BALLIOL OLD BOYS AND OTHER DISTINGUISHED GENTS by Donal Kennedy


Somewhere amongst my souvenirs is  A LYING LETTER  dated May 1981 from the then Managing Editor of THE TIMES, John Grant, an alumnus of Balliol College, Oxford and former Guards Officer. He died some years ago and can’t sue for libel.

On 9 November 2015 in this space I posed the Question – “IS DOMINIC SANDBROOK A GREAT MAN?”  following his dismissal of Eamon de Valera as a “twisted political dwarf” in a review appearing under his name in THE SUNDAY TIMES. Like the late John Grant of THE TIMES, Sandbrook is a distinguished alumnus of Balliol College.

On  24th March 2015, in THE SUNDAY TIMES, Mr Sandbrook reviewed  “The Patient Assassin – a true tale of Massacre, Revenge and the Raj” by Anita Anand. It is about Udam Singh,,who in 1940 in London shot dead Sir Michael O’Dwyer, a very distinguished Balliol Old Boy. O’Dwyer had been Lieutenant Governor of the Punjab at the time of the April 13th 1919 Amritsar Massacre , “The day following the massacre” records Sandbrook,” British planes flew over another Punjabi city, Gujanwala, machine-gunning a crowd of protesters. Elsewhere, schoolchildren were whipped at random, civilians were forced to prostrate themselves before white men, and boys were tied to ‘flogging triangles’, where they were given 30 lashes.”  At the time Germany had no warplanes, and it was 17 years before Italy used similar tactics in Abyssinia (with British approval) and before the Nazis bombed Guernica.

Like Frank Foley of M16, the distinguished collaborator with the Nazis in Horst Wessel Haus in 1933, Michael O’Dwyer had been schooled by the Jesuits. He was a farmer’s son from Tipperary.

In April 1919 Dail Eireann decreed that the Royal Irish Constabulary should be ostracised.

The cosy collusion of the British Establishment with the Nazis lasted even after the invasion of Poland, when Sir Norman Kendall, Assistant Commissioner of London’s Metropolitan Police cancelled an official visit to Germany, where he was scheduled to hear a lecture by Reinhard Heydrich on policing methods, and tour the Dachau facilities – “I am more sorry than I can tell you how I miss seeing you, and all my other friends” he wrote to Heydrich’s deputy.

Heydrich was a very well educated and very cultured gentleman and a fine violinist – and the architect of the Final Solution of the Jewish Problem.

Kendall was also virulently anti-Semitic.

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