Dave Springhall

Dave Springhall

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Douglas (Dave) Springhall joined the British Navy during the First World War. In 1920 he joined the Communist Party of Great Britain. Later that year he was dismissed from the navy for his communist activities. According to a recently released MI5 file on Springhall: "File KV 2/1594 shows how Springhall acted as a distribution agent for seditious material in the armed forces during and after the First World War. As a result of this activity he was kept under surveillance and his correspondence was closely watched."

Along with William Rust Springhall eventually became leader of the Young Communist League. According to Francis Beckett Springhill was part of the YCL group around Bill Rust which acted as the Comintern's watchdog." After studying at he International Lenin School in Moscow he became secretary of the London district of the CPGB.

In 1924 Springhill went as a member of the British delegation, that included Bob Stewart, J. T. Murphy and Arthur McManus, to the Fifth Congress of the Communist International. Two years later he was arrested during the General Strike.

On the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War the CPGB was the main force behind the creation of the International Brigades. In December 1936 Springhill became the first political commissar of the British Battalion. He was later replaced by George Aitken. Aitken later admitted that desertion during battle was a major problem for the International Brigades. As the author of British Volunteers in the Spanish Civil War (2007) points out: "Aitken cajoled them to return to the line but, as he freely admits, on occasions he forced some volunteers back to the front under threat of his pistol. However, Aitken never actually used it; like most of the other senior figures in the battalion, he was vehemently opposed to the shooting of deserters." Some senior figures, such as Springhill and Wally Tapsell, disagreed with this strategy.

Jason Gurney was not impressed with Springhill. In his book, Crusade in Spain (1974) he described Springhill as "a pleasant, but hopelessly obtuse and humourless man." He added: "His principal function at Madrigueras seemed to be the delivery of exceedingly boring homilies at the morning parades... He seemed to be a well-intentioned man who was completely out of his depth in the position in which he found himself."

Springhill was wounded at the Battle of Jarma. Harry Pollitt went to see him in hospital. According to Pollitt: "A bullet had gone through his cheek. I shook him and he woke. His first question was to ask for the result of the London County Council elections."

On 6th July 1937, the Popular Front government launched a major offensive in an attempt to relieve the threat to Madrid. General Vicente Rojo sent the International Brigades to Brunete, challenging Nationalist control of the western approaches to the capital. The 80,000 Republican soldiers made good early progress but they were brought to a halt when General Francisco Franco brought up his reserves. Fighting in hot summer weather, the Internationals suffered heavy losses. Three hundred were captured and they were later found dead with their legs cut off. All told, the Republic lost 25,000 men and the Nationalists 17,000. George Nathan, Oliver Law, Harry Dobson and Julian Bell were amongst those killed during the battle.

After the fighting at Brunete, Dave Springhill, George Aitken, Wally Tapsell and Fred Copeman were called back to England. Tapsell was highly critical of Aitken, the commander of the British Battalion. He claimed that "Aitken's temperament has made him distrusted and disliked by the vast majority of the british battalion who regard him as being personally ambitious and unmindful of the interests of the battalion and the men." Springhill supported Tapsell in his attack on Aitken.

It would seem that Harry Pollitt accepted this criticism of Aitken as he was kept back in London whereas Wally Tapsell returned to the front-line and on 6th November 1937, he was appointed as political commissar of the British Battalion. As the author of Homage to Caledonia (2008) has pointed out: "At its conclusion, Pollitt told Aitken, Cunningham and Bert Williams (a political commissar with the Abraham Lincoln Battalion) to remain in Britain, while Fred Copeman (commander of the British Battalion) and Tapsell were to return to Spain."

In 1943 Springhill was arrested and charged with obtaining secret information from an Air Ministry employee and an army officer and passing it to the Soviet Union. He was sentenced to seven years penal servitude. He was expelled from the Communist Party of Great Britain and after leaving prison he took his family to China. He died in Moscow in the 1950s.

Despite the testimony of Alec Marcovitch, perhaps the most damaging evidence of the extent of communist domination of the British Battalion came from George Wattis. Unlike Marcovitch, Wattis was lionized by the party. He was one of the few British volunteers to have had extensive military experience before Spain and, subsequently, a distinguished record as a fighter and leader throughout the Spanish War. His career is one of the most fascinating and revealing of all those in the British Battalion, and purposefully buried by the keepers of its "story."

On the morning of February 27, 1937, in the valley of the Jarama, as the Lincolns prepared for their first battle, Robert Merriman, commander of the American battalion, challenged Lt. Col. Copic's suicidal orders to attack the heavily defended Pingarron Hill. Copic, the brigade commander, gave instructions to two British members of his staff, Captain D. F. Springhall and Lieutenant George Wattis, to carry his instructions personally to Merriman and to remove him from command if he refused to carry them out. Wattis had previously communicated an order from Copic that Merriman found so unreasonable that he wrote in his diary, "No such order ever came out of the general's staff before. The two men made their way to Merriman's command post by motorcycle. Once they arrived, Springhall and Wattis came to understand the Lincoln commander's reasons for questioning the command. Yet they did not have the authority to cancel the order they were carrying. Moved by Merriman's resolution to lead the attack himself, the two decided to go over the top with the Lincolns. Wattis joined No. 2 Company, and Springhall stayed with Merriman. As the madness of the order became apparent, the Lincoln officers could not persuade all of the young, untried Americans to leave their places of safety. Wattis, who was already famous for his coolness under fire, walked up and down the trenches, touching the shoulders of the reluctant with his swagger stick and motivating the more recalcitrant with his pistol.

The British lads were sent to a village a few miles from Albacete, Madrigueras, which was the headquarters of the British Battalion. And there they did all their training. The commander in charge at that time was Wilfred McCartney, a former British officer. The political commissar was Dave Springhall, who had served in the Royal Navy and was also an active Communist Party member. They had both been appointed by the International Brigades Military Command. The man in charge at Albacete at the time when I was there was Andre Marty. He was assisted by a Frenchman called Videl.

The dispute began when Battalion political commissar Walter Tapsell claimed that the promotions of Scots George Aitken (to Brigade Commissar) and Jock Cunningham (to Battalion commander) had left the two men isolated from regular Brigaders. Tapsell wrote that, "Aitken's temperament has made him distrusted and disliked by the vast majority of the British Battalion who regard him as being personally ambitious and unmindful of the interests of the Battalion and the men." Meanwhile, Cunningham, "fluctuates violently between hysterical bursts of passion and is openly accused by Aitken of lazing about the Brigade headquarters doing nothing." Assistant Brigade Commissar at Albacete, Dave Springhall, weighed in, claiming that the Battalion's entire leadership structure had collapsed under the pressures brought on by defeat at Brunete.

Wilfred Macartney was in command of the Battalion. He was a strange man whom I came to know quite well several years later. At this time he had recently been released from Parkhurst Prison where he had served a ten years' sentence, having been convicted of spying for the USSR. The book of his prison experience, Walls Have Mouths, published by the Left Book Club, was enjoying a considerable vogue. He was a rich and well-educated man, a great drinker and bon viveur, and I find it difficult to believe he was ever a very dedicated Communist. In any case, it soon became evident that he had very little idea of the duties of a Battalion Commander.

Apart from his appearance at the morning parade, he appeared to leave the running of the Battalion to his Adjutant and to the Political Commissar, Dave Springhall, a pleasant, but hopelessly obtuse and humourless man. He was later imprisoned in England for spying on behalf of the Nazis. I never discovered what caused the switch in his allegiance, and he was the last person in the world that I should ever have expected to change sides. His principal function at Madrigueras seemed to be the delivery of exceedingly boring homilies at the morning parades which were always prefaced with the phrase, "Now comrades, the position is as follows." He seemed to be a well-intentioned man who was completely out of his depth in the position in which he found himself.

Springhall had been dismissed from the navy in 1920 for Communist activities. He was part of the YCL group around Bill Rust which acted as the Comintern's watchdog, stopping the foot-dragging over the introduction of Class Against Class. He joined the CP Central Committee in 1932 and was a political commissar in the Spanish Civil War. He was very particular about ensuring the CP followed Moscow's line correctly. Jack Gaster, when he led his supporters out of the ILP and into the Communist Party in 1935, remembers that Springhall held up their membership. "I was furious," says Gaster. "He was missing the opportunity of signing up 200 new members. He said: "We have to be very careful who we admit." They were admitted in the end and Gaster met "a lovely girl called Moira Lynd who had become a Communist at Oxford. Springhall told her to keep an eye on me. But in 1938, when I married Moira and had a party in a Marylebone pub, Springie was there and danced the hornpipe."

Dave Springhall had the rolling gait of a sailor, and some people thought he looked a little thuggish. He was certainly different from the Cambridge aesthetes around Klugmann: a "tough hearty", one of them called him. Springhall was arrested in 1943 and sentenced to seven years penal servitude for spying. It was an appalling embarrassment to the CP, which was at that time conducting itself with conspicuous patriotism, and Party leaders expelled him at once. Harry Pollitt was furious with him, and with the Russians. When he was released, a much less bouncy Springhall took his family and went to work in China. He died in Moscow in the 1950s.

Springhall's arrest was not connected with his work with the future Cambridge spies. He was caught obtaining secret information from an Air Ministry employee and an army officer and passing it to the Soviet Union. The information was almost certainly being duplicated by Kim Philby. It was typical of MIS at the time that they caught Springhall, the working-class lad, at a spot of low-grade spying, but completely missed the Cambridge people; and though they followed Springhall everywhere, they never seem to have asked themselves why Springhall spent so much time in Cambridge. If MI5 looked at Klugmann and his friends at all, all they saw was a few wealthy undergraduates kicking over the traces.

The most important Soviet espionage case solved by the wartime Security Service was that of a spy-ring headed by the CPGB's national organizer, Douglas Springhall, who was sentenced to seven years' imprisonment in July 1943 for offences under the Official Secrets Act. Though the Service believed that Soviet agents normally "cut themselves off from the Party", Springhall took the "unusual step of using the Party apparatus for espionage". Like Oliver Green, Springhall was discovered as the result of a lead which came from outside MI5. John Curry later concluded, "There was reason to think that he had been active for some years and had excellently placed informants, and might have escaped detection but for a piece of negligence on his part." Among Springhall's sources was a secretary in the Air Ministry, Olive Sheehan, who passed him details of a new anti-radar device, codenamed WINDOW. Sheehan's flatmate, Norah Bond, heard her discussing classified information with Springhall, saw her handing him material and succeeded in obtaining an envelope which Sheehan planned to pass to Springhall. Bond gave the envelope to an RAF officer who steamed it open, discovered that it contained information on WINDOW and informed the Air Ministry, which told MI5.

Security Service examination of Springhall's diary led to the discovery of two further members of his spy-ring: Ormond Uren, a staff officer in the Special Operations Executive (SOE), and Ray Milne, a secretary in SIS. In November 1943 Uren, who was found to have revealed the entire "organisational lay-out of SOE" to Springhall, was sentenced, like Springhall, to seven years' imprisonment." Guy Liddell noted that, as a secretary in Section V of SIS, Ray Milne was "right in the middle of ISOS [Abwehr decrypts] and everything else." During interrogation by Roger Hollis and the head of Section V, Felix Cowgill, Milne confessed to very little but claimed, like Springhall and Uren, that passing intelligence to Moscow was merely sharing information with an ally. She was dismissed but never prosecuted.

The CPGB leadership reacted with shocked surprise to Springhall's conviction, expelling him from the Party and publicly distancing itself from any involvement in espionage. David Clarke (a MI5 agent working undercover in the CPGB) reported that both Pollitt and Willie Gallacher, the Party's only MP, were "clearly anxious to clean the Party of such activities". In order to emphasize its British identity, at the Sixteenth Party Congress in July 1943 the Party decided to call itself the "British Communist Party". Clarke, however, saw the Party's attempts to distance itself from Soviet espionage as primarily cosmetic: "The Soviet authorities have from time to time obtained information from most of the leading members of the Communist Party who have shown various degrees of willingness to do this work."

Springhall was a founder member of the Communist Party of Great Britain, and held various administrative positions in the party, culminating in a National Organiser role from 1940. He cultivated a contact at the Air Ministry, Olive Sheehan, who was one of a small ring of Communist supporters in the Ministry and provided Springhall with, among other things, classified information about the anti-radar device WINDOW.

Their arrangement was uncovered when Sheehan's flatmate overheard a conversation about classified information, and Springhall was arrested and convicted in 1943 on a charge of passing classified information to the Russians. The trial was held in camera because of the still secret nature of WINDOW, so although the case is well known, this is the first time contemporary transcripts and details of the trial have been released.

After Springhall's trial, it also emerged that he had obtained classified information from a Special Operations Executive officer, Captain Desmond Uren, who also a Communist. Uren was court martialled and, like Springhall, was sentenced to seven years' imprisonment. Springhall emigrated to Russia after his release, and died in Moscow in 1953.

File KV 2/1594 (1917-1931) shows how Springhall acted as a distribution agent for seditious material in the armed forces during and after the First World War (for which he was eventually discharged from the Navy in 1920). As a result of this activity he was kept under surveillance and his correspondence was closely watched.

The product of that surveillance (intercepted letters, a report of a meeting of ex-Service Communists addressed by Springhall at the Minerva Café, High Holborn in June 1928, examples of his journalism and so on) is on file, as is a photograph of Springhall submitted with his passport papers (he eventually travelled to Russia before his passport was issued). There is further material in file KV 2/1595 (1931-1935).

File KV 2/1596 (1936-1943) includes similar material, but also a copy of Springhall's speaking notes for addressing meetings, obtained by the Metropolitan Police, a copy of his pamphlet "Fair Play for Service Men and their Families", and other material leading to Springhall's arrest and trial for dissemination of seditious material in the armed forces.

The file includes reports on the development and uncovering of the plot, and Security Service observations on the case from 1943, along with police statements and reports about visits made to Springhall while he was in Brixton prison.

Perhaps the most interesting item on the file is the assessment made by the Security Service of the impact that Springhall's arrest and trial had on the rest of the Communist Party hierarchy.

Dave Springhall

Douglas Frank Springhall (28 March 1901 – 2 September 1953), known as Dave Springhall, was a British communist activist.

Born in Kensal Green, Springhall joined the Royal Navy at the age of fifteen, during World War I. In 1920, he wrote "Discontent on the Lower Deck", an article for the communist publication Workers' Dreadnought, leading to his dismissal from the Navy for "associating with extremists". [1]

Springhall joined the Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB) and its affiliated Young Communist League (YCL). He worked as a builder, but struggled to find employment, focussing his time on the National Unemployed Workers' Committee Movement and the trade union movement. He stood as a Labour Party candidate for Richmond Town Council, then later as a Communist candidate, but was not elected. [1]

In 1924, Springhall was a delegate to the Fifth Congress of the Communist International, and also the Fourth Congress of the Young Communist International. In 1926, following the imprisonment of William Rust, he became Acting Secretary of the YCL, serving during the British general strike, for which he was twice jailed himself. From 1928 to 1931, Springhall studied at the International Lenin School. He then returned to the UK, when he led moves to expel Trotskyists from the CPGB. [1] From this period on, he may have been working for the GRU. [2]

During the Spanish Civil War, Springhall served as Political Commissar of the British Battalion, then later Assistant Commissar of the XV International Brigade. Although he was shot at the Battle of Jarama, the bullet passed through his cheeks and he was not seriously wounded. He returned to the UK in 1938, becoming editor of the Daily Worker, then briefly serving as the CPGB's representative in Moscow. He returned to the UK again to ensure that the party supported the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. General Secretary Harry Pollitt opposed this and was removed, Springhall working as National Organiser to lead the party alongside Rust and Rajani Palme Dutt. [1]

In 1943, Springhall was imprisoned, and also removed from his party posts, after he was convicted of receiving secret information from an Air Ministry employee. [1] It subsequently emerged that he had also obtained classified information from Desmond Uren of the Special Operations Executive. [2] He served four-and-a-half years of a seven-year penal servitude sentence. On his release, he worked in advertising before travelling through Eastern Europe to China, where he worked as an advisor to the Chinese Information Bureau of the Press Administration. He travelled to Moscow in 1953 to receive treatment for throat cancer, but died there. [1] His grave is located at the Babaoshan Revolutionary Cemetery in Beijing.

Spanish Civil War

During the Spanish Civil War, Springhall served as the first political commissar of the British Battalion of the XV International Brigade, [4] [5] later becoming Assistant Commissar of the XV International Brigade. Although politically experienced, he was described as "a pleasant, but hopelessly obtuse and humourless man . he seemed to be a well-intentioned man who was completely out of his depth in the position in which he found himself". [6] On 12 January 1937, following the Battle of Lopera and tensions between British and Irish volunteers, he called a meeting to discuss the issue. The stormy meeting resulted in the Irish volunteers voting to join the Abraham Lincoln Battalion. The meeting may have been a political miscalculation, but Irish volunteers saw it as a deliberate stunt by British Communists to ruin the chances of forming an Irish national unit. Springhall later admitted he was glad the Irish group had left, but he was blamed by many senior communist figures for a "grave political mistake". [7] Although he was shot at the Battle of Jarama, on 27 February 1937, [8] the bullet passed through his cheeks and he was not seriously wounded. He returned to the UK in 1938.


  • Albert Inkpin (1920–29)
  • Harry Pollitt (1929-39)
  • Rajani Palme Dutt (1939-41)
  • Harry Pollitt (1941-56)
  • John Gollan (1956-75)
  • Gordon McLennan (1975-89)
  • Nina Temple (1989-90)
  • Fred Peet (1920-22)
  • John Gollan (1947-49)
  • George Matthews (1949-56)
  • Bill Wainwright (1956-59)
  • Bill Alexander (1959-67)
  • Reuben Falber (1968-79)
  • Arthur MacManus (1920-1927)
  • Willie Gallacher (1943-1956)
  • Harry Pollitt (1956-1960)
  • Tony Chater (1968-1970)
  • John Tocher (1970-1974)
  • Mick McGahey (1974-1978)
  • George Bolton (1980s-1990)
  • Tom Bell (1920-21)
  • Bob Stewart (1921-23)
  • Harry Pollitt (1923-)
  • Idris Cox (1930s)
  • R. W. Robson (1930s)
  • Dave Springhall (1940-43)
  • Peter Kerrigan (1943-51)
  • Mick Bennett (1951-54)
  • John Gollan (1954-56)
  • Bill Lauchlan (1956-66)
  • Gordon McLennan (1966-75)
  • Dave Cook (1975-1980s)
  • Ian McKay (1980s-1991)
  • Ernie Woolley (1925-)
  • Finlay Hart (1937-39)
  • Peter Kerrigan (1939-42)
  • George Allison (1942?-51)
  • Peter Kerrigan (1951-66)
  • Bert Ramelson (1965-77)
  • Mick Costello (1977-83)
  • Pete Carter (1983-1980s)
  • 1901 births
  • 1953 deaths
  • British newspaper editors
  • British people of the Spanish Civil War
  • British spies for the Soviet Union
  • British trade unionists
  • Communist Party of Great Britain members
  • People from Kensal Green
  • Royal Navy personnel
  • Cancer deaths in the Soviet Union
  • British expatriates in the Soviet Union
  • Deaths from laryngeal cancer
  • Shooting survivors
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Dave Springhall

Douglas Frank Springhall (28 March 1901 – 2 September 1953), known as Dave Springhall, was a British communist activist.

Born in Kensal Green, Springhall joined the Royal Navy at the age of fifteen, during World War I. In 1920, he wrote "Discontent on the Lower Deck", an article for the communist publication Workers' Dreadnought, leading to his dismissal from the Navy for "associating with extremists". [1]

Springhall joined the Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB) and its affiliated Young Communist League (YCL). He worked as a builder, but struggled to find employment, focussing his time on the National Unemployed Workers' Committee Movement and the trade union movement. He stood as a Labour Party candidate for Richmond Town Council, then later as a Communist candidate, but was not elected. [1]

In 1924, Springhall was a delegate to the Fifth Congress of the Communist International, and also the Fourth Congress of the Young Communist International. In 1926, following the imprisonment of William Rust, he became Acting Secretary of the YCL, serving during the British general strike, for which he was twice jailed himself. From 1928 to 1931, Springhall studied at the International Lenin School. He then returned to the UK, when he led moves to expel Trotskyists from the CPGB. [1] From this period on, he may have been working for the GRU. [2]

In 1943, Springhall was imprisoned, and also removed from his party posts, after he was convicted of receiving secret information from an Air Ministry employee. [1] It subsequently emerged that he had also obtained classified information from Desmond Uren of the Special Operations Executive. [2] He served four-and-a-half years of a seven-year penal servitude sentence. On his release, he worked in advertising before travelling through Eastern Europe to China, where he worked as an advisor to the Chinese Information Bureau of the Press Administration. He travelled to Moscow in 1953 to receive treatment for throat cancer, but died there. [1] His grave is located at the Babaoshan Revolutionary Cemetery in Beijing.

Past Its Peak

From International Socialism 2:77, December 1997.
Copyright © International Socialism.
Copied with thanks from the International Socialism Archive.
Marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for ETOL.

N. Branson
History of the Communist Party of Great Britain 1941�
Lawrence and Wishart 1997, 㾺.99

The Communist Party of Great Britain represented the fate of the Russian Revolution in Britain. At its birth in 1920, the party brought together the generation of militants who had fought against the First World War. One important figure was J.T. Murphy, a leader of the shop stewards movement in Sheffield. Arthur Horner, another prominent member of the Communist Party, was a former member of the South Wales Miners Unofficial Reform Movement, and had been a volunteer in James Connolly’s Irish Citizens Army. From 1929, the chairman of the party was Harry Pollitt, an activist in the Boilermakers Union and a key figure in the 1919 strike which stopped the Jolly George, a ship bound for Poland with weapons to use against the Red Army in Russia. Even Rajani Palme Dutt, the loudest pro-Stalin voice within the CPGB, had spent a year in jail as a conscientious objector during the war. [1]

This generation of militants joined the Communist Party not only because they hated the war, but also because they saw the example of the revolution in Russia, which they wanted British workers to follow. From the mid-1920s, however, the nature of Russian society began to change from within. The conditions of the working class were attacked, while political rule was usurped by a bureaucratic layer which directed the state machine for its own ends. By 1929 the bureaucracy ruled unchallenged over a form of state capitalism little different from capitalism in the West. The decomposition of the Russian Revolution led to the Stalinisation of the international Communist movement. The Communist parties increasingly behaved as the tools of Soviet foreign policy, and not as independent revolutionary organisations of the working class.

The Stalinisation of the Communist parties meant that they were forced to adopt periodic changes of line. In 1929, for example, the Communist International adopted the tactic of ‘class against class’. Stalin promised an immediate international revolution. The CPs were expected to turn their fire on the reformist parties, the ‘social fascists’ who held the revolution back. As a consequence, the German Communist Party (KPD) refused to work with the German Socialist Party (SPD) in the fight against fascism. This ultra-left line did nothing to stop Hitler from seizing power in 1933. Following this enormous defeat, however, Stalin chose a new tactic of alliance with the ruling classes of the Western European nations. Thus from 1934 the sectarian line of class against class was replaced with the tactic of the ‘Popular Front’. The Communist parties were now expected to unite not only with social democratic parties, but even ‘pro-Soviet’ ruling class parties, no matter how right wing.

Despite their alternately left sectarian and then right wing politics, the Communist parties remained working class parties. The leaders were still chosen from the same layer of militants. The bulk of the members were organised workers. In the 1930s the Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB) provided the leaderships of the London bus workers’ strikes and the Pressed Steel strike. [2] Communist Party members were central to the fight against fascism, and took a leading role in the Battle of Cable Street. [3] The CP’s newspaper, the Daily Worker, was the only significant voice on the left that supported strikes. As Ian Birchall has written, the Communist Party was ‘the only organisation that [bore] Marxist ideas – in however distorted a form – into significant sections of the British working class, and the only organisation that [was] able to offer some kind of national framework to industrial militants’. [4]

At its height, there was something impressive about the Communist Party of Great Britain. In the years 1942�, the CP had between 35,000 and 56,000 members. These members were overwhelmingly drawn from manual industry. Of the 754 delegates to the 1944 party congress, over half were members of the five main manual unions: 193 were members of the AEU engineers’ union, 81 were members of the TGWU transport workers’ union, 52 were members of the miners’ NUM, 33 were members of the electricians’ ETU, 32 were members of the rail workers’ union, the NUR. At the Labour Party conference in May 1945 the Communist Party’s motion calling for ‘Progressive Unity’ was supported by the delegations of the AEU, the NUM, the ETU, the firefighters’ FBU union, the painters’ union, the vehicle builders’ union, and the train drivers’ union ASLEF. [5] In 1945 the party had two MPs, Willie Gallacher and Phil Piratin and one member, the bus worker Bert Papworth, on the General Council of the TUC. The best sign of the CP’s strength was its newspaper. During the years 1945-1951, the Daily Worker had a circulation of over 100,000.

Socialists organising in Britain today are faced with the opportunity to build a revolutionary party while there is a reformist government in office. Since revolutionaries have not had this chance for 18 years, it is certainly helpful to look to the past, and to see how other left wing forces have operated before us. It is only right, therefore, to welcome Noreen Branson’s new History Of The Communist Party Of Great Britain, the fourth volume in Lawrence and Wishart’s series, covering the years 1941�. This is an extremely well documented account of a key decade in the history of the CP. It is lively, packed with interviews, and it gives good accounts of areas of party activity which earlier generations of CP historians have ignored. Even as we welcome this book, though, we must be cautious. This series is very much the ‘official’ history of the Communist Party. It was commissioned in the summer of 1956, as Soviet tanks moved into Hungary. The books were intended as a celebration of the party’s past, to take the minds of CP members away from the crisis inside their organisation. Noreen Branson was herself a long standing member of the CPGB, until its dissolution in 1990. Not surprisingly, her account is generous to the CP, justifying its actions, passing over its mistakes, and covering over the tensions at the heart of the party.

Through the war

Communist policy under the 1945� Labour government was based on the success of its policy during the Second World War. To understand the politics of the party after 1945, it is necessary to review the party’s line in 1939�. The Communist Party went into the Second World War in September 1939 still under the banner of the Popular Front. Its leadership presented the war as an anti-fascist war against Hitler. In October, however, Dave Springhall, the party’s national organiser, returned from Moscow and explained that the anti-fascist war could not be squared with the Hitler-Stalin pact. This was not an anti-fascist war, but an imperialist war, which had to be opposed. The CP then somersaulted, to follow the Moscow line. What followed was a brief period of sham revolutionary defeatism, in which the national leadership of the CP called for revolution to bring about a ‘people’s peace’ while local members of the CP worked in pragmatic alliances, applying a very watered down version of the party’s perspective. [6]

After June 1941, and when the Soviet Union was attacked by Germany, the Communist Party line changed once more. Now the war was portrayed again as an anti-fascist conflict. One result of the Russian entry into the war was that the Communist Party suddenly became respectable: Stalin’s Short Course was introduced onto school reading lists, Churchill’s wife set up an ‘Aid Russia’ fund, local Anglo-Soviet Committees were set up, often under the auspices of businessmen and Chambers of Commerce. Noreen Branson quotes one couple involved in the campaign:

We. .. suddenly find ourselves addressing large and influential audiences on the achievements of the Soviet Union. His Worship the Mayor is in the chair, the leaders of local society are on the platform, where the grand piano, presently to accompany both God Save the King and the International is prophetically draped with the Union Jack and the Red Flag, sociably intertwined. [7]

The feel of the cross-class alliances which characterised this new period is well captured by the photograph on the front cover of Branson’s book: a middle aged member of the Home Guard stares like a patriot into the distance, while behind him there are six foot tall pictures of Roosevelt, Nehru, Churchill, Stalin and Chiang Kai-Shek.

In return for its new respectability, the party offered the support of its members in the factories for the war. CP propaganda stressed the urgent need to increase production. The Communist Party called for Joint Production Committees (JPCs), joint management and union committees to increase the pace and level of work. Leading members of the party attacked the waste and inefficiency of ordinary workers:

If the 600,000 members of the AEU alone were to put on a spurt, equivalent to an extra five minutes of work per hour, on a 60-hour week, it would yield extra work to the equivalent of 47 fully equipped fighter planes or 3 million ‘common’ shells. [8]

At the time many on the left criticised the JPCs for surrendering to the interests of management. Branson acknowledges this attack, but defends the campaign:

Joint Production Committees did not lead to any weakening of trade union organisation on the contrary, shop floor organisation was to emerge by the end of the war, far more powerfully entrenched than ever before. [9]

The campaign for increased production had a dual role. On the one hand, it did imply at least some sort of workers’ supervision of industry. As such, it was resented by some employers, notably the members of the Engineering Employers’ Federation. On the other hand, the fact that the Communist Party and the majority of its stewards were involved in increasing production and opposing strikes did disorientate many militants and did weaken rank and file organisation across industry. The CP intervened in a series of strikes, such as the 1942 Total Time strike, the 1943 strike at Swan Hunters and the 1944 apprentices’ strike, to argue for a return to work. [10] In November 1943, for example, the government ordered the release of the fascist Oswald Mosley from wartime detention. Over 1 million people signed the petition of protest. In a series of factories, stewards threatened to strike, only to be held back by the Communist Party. Branson, again, states the case for the CP:

Communists were heavily engaged in trying to channel the anger into actions which would not damage the war effort. They headed off protest strikes in the war factories and the coal mines by advocating, instead, the appointment of delegations to meet with MPs and government representatives, and by launching petitions to be despatched to Downing Street. [11]

Coming out of the war, the Communist Party seemed to be at the peak of its power. As a result of its politics of left patriotism, it had gained a level of respectability. In the difficult conditions of war, with its members ever likely to be called up, the party held together a large membership.


A lot of "anti-communist" groups were set up in the 1970s and 1980s, by proxies of the CIA. This was a particular interest of Brian Crozier's and of many Le Cercle members. Strategies included public relations, assassination. The first foreign action by the CIA was a political sabotage of the Italian communist party's election. This remained a long term concern and motivated the activation of Operation Gladio stay-behind cells in Italy to carry out false flag terror attacks such as the 1980 Bologna massacre.

Dave Springhall - History

Hiya! Welcome to Lindsey’s ency! Here, you may find everything about her - well, almost everything. Apart from just meeting Lindsey, you may also read about Maximilien, the young french boi in this ency - do remember, he also shares part of this world!

This is not mobile friendly, so sorry mobile users! Also, as I constantly code and revamp my ency, all updated information are below under the reducio. OOC info is held in the profile page, so go there and see if I’m available for threads and a chat! I do hope you enjoy your stay here!

character basic knowledge

name: lindsey florence evanthe springhall
nicknames: lynn, linds, holly
gender: cis female
age: 12
birthday: july 19th
nationality: english
ethnicity: 1/2 engish, 1/4 french, 1/4 chinese
residence: york, england

species: human
blood status: pureblood
house: hufflepuff
patronus: unknown squirrel? dove?
wand: beech wood, phoenix feather, 34.2cm

eyes: chocolate brown, large, sparkling
hair: golden brown, long, silky, wavy
mouth: pink and thin lips
nose: thin, straight, asian-like buttoned
built: athletic
skin tone: fair
height: 155cm | 5’1
weight: 37kg | 81Ib
voice: silvery, warm, enthusiastic

This is the "Game Master" account. Please do not owl this account, unless specified . This account is not moderated actively and therefore, you may not receive a response.

Contact a Head of House or the Headmaster if you need anything.

The Springhall family was a large, fancy, and extremely wealthy family who lived in York, England. They lived in the largest and best house in York, the Springhall Heights. It was built on the top of a hill, and the garden was gorgeous. Little did the muggles knew, the Springhall family were all wizards. They attended Hogwarts, and were all Slytherins in a whole. They also had very high reputation and was very powerful in the wizarding world.

The Springhall family had always got the eldest boy in the generation to inherit their family manor, the Springhall Heights. Generations past, and their was always at least a boy in the family, so the inheriting progress went smoothly. When it came to the 48th generation, there were lots of new born girls in the family. However, not even a boy was born, which made the Springhalls very anxious.

In Hertford, England, a wealthy family rose quietly. They were called Mecmillan. The Mecmillan Castle was one of the fanciest house in the district. Same with the Springhall family mentioned above, they were a large, powerful and extremely wealthy pureblood family that had high reputation as well.

They had a weird tradition. Unlike most wizards family, they gifted the eldest girl in the generation their family manor. The Mecmillan Castle could only be inherited by girls, but they should keep the family name Mecmillan if they wished to inherit no matter they got married or not. If there were no girls in the generation, the eldest boy may look after the manor, but he had to gift it to his eldest daughter as soon as she reached the age of eighteen. This happened in the 43th generation, when only a boy Lester was born.

As we have said, the Springhall family didn’t have a heir. At last, the head of family decided to let the youngest man to marry again secretly. The one chosen, David Springhall, was sent to Kensington, London, England to a house that was bought earlier by the family. His leaving was a secret, and his wife knew nothing about what he was going to do. In Kensington, he secretly married Kristina Lenit, a pureblood witch who’s family all had dead. They spent nights together, and there came a healthy boy: Herbert Springhall.

David travelled back to York soon after the night he was remarried, and told his wife nothing. He continued to travel between York and London, to meet both of his wives. Kristina knew about David’s real wife, but his real wife did not know about Kristina. Finally Herbert turned three. During this period, he was kept secretly in Kensington, not knowing by every Springhall except his father and grandfather. On his third birthday, he was taken to York.

The real wife of David, Lena, felt frustrated. Though being told that the child could be claimed born by her rather than Kristina, she was mad about it and would not want a bastard for son. Now, she cared nothing about heirs — she had to get her husband back. She’s not a Springhall, and she simply ignored everything about the heir issues. Her, born from a wealthy pureblood family, could not, bare that her husband married again secretly and had a son. She wanted to expose the fact to the Ministry. The old Mr Springhall was mad as well. Giving out their heir to the Ministry and let everyone knew that David remarried? No one would gonna know it. He told David’s wife, that if she dared to tell anyone about it, he would kill her.

Lena cried, screamed and threatened the Springhalls. Seeing that she was locked in the manor forever, she was frustrated, but could do nothing. At last, after writing the promise of not telling it anywhere, she was released. She did not tell, because the old Springhall was too powerful that could make her and her family dead in a second, but she decided to spend nights with all men except David Springhall. After a night with a Metamorphmagus, she was pregnant, and a boy was the result.

This boy was aware of the Springhalls, but they just ignore it silently. He was raised by David’s wife in her own apartment, and was named Joseph. He also got the last name of his mother’s: Hellman.

To be honest, Herbert Springhall’s childhood was not a good one. Being the only heir, he was taught too much rules: no talking with muggles, no hanging out at night, no writing letters to friends during summer…in fact, there were lots of rules in the family not only for Herbert, the heir. Everyone was restrained by the strict rules, but all decided to obey. But Herbert could not. He was sorted into Ravenclaw when getting into Hogwarts, and was good at academics. He became a prefect, and received seven Os in OWLs. The Springhalls were glad at this, but mean while, they became stricter. They had already found him a marriage, and just had to wait till he graduated.

In the summer before his six year, Herbert told his family that he had signed up to temporarily study a year in Beauxbatons. He said that he wanted to go — to leave the place. His biological mother was living in Kensington, and came to York to support her son. While the real wife of his father, Miss Hellman, to everyone’s surprise, supported Herbert ad well. That was because if this brat’s away, she could spend more time with Joseph, and told her own son more things about her tragic life.

Finally Herbert went to France. Beauxbatons was very attractive in Herbert’s young eyes. Especially, because there’s Karen Fostoncy. He liked her a lot, that beautiful French young girl, but she seemed not accepting his dating request. Herbert tried to get known with Karen’s family. He soon learnt, that the family disliked foreigners, and they were actually called “de Fostoncy”. Though Karen decided to dismiss it. She was a bad girl in her family, but an angel in Herbert’s eyes. However, he still managed to persuade the de Fostoncys.

You could possibly think of the horror when the Springhalls found that their heir took a French woman home. They only found a little assured that this girl was also a pureblood witch. But they still denied. Herbert quarreled with them, and finally one day, he wrote to the head of family, and left the Springhall manor forever. The break up was not difficult. He had never received that much love from his father and other relatives, and now they disapproved of his love. It was insane to the young man.

He took Karen to Kensington, where Kristina lived and died a year ago when he’s away in France. Herbert was fully powerful — and he knew that no one could be after him. He still had a strong belief that the Hellmans were angry with him and his own family, but he had the power to beat them all.

Although one thing must be mentioned: the head of Springhall family secretly appointed to protect Herbert’s sons and grandchildren if anything bad would happen. Though believing it was impossible, Herbert agreed with it, but had never told others about his secret identity of the heir and the large family in York.

We briefly mentioned the name Lester Mecmillan above when introducing the family. Becoming the temporary owner of the Mecmillan castle, he married a Chinese witch Wu Chen Xi. Both from wealthy pureblood family, this marriage was approved by most people. Chen Xi grew up in England, as her parents worked in the British Ministry. She studied in Hogwarts, and got sorted into Ravenclaw along with Lester. The two both fell for each other in their fifth grade.

Lester and Chen Xi both became aurors after graduation. They were great wizards, and carried out their missions well. One day when on a mission, they came across a man and a woman. And the man was a Metamorphmagus. Lester had heard that there was an extremely severe murderer that had murdered fifteen wizards was a Metamorphmagus. He became extremely aware of him, and told Chen Xi to be aware as well. This Metamorphmagus and his wife might be someone ordered to kill them.

A fight began. Lester attacked him first, and, surprisingly, the Metamorphmagus did not fight back. That was because he hadn’t even took his wand with him. Lester felt that it was weird, and when he slowly lowered his wand, Chen Xi casted another spell to the woman. The man and his wife got hurt badly, and eventually, they both died when they got back home because it was too late to go to the hospital.

The Mecmillans did not know about the death of them they thought murders. They were actually not though. Lester did not know it, but the the couple had recorded his name and told their five years old daughter about it. Mr Lester Mecmillan was pretty famous at that time. The couple being killed were called Hellman, and the man’s name was Joseph Hellman. The young girl, who was named Diana, was a Metamorphmagus just like her father. She decided to revenge for her parents, and when she was seven, she found the Mecmillan couple and tried to kill them with a knife. Apparently she did not succeed.

When she was taken away by the Ministry, she yelled to them that one day they should pay for this. Though she was still really young, Chen Xi somehow felt frightened — for the baby she just give birth for only two months. The couple sent their daughter, the heir of the Mecmillan castle straight to the Linfields, a good friend and colleague of them, in Sheffield. There, her daughter would get great care, and needed not to care about the murderer. Meanwhile, Chen Xi and Lester moved to China, where the Wu family came from.

They were right. Eleven years later, when Carolyn Linfield received her Hogwarts letter, her real parents were found dead in China.

Herbert Springhall became an Auror after settling down in Kensington, while Karen, because of her love for her home country, decided to work as a journalist. Two boys were given to birth——Andre and Fitzwilliam.

The Springhall brothers both got sorted into Ravenclaw like their father and ancestors. They were excelled at their academics, while Andre was good at writing and Fitz good at Quidditch, who got into the Quidditch team as a keeper. Smart, kind, and generous, made the two boys extremely popular. It was in Fitz’s fifth grade when he was obsessed with one of his classmates, Carolyn Linfield. He tried to ask Carolyn out. Like his father, Fitzwilliam did not succeed. He felt rather uncomfortable, because Carolyn regarded themselves too young to date. But she promised him one thing — they would meet again.

On a trip to Florence, Italy, Fitz met Carol again. This time, he knew more about Carol’s family. He learnt that her father’s name was Matthew from the Linfield family in Sheffield, and her mother, a Chinese witch named Verna, was from one of the most famous Chinese wizard family, the Lin. She also got an elder brother, a Slytherin, Nathaniel. He soon proposed to the girl after the trip. Fitzwilliam successfully received his application for the Ministry International Cooperation Apartment, and Carolyn got hers for St. Mungos. When they got married, the Linfields told Fitz’s parents about Carolyn’s real identity — which was only known to the Linfields except Carolyn herself. Herbert promised to keep it and protect the girl, and would do everything to keep the Mecmillan bloodline.

On the other hand, Andre did not find his own girlfriend. He worked as a journalist like his mother Karen. He went to Paris on a business trip, to interview some French journalists. There, he met the dreamy Yvonne Solaci. A gorgeous girl, with blonde hair and blue eyes. She worked as a journalist like her mother in law, and was, also, extremely intelligent. They got married and lived in Paris. Karen, for her love of France, decided to live with her son. Herbert decided to live there too, and Andre bought a house named Barricade Mansion.

Fitz settled down with his wife at Serendipity Garden. On the other hand, Carolyn’s elder brother Nathaniel had already got married a few years ago because he’s four years elder than Carol. The newest Mrs Linfield was Dorothy Ellient, a Gryffindor girl. Thea, as her near friends called her, was smart and kind.

Years later, there came Andre and Yvonne’s son. Enjolras.Edmund came to the world a year after Enjolras. He was the first child of Fitzwilliam and Carolyn. Dorothy gave birth to a boy meanwhile. Perseus, she decided to name her son. Perseus grew up in Linfield Manor with his parents and grandparents. Yvonne had another boy two years after her first. Combeferre, a name for the third Springhall. Another good news came from Karen’s family a year after Combeferre. Her niece in law gave birth to young Maximilien.

And, finally, there came our little heroine — Lindsey Springhall.

Lindsey Springhall, a girl with light brown hair and eyes came to the world in Kensington, London, England, in the family house Serendipity Garden on July 19th, 2008. She got great care from her relatives. Lindsey was a happy and merry little girl, with sparkling eyes and smiling face. She was lovely, and everyone liked her a lot.

Her maternal grandmother decided to teach her, Edmund and Perseus archery and fencing. Lindsey was a quick learner, and soon got ahead of the two boys. She loved reading, and playing the piano. “The muggles, or the non-magical people are same with us.” Her parents taught her this when she was young. As a result, Lindsey, although being a pure-blood witch, didn’t have any prejudices on the muggles or muggle-borns. There’re many muggle novels in their house and all Springhalls, including the French ones, loved them. Lindsey was sent to a muggle primary school when she was six. Her parents believed that it’s very useful for their children, and they took Edmund and Lindsey there. Lindsey studied maths and physics extremely well, and every teachers regarded it as a pity for Lindsey left the school when she’s eleven.

She was once locked in her room alone incautiously by her mother when she was seven. Then, her parents all went to work and left her alone locked in the room. Lindsey got hungry at noon but found out her door was locked. She pushed the door and with a “bang”, the door opened, the lock fell out. That was when her magic first surfaced.

Her uncle, Nathaniel Linfield, disappeared the same year. He left the Linfield Manor on a stormy night, leaving his parents, wife Dorothy and nine year old son Perseus at home. Dorothy grew weirder some years before that, and became cold and distant. He didn’t even leave a note for them, packed his things and clothes alone secretly. Nathaniel paid a visit to Carolyn and Fitzwilliam before leaving. He was soon considered died after disappearing for a month. Perseus knew nothing about his father’s disappearance, and was only told that his dad was dead. He was sent to Hogwarts at the age of eleven along with Edmund, a year after Enjolras attended Beauxbatons. Perseus was sorted into Slytherin while Edmund got into Gryffindor. Then, Combeferre attended Beauxbatons, and then a year after, Maximilien went on the same path as him.

Finally, time for Lindsey to start her adventure at Hogwarts.

Appearance: [Faceclaim: David Mazouz]
From any aspects, Maximilien was a good looking boy. His eyes were of dark grey color like his mother, and were calm and intelligent. Sometimes his eyes were even shown as black in the darkness. His dark brown hair was almost black, and was actually curly, but somehow his father managed to comb them smoothly that seemed his hair was straight. When he was young, you could identify the curls clearly, but in his teens, it was much more difficult. He stood at 156cm, which was of average, and weighed 40kg. The boy was of athletic built, since his father had always wanted him to be the part of one of the teams in Beauxbatons. Fair, he was, just like everyone else in his family. Always dressed in dark colored clothes, he had successfully inherited both of his parents’ advantages in their looks. Like what Vincent de Fostoncy, his father, had proudly said, “Nobody looks awful in our family, but my son is especially handsome among all of them.”

Growing up lacking family affections from his father and grandfather, Maximilien was generally quiet. Shy, he was a little bit, and would not be opening his heart to someone he did not know well immediately. He was taught to do more than say, and the boy carried it out well. He would always be the one doing things quietly for everyone, and left the whole scene first. Kind, intelligent and loyal, this helped to build the boy up. Passionate towards most people, he was, and especially to ladies. Though always not saying much, Maximilien was proud inside, and was extremely stubborn. He would always be sticking to a thing or a belief that he was approved of, and possibly would not change his mind. He had his own set of rules to measure the world, and anything off limits was strictly forbidden in his book.

Maximilien, on the outside, looked much more mature and serious than his peers, and seemed a person that would analyze the situation carefully. However, don’t be deceived. Deep in his heart he was a child, longing for freedom and carefreeness. He was imaginative, and full of romantic air. Daydreaming played a huge part in the boy’s life, under his mature, unmoved and uptight skin. Maximilien was a deep thinker, and seemed always down in his own thoughts, no matter he’s alone or not. He lacked family affections, that was true, but it didn’t mean that he couldn’t create a secret world of his own that he would enjoy out of nowhere.

Overall he was really good-natured, and would love to help someone in order to make everybody feel comfortable. The boy was well-mannered as well, and most people liked him. He was taught to be polite, and Maxi followed his grandfather and father’s instructions strictly. He was Maximilien René Pascal Jacques Vincent Louis de Fostoncy - he bore the de Fostoncy name on his young shoulders. He knew that least thing he wished to do was to upset his family, especially his mother. Maybe that was the reason why he hadn’t been bored of his dull life - to him, after all, blood was thicker than water.

part 1. before the night of march 10th, 2008
Centuries ago, when it was the time of King Henri IV, a family in Lyon rose secretly. They owned a huge wine estate, and therefore, became wealthy and reputable by selling wines. Everyone wanted to get to know them, but all failed. No matter who they were, they were never invited to the wine estate. Little did they know, this family was a wizard family — a pureblood one also — the de Fostoncy. The de Fostoncy family was proud of themselves. They had an extremely good reputation among wizards. They owned the huge wine estate for centuries, and every year they received a great amount of money from it.

They were against the muggles. Muggleborns and half-bloods were really not a choice for the de Fostoncy family. French origin, and pureblood, that were things that they valued most. They were exceedingly proud of themselves, especially the “de” in the family last name - “It shows history.” said Louis de Fostoncy, the current head of this honorable family. Chaos started when his sister Karen decided to marry Herbert Springhall, an Englishman. Although the despised Mister Springhall was a pureblood from a good family, his English ethnicity was not favored in the Château de Fostoncy. If it wasn’t Louis, there was a high chance that the marriage wouldn’t be successful - and therefore, their beloved heir Maximilien wouldn’t meet his future rose of his life. It was even more chaotic when Karen decided to remove the “de” in her last name - this time even Louis became mad at his favorite sister. Everything went back to normal after Karen left for London (still she removed the “de” and became Karen Fostoncy), though, and Louis had to settle down himself.

Like any other heirs of noble families, he married with his arranged wife, a beautiful young lady from another notable pureblood family in France. Not much was known of her, as this lady, the young Madame de Fostoncy back in those days, was the least person that Louis wished to mention - he loved her deeply, and he couldn’t afford the loss of her. She passed away when giving birth to their only son Vincent, whom she named after her own father. Vince, as what she had always called yonder tenderly when she was alive and pregnant, grew up motherless.

Vincent’s life was just like his father’s. Accepted into Beauxbatons, graduated as a straight O student, got married with a woman that he had never met properly before eighteen - he went on the same path as Louis’s. Only, he was all alone, without a tender mother or a loving sister. And as a result, he became a solitary and unsociable person. His gorgeous wife, Mélanie Janvaque, was adored by many people at that time, and Vincent was regarded as extremely lucky. They were a loving couple to others, with wealth and youth - really, how could you ask for more?

Only Mélanie herself knew how unhappy she was. Vincent had formed a careless personality, self entered and not caring for anyone else. She had hardly smiled after marrying into the de Fostoncy family. The life was dull, and Louis was extremely strict to his daughter in law. “Take care of Madame.” Everybody said so. Mélanie, the wavy haired woman knew that she did not need to be taken care of like a little baby - she just needed some time alone. Some time that she could express herself freely. She had given up her long loved drawing career, as well as music - she was quite a good singer in her youth. But, really, a painter or a musician? No, the young Madame de Fostoncy was not expected to become either of these two. Instead, she was expected to bring a heir to the family.

And, to everyone’s delight, she did.

part 2. after the night of march 10th 2008
Maximilien came to life on a serene and beautiful night of March 10th. His full name was pretty long — Maximilien René Pascal Jacques Vincent Louis de Fostoncy. His birth was fairly welcomed by the pureblood society in France, as it meant that the noble house of de Fostoncy had successfully passed the blood down to the next generation.

The new boy’s name achieved the usual standards of the family - apart from the family name, six names in total. Maximilien, meant “the greatest”, as the heir of this honorable family should always be the best. René, meant “reborn”, in hope that the boy would bring new achievements like his ancestors did. Pascal, meant “Easter child”, since Mélanie had always had a strong belief that her son would be born sometime near the Easter holidays. Jacques, meant “he who supplants” - associated with victory. Vincent, his father’s name. And finally, Louis, his grandfather’s.

It was a tradition to keep the heir’s last two middle names are the same as his father and grandfather’s first name - and that’s how young Maximilien had Vincent and Louis in his names. In his family he was strictly called “Maximilien” and only “Maximilien”, however he would introduce himself to peers as “Maxi”. Though don’t try to call him “Max”. The boy would get annoyed surely, as he disliked the masculine sound. It didn’t fit his rather skinny figure, he knew it.

Maximilien was taught to call his grandfather “Monsieur le Comte”, a title Louis gave to himself (which was obviously cool and honorable in his mind) and his father “Monsieur le Chevalier” rather than “grandfather” and “father”. His mother, on the other hand, was forced to be called “Madame” though she did not like it. She hoped her son could be with her for a longer time, but that’s nearly impossible in the family. Women to them were not important at all. All their duties were to give birth to a heir and show off at fancy balls.

When someone first laid their eyes on Maximilien, they would say that he resembled his mother. With messy dark brown hair and dark grey eyes instead of the de Fostoncy family’s curly golden brown hair, he was more like a member of the Janvaque family. However his body built and face were somehow like his grandfather, and the boy was handsome. Almost exceedingly.

The family established a full set of rules for the young boy. He had to get up at seven o’clock in the morning, had breakfast in twenty minutes, then began his course of the day. Usually it was about spells, charms and potions, but his father would be glad to teach him some hexes and jinxes sometimes too. Maximilien never liked the dark arts, but if his father taught him, he could not refuse. Only, the boy might be secretly not taken the course fully in his heart. In the afternoon his tasks were to learn the pureblood etiquettes and physic training. Monsieur le Chevalier had always wanted his son to be part of the teams in Beauxbatons. In the evening, he mostly did some free reading. Though it was called “free”, muggle novels that his second cousins loved were strictly forbidden. Only when Enjolras and Combeferre paid him a visit, he could secretly get access to the fantastic muggle novels.

Monsieur le Chevalier seldom talked to his son except the essentials. Madame wanted to speak with Maximilien, but she wasn’t allowed. She was afraid of her husband and father-in-law, honestly. Monsieur le Comte basically paid no attention to this grandson except at grand activities. To him, Maximilien was not a boy — but an item to show off to relatives and friends.

As a result, the boy grew up in a place that extremely lack family affections. Though the de Fostoncy wine estate was extremely large and comfortable to live in, Maximilien was not really happy. His merriest memories in his childhood were when Enjolras, Edmund, Combeferre, and Lindsey, his great aunt’s grandchildren paid him a visit. In all four, since Edmund and Lindsey were English, he met them less than the other two. He admired them. Almost envied them. He was living like a machine rather than a normal child.

Maximilien was quiet, and do more than say. He was an extremely honest child, and very loyal. People always liked him — he could easily be the teacher’s pet, however his personality made him generally quiet and humble. Showing off was really not the boy’s cup of tea. Cautious and well-mannered, he was just exactly a bragging item used by his father and grandfather.

When the boy was five, he experienced his first magic. Monsieur le Comte decided that it was time for his grandson to attend some fancy balls, though he knew that Maximilien did not like large social events. He cried hard and was really angry for not wanting to go, but was forced by his grandfather. However, when his mother tried to put on the fancy clothes for him, something strange happened — although all the outfits were made according to his height and weight, they were just too big. They tried several times, but every time the outfit became ill fitting. Finally the adults realized that it was because their heir’s magic had surfaced. They gave up, and the boy was not taken to large balls until he was six.

Stamina: 7 | Evasion: 8 | Strength: 2 | Wisdom: 9 | Arcane Power: 7 | Accuracy: 8

First Year: Lovely Creature (WC 405)

At the time Maximilien was born, he was considered handsome. It was not really a surprise, though, since his parents were all extremely good looking. Mélanie Janvaque was one of the most gorgeous girls in class in her school days, and Vincent de Fostoncy was secretly had a crush on by many students. Honestly speaking, no one in the family wasn’t good looking——from Louis to Maximilien.

Successfully inherited his mother’s eye color and hair color, the boy was fairly good looking. He had good the straight nose of the de Fostoncy family, and thin, pink lips. His eyelashes were long, and were of brown color. His mother regarded him as a doll when he was sleeping. Actually, even if the boy’s awake, he was like a gorgeous statue.

When walking on the streets in Lyon, Maximilien was looked attentively by many strangers. They stopped when he and his father passed by, and pointed at them secretly. Sometimes the boy’s ears would catch a few words like “handsome” “good looking” “lovely”. He was young at that time, and did not really take these things seriously. However his father was glad. Glad that someone had praised his son.

Attending fancy balls played a large part in the family. Louis de Fostoncy, the current count, especially loved these kinds of activities. Taking the beautiful Madame de Fostoncy, the handsome Chevalier de Fostoncy, and the young de Fostoncy heir was just extremely agreeable, since whenever and wherever the family of four showed up, they would earn applause and praises. People admired the wealthy family, but especially, envied their beauty. They dragged the young heir near them, and examined him carefully, hoping to point some flaws on his face out. However, they failed. Maximilien was too lovely to find out a flaw. If you had to point something out, you might say that he’s a bit chubby——but he was still a good looking child. The old ladies especially loved this pretty boy. They talked with him for hours, even if the boy got bored.

By the time he was eleven, Maximilien had became even more handsome. He had mostly grew his chubby cheeks out, became taller, athletic built, and was always dressed in elegant dark colored clothes. The boy was still admired and envied by many others, and the future count of the de Fostoncy family was highly estimated.

Without a doubt, Maximilien de Fostoncy was always a lovely creature.

Growing up, Maximilien had always been a perfectionist. Being stubborn, he wanted everything to be the best——which he would not regret afterwards.

From the age of four, his grandfather forced him to stay inside the house and study spells and potions for the whole morning. His father was his mentor——and to his surprise, Maximilien did everything extremely well. One day Monsieur le Chevalier taught him a difficult potion, and within hours, Maximilien could revise the recipe correctly. Vincent was surprised. But what he did not know is, after he had gave the book to the young Maximilien and left, the boy copied the recipe for seven times. It was really long, but he still did it.

Upon the time he was accepted into Beauxbatons, Maximilien was hard working student. He loved Charms and Potions, as well as Defense Against the Dark Arts. Most of his classmates had seen this boy working alone late at night in his dormitory, and many of them had seen him practicing spells in an empty classroom. The library was nearly Maximilien’s second home——he did not have many friends, so he visited there a lot during weekends.

The boy wanted everything to be perfect. He studied hard, did physical exercises everyday, and kept a healthy diet. He was proud and stubborn, so it helped him to be perfect. Day by day, he continued to study in the library and his dorm. And as a result, he improved day by day.

He received seven Os in his examination. His grandfather and father was really glad, but they still lacked knowledge of how hard Maximilien had worked. Most things were perfect——and that’s exactly what Maximilien wanted to see. He was overjoyed to see his academic results, and the boy decided that he would even study harder afterwards. He wanted himself to be the best, though he had never spoken it out loud.

When it’s the summer before his second year, Maximilien spent tons of time reading in the library in the de Fodtoncy Estate. While his grandfather was busy showing off at friends’ houses, his father busy running the wine estate, and his mother busy visiting her own maiden family, Maximilien read, and learnt. He had briefly met his cousins for two days, and all they saw was the boy was reading whenever and wherever. Maximilien loved it, and decided to do everything well.

His knowledge of spells and potions were extending every moment. It’s no surprise that he had already became a perfectionist——because, Maximilien de Fostoncy was just born as one.

Meet The 7-Year-Old Girl Who Goes Toe To Toe With George Clooney In The Midnight Sky

George Clooney's latest directorial effort, The Midnight Sky, features lots of familiar faces. Clooney himself stars in the film as a surly scientist named Augustine along with Felicity Jones, David Oyelowo, Kyle Chandler, Demián Bichir, and Tiffany Boone. But the newest face in The Midnight Sky is that of 7-year-old Caoilinn Springall. Springall plays Iris, a young girl left behind at an Arctic observatory after an unexplained planetary disaster leads everyone on Earth to evacuate. Springall's performance is mostly silent, as her character has experienced something quite traumatic. But even though she's a definite newcomer (The Midnight Sky is her first film) Springall went toe-to-toe with Clooney in a powerfully moving performance.

Streaming on Netflix beginning Dec. 23, The Midnight Sky takes place in 2049. Augustine Lofthouse (Clooney) stays behind on Earth after a devastating event leads to the evacuation of the entire planet, with humanity either launched into space or sent underground. But after a bit of time alone, Augustine discovers he wasn't the only one left behind. A little girl named Iris (Springall) has also been abandoned, and together she and Augustine must find a way to warn a returning spacecraft that the Earth is no longer a habitable place. The two venture off into the frigid Arctic to find a stronger antenna to get them the message and have to find a way to survive together.

Springall was one of hundreds who auditioned for the part, Deadline reports. "She puts to shame a lot of grown actors, including myself, who had to prepare for a scene," Clooney says. Though as Variety explains, when Springall showed up to shoot the film, she had only seen one George Clooney movie before: The Fantastic Mr. Fox.

As Springall also explains to the outlet in a joint interview with Clooney, she auditioned in London and then got the call to meet with Clooney, his producer Grant Heslov, and the casting director. "I was pretty excited and a little bit nervous. I went numb. George told me to do this important scene as Iris, and then we waited a couple of weeks. Then we got the phone call that we’ve got it, and I was jumping up and down. And then I found out that we were going to Iceland, and I was sad that I would leave my family behind, but at least I was going to Iceland."

While Springall was excited to go to Iceland, filming there wasn't without its challenges. Clooney and Springall had to shoot in blizzard conditions in a country that was only light from 11 a.m to 3 p.m. "Caoilinn had these big goggles on, wrapped up and getting blown over and knocked down to the ground," Clooney tells Variety. "We were digging ourselves into holes in the ice, and we would walk down to an ice cave. It looks like a set, but that’s a real ice cave, way down, and Caoilinn was a trooper."

Between her incredible performance and on-set professionalism, Springall surely has an exciting career ahead of her.

The National Archives Podcast September 2019
MI5 Files declassified in September 2019
Prof Christopher Andrew

The main highlight of the latest declassified MI5 documents at The National Archives is the second tranche of files on the Portland Spy-ring, which at the beginning of the 1960s marked a turning point in Cold War Russian espionage in Britain. Intelligence obtained by the KGB from the Portland Underwater Detection Establishment (the UDE) was believed by the Admiralty to have helped the Soviet Union construct a new and more silent class of submarines.

All previous post-war Russian espionage cases investigated by MI5 had been run by intelligence officers based at the KGB or GRU (military intelligence) stations, known as residencies, in London. The Portland spy-ring, however, was under the control of a deep-cover KGB illegal, Konon Molody, who posed as a Canadian businessman named Gordon Lonsdale. Lacking the diplomatic immunity which protected intelligence personnel at the KGB London residency, Molody was arrested in 1961, convicted, and sentenced to 25 years in jail.

His newly released 37-volume MI5 file, which begins at KV2/4429, contains much fascinating detail from 1960, when he first came under MI5 surveillance, to 1964, when he was freed in a so-called ‘spy swap’ and exchanged for a British citizen accused of espionage in Moscow. The file includes poignant correspondence with his wife and daughter in Russia whom he rarely saw. One of the letters from his daughter Trosha, transmitted to him by microdot, ends: ‘Daddy, we are all waiting for you.’ His wife Galya told him how much she missed him: Q ‘I see you often in my dreams!’ From time to time Galya asked him to do some shopping for her. She wrote before a New Year party: ‘I do beg of you, if you have the possibility, to send me a white brocade dress and white shoes.’ Molody was irritated by the shopping requests.

Among the most remarkable documents in Molody’s multi-volume file are the accounts of a series of interviews with him in prison by Charles Elwell, the MI5 officer who had done most to put him behind bars. The atmosphere during their meetings was often surprisingly cordial. Elwell would sometimes bring with him bags of cherries or strawberries which they enjoyed together. Molody said on one occasion that if the KGB knew, they’d conclude that Elwell had turned him.

Some of Molody’s most remarkable admissions to Elwell, though not all should be taken at face value, were about his disillusion with the KGB. His career as an illegal, Molody claimed, had been a waste of time. He now intended to put his own interests first. Molody told Elwell at their third meeting that, if his sentence was shortened and he was freed from jail and given money, a new identity and the opportunity to write best-selling memoirs, he was willing to become a British double agent collecting
intelligence from Moscow including details of its illegal intelligence operations. We shall never know whether this was a genuine offer. Though Elwell believed that, with Home Office support, he could have turned Molody into a double agent, this support was never forthcoming

Molody claimed during the interviews by Elwell that over half the approximately 300 KGB illegals were posted to the United States, with what he called ‘a fair proportion of the remainder’ in Britain. It’s easier now than it was at the time to see that some of what Molody said was misleading.

Some of the KGB illegals files whose contents were smuggled out of Russia in 1992 by the dissident KGB archivist Vasili Mitrokhin with the help of MI6 give a rather different picture. When I began work with Mitrokhin on his top-secret material, I was surprised to discover how many KGB illegals posing as Western nationals were deployed not against Western targets but in so-called PROGRESS operations against dissidents within the Soviet Bloc.

Among the examples in our book, The Mitrokhin Archive, is the suppression of the Prague Spring in 1968. More KGB illegals, posing as sympathetic Western tourists, journalists, business people and students, were sent to penetrate the reformists of the Prague Spring than were ever deployed against any Cold War target in the West. The real number of KGB illegals in the United States was a fraction of what Molody claimed.

The newly-released MI5 files at The National Archives also include those of Peter and Helen Kroger, who managed Molody’s communications hub from a bungalow in Ruislip. Their seven-volume file begins at KV2/4484. At MI5’s request, GCHQ identified the bungalow at Cranley Drive by intercepting its coded radio transmissions to and from the KGB in Moscow.
Like Molody, the Krogers were KGB illegals living under assumed names. Unlike Molody, however, they were American-born and posed as antiquarian booksellers. Only when their fingerprints were taken after their arrest did MI5 discover that their real names were Morris and Lona Cohen. Both had been Soviet agents since (and, in Morris’s case, slightly before) the Second World War. In 1969 the Cohens were freed from prison in exchange for a British lecturer imprisoned in Russia, given heroes’ welcomes in Moscow and personally awarded the Order of the Red Star by the Chairman of the KGB, Yuri Andropov, later Soviet leader. Like Kim Philby, both later had Russian postage stamps issued in their honour. Unlike Philby, Morris Cohen was also posthumously made Hero of Russia.

The main intelligence transmitted by the Cohens to Moscow from their bungalow in Ruislip came from two mercenary agents in the Portland Underwater Detection Establishment (UDE). Molody’s MI5 file reveals that he described one of the agents, Harry Houghton, as an incompetent fool who failed to operate correctly the camera he gave him to photograph classified documents. Houghton’s main importance to Molody was that he passed on intelligence from Ethel Gee, another clerk at Portland UDE, with whom Houghton was having an affair. Gee had access to more highly classified documents than he did. Both Houghton and Gee were arrested at the same time as Molody in 1961 and each sentenced to fifteen years in jail. Part of their multi-volume MI5 files were released two years ago. The newly released remainder include many letters which Houghton and Gee wrote to each other during their prison sentences. Houghton’s file begins at KV2/4476, Gee’s shorter file at KV2/4472.

In his meetings with Elwell, Molody did not reveal the identity of probably his only other British agent. It was not for another thirty years, after the escape of Vasili Mitrokhin from Russia with his top-secret archive, that MI5 discovered that at one point Molody had been the case officer of the KGB’s longest-serving British agent, Melita Norwood, who became known by the media as the ‘great-granny spy’. The two did not get on. Perhaps Norwood was repelled by signs of Molody’s high-living, womanising lifestyle. Or perhaps Molody lacked the ability to run an ideologically committed female agent. After only two months with Molody, Norwood was transferred to a new case officer from the KGB London residency.

Sources in the United States and Russia complement the MI5 files on the Portland Spy Case just released by The National Archives.

Probably the ablest of all the Soviet illegals, whose file is included in the latest release, was Arnold Deutsch, the recruiter in the mid-30s of the leading Soviet agents often known as the Cambridge Five: Kim Philby, Guy Burgess, Donald Maclean, Anthony Blunt and John Cairncross. Deutsch’s academic record was even more impressive than any of the Five. At Vienna University he had progressed in only five years from first-year undergraduate to the degree of PhD with distinction Though Deutsch’s one-volume file, KV2/4428, is patchy and duplicates some material available elsewhere in the KV series, it contains some fascinating documents. These include Philby’s account of his recruitment by Deutsch in Regent’s Park, London, in 1934, which, almost 30 years later, he gave his MI6 friend, Nicholas Elliott, just before defecting to Moscow.

As well as devising a new strategy to recruit high-flying university students, Arnold Deutsch was also involved in attempts to use the film and cinema industry to provide cover for Soviet intelligence personnel—with, as his file shows, the help of his cousin Oscar Deutsch, the millionaire owner of the Odeon cinema chain, who was probably unaware of his Soviet intelligence role. Oscar told the Home Office that Arnold had Q ‘made an intensive study of Psychology in relation to the Cinema’. Russian sources reveal that the NKVD was simultaneously penetrating Paramount Pictures in Hollywood.

The Home Office rejected Oscar Deutsch’s attempt to employ his cousin as psychologist for his Odeon cinema chain on the grounds that a suitable psychologist could be found in Britain. Early in the Second World War, the Ministry of Information requested regular reports from Oscar Deutsch on the morale of his cinema audiences. There were probably unfounded suspicions that Deutsch shared these reports with Soviet intelligence before his death from cancer in 1941 at the age of only 48.

The newly declassified MI5 files also include that of arguably the most charismatic of the leading student Communists in Cambridge in the mid-1930s, Pieter Keuneman, son of a Supreme Court Justice in Ceylon (as it then was). His five-volume file, which originated with Indian Political Intelligence, begins at KV6/147. Nowadays almost forgotten, at least in Britain, Keuneman, though nominally a socialist, became the Cambridge Union’s first Communist president as well as editor of the student magazine The Granta. His fellow Cambridge Communist, Eric Hobsbawm, called him Q ’dashing, witty and remarkably handsome’. In 1943 Keuneman became the first General Secretary of the Communist Party of Ceylon, now Sri Lanka.

Also at Cambridge in the mid-1930s was the writer Peter Kemp (file KV/4418), a contemporary of three of the Cambridge Five at Trinity College and later a member of the wartime Special Operations Executive (SOE). Kemp first came to the attention of MI5 at the age of only 16, while he was still at school, when he applied to join the Communist Party. The head of MI5, Sir Vernon Kell, asked the Chief Constable of East Sussex, Colonel Ormerod, to investigate. Ormerod told Kell that Kemp’s application was Q ’really very amusing’. Kemp had told his parents he had decided to Q ’infiltrate’ the Communist Party in order to report to the government on its nefarious activities. Kell replied that Q ’no further action of any kind will be necessary’.

Most Soviet agents within the British intelligence services, the Cambridge Five chief among them, were not discovered until after, sometimes well after, the Second World War. The main exception was Ormond Uren, an SOE staff officer, whose five-volume MI5 file begins at KV2/4467. Uren was part of a spy-ring headed by the CPGB’s national organizer, Douglas Springhall, who was sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment in July 1943 for offences under the Official Secrets Act. Though MI5 believed that Soviet agents normally broke visible contact with the Communist Party, Springhall took what MI5 called Q the ‘unusual step of using the Party apparatus for espionage’. He was, however, not a very good spy. Uren’s name was discovered by MI5 in Springhall’s diary. Like Springhall, Uren was sentenced to seven years imprisonment. He was believed to have passed on to Moscow, via Springhall, details of the whole SOE organisation. Uren claimed he was merely sharing information with a wartime ally.

The newly declassified MI5 documents also include files on two senior Labour politicians of the Clement Attlee era, who were suspected of covert contact with the British Communist Party. The back-bench MP, Konni Zilliacus, whose three-volume file begins at KV2/4415, was expelled from the Labour Party for a three-year period. It seems likely that he was briefly an undeclared member of the Communist Party. The one-volume file on the Labour cabinet minister, Emanuel ‘Manny’ Shinwell, K2/4425, concludes that, though not a Communist and Q ‘careful not to have any open association with the [Communist] Party, it is clear that he invoked Communist aid for publicity purposes in his differences with members of his own Party’.

There is no doubt that, as Prime Minister, Attlee took a personal interest in such cases. It’s usually forgotten that, at his own request, Attlee had far more private meetings with the Director-General of MI5 than any other 20th-century prime minister. Details are in the centenary history of MI5, Defence of the Realm.

Though a majority of the most significant intelligence files in the latest MI5 release relate to Soviet espionage and/or British Communism, they also cover a great variety of other topics

Among the most colourful individuals is the eccentric oil billionaire Nubar Gulbenkian, instantly recognizable by his long beard, monocle and orchid in his buttonhole, whose
business dealings and foreign connections attracted the attention of MI5. The two surviving volumes of his file begin at KV2/4426.

The most colourful of the German spies in this MI5 release is the French-born, wealthy American industrialist, Charles Bedaux, whose sinister career has generated even more sinister conspiracy theories about plots involving his connections with, among others, British royals, Hollywood actors, Adolf Hitler and leading Nazis. His incomplete, one-volume file, KV2/4412, records his arrest in North Africa while working for German intelligence in 1943, and his suicide a year later while in detention in the United States.

Unusually, the current MI5 release also includes the file of a man believed to be working for Israeli intelligence in Britain soon after the foundation of the state of Israel. Cyril Wybrow, whose two-volume file begins at KV2/3292, began his intelligence career during Second World War in British Security Intelligence Middle East (SIME), becoming Area Security Officer in Jaffa, where he narrowly avoided court martial in 1943. In 1950, while Wybrow was working for the Joint Intelligence Bureau in the War Office, an investigation concluded that he was responsible for passing top-secret SIS (MI6) reports to Israeli intelligence. He was never prosecuted, perhaps because of the sensitivity of the sources involved.

As usual, the current MI5 release contains numerous topics for both the media and historical researchers. Undergraduates seeking subjects for final-year dissertations and postgraduates looking for PhD topics will find a range of possibilities in the latest additions to the KV series, which has become a major source for British history, often providing unfamiliar perspectives on the period from the First World War to the Cold War. The National Archives have, once again, produced a very helpful short guide to the declassified files.

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