy society he may have been a member or they may know of him and his work.
     
  6. Jimbob57

    Jimbob57 Junior Member

    One german author named Günter Alexander and his ECON Verlag Duesseldorf made a book (320 pgs) solely abt this person in 1976. Holding 1.print (ISBN 3 430 110378) in my hand, it reads - that he is called "Mr. Johnson" in there, which seem to be sort of an agreement btwn. Williamson/Tate/Schmidt and author G. Alexander at that time.
    The german title is: "So ging Deutschland in die Falle" subtitled: "Anatomie einer Geheimdienst-Operation". There is one photograph of W.Schmidt when he is visiting the city Mainz (G.) in 1959 and the presumably "Mr.Harry Williamson" is honored there. According to book he is busy in german-english friendship work in 1959 - which fits to his story right on. You may want to check german antic-bookshop-portal ZVAB - Zentrales Verzeichnis Antiquarischer Bücher (antiquarische und vergriffene Bücher online bestellen) if interested in that titel.
    Having read to pg. 65 only now - it seems to hold quite some information frm a time when Y had actually to go out and buy books ... the web is quite a bit scarce abt. this interesting man. There is also in there: Waltraud Oertel, Dr. Scholz alias Huckriede-Schulz, Dr. Praetorius, Major Ritter, Erwin von Lahousen, Richard Wein, W. Canaris, Captain Gartenfeld, Georg Sessler, Alfred Naujoks, Major Albert von Karsthof (alias) his secretary "Mausi", Dusko Povov, Tor Glad / Tege / Jeff, Angermayer, Ostro / Paul Fidrmuc, Jonny Owens / snow, Andreas Folmer / Pat / Mr.Clark, Leibbrandt/Kempf .... just naming persons with photographs in there and connected to "Tate".B)
     
  7. Simon_HBG

    Simon_HBG Junior Member

  8. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    Wulf Schmidt was one of those Danes who were apprehended by MI5 through the early wireless intercepts and code breaking.A number of German agents fell as dominoes as MI5 were able to gain intelligence on the German spy network. I believe he was one of those.

    He owes his life to being a "graduate" of John Masterman's Double Cross Committee in that by by co-operating with MI5 and becoming a double agent he agreed that his identity could be used by British Intelligence to supply false intelligence to the Germans.

    Others who could not accept this deception were executed.Wulf Schmidt was given an English identity after the war,settled in Watford and I believe,became a printer.I think he died about five years ago or more ago.I have his obituary somewhere.I will post it if I can locate it.1990,I'm not sure...must be getting old.

    John Masterman let the cat out of the bag as regarding the intercepting of German wireless traffic and the turning of German agents in the early 1970s without British official approval so his publication "The XX Committee" was first published in th US. Later in the 1970s, he was able to publish the book in the UK as the sercets of Ultra were finally revealed to one and all.
     
  9. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

    Does anyone know something about this man. Stories, newspaper articles, personal recollections??

    He was one of the most famous of the Double Cross agents. A Dane by the name Wulf Schmidt and with covername TATE.
    After the war he lived a very secluded life in Watford until he died in 1990. He was finally found out by some journalist in the late 70s, and his story was revealed. He worked for some time as a photographer at the Watford Chronicle (I think the name is correct).

    There must be people who have memories of him in Watford. Maybe not alive today, but they might have told about him to younger relatives.

    We are very interested in this man. There is no final and complete book about him, which he really deserves.

    Tom,

    If you can get your hands on a copy of vol 4 of British Intelligence in the Second World War. by F.H. Hinsley and C.A.G. Simkins, there are sections in the book devoted to TATE.

    Quote from page 91
    The second double agent was a Dane, alias Tate.
    On 16th October (1940) he told the Abwehr that he was established near Barnet; thereafter he maintained contact with Hamburg until the day before the city fell in May 1945 and was highly prized by his German controllers.

    Quote from;
    Chapter 6
    The Defeat of the Abwehr's Offensive, June 1940 to the Autumn of 1941, and the consolodation of the Double-Cross System.

    Regards
    Tom
     
  10. TomJonas

    TomJonas Member

    Thanks for your answer.
    As I said previously he really deserve a book of his own. Therefore we wrote it.

    http:www.amazon.co.uk/Agent-TATE-Wartime-Story-Williamson/dp/1445604817/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1312911897&sr=1-1
     
  11. Tate's daughter

    Tate's daughter Junior Member

    We meet again!
    How much were you able to get published, without editing? It appears not to be a valid link that you give though.
    I note that quite a bit of material has been re-released on the internet about Harry, but whoever replied above from Berlin, you have abridged the truth rather too much. My father's story, the true story, has been known only by four people outside MI5, and even his own brothr Kai and his two sisters never knew the truth, let alone Tante Mieze, his stepmother, who was the only person for whom he EVER showed any form of respect in his whole life. If you can track down Helen-Jayne, she has ferreted away and has well all the original documents, including Masterman's writings and some of the autobiography, as far as I know. The article/s on this page are not exactly fuly true, but not far off it, and Nigel West, aka Rupert Allason's comments are the best, but restricted due to continuing legislation. The photo is one of mine, and to start with, it was published the wrong way round by the newspaper, the Mail: he was left handed!
    http://www.oldwillingham.com/History/Spy/Tate_Spy.htm
     
  12. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

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