• STV
  • MySTV

British spy sent letters from Colditz to his family in Scotland

A total of 40 letters sent between 1941 and 1945 are to go under the hammer at Bonhams.

Captain Julius Morris Green. Army dentist and Second World War British spy who sent letters home while imprisoned at Colditz and other camps. Pic from Bonhams, who are auctioning his letters.

Coded letters sent home from a British officer working as a spy in Colditz during the Second World War are to be auctioned by Bonhams.

Army dentist Captain Julius Morris Green sent 40 missives to his parent's home address in Dunfermline between 1941 and 1945.

Green, who grew up in Killarney and studied in Edinburgh, was captured with his brigade of the 51 Highland Division at St Valery in June 1941 and spent the remainder of the war in a succession of camps, including the notorious Oflag IV-C – Colditz Castle.

While imprisoned, Green used his cover as a dentist to move between camps, taking notes which he then wrote out in the coded letters.

A Bonhams spokesman said: "The letters sometimes read like a caricature of a faulty language manual, and had the German censors employed someone with a native command of English they would have immediately spotted that something untoward was going on, a fact of which (as he tells us in his memoir) Green himself was all too aware.

"The risks he was running, as a Jewish prisoner-of-war in Nazi hands, hardly bear thinking about. Under the surreal humour of his letters lies horror and quite extraordinary bravery."

streampost guid="null"

Green was originally recruited by MI9 at the Ilag VII prison shortly after he was captured.

In 1944, the intelligence agency wrote to his parents to reassure them of his safety in spite of the risks he faced.

The letter read: "We quite understand your very natural anxiety regarding your son's intentions, however Capt. Green appears to be a young man of great resource and we think can be relied upon to handle the situation competently.

"Please try not to worry. We will do everything we can to help from this end and we have great confidence in your son."

The letters are expected to fetch between £4000 and £6000 when they go under the hammer at Bonhams' Knightsbridge branch on June 18.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check. That e-mail's already in our system. Please try again.
ShowHide
Forgot password?
This field is required. This must be at least 6 characters long. Did you enter your details correctly?
If you've forgotten your details then use the 'Forgot password?' link.
Need to reset your password?

We'll send a link to reset your password to

We've sent you details on how to reset your password

Please check your email and follow the instructions.

Forgotten your email address?

Have you forgotten the email address that you previously joined with? Don't worry, by emailing enquiries@stv.tv we can help.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This must be at least 6 characters long.
ShowHide
This field is required. This must be at least 6 characters long.
You must be over 16 to join STV.
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date
We need this to check that you live in an STV region.
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid postcode
Would you like us to email you about our great shows and services from time to time?
We'll only send emails we think you'll like (see example) based on information you have supplied and shows you have watched on STV Player. For details on emails and advertising, see our STV & You page.
Would you like to receive emails from the Scottish Children's Lottery about draws, instant games and competitions?
We support the Scottish Children's Lottery (SCL), which is managed by our colleagues at STV ELM Ltd. You can find out more about the SCL on its website, including its Privacy Policy.

By continuing you agree to our Terms of Use, and understand our Privacy and Cookie Policies.

Upload Profile Picture

Please make sure your image is under 2mb in size and a valid JPG, PNG or GIF.

Are you sure?

Unfortunately, you'll be unable to access our premium content. We’ll be sorry to see you go, but if you change your mind you can rejoin us at any time.

Please verify your STV account

Please verify your STV account using the email we sent you. If you have lost the email, we can send you another one, just click the button below.

Thanks

We've sent you a new verification email.
Please check your email and follow the instructions to verify your account.

Welcome to STV
Thanks for joining us.

Oops!

Sorry, you must be at least 12 years old to place a vote for your Real Hero.

Please review our Voting Terms of Use for more information.

Oops!

Sorry! It seems that you are using a browser that is incompatible with our voting service.

To register your vote please copy the below URL in to your regular mobile browser. We recommend Google Chrome, or Safari.

http://shows.stv.tv/real-heroes/voting

Oops!

Sorry, you seem to have already voted in this category.

Thanks for voting

Now share your vote with friends on your social network

Share on twitter Share on facebook

Cast your vote

Please register or sign in to continue.

Cast your vote

This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date

Cast your vote

Please fill out this form to cast your vote. As you are under 16 years old you will not create an STV account. Why do we need these details?

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check.
Location This field is required.
Parental Consent This field is required.

That's you. All that's left is to click the 'Submit Vote' button below. By doing so, you confirm that you and your parent or guardian have read and accept our Voting Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Cookie policy, and that the details you have entered are correct. We'll look after them as carefully as if they were our own.