British Military & Criminal History
1900 to 1999.
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This page briefly explains about the Tower of London's more recent inmates.
World War One
All the German spies tried and sentenced under the various Defence of the Realm regulations were held and executed by firing squad at the Tower of London. The executions took place in the miniature rifle range, which has since been demolished. Although the executions of H.P.M. Janssen and W.J.Roos took place in the Tower's ditch.
The execution site for the 1914-18 Spies and Josef Jakobs in 1941.
After his capture in Ireland, Roger Casement was held in the Tower of London while the British Government decided what to do with him. Casement was eventually tried for High Treason at the Central Criminal Court (Old Bailey) in London. He was found guilty and sentenced to death by hanging. He was later executed at Pentonville Prison, and buried in the prison graveyard (as are all executed prisoners). His remains have since been exhumed and sent to Ireland, where they were buried in Dublin's Glasnevin Cemetery.
World War Two
The Tower Of London was used during World War Two to hold several groups of German POWs.
Just after the UK declared war on 3 September 1939, the 41 crew members of the U-Boat U39, together with their captain Gerhard Glattes, were held in the Tower before being moved to the newly designated POW Collection Centre which was located at Cockfosters Camp, near Barnet.
After U 35 was sunk, the 5 officers and 38 crew that had been rescued were taken to the Tower of London, where they arrived on 3 December 1939. On 9 December 1939, the officers and their cook were moved to the POW camp at Grizedale Hall, which is located in the Lake District. The other crew members were moved during the period 9-13 December 1939 to the POW Camp 127, located at Oldham.
The officers and crew men were later moved to POW camps in Canada.
Josef Jakobs was the last person executed at The Tower of London on 15 August 1941. He was shot by a firing squad composed of soldiers from the Scots Guards.