38 Eaton Place London, England
12 September 1914 (aged 41)|
Near the River Vesle Battle of the Marne
|Buried||Braisne Communal Cemetery A3|
|Commands held||Queen's Own West Kent Yeomanry|
|Awards||Queen's South Africa Medal|
|Spouse(s)||Amy Daphne, daughter of Lt.-Colonel George Kendall Priaulx|
|Other work||Spy, solicitor|
Bertrand Stewart (December 1872 – 18 September 1914) worked as a solicitor in London and was also a military officer in the Queen's Own West Kent Yeomanry, he fought in the Second Boer War and World War I. In between the two wars he volunteered to spy on German naval actions. He was famously arrested in Germany on 2 August 1911 and sentenced to four years in prison. Stewart and another British spy, Captain Trench, were pardoned and released by the German Kaiser as a present to Ernest Augustus the Duke of Brunswick when Augustus married the Kaiser's daughter, Princess Victoria Louise of Prussia. He died fighting off a German attack near the River Vesle during the Battle of the Marne.
Stewart went to school at Eton (Durnford’s House). He then went up to Christ Church, Oxford, leaving in 1892. He was admitted as a solicitor in 1897 and joined the firm of Markby, Stewart & Co., of Coleman Street, London.
Military career and spy craft
When the Boer War started Bertrand joined the West Kent as a Private. He fought in British operations at Cape Colony, Orange River Colony, and the Transvaal. In 1906 he became an officer in the Queen's Own West Kent Yeomanry.
In 1911 Stewart volunteered to spy on Germany while pretending to be a tourist. He was arrested after receiving a code book from a turned German double agent. Stewart had accomplices but he was the only one arrested in Bremen. At the time he was trying to gain information about the defenses of the East Frisian islands and Weser estuary. Stewart was tried by the Supreme Court of the Empire at Leipzig on 31 January 1912. After four days he was found guilty and sentenced to three and a half years in the Glatz Fortress.
Stewart and another British spy, Captain Trench, were pardoned and released by the German Kaiser as a present to Ernest Augustus the Duke of Brunswick when Augustus married the Kaiser's daughter, Princess Victoria Louise of Prussia. (They married on 24 May 1913). Stewart was annoyed at his capture and sued the UK government for £12,500 for damage to his health. Some consider Stewart to have been a fantasist.
When the Great War started he was quickly given a position in the Intelligence Department on the Staff of Major General Allenby. During the Battle of the Marne in the opening months of the war his unit was facing fierce German attacks and he grabbed a rifle and went to help the men at the front lines. He was found dead by future author and member of the same unit Frederick Coleman near the River Vesle.
- Christ Church, Oxford (2014). "Bertrand Stewart". Christ Church, Oxford. Archived from the original on June 24, 2012. Retrieved September 22, 2014.
- Emmerson, Charles (2013). 1913: The World before the Great War (2013 ed.). Random House. ISBN 9781448137329. - Total pages: 544
- Reader, W. J. (1991). At Duty's Call: A Study in Obsolete Patriotism (1991 ed.). Manchester University Press. ISBN 9780719024092. - Total pages: 160
- The New Zealand Herald (21 September 1914). "Notable Names". Retrieved September 22, 2014.