Oswald John Job, 58, was the Bromley-born son of German parents, and since 1911 he had lived in Paris. When France was occupied by the Germans in 1940 he was detained by the Nazi authorities and sent to a number of internment camps, the last at St. Denis where he spent three years. As he had grown up in Britain he could speak fluent English, and when this came to the attention of his captors they realised he could be useful. He was approached by the German secret service and agreed to go to Britain as a spy, with orders to send his information in letters written in invisible ink.
The letters were to be addressed to his fellow-former internees at St. Denis, and were to be sent in the names of their friends and relatives in England. Neither the internees nor their relatives and friends were to be aware of the use that was being made of their names, and the letters would be intercepted by the German authorities at the camp and passed to the secret service. Job was also supplied with a code in which he was to receive instructions from his Nazi masters.
German agents escorted him to the Spanish frontier, and on November 1st, 1943, he arrived in the UK by air from Lisbon, posing as a British subject who had escaped from German custody in France.
The British authorities were suspicious. Secret writing material was found concealed in the hollows of keys in Jobs possession, and after several sessions of interrogation he admitted that his escape had been arranged by the Germans, and that his mission had been to supply them with information about bomb damage and the British publics morale.
Under the Treachery Act 1940 he was charged with entering the United Kingdom with intent to assist an enemy, and at his trial, held in camera at the Old Bailey, he claimed he had accepted the Germans offer merely as a means of escape and had no intention of spying.
His initial persistent denial of any connection with the German secret service negated his story, however. He was convicted and sentenced to death on what Mr. Justice Stable described as the clearest possible evidence, and on MARCH 16th, 1944, Job was hanged at Pentonville by Albert Pierrepoint, assisted by Harry Kirk.