1942: Duncan Scott-Ford, because loose lips sink ships

On this date in 1942, British merchant sailor Duncan Scott-Ford was hanged at London’s Wandsworth Prison for giving German agents sensitive information about ship movements.

This, of course, was just the sort of thing everyone was trying to discourage.

… and a version to keep young soldiers on the pull Mata Hari-conscious:

For a case that so handily underscored the posters, the Scott-Ford affair made great copy … but not until a day after the hanging itself. Having kept everything secret, the papers were finally allowed on Nov. 4 to announce

that a British subject was executed for treachery at Wandsworth Prison yesterday morning.

Scott-Ford was paid 1,800 escudos by the enemy. This sum, which in English currency is equivalent only to about £18, was all that Scott-Ford in fact received from the enemy, though promises were held out to him which lured him deeper and deeper into the blackmailing clutches of the enemy. Thus when Scott-Ford returned on his second visit to Lisbon with the information which he had collected the Germans, instead of honouring their promises, threatened that they would expose him to the British authorities unless he continued to perform further services, to collect more valuable information and to undergo greater risks in their interest.

Some of the information which Scott-Ford gave to the enemy related to his own ship, and thus imperilled the lives of his own shipmates.

The moral to be drawn from this case is that British and allied seamen when visiting neutral ports should be constantly on their guard against strangers who may frequently approach them for apparently innocent purposes. Such strangers are apt to be enemy agents … (London Times, Nov. 4, 1942)


On this day..

3 thoughts on “1942: Duncan Scott-Ford, because loose lips sink ships

  1. Lets not forget a proportion of the 88,000 who died from the Covid virus through the inaction,dubious and misleading statements and general incompetence of Governor Perry and his staff.

  2. Pingback: Loose Lips Sink Ships - United Wingnut | United Wingnut

  3. Pingback: The American Spectator : The Spectacle Blog : Loose Lips Sink Ships

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