How How?

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you in their naked form the timeline of Lord Haw Haw – William Joyce – for both his life and his death (formatting  curiosities included):

Let’s put it this way: it’s a lot of history for one play…

24/04/ 06 – born in Brooklyn

09 – family moves back to Galway

14 – WW1

15 – goes to Jesuit secondary school

16 – Easter Rising

17- Quentin born

Conscription imposed in Ireland, then abandoned after protests.

18 WW1  ends

General Election. Sinn Fein wins landslide victory in the 26 counties

Conservatives largest part  in Britain. They form part of Loyd George’s


19 – Sinn Fein convenes the first Dail. Westminster does not recognise it. War Of

Independence starts.

20 – Father Griffin murdered in November. William implicated.

21  – December IRA try to kill William. They warn his family that they won’t miss the 2nd time.

He flees to England, alone.

Signs up with the Worcester regiment before he leaves Ireland. Falsifies his age.

Physical description of him from their rent. records – Kenney,p76.

22 – January. Irish Free State recognised.

– March. Discharged from the Army for falsifying his age. Moves in with relatives in


– October –  Mussolini’s ‘March on Rome’ – becomes Italian PM

-William enrols at Battersea Polytechnic to study Maths and Chemistry

– November; General Election. Conservative Majority. Bonar-Law PM. Labour now 2nd


23 – Joyce family removes to England

– William drops out of Poly

– November; Beer Hall Putsch fails in Munich. Hitler imprisoned.

– December – General Election. Tories largest party but Labour Form Minority govt with           tacit support of Liberals.

– British Facisti (first GB facist group) founded. William attends meetings and is censured    for  heckling and ‘immoderate language’. They tell him they would have thrown him out   if he’d actually been a member.

– Joyce joins the Junior Imperial League (informally the conservative youth movement)

He leaves, disillusioned by Conservative acceptance of the status quo with the Irish

Free State.

24 – October British General Election. Large Tory majority. Baldwin PM

– William is slashed while stewarding a Tory Party meeting in Lambeth

– November, leaves hospital to attend Remembrance Day at the Cenotaph, collapses

and is taken  by  fellow Birbeck student Hazel Barr to her Chelsea home recover.

– Moseley joins the Labour Party

– The Joyces settle in Dulwich. William moves in.

– William enrols at Birbeck College to study English and History

26 – General Strike

– Moseley elected as a Labour MP

27  – Mussolini has dropped all pretence of democratic rule

– William graduates with a First.

– 30th April William and Hazel marry in secret

– ‘Seduces’ Mary Ogilvey,aged 16.

28   –  an active member of the Conservative Party’s Chelsea branch and  the junior Imperial   League.

– April; applies for a job at the F/O. Declares his true place of birth. They excuse that but   a damning reference from the Principal of Battersea Poly sinks him. He makes money   tutoring at Victoria college and publishes academic articles. (Kenny,Page 105)

– July. Daughter Heather is born.

29  – May;General Election. Labour in gov.t without an overall majority. Ramsay MacDonald     is PM. Moseley is junior cabinet minister.

– October; Wall Street Crash

– Arnold Leese founds the Imperial Fascist league

30 –  William is forced to resign from the Chelsea Tory part over his affair with Mary Ogilvey.

William had alienated the branch by being too strident,too anti semitic and by tryingo  turn the  junior imperial league into a military style organisation

31   – Feb; Moseley launches the New Party with six Labour MP’s , two of whom resign after

only one day and sit as Independents. New Party meetings attacked by left wing


July;  Daughter Diana born.

– General Election. Tories win over half the seats but Ramsay Macdonald remains PM

as head of a National Gov.t

32   – Communist Party membership 9000 – Historical Journal

– William on part time post grad studies at King’s College, London while still teaching

– Oct; Moseley founds the BUF

33  – Jan; Hitler becomes Chancellor

– March; Reichstag Elections – Nazis win 44%of the vote.

– April; Moseley visits Italy. He is won over to Italian style fascism as opposed to German

National Socialism. Italian money floes into the BUF.

– July; William granted for British passport. Claims to have been born in Galway.

– August; William joins the BUF. He becomes ‘Area Administrative Officer for West


– William attends the Nuremburg rally.

– National Workers Socialist Party set up in UK.

34    -Jan; ‘Hurrah for theBlackshirts!’ – Daily Mail campaign begins.

BUF Membership 40/50,000 –  contemporary Special Branch estimate.

Communist party – 5000  – Historical Journal

– William hired by Moseley as BUF Propaganda Director on £300 p/a. He pushes anti

semitism as a policy rather than Italian style corporatism which is Moseley’s theme.

– Hazel Joyce falls in love with BUF member Eric Hamilton-Piercey.

– 10th June ; BUF Rally at Olympia- “a miracle no one died” ( Pugh, 156)

12,000 audience. 5000 protestors outside. Police arrest 25

protestors and baton charge the BUF goon squad.

– 30th June; Night of the Long Knives in Germany. at least 85 dead –

possibly hundreds. 1000 arrests.

– July; Rothermere withdraws his paper’s support for the BUF

– Aug; Hitler becomes Fuhrer

– Sept; BUF rally in Hyde Park. 2500 fascists, 7000 police,100,0000 anti fascists.

18 arrests.

– October; Civil war within the BUF. Moseley expels the opposition.

Hazel pregnant. whose is it? (Needs ref)

– Nov; William ceases his PHD studies

35  – BUF membership 5000 – Special Branch

–  Jan; Hazel leaves William for Eric Piercy William voluntarily gave custody of the girls   to Hazel. William shows no hostility toward his rival throughout his BUF career.

– Feb: Margaret White attends a rally in Dumfries that William is speaking at.

Love at first sight.

– June; Baldwin replaces MacDonald as PM due to illness

Oct; General Election. Tory overall majority. Stanley Baldwin PM.

Italian Invasion of Abyssinia. BUF mounts ‘Britain should mind its own

Business’ campaign.

36  – BUF membership 15,000 – Special Branch

– William proposes to Margaret. She moves into the flat he shares with fellow fascist

John McNab – 28 Fawcett St, Chelsea. Margaret begins to work for the BUF full

time. William is writing, speaking and tutoring other fascists in rhetoric. Probably the

happiest time of his life. K,129 .

– March; Rhineland reoccupied. Edward VIII threatens to abdicate if Baldwin goes to


– April;  William instrumental in persuading Moseley to change the parry’s name to

‘British Union of Fascists and National Socialism’ – BU for short. Launches new

Peace campaign – no clash of interest between British Imperial interests and

German desire for a unified people.

– July; Spanish Civil War starts

– Oct; Battle of Cable Street

– Dec; Abdication Crisis. Moseley convinced this is his moment for a coup. The King

declines his support.

37    – BUF  close to bankruptcy despite Italian AND German funding. Moseley mortgages

his estate to finance it.

– Jan; Public Order Act bans the wearing of para military uniforms.

– Jan; Special Branch report to MI5 on growing strife within the BUF. Joyce is at

the centre of it- feels his talents are not recognised.

– Feb; William’s marriage to Hazel formally ended. 3 days later he marries Margaret.

They spend their ‘honeymoon’ canvassing for the LCC elections. Hazel weds


– March; William and fellow fascists stand in London County Council Elections.

William stood in Shoreditch.  They all lose. William feels discredited and

believes he was manoeuvred into standing by Mosely to discredit him.

-March; Mussolini informs Mosley that he is ending his subsidy of the BUF. BUF HQ staff cut from 143 to 30. William is made redundant and expelled from the movement with  John Becket.

– April; William and  former BUF (ex Labour MP) John Becket form the National Socialist  League. Membership peaks at 300.

38 – March; Anschluss

– Oct; Sudetenland occupied

39  – BUF membership 22,000 – Special Branch

– April; Spanish Republic defeated in Civil War

– Aug; Nazi-Soviet pact signed

24 Aug; William receives a tip off from an MI5 officer who was an old British Facisti

and friend. William had fed him info  previously.

– 26 August; William and Margaret  flee to Berlin

Sept; Barrington begins his commentaries on the RRG broadcasts to Britain in the

Daily Express – creating characters for the anonymous voices.

– 1st Sept; Germany invades Poland

–  3rd Sept; GB declares war on Germany

–  6th Sept William makes his first broadcast

– 14th Sept; Barrington creates  ‘Lord Haw Haw’ (K, 179) All the papers are fascinated by  the question of his identity.

– 17th Sept; Russia invades Poland

– Sept; Quentin Joyce is interned.

– Oct; William is on contract to RRG (K, P175)

– Dec; Hazel recognises William’s voice on air

40   -.Margeret begins broadcasting for RRG

– ‘Twighlight over England’ is published – 100,000 copies. Paid 10,000 Marks.

– William is earning 1200 marks a month – twice as much as any other propaganda star.

–  Feb; Margaret meets Nicky von Besack – german broadcaster for the English service

–   Feb;  William’s father dies.

– 26th Sept; William and Margaret become German citizens

-William has 6 million regular GB listeners and 18 million occasional ones.

– BUF is banned outright after stand in 3 by elections ’39-’40. Candidates polled a max of  max of 500 votes. 740 fascists interned during the war.

41     Jan; William tours POW camps to recruit brit broadcasters. POW’s spot the voice.

– March; Lend Lease Act

– April; William identifies himself  as Haw Haw.

– Spring; Margaret moves out at William’s request due to her affair. Divorce

proceedings commence.

– 22nd June; Germany invades Russia (same date as Napoleon) K,229

– Aug 9th Roosevelt and Churchill meet for first time

– 24th  William and Margaret divorced. She moves in with Nicky Von Besack

– 7th December; Pearl Harbour

42   –  Jan; Wannsee Conference

– Feb; Fall of Singapore. Japan overruns Brit empire in far east. K245

William and Margaret remarry.

– May; Goebbels decides new propaganda tactics required for GB. William too

trenchant and sarcastic in his delivery.

‘Lord Haw Haw’ no longer featured as a character in the British press.

RAF’s first 1000 bomber raid, on Cologne.

–  June; William appointed Chief Commentator for England on 1500 Marks p/m plus

5000 Christmas bonus

– Sept; Honeymoon in Norway

Oct; El Alamein “The end of the Beginning”

– Nov; John Amery makes his debut on RRG . K247

43   – Jan; Amery ceases broadcasting. Despite his declining ratings, William has seen off

his last serious rival.

– Feb: German 6th Army surrenders at Stalingrad

– March; Heavy RAF  and USAAF raids on Berlin begin. William and Margaret are

shuttle between  Berlin and Luxembourg from now on.

– July; Hamburg ‘firestorm’ raid.

– Quentin released from Detention.

– July/August; Battle of Kursk. Germans on the defensive from now on.

– Sept; Allies invade Italy. Fall of Mussolini.

44  – Feb; Nicky von Besack marries  Fraulein von Kutz.

– June; D-Day .

As the Allies move through France Luxembourg ceases to be a safe

base for the Joyces.

– Aug; Soviets at the outskirts of Warsaw

– Sept; Western Allies at the German border.

William joins the Volksturm

– William receives the War Merit medal 1st Class. Margaret gets a gong too.

Nov; William and Margaret issued with papers in the name of ‘Hansen’

Dec; Battle of the Bulge – last German offensive in the West.

45 – Jan; Russians take Warsaw

William involved in fight with air raid warden. Charged with ‘sub treason’.

– Feb; American air raid destroys all papers relating to the case.

– March; Allies cross the Rhine. Russia cracks German resistance in Western Poland.

– 15th March; The Joyces leave Berlin for Apen, NW Germany near Dutch border.

William burns his Volksturm uniform

– April; The Joyces flee Apen for Hamburg before it is captured.

– 30th April;  Hitler commits suicide.

William makes his final broadcast. “Heil Hitler & Farewell”.

The Joyces leave Hamburg before it is captured. Go to Flensburg.

– May; William and Margaret go to Denmark, looking for passage to Sweden but fail.

They rent a cottage in  village of Kupfermuhle as the ‘Hansens’.

– 6th May; Wynford Vaughan-Thomas broadcasts from William’s last studio and on his  wavelength. He starts with “Germany calling, Germany calling” and proceeds              to lambast William. Next day another broadcaster describes the devastation                          in Hamburg.

– 5th May; Surrender of German forces in N/W Europe (VE day 8th/9th May)

– 28th May; William arrested by Lt. Perry and Capt. Lickorish. Perry shoots William

as he reaches for his fake I/D, thinking he’s going for a gun.

– 17th Sept; Trial starts

– 20th Sept; Jury finds Joyce guilty after 3 minutes deliberation

– 30th Oct; Appeal hearing starts. After just over a week it is rejected.

– Nuremburg Trial starts

– 15th Dec; House of Lords Appeal. on the 18th 4 Law Lords dismiss the appeal with one

Lord dissenting

– 19th Dec; John Amery hanged

46  – 3rd Jan; William hanged in HMP Wandsworth

– 4th Theodore Schurche hanged.

–  Oct; Nuremburg Executions

48  – Jan; Margaret released from internment camp in Germany. Her application to live in

Eire is ‘lost’. She settle in Germany for a while.

72 – Margaret dies

76 – Williams remains are exhumed from prison and reburied in the protestant section of

the Galway New Cemetery. A Catholic mass celebrated for the event.

89 – Quentin dies

So…best to start at the beginning. Or maybe the end?