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Ronald Selkirk Panton

Article about: Hi Guys, Today I was looking through the papers in the folder that was left for us about our house build in 1901. Among photo´s, old deed´s etc, I was very surprised to find copies of an old

  1. #1

    Default Ronald Selkirk Panton

    Hi Guys,

    Today I was looking through the papers in the folder that was left for us about our house build in 1901.
    Among photo´s, old deed´s etc, I was very surprised to find copies of an old police report dated 1940 and a later newspaper article about my house.
    When the war broke out the occupying German forces detained British war reporters and one of them, R.Selkirk Panton was interned in my house for a short period!!

    I did a quick search on him, but unfortunately I could not find a photo of him. Apparently he was a very significant journalist.
    This is was I found:

    Selkirk Panton was a Daily Express journalist who covered Berlin, like Louis Lochner and William Shirer, for twelve years. His papers are in the National Library of Australia. Attached to the British Second Army HQ, he witnessed the events just after Himmlers death in May 1945.

    Ronald Selkirk Panton, born in Sydney, was for 22 years the chief foreign correspondent for the London Daily Express in Germany and Central Europe and later wrote on foreign affairs for the Sydney Sun. He was interned in the German prison camp Store Grundet in Denmark from 1940 to 1944, and was the only Australian journalist present at the Nuremberg war crimes trials 1945-1946, witnessing and recording the executions of the convicted.

    If anyone knows where to find a photo of him, I would be very thankful.

    KR

    Karsten

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Ronald Selkirk Panton

    Hi Karsten,

    I am Ronald Panton's granddaughter - my husband was googling him and we found this thread.

    In fact a historian at the University of Western Australia recently wrote her thesis on my grandfather.

    He was in Denmark for most of WWII, and was interned with his wife. Natasha who gave birth to my father in 1940, in Store Grundet.

    I'd be happy to send you a photo. By the way, are you Karsten, Nina's son? I know my grandfather knew a doctor and his wife, Nina in Denmark and they had a son, either Karsten or Karsen.

    Regards,

    Pamela

    Quote by Karsten S View Post
    Hi Guys,

    Today I was looking through the papers in the folder that was left for us about our house build in 1901.
    Among photo´s, old deed´s etc, I was very surprised to find copies of an old police report dated 1940 and a later newspaper article about my house.
    When the war broke out the occupying German forces detained British war reporters and one of them, R.Selkirk Panton was interned in my house for a short period!!

    I did a quick search on him, but unfortunately I could not find a photo of him. Apparently he was a very significant journalist.
    This is was I found:

    Selkirk Panton was a Daily Express journalist who covered Berlin, like Louis Lochner and William Shirer, for twelve years. His papers are in the National Library of Australia. Attached to the British Second Army HQ, he witnessed the events just after Himmlers death in May 1945.

    Ronald Selkirk Panton, born in Sydney, was for 22 years the chief foreign correspondent for the London Daily Express in Germany and Central Europe and later wrote on foreign affairs for the Sydney Sun. He was interned in the German prison camp Store Grundet in Denmark from 1940 to 1944, and was the only Australian journalist present at the Nuremberg war crimes trials 1945-1946, witnessing and recording the executions of the convicted.

    If anyone knows where to find a photo of him, I would be very thankful.

    KR

    Karsten

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Ronald Selkirk Panton

    Very interesting.
    What happened after his internment?
    Some sources (reliable or not) claim, that Panton was at Lüneburger Heide and interviewed soldiers after Himmlers suicide.
    (BTW I visited a museum in Denmark - they have Himmlers eyepatch there).

  4. #4

    Default Re: Ronald Selkirk Panton

    Hi Pamela,

    What a pleasant and surprising thing to find a family member of Mr. Selkirk Panton.
    I have copies of a lot of the letters he wrote when he lived in my house and later in his other internment at "Grunden"
    All I have of photo´s is this very bad copy, where Mr Selkirk is holding his little baby, inside my house.

    I have written a private message with my email enclosed.

    The internet is truly amazing sometimes.

    KR

    Karsten

    bogoe.jpg

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Ronald Selkirk Panton

    The internet truly is amazing!

    I'm in the middle of a hectic Easter weekend, but I will take the time to write soon and share some more information on Ronald Panton Snr (my father was called Ronald too).

    After his internment, he was released early in prisoner exchange, and joined the US armed forces as they liberated Germany. He wrote an article where he claims he helped ID Himmler's body - where or not he was the one to actually ID it, or was just in the same place and possibly saw it, I do not know.

    Karsten -I will reply privately and dig up some photos for you

  6. #6

    Default Re: Ronald Selkirk Panton

    Panton_Hald_1.jpgHi Pamela & Karsten,
    I have for some time collected details of British citizens interned in Denmark during WW2 and have copies of several documents relating to this subject. Ronald together with 4 other journalist were interned April 1940 on Bogø and later transferred to the camp at Hald nr. Viborg and 1942 to Store Grundet at Vejle.
    While at Hald the internees had a camp newspaper called “OUTPOST”. The editor was Anthony F. Mann from the “Daily Telegraph”. I 1941 a special edition was issued with the information of Mrs Panton arriving at the camp.
    Karsten, I was very interested in hearing about Ronald being in your house and would very much like to have a copy of the police report. I would like to know if you have any covers/letters written by Ronald from the camp at Hald.
    Pamela, great news to have a descendant of Ronald. Would it be possible to have a copy of the thesis on your grandfather?
    Attachment 359924
    Last edited by Gunnar Peter Jessen; 06-16-2012 at 03:51 PM.

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    Default Re: Ronald Selkirk Panton

    Hi Gunnar,

    How interesting! I have a fair few photos that were taken by Anthony Mann, of my father when he was young. It was not a bad life, especially in Store Grundet, and they put on little plays and parties, even had a (secret?) radio, maps and a little newspaper. They got on well with their Danish guards, and my father's middle name 'Jens' (Ronald Nicholas Charles Jens Selkirk Panton) was in fact after the superintendent of Store Grudent.

    In regards to the thesis I will have to ask the University - I do have a digital copy as well as a bound edition, but I'm not sure whether it would breach copyright to distribute it on the internet.

    In the mean time here is some information on my grandfather:
    A lengthy and in depth thesis was written on Selkirk Panton by a phD student at the University of Western Australia: ‘R.Selkirk Panton, an Australian in Berlin: a foreign correspondent for the Daily Express in Europe, 1929 – 1950’ by Marianne Hicks, 2005.

    I have attached a digital copy, for you to look at, but it is quite long!

    So I will tell you a little more about my grandfather, Ronald Charles Selkirk Panton, in summary.

    He was from Sydney, Australia born on May 11, 1907. His father was a journalist too. He left school at 14 and began work as an office boy and then as an employee. In 1925 he left for England with his brother, Noel.

    After some time there he left for Holland and then Berlin, where he was employed by the Berlitz Language School to teach English, where he taught for two years.

    He entered the media world when he was employed by the Daily Express as correspondent assistant to Sefton Delmer in 1929, and over the years he moved up the ranks to become Correspondent for South Eastern Europe at one time.

    He was stationed in Berlin, Vienna and Copenhagen (the latter during late August 1939 to April 1940.) He travelled all over Europe and covered the major events of the period, including the decline of the Weimar Republic and rise of Nazi regime.

    He married Russian Natasha (Natalia) Snessarev on April 12, 1930, and she became pregnant in 1939. After leaving Germany for the safety of Denmark in 1939, he attempted to leave, with other ex-pats in 1940 just before the German invasion but missed the last boat, due partly to his wife’s pregnancy.

    He was interned as a civilian detainee in (Hald? Internment camp)in April before being moved to Store Grundet, where his wife and her mother joined him, and she gave birth to Ronald Nicholas Charles Jens Selkirk Panton (my father) on April 22, 1940.

    Their life there was not so bad – I have many pics from inside the Camp and my father remembered it as a happy time in his childhood.

    They were released early on a prisoner exchange, shortly before the end of the war, and my grandfather returned to post-war Germany to report, also travelling with allied soldiers as they liberated towns from Nazi rule.

    My dad was sent to boarding school in England while Ronald Panton Snr continued to report in Europe, with a residence in Italy and Berlin.

    He covered the Nuremberg trials among other things.

    Around 1950 my grandparents divorced and my grandfather was having increasingly turbulent professional life, due in part to the ugly divorce, that divided colleagues leading to a brawl that saw him expelled from the British Press Club. He also drank a lot.

    He was sent to Japan to report on the Korean War and then he quit (or was fired) from his job in 1952.

    He went back to London, where he married his lover, Katarin Pugh and collected my father, taking both Katarin, her daughter and his son to Australia, without his ex-wife’s knowledge or permission.

    He and Katarin later divorced, then he remarried an Australian woman who later died. In the early 1970’s he married Nina Colverwell, a Danish woman he knew at the internment camp (and with whom he was rumoured to have had an affair at the time.) Funnily enough her son from when she was married (but rumoured to be fathered by my grandfather) was called Karsten.

    He died on June 1, 1975. He died before my parents married, so I never met him.

    My parents married five years later and I am the eldest of three children, with two younger brothers.

    My father passed away in 2009. I married in 2010 which is why I am no longer a Panton!

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    Default Re: Ronald Selkirk Panton


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    Default Re: Ronald Selkirk Panton

    Hi Karsten and Pamela,

    I came upon this thread by chance, and it brought back treasured memories of time spent with Natasha Selkirk Panton in Italy during the 1960's. After I left Italy, she told me that she went to Perth, Australia, to meet her son, after which she returned to Italy and then finally to Orel in Russia.

    Mrs. Panton, as she still called herself in Italy, was a journalist in her own right and was an objective and yet passionate observer and reporter of everything around her. She spoke much about her own life, from childhood in Russia, through youth and marriage in Europe, to retirement in the Soviet Union - in peace, revolution and war. To this day, I feel privileged to have known such a remarkable lady.
    Last edited by harold; 01-23-2013 at 10:23 AM.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Ronald Selkirk Panton

    Hi Harold

    Thank you so much for sharing your memories and contributing to the story of a very special person.

    KR

    Karsten

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