1st March 1946

Jerseyman sentenced for Nazi propaganda

Jersey-born John Lingshaw was deported during the occupation for having served in the Royal Militia from the late 1920s. He was interned in Bavaria – like anyone else who had been a member of the British armed forces or not been born in the island – but, unlike most of those who’d been shipped out with him, Lingshaw saw it as an opportunity. He offered his services to Germany.

Lingshaw takes to the air

Within six months of arriving in Germany, Lingshaw had proved his worth, and was sent from Bavaria to Berlin, where he joined German State Radio’s New British Broadcasting Service. Initially, he was employed there to teach English, but he later monitored the BBC’s output and assisted in the production of English-language content for German broadcasts.

He only lasted a little over a year, and by winter 1944 he was back at the camp in Bavaria, where he waited for the end of the war. When it came, his collaboration was discovered and in 1946 he stood trial for offences under the Defence Regulations and sentenced to five years’ penal servitude.

Political questions

His case was mentioned in the Commons on 13 March 1946 when Mont Follick, Labour MP for Loughborough, asked the attorney-general to comment on Lingshaw’s trial and sentence. The attorney-general explained that the prosecution “was undertaken after consultation with the authorities of the Island of Jersey as the Royal Court has no jurisdiction to try this type of offence”.

Jerseywoman Pearl Vardon was tried separately but simultaneously with Lingshaw, although her sentence, which was passed several days earlier, had been decidedly less severe than his.

Lingshaw died in Sheffield in 1975.


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