Jump to content


Spartacus

Attempted Murder Mystery


12 replies to this topic

#1 John Simkin

John Simkin

    Super Member

  • admin
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 16,111 posts

Posted 12 November 2009 - 12:52 PM

Here is a photograph of a group of women taken in October 1936. One of the women in the photograph tried to arrange for another one to be murdered. Any idea who and why? The date is a clue. So also is the fact that they were about to take a boat trip from Australia to a country in Europe.

#2 Len Colby

Len Colby

    Super Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 8,259 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Brazil

Posted 12 November 2009 - 01:42 PM

Here is a photograph of a group of women taken in October 1936. One of the women in the photograph tried to arrange for another one to be murdered. Any idea who and why? The date is a clue. So also is the fact that they were about to take a boat trip from Australia to a country in Europe.


My guess is that some or all of them were current or former police women.

#3 John Simkin

John Simkin

    Super Member

  • admin
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 16,111 posts

Posted 12 November 2009 - 02:52 PM

Here is a photograph of a group of women taken in October 1936. One of the women in the photograph tried to arrange for another one to be murdered. Any idea who and why? The date is a clue. So also is the fact that they were about to take a boat trip from Australia to a country in Europe.


My guess is that some or all of them were current or former police women.


No, they were nurses.

#4 Len Colby

Len Colby

    Super Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 8,259 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Brazil

Posted 12 November 2009 - 04:56 PM

Were they going to Spain?

#5 John Simkin

John Simkin

    Super Member

  • admin
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 16,111 posts

Posted 12 November 2009 - 05:29 PM

Were they going to Spain?


Yes.

#6 Len Colby

Len Colby

    Super Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 8,259 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Brazil

Posted 12 November 2009 - 06:53 PM

Is one of the women Agnes Hodgson?

#7 John Simkin

John Simkin

    Super Member

  • admin
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 16,111 posts

Posted 12 November 2009 - 07:18 PM

Is one of the women Agnes Hodgson?


Yes. She is on the far right.

#8 David Andrews

David Andrews

    Super Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1,605 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 12 November 2009 - 11:47 PM

Hard to find the murder attempt on the web - just material on Hodgson nursing in Spain.

Edited by David Andrews, 12 November 2009 - 11:51 PM.


#9 Len Colby

Len Colby

    Super Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 8,259 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Brazil

Posted 13 November 2009 - 02:08 AM

Hard to find the murder attempt on the web - just material on Hodgson nursing in Spain.


That's what I found as well. I was only able to figure out her name because it's in the file name of the photo.

Was she the intended victim or the plotter or none of the 'above'? My bet is on the former because some texts say she became disenchanted with the Communists and they began to mistrust her. In that case the plotter would have been a die-hard true believer.

#10 David Andrews

David Andrews

    Super Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1,605 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 13 November 2009 - 05:29 PM

I have some vague memory - from some publication - that a bad love affair was the cause, either rivalry for a man or a lesbian attachment.

Edited by David Andrews, 13 November 2009 - 06:50 PM.


#11 Len Colby

Len Colby

    Super Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 8,259 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Brazil

Posted 13 November 2009 - 07:54 PM

I have some vague memory - from some publication - that a bad love affair was the cause, either rivalry for a man or a lesbian attachment.


Somehow I doubt John would post this if the motive wasn't related to politics.

Any more clues John?

#12 David Andrews

David Andrews

    Super Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1,605 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 14 November 2009 - 12:19 AM

Is one of the women Agnes Hodgson?


Yes. She is on the far right.


Perhaps inadvertantly significant?

#13 John Simkin

John Simkin

    Super Member

  • admin
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 16,111 posts

Posted 14 November 2009 - 09:45 AM

I have some vague memory - from some publication - that a bad love affair was the cause, either rivalry for a man or a lesbian attachment.


Somehow I doubt John would post this if the motive wasn't related to politics.

Any more clues John?



You are very close to the answer. As you say, the subject would only interest me if it was connected to a political conspiracy.

In August 1936 the Australian Spanish Relief Committee decided to send a medical aid unit caring for Republican wounded during the Spanish Civil War. These organizations were under the control of the Communist Party of Australia (the same was true of all countries that sent aid to the Republicans in Spain. However, it was not always possible to get enough party members to volunteer.

The Australian Spanish Relief Committee sent four nurses from Australia: Agnes Hodgson, Mary Lowson, May Macfarlane and Una Wilson. Whereas three of the women were party members, Hodgson was just an "anti-fascist". Every unit had a Communist Party appointed political commissioner. Lowson held this post. It was her job to assess the political reliability of the other nurses. They were following instructions from Moscow. Remember, this was a time that Trotsky's followers were being purged from the party. The same thing was happening in all communist parties throughout the world.

In October 1936 the four nurses travelled from Sydney to Barcelona. Una Wilson told reporters shortly before sailing: "If we get captured or shot that's that. It's only a few years off your life and its better than spending all your days in a private hospital. Danger is the spice of life, that and the feeling that we'll be doing something with real meaning."

On the trip Mary Lowson quickly identified Hodgson as politically unreliable. Judith Keene has argued: "Although Agnes Hodgson had little time for Mussolini and fascism, she had been seduced by Italian culture, the warmth of Italian people, and the joys of an Italian lifestyle while living in Italy. Mary, on the other hand, was a dedicated communist committed to the long haul to the proletarian revolution."

The women arrived in Barcelona on 1st December 1936. Mary Lowson immediately informed Kenneth Sinclair-Loutit and Hugh O'Donnell, administrators for British Medical Aid, that Agnes Hodgson was a fascist who she considered was spying on behalf of the Nationalists. She was immediately called in for questioning by the Partit Socialista Unificat de Catalunya (PSUC). O'Donnell, the political commissioner of the British medical unit, was keen to take action against Hodgson. However, Sinclair-Loutit, who was a socialist student doctor, had refused to join the Communist Party of Great Britain, before leaving London. He overruled O'Donnell and did what he could to protect Hodgson from communist justice.

May Macfarlane and Una Wilson also complained to Lowson about how their colleague was being treated. They claimed they would return to Australia if anything happened to Hodgson. Writing later to the Australian Spanish Relief Committee about Lowson's behaviour, she admitted that she feared that she "would be bumped off" for speaking-up for Hodgson.

These actions saved Hodgson's life. Whereas Mary Lowson, May Macfarlane and Una Wilson travelled to the International Brigade hospital near Albacete, Hodgson was left behind in Barcelona with Sinclair-Loutit. He eventually arranged for her to work with him at the British hospital set-up at Gra˝Ún.

Agnes Hodgson survived the Spanish Civil War and died in Australia in 1984. Her diaries were published in 1988 that revealed how close she came to being eliminated in December 1936. This has been supported by research carried out by Judith Keene (The Last Mile to Huesca: An Australian Nurse in the Spanish Civil War). Other memoirs published over the last 70 years has exposed the way the communist political commissioners arranged the deaths of those they considered to be anti-Stalinists. The most famous example of this is George Orwell's "Homage to Catalonia". His experiences in Spain turned him against communism and this resulted in him writing "Animal Farm" and "1984". The main sufferers from these purges were the Americans fighting in the Abraham Lincoln Brigade. See for example, Cecil D. Eby's "Comrades and Commissars".

You can read about these Australian nurses here:

http://www.spartacus...JFKhodgsonA.htm

http://www.spartacus...k/SPlowsonM.htm

http://www.spartacus...Pmacfarlane.htm

http://www.spartacus...k/SPwilsonU.htm



Reply to this topic



  


0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users