Norman Baillie-Stewart

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Norman Baillie-Stewart
Born (1909-01-15)15 January 1909
London
Died 7 June 1966(1966-06-07) (aged 57)
Dublin
Nationality British
Education Bedford School
Alma mater Royal Military College, Sandhurst
Occupation
  • British Army officer, Seaforth Highlanders
Parent(s)
  • Lieutenant Colonel Cron Hope Baillie Wright
  • Elsie Beatrice Stewart (born 12 Jan 1878)

Norman Baillie-Stewart (15 January 1909 – 7 June 1966) was a British army officer known as 'The Officer in the Tower' when he was imprisoned in the Tower of London. An active sympathizer of Nazi Germany, he took part in German-produced propaganda broadcasts and is known as one of the men associated with the nickname 'Lord Haw-Haw'. His mother's side of the family had a Scottish connection and Baillie-Stewart joined the Seaforth Highlanders.

Early life

Norman Baillie Stewart Wright was born in Willesden, North-west London on 15 January 1909. For many generations back his ancestors had served as distinguished army and navy officers. His father was Colonel Hope Baillie Wright of the Indian Army's 67th Punjab Regiment. His mother, Miss Elsie Beatrice Stewart, was daughter of General Hopton Scott Stewart (1842–1903) of the Hyderabad Cavalry. The couple were married on 21 January 1901.

The last of his mother's direct male line with the Stewart family was her only brother, Captain Christopher Codrington Stewart, who died in 1915 during the Great War. In 1928, in honour of his uncle, Norman changed his name by deed poll from Norman Baillie Stewart Wright to Norman Baillie-Stewart.

He was educated at Bedford, one of the oldest and best public schools in England.

Military career

When Baillie-Stewart decided to pursue a career in the Army he was adamant that nothing but a Highland regiment would suffice. 'Ancestors of mine had been in Highland regiments and I felt it was my duty to follow them', he said.[1]

He served as a captain in the Seaforth Highlanders.

'The Officer in the Tower'

Baillie-Stewart's military career came to a fateful end after he was caught offering to sell classified information to the Germans. In 1933 he was held in the Tower of London, before being court-martialled under the Official Secrets Act and sentenced to five years’ penal servitude.

Nazi propaganda broadcasting

Some time after his release he gained German citizenship. After criticising the quality of Berlin’s English-language broadcasts he was invited for a voice test and, in August 1939, given a three-week trail as an announcer.

References

  1. Baillie-Stewart, The Officer in the Tower, Leslie Frewin, 1967, 16.