A spy in the family

Amiens Cathedral
@JudyEv (134917)
Bunbury, Australia
November 16, 2017 6:30am CST
@JamesHxstatic wrote recently about his former professor who had been a spy during the Vietnam war. You can catch up here: http://www.mylot.com/post/3126861/i-know-a-real-former-spy-he-was-my-literature-prof-at-the-u-of We found out only recently that one of Vince’s uncles (by marriage) had been a spy during World War II. The uncle (we’ll call him Michael) had been born in Egypt to Greek parents. They migrated to Australia in 1920 and in the 1930s Michael enlisted and was posted to the Middle East. Because of his knowledge of the language and culture, he played a vital role in Crete as a liaison between the remaining Allied forces and the local resistance. When the Germans overran the island, he was forced to stay behind due to the large number of evacuees. He became an operative for the British intelligence and had a price put on his head by the Germans. Eventually he and several other Australians were evacuated by submarine, escaping to Alexandria. The photo is of the Amiens Cathedral in France. Much of this building was protected by sandbags during the war and there is still a pump in the top of the building which was placed there in case of fire.
36 people like this
39 responses
@topffer (36106)
• Svalbard And Jan Mayen
16 Nov
Spies are everywhere. When a retired one told me that there were a lot of spies among archeologists, I started to track spies among my colleagues, but it is hard to make them confess it.
10 people like this
@YrNemo (14717)
16 Nov
Sounds like you were not one!
6 people like this
@topffer (36106)
• Svalbard And Jan Mayen
16 Nov
@YrNemo I probably missed an opportunity when I refused to participate to an excavation in a war zone.
6 people like this
@topffer (36106)
• Svalbard And Jan Mayen
16 Nov
@YrNemo The one I met was telling that he had trained spies for the equivalent of the CIA in France. I do not know if it was true, as I met him in a bar. But, thinking at it, it was plausible, and I started to look differently at my colleagues doing excavations in foreign countries.
5 people like this
@JohnRoberts (63085)
• Los Angeles, California
16 Nov
Sounds like material for a book!
8 people like this
@JudyEv (134917)
• Bunbury, Australia
16 Nov
Probably. He had something to do with the American Army Small Ships Division in the Pacific as well.
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@LadyDuck (176508)
• Switzerland
16 Nov
Cretan resistance fought against Germans and Italians, who were allied in 1941, during the Battle of Crete.
5 people like this
@JudyEv (134917)
• Bunbury, Australia
17 Nov
The resistance fighters must have been a real thorn in the side of the enemy .
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@LadyDuck (176508)
• Switzerland
17 Nov
@JudyEv We also had resistance fighters in Italy, they were a thorn in the side of Germans but also of most Italian population, even if now they are depicted as hero. They stay hidden up in the mountains. They came down for commando missions, to kill a few Germans and then they came back to the mountains. The Germans killed 10 civilians for every German soldier killed. Those poor civilians were normal people and innocent. Most Italians do not like our "Partigiani", because they had family members killed thanks to those "coward fighters".
4 people like this
@JudyEv (134917)
• Bunbury, Australia
17 Nov
@LadyDuck I guess it was much the same in France as the resistance hid in the mountains there too.
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@FayeHazel (19951)
• United States
16 Nov
Wow, that would make a fine movie
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@JudyEv (134917)
• Bunbury, Australia
17 Nov
Yes, I guess it would. There must be so many stories like this from the war years.
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@FayeHazel (19951)
• United States
17 Nov
@JudyEv So true, I wonder what all fascinating stories have been lost to time
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@JudyEv (134917)
• Bunbury, Australia
18 Nov
@FayeHazel Dozens and dozens no doubt. Sometimes an old diary gets found in an attic somewhere and another story sees the light of day.
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@YrNemo (14717)
16 Nov
A beautiful church there! Don't know how they built it all those years ago, perhaps from lots of adoration and faith! Re: spies, they are/were a special breed. Glad to have no spy in my circle or family. It sounds sad to be removed once their IDs were found out (from movies I watched or books I read!).
4 people like this
@JudyEv (134917)
• Bunbury, Australia
17 Nov
So many of the towns and villages we passed through had incredibly beautiful churches. I've no idea how they managed to build the steeples so high when there were no cranes or proper scaffolding.
3 people like this
@YrNemo (14717)
17 Nov
@JudyEv I often wonder about that whenever I see beautiful architectures.
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@ptrikha_2 (10234)
• India
19 Nov
@JudyEv May be historically too, they could have something similar to scaffoldings
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@Madshadi (8921)
• Brussels, Belgium
16 Nov
My grandmother was a high ranking officer in Tito's Partizan army. I never saw her but I did read about some of the brave victories she participated in. That Cathedral looks a lot like a one we have here in Belgium.
4 people like this
@JudyEv (134917)
• Bunbury, Australia
17 Nov
That's pretty cool. Where did you find he information on her? And here's a photo of the inside of the cathedral.
3 people like this
@Madshadi (8921)
• Brussels, Belgium
17 Nov
@JudyEv there was a history book about Partisans in a local library I used to read as a kid in former Yugoslavia. I couldn't find that book again ever. And my mother also told me a bit. That looks enormous in the picture. And very beautiful.
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@JudyEv (134917)
• Bunbury, Australia
17 Nov
@Madshadi That's a shame you can't find the book again.
1 person likes this
@SIMPLYD (83124)
• Philippines
17 Nov
Being a spy is a delicate and dangerous job actually. One has to be so secretive and discreet about what he is doing so as not to be discovered.
4 people like this
@JudyEv (134917)
• Bunbury, Australia
17 Nov
I wouldn't like to be a spy. It is a very dangerous job.
3 people like this
@SIMPLYD (83124)
• Philippines
17 Nov
@JudyEv Me too.
2 people like this
• Eugene, Oregon
16 Nov
Really interesting Judy, and thanks for the mention. Those who spied on the Axis powers in WW II and anytime really when people go undercover to subvert an enemy must be very brave.
4 people like this
@JudyEv (134917)
• Bunbury, Australia
17 Nov
That's true. You would be living on your wits the whole time.
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@1creekgirl (11961)
• United States
16 Nov
How great to have such an exciting and brave relative in your husband's family!
4 people like this
@JudyEv (134917)
• Bunbury, Australia
17 Nov
None of the living family really knew him as he divorced Vince's father's sister soon after the war. Even the cousin (his son) was barely known but turned up recently on a visit.
2 people like this
@just4him (127167)
• Green Bay, Wisconsin
17 Nov
You have a very interesting history.
3 people like this
@JudyEv (134917)
• Bunbury, Australia
17 Nov
No-one in the family ever knew about this tiil the long-lost cousin turned up.
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@just4him (127167)
• Green Bay, Wisconsin
17 Nov
@JudyEv Wow!
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@responsiveme (16816)
• India
16 Nov
This is the real thing... Having read and reread those spy novels I can think what a dangerous thing it must have been
3 people like this
@JudyEv (134917)
• Bunbury, Australia
17 Nov
Such people would be living on the wits every hour of the day and night.
3 people like this
@eileenleyva (10984)
• Philippines
16 Nov
This is a plot for the movies. How thrilling that espionage was. Must be an adventure escaping via submarine. The protagonist was exactly the operative needed. Love this story.
3 people like this
@JudyEv (134917)
• Bunbury, Australia
17 Nov
Thanks. They were exciting and dangerous times for some.
2 people like this
@Kandae11 (40370)
16 Nov
I am glad that he finally managed to escape.
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@JudyEv (134917)
• Bunbury, Australia
17 Nov
When he first tried to board a boat he was held off at gunpoint. He was forced to go into hiding on the island and it was then that he joined the British intelligence.
2 people like this
• Canada
16 Nov
Spies are kind of cool.
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@JudyEv (134917)
• Bunbury, Australia
17 Nov
I think they are very cool indeed!
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@shaggin (37762)
• United States
16 Nov
Wow that building is massive! Sounds like a very scary job to me! I will check out James’s post now :)
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@JudyEv (134917)
• Bunbury, Australia
17 Nov
The cathedral was incredible. I'm so glad it didn't get bombed during the war. I'm sure it would have been irreplaceable. This is the main entrance. So ornate.
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@shaggin (37762)
• United States
17 Nov
@JudyEv wow that is so impressive all that fine detail! Absolutely amazing. I wonder what the inside looks like.
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@JudyEv (134917)
• Bunbury, Australia
17 Nov
@shaggin I'll add two more for you.
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@ilocosboy (37369)
• Philippines
17 Nov
How I wish I could be that spy also he he
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@JudyEv (134917)
• Bunbury, Australia
17 Nov
I think it would be very stressful. Exciting sometimes I guess but stressful at others.
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@ilocosboy (37369)
• Philippines
17 Nov
the adventure and the excitement and the thrilling.
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@JudyEv (134917)
• Bunbury, Australia
17 Nov
@ilocosboy And the getting caught and the torture and imprisonment.
@teamfreak16 (41407)
• Colorado Springs, Colorado
17 Nov
What an interesting story. Had to be dangerous for him.
2 people like this
@JudyEv (134917)
• Bunbury, Australia
17 Nov
He is listed on a prisoner-of-war memorial at Ballarat in Victoria (Australia) so must have been held by the Germans long enough to be listed as such.
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@teamfreak16 (41407)
• Colorado Springs, Colorado
17 Nov
@JudyEv - Did he escape, or was he there until the end of the war? I've always loved learning about WWII.
2 people like this
@JudyEv (134917)
• Bunbury, Australia
17 Nov
@teamfreak16 It seems he was there for about a year after the Germans over-ran the island but eventually he and several other Australians were evacuated by submarine.
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@Hannihar (42069)
17 Nov
Wow, how did you feel when you found out that there is spy in your family or Vince's family?
2 people like this
@JudyEv (134917)
• Bunbury, Australia
17 Nov
I guess I thought it was pretty 'cool'.
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@Hannihar (42069)
19 Nov
@JudyEv That is really cool Judy.
1 person likes this
@crafty01 (337)
• Jamshedpur, India
16 Nov
I love to know more about spy stuff, their trade craft, do post some more intimate details about him.
2 people like this
@JudyEv (134917)
• Bunbury, Australia
17 Nov
I don't really know any more about him. Because he divorced his wife soon after the war, none of the family knew him. He is listed as a prisoner-of-war on a memorial in Ballarat, Victoria, Australia.
1 person likes this
@crafty01 (337)
• Jamshedpur, India
17 Nov
@JudyEv my bad luck
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@Shellyann36 (11273)
• United States
16 Nov
Such a neat story to share with everyone. No spies that I know of in my family.
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@JudyEv (134917)
• Bunbury, Australia
17 Nov
We knew very little about him till his son turned up on a visit.
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@Shellyann36 (11273)
• United States
17 Nov
@JudyEv It is still a very interesting story. One that can be passed down from generation to generation.
2 people like this