TODAY is the 75th anniversary of the capture of William Joyce, alias Lord Haw-Haw, the infamous Nazi stooge who broadcast German propaganda to Britain for almost the entire Second World War.

He had made his last broadcast while drunk on April 30, the day Adolf Hitler committed suicide, before fleeing with his wife Margaret to Hamburg and then a small village, Kuffermuille, near Flensburg, on the border with Denmark. There the German government under Admiral Karl Donitz had taken refuge before surrendering to the Allies.

British troops had been combing the area interrogating returning German soldiers and civilians, looking for potential war criminals, with Joyce high on their list. He was spotted by squaddies who summoned two intelligence officers, Captain Bertie Lickorish and Lieutenant Geoffrey Perry.

They confronted him and when Joyce made to take something from his back pocket, Perry shot him, the single bullet penetrating both Joyce’s buttocks. Ironically, Perry’s name was also an alias – he had been born Horst Pinschewer, a Jew whose parents evacuated to Britain when the Nazi persecution began, and went on to have a successful publishing career.

Joyce had been reaching for a fake passport in the name of Wilhelm Hansen. In the house were two letters relating to Haw-Haw’s broadcasts, as well as a manuscript in which he said he would be glad when he was caught as the suspense was getting on his nerves and he loved England.


Born in April, 1906, in New York to Irish parents, his father a Catholic and his mother an Irish Anglican, Joyce went with them to live in Ireland. He was recruited by British intelligence and only narrowly avoided being murdered by the IRA.

He moved to England to study and after at first working for the Conservatives – he was slashed in the face at one rowdy meeting – he joined various Fascist groups, becoming deputy leader of the British Union of Fascists. He was noted for his oratory and thuggery until Oswald Mosley tired of his violence and expelled him.

Convinced the Nazis would win, he moved to Germany and was given citizenship in 1940, going on to become Lord Haw-Haw and broadcasting to the UK with propaganda aimed at undermining morale. His call sign “Germany calling, Germany calling” and his sneering English tones were much imitated, though many people took him seriously at first.


HARTLEY Shawcross, the attorney general in Clement Atlee’s Labour government, successfully argued that as long as Joyce possessed a British passport – he had lied to obtain one – he owed Britain his allegiance.

He was acquitted on two charges but was found guilty of “being a person owing allegiance to our Lord the King, and while a war was being carried on by the German Realm against our King, did traitorously adhere to the King’s enemies in Germany, by broadcasting propaganda”.


ONCE jurisdiction had been established, his conviction was a foregone conclusion, as was the death sentence, the only sentence allowed for treason at that time.

Joyce’s appeal, mainly on jurisdiction grounds, was dismissed as was a further appeal to the Law Lords in the House of Lords, though one judge, Lord Porter, dissented from the verdict.

There have been many experts and neo-Nazis who have queried the justice of the verdict but no-one has ever questioned the fact that Joyce was an out-and-out fascist who worked for the Nazis against the Allies.


HE died at the hands of the official hangman, Albert Pierrepoint, in Wandsworth Prison on January 3, 1946. He was 39.

Joyce was the last man to be hanged for treason in the UK. He was reported as saying: “In death as in life, I defy the Jews who caused this last war, and I defy the power of darkness which they represent. I warn the British people against the crushing imperialism of the Soviet Union.

“May Britain be great once again and in the hour of the greatest danger in the West may the standard be raised from the dust, crowned with the words ‘You have conquered nevertheless’. I am proud to die for my ideals.”

A stark notice was placed on

the prison walls: “Judgment of death was this day executed on William Joyce in his Majesty’s Prison of Wandsworth.” It came

just seven months and six days after his capture.