29 June 1915 - WW1 Blog - Jersey Heritage

The official States’ Analyst recently became involved in efforts to identify enemy spies in the Island. Mr Toms was asked to examine a letter sent by a German national that is believed to contain a secret message.


The official States’ Analyst recently became involved in efforts to identify enemy spies in the Island. Mr Toms was asked to examine a letter sent by a German national that is believed to contain a secret message.

Since just after the outbreak of war, it has been standard practice to intercept all letters sent and received by Jersey’s Enemy Aliens. The small community of Germans living in the Island are of course aware of this, leading to a growing concern that some may be using secret codes to avoid detection. 

One letter in particular, sent by a Mr A. Thielemann, has been subject to considerable scrutiny. The Censor, Colonel Bishop, was certain that it included some form of code and may have a message written in invisible ink.

Yet Mr Toms has found no evidence to support this, suggesting instead that marks and indents on the letter are purely coincidental. He also suggested that attempts by the Censor to rub carbon paper on the letter had made it more difficult to obtain any relevant results. On the next occasion, his report noted, send any suspicious letters straight to the Analyst.