The Right Club – pro-Nazi British 5th Column
The leader of this little band of fascist adventurers was an MP called Archibald Ramsay. Originally a Scottish Unionist MP, but from 1930 onwards he had developed an anti-Semitic view. During this period he became an outspoken opponent of supporters to the left wing cause during the Spanish Civil War, often blaming Soviet intervention for all manner of things. He was a staunch British patriot in perverted ways but then so was Hitler for Germany. Archibald Ramsay had very flawed views as far as a lot of British people were concerned and could not gain any voice in Parliament – any voice of note that is. As the thirties decade progressed and the inevitable war drew close, Archibald Ramsay formed his Right Club with his little group of, perhaps, self-indulgent people who thought along the same lines.
This group of die hard nonconformists waded into alcoves of the establishment - poking and prodding about for avenues of help concerning their twisted ambition. Whilst the British government did not take them seriously; The Right Club stumbled upon a few fine finds and almost brought about a calamity that could have shook the British government to the core and may have isolated the UK in her fight against Germany. This would have led to an event destroying the American President Roosevelt’s ability to push through a lend lease program for Britain to continue the war against Germany and eventually lead to the USA entering the war on Britain’s side against Germany.
In October of 1939, the US Embassy in London saw the arrival from Moscow of a new cypher clerk known as Tyler Gatewood Kent. He was a 28-year-old who had been moved from Moscow and there seems to have been some controversy surrounding the man even then. He began frequenting the Russian Tea Rooms in London where he met Anna Wolkoff, the daughter of a White Russian Admiral exiled in London after the Bolshevik revolution. She was a member of The Right Club and also spying for Nazi Germany. She began an affair with Tyler Kent and persuaded him to help the cause of The Right Club led by Archibald Ramsay who was sympathetic to the aims of Germany. By now Britain was at war with Germany and the subversive Brits were still hoping to find a peace with Germany. They knew the U.S. Government was sympathetic to Britain and France in their stand against Hitler’s National Socialist Germany and needed to find ways of stopping the growing support that President Roosevelt might promote over time. If they could find a way of enhancing scepticism among the voting U.S. public, perhaps Britain might become isolated and starved into peace negotiations with Germany, thus allowing Britain to develop its own National Socialist regime after the Wartime Government fell.
Tyler Kent was recruited to the cause and in essence was now also working for a pro-Nazi Brit organisation against his U.S. government’s interests and that of the United Kingdom’s established wartime government. As the cypher clerk, he was privy to all secret correspondence between UK and USA. These important documents, he was able to take to The Right Club where Archibald Ramsay was allowed to sift through them, at his leisure, looking for ways of quickening his country’s exit from the war and becoming in tune with Germany. It should be noted that some think Tyler Kent may have already been working for Soviet Communists and was trying to infiltrate pro-Nazi organisations pretending to have anti-Semitic beliefs. There is something of an enigma about Tyler Kent.
Maxwell Knight – British MI5 Agent
All during the 1920s and 1930s, Britain was in the grip of various new political organisations, from right wing fascists known as Blackshirts and led by Oswald Mosley – plus there were communist inspired trade unions trying to promote all sorts of radical new ideas for Britain. Many of these organisations were infiltrated by British MI5. Head of MI5, Vernon Kell had put a man called Maxwell Knight in charge of infiltrating these subversive groups in the UK. Maxwell Knight had been monitoring The Right Club’s activities and knew that British MP Archibald Ramsay was the secret head of this group. He had three women inside the organisation that were secret MI5 agents and through these field agents, he began to gather intelligence. The ladies were Joan Miller, Marjorie Amor, and Helen de Munk.
JoanMiller worked alongside Anna Wolkoff and very close to Archibald Ramsay who had no idea one of his most trusted helpers was an MI5 agent. Miller and Marjorie Amor discovered that Anna Wolkoff was gathering UK/US secret cyphers from Tyler Kent and then passing it to an Italian Naval attaché who would pass the information to Rome and from there to Berlin. Because the contacts belonged to Joan Miller, Anna Wolkoff would need to come to her to use Italian contacts to pass information via Rome to Berlin.
Maxwell Knight decided to set a trap by using infiltrators to approach Anna Wolkoff in stages at the Russian tea rooms. It was an MI5 agent pretending to be the dedicated British Fascist party member of Black Shirts which was led by Oswald Mosley. The infiltrator was, in fact, a real member of the Black Shirts in all official terms and was friends with William Joyce (Lord Haw Haw) who was by now in Germany broadcasting Nazi propaganda for the National Socialist cause and a British traitor. This posing Black Shirt was also working for MI5 as a spy. If Maxwell Knight could find documents or evidence of a British MP liaising with a known traitor, he could expose all subversive elements in British society including MP Archibald Ramsay. Anna Wolkoff took the message and once again went to Joan Miller with a request to use Italian agents for a message via Rome to Berlin and William Joyce (Lord Haw Haw). Knowing for certain that Anna Wolkoff and Archibald Ramsay were traitors; Maxwell got an agent named Guy Liddell to visit the U.S. Ambassador Joseph Kennedy to ask him to waver Tyler Kent’s diplomatic immunity so that MI5 and Special Branch could raid his apartment and arrest him. The urgency of this was made clear to Joseph Kennedy and he agreed to give the British secret service a free hand.
MI5raided Tyler Kent’s place and found him in bed with a young lady. The young American cypher clerk was caught quite literally with his trousers down. Inside a cupboard, they found a case containing almost 2,000 files, among them a plea from Winston Churchill to President Roosevelt asking for 50 American ships to be handed over to Britain in her efforts to win the Atlantic War which was beginning in earnest as the German Wolf packs went against the shipping lanes. If this document had been exposed it would have caused a political embarrassment for the U.S. government and would have caused U.S. public opinion to go against their President taking sides in a war that Americans did not, at this time, want to get involved in. This would have left Britain isolated as France fell and the British Army were driven out of mainland Europe for the next four years. Also within Tyler Kent’s case was a book containing the list of all members of the Right Club meticulously logged by MP Archibald Ramsay.
Winston Churchill had just come to power after Chamberlin had resigned and he had no hesitation in addressing the issue of the subversive elements – no matter how futile they might seem. The Right Club had been underestimated by the government, but not MI5. The British Government would become much more alert in future.
Tyler Kent and Anna Walkoff were charged under the official secrets act. Anna Walkoff got 10 years while Tyler Kent got 7 years. Archibald Ramsay was not charged but was interned in Brixton prison under a defence regulation act, throughout the remainder of the war.
This was a major win for MI5 but things did run very close to the wire. In later years it was claimed the Ian Fleming (James Bond writer) based his character Mon Maxwell Knight. He carried on his work for MI5 and was a naturalist who wrote books. Joan Miller who was one of his successful agents claimed he was homosexual. He died in 1968 age 67.
Archibald Ramsay was to remain in prison throughout the war. He tried to take the New York Times Newspaper to court for running a story on him giving information to the Germans via Dublin, Ireland. He was able to win his case in court against the New York Times, but all the judge awarded him was a farthing in damages. That is less than a nickel in the U.S. He was also liable for the court costs that were very hefty. The New York Times people must have been laughing at such sweet defeat. He died in 1955 age 60.
Anna Walkoff was released from prison in 1947 after her British naturalisation was revoked because she was guilty of spying for Germany. She was killed in a car crash in Spain in 1973. The friend driving the car was another member of The Right Wing Club – Britain’s main subversive anti-Semitic and pro-Nazi force.
Tyler Kent, the young American Cipher was released from prison and deported back to the USA after the war. He got a newspaper running and became linked to the KluKlux Klan. Although he was seen as a right-wing political activist; his own nation’s security service FBI, believed he was a Soviet sympathiser. He had been made to leave Moscow in 1939 under some suspicion. The Soviets liked to recruit western traitors that appeared Right Wing in their political views so there could be some merit in this. He died a poor man in 1988 in a Texas trailer park.