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British Free Corps leaflet.

Article about: I guess this is not quite the right place to post such a leaflet but I was unsure where it should be posted. I was unaware I had it till yesterday when I found it inside the front cover of a

  1. #11
    CBH
    CBH is offline
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    I'm so glad to see it is real , the title made think it would be a E-bay fake .
    Not many BFC items exist , great to see a real item .
    Any chance the leaflet was for local recruitment ?

  2. #12

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    There would have been no recruitment what so ever for the BFC in the Channel Islands

    I am pretty certain its come back to the Islands from one of the camps. They recruited within Internment camps and POW camps throughout Germany

  3. #13

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    Interesting piece of history. I can well understand the difficulty of recruiting British troops to the TR 'flag' when to even a blind man, at that time the war was drawing to a close.

  4. #14
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    Incidentally, two members of the BFC, John Leister and Eric Pleasants were in Jersey when they fell into German hands in 1940. They weren't Channel Islanders but had been sent there as agricultural workers. Both men had declared themselves pacifists and went to the island as part of a Peace Pledge Union scheme to supply agricultural workers. They were gaoled by the Germans for stealing petrol as part of an escape plan. They were sent to Dijon to serve their sentences and then were interned as enemy civilians at the camp at Kreuzberg. From there they managed to convince their captors they were merchant seamen and were sent to the POW camp Marlag/Milag. It was there that they were recruited to the BFC, in May 1944. Although Pleasants had been a member of the British Union of Fascists (BUF) and Leister was of German ancestry they both claimed that their motivation was to get better rations and living conditions than in the camp.

    Pleasants mentions in his memoir that the leaflets were hung in bundles in the latrine and that - ironically - there was 'no better place for undisturbed contemplation of any tract'. This use will also explain why this particular leaflet is so rare!

    Philip

  5. #15

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    Quote by DrPMC View Post
    Incidentally, two members of the BFC, John Leister and Eric Pleasants were in Jersey when they fell into German hands in 1940. They weren't Channel Islanders but had been sent there as agricultural workers. Both men had declared themselves pacifists and went to the island as part of a Peace Pledge Union scheme to supply agricultural workers. They were gaoled by the Germans for stealing petrol as part of an escape plan. They were sent to Dijon to serve their sentences and then were interned as enemy civilians at the camp at Kreuzberg. From there they managed to convince their captors they were merchant seamen and were sent to the POW camp Marlag/Milag. It was there that they were recruited to the BFC, in May 1944. Although Pleasants had been a member of the British Union of Fascists (BUF) and Leister was of German ancestry they both claimed that their motivation was to get better rations and living conditions than in the camp.

    Pleasants mentions in his memoir that the leaflets were hung in bundles in the latrine and that - ironically - there was 'no better place for undisturbed contemplation of any tract'. This use will also explain why this particular leaflet is so rare!

    Philip
    Wasn't Eric Pleasants actually in the Merchant Navy and awol on Jersey when the Islands were occupied ?

    Its interesting that Eddie Chapman ghost wrote his autobiography I believe

    Damien may have some information on Eddie Chapman perhaps...

  6. #16
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    Quote by HistoryMan View Post
    Wasn't Eric Pleasants actually in the Merchant Navy and awol on Jersey when the Islands were occupied ?
    I based my post on a quick reference to Adrian Weale's Renegades: Hitler's Englishmen (2002) and the later version of Pleasants memoirs Hitler's Bastard (2003). Weale used the released MI5 files (KV) so is presumably as reliable a source as is available. Undoubtedly Pleasants' memoirs benefited from the help of various 'professional' writers but there doesn't seem to be any reason to doubt that their substance originated with him. I recall talking in the mid 1990s to a colleague who had borrowed a manuscript from him and photocopied it. Incidentally, that academic recalled that Pleasants, although by then an old man, was still physically impressive - he'd been a boxer and circus strongman in his youth.

    Philip

  7. #17

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    Quote by DrPMC View Post
    I based my post on a quick reference to Adrian Weale's Renegades: Hitler's Englishmen (2002) and the later version of Pleasants memoirs Hitler's Bastard (2003). Weale used the released MI5 files (KV) so is presumably as reliable a source as is available. Undoubtedly Pleasants' memoirs benefited from the help of various 'professional' writers but there doesn't seem to be any reason to doubt that their substance originated with him. I recall talking in the mid 1990s to a colleague who had borrowed a manuscript from him and photocopied it. Incidentally, that academic recalled that Pleasants, although by then an old man, was still physically impressive - he'd been a boxer and circus strongman in his youth.

    Philip
    Thanks for the info Philip, I have just ordered a copy of the book, Hitler's Bastard, should be an interesting read !

    Cheers

  8. #18

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    very rare item, nice to see !!

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