Britain's Forgotten Traitor
The Life and Death of a Nazi Spy
- Ed Perkins
15th October 2022
This is the true story of the Englishman allegedly freed from a French prison after meeting John Amery, the treacherous son of a Cabinet minister, and sent back to Britain to spy – only to be caught, prosecuted and hanged as a traitor.
In November 1943, with the Second World War at its height, a fifty-eight-year-old London-born man claiming to be a refugee from the Nazis arrived by flying boat at Poole Harbour. His name was Oswald John Job and he said he had escaped from internment by the Germans in Paris, then fled to Spain. But hidden inside his keys and razor was invisible ink, and on him he carried a jewelled tiepin and a ring with eighteen diamonds sent by the Germans as payment to an agent in London. What Job did not know was that this man was a double agent, working for MI5.
Within four months Job would be hanged as a traitor. He claimed to the end that he had accepted the German offer purely to get back to Britain and never intended to spy. As an English traitor who was caught and executed, Job is a fascinating figure in the story of Second World War intelligence and counter-intelligence. Utilising archives in both Britain and France, Britain’s Forgotten Traitor is a fresh look at treachery and secret agents. This ‘spy’ always claimed to have lied simply in order to come home. Was he telling the truth?