Bernard Newman - A research project and archive

Work in progress as I work through his autobiography & talk to relatives.

So this page is a bit random...

Innacurate Wikipedia Biography (as of 9th Oct 2011)

Bernard Newman was born in Ibstock, Leicestershire, in 1897. He was a great nephew of the 19th century author George Eliot. After having served in the secret services during the First World War, ending the war as a captain, he became a lecturer and passionate traveller, visiting over sixty countries during the Interbellum, many of those on bike. He gave some 2,000 lectures between 1928 and 1940 throughout Europe, meeting even Adolf Hitler. He started writing novels, gaining some recognition with his 1930 novel The Cavalry Went Through. From 1936 to 1938, he was the first chairman of the Society of Civil & Public Service Writers

Amended Biography        by Simon Hipkin

Bernard Newman was born in Ibstock, Leicestershire, in 1897. He was a great nephew of the 19th century author George Eliot. Serving in the trenches in the First World War, and being reasonably fluent in French, his regiment's French liason officer often borrowed him to go undercover in Paris to investigate loose talk about Allied troop movements. It was here that his interest in espionage began. After the war, having lost his appetite for further education, he took a job as a Civil Servant at HM Office of Works, he became an author, lecturer and passionate traveller, visiting over sixty countries during the Interbellum, many of those on bike. He gave some 2,000 lectures between 1928 and 1940 throughout Europe, meeting even Adolf Hitler. He started writing novels, gaining some recognition with his 1930 novel The Cavalry Went Through.

Article on Magonia Website

Exerpt from review on 'The Flying Saucer' full review & link on review page

 With his fondness for writing books, both fiction and non-fiction, on espionage themes it is reasonable to assume that Newman had first-hand experience of the secret intelligence world. Several writers have alluded to Newman’s probable connections with the British Intelligence service, including Peter Rogerson who has speculated in Magonia on a possible intelligence connection with the Roswell incident of 1947. As one might expect, Newman’s intelligence career remains shrouded in obscurity and deceit. In his unrevealing autobiography Speaking From Memory [2] he describes how from 1919 onwards he was apparently employed in an undemanding Civil Service job in the Ministry of Works. Somehow he seemed able to take extremely long and, for those days, exceedingly adventurous holidays, including lengthy stays in Eastern Europe and Russia. His destinations invariably seemed to include areas of particular political interest: for example several extended holidays to Germany in the 1930′s.

However, one of his more remarkable claims remains a puzzle. He claims to have made a report on the secret Peenemunde rocket site in 1938, which he sent to the Foreign Office, but the report ‘was ignored’. This clearly contradicts Dr R.V. Jones description of the legendary ‘Oslo Letter’, received from an anonymous informant in 1940, which was said to be the first information that British Intelligence had of the significance of the rocket development site.[3]

To add to the mystery, an article in the New York Times in 1945 described Newman as having spent the three years from 1915 operating as a double agent in the German Intelligence Service.[4] Newman was indeed fluent in German, his mother having come from Alsace and he grew up speaking English, French and German. But the idea of an 18-year old boy spy operating within the German forces and influencing senior officers is stretching credulity and an addendum to Newman’s obituary in the Times contains a reference to the alleged episode that relegates it to the realm of fiction.[5]

27th Aug 1956

Desert Island Discs

Note his # 7 choice

Christoph Willibald Gluck

Che farò senza Euridice (What is Life?) (from Orpheus and Euridice)

Soloist: Hilary Newman......

His middle daughter - my Mother

 

World War 1 - Mentioned in Despatches

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Dated - 16th March 1919

Certificate issued - 1st July 1919

Signed by - Secretary of State for War - Winston Churchill

Certificate in Gallery

Chevalier in the Légion d'honneur

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Date - 17th Nov 1953

Signatories:-

Left - Le Chef du 1er Bureau -  ?

Centre - French President - Vincent Auriol

Right - Le Grand Chancelier de la LH - General Paul Dassault

Certificate in Gallery