Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Lord and Lady Haw Haw: William Joyce and Margaret Joyce

The street sign for Nelson Street, Denton Holme, Carlisle, Cumbria. It was on this street, at Number 63, that Manchester-born Margaret Cairns White (later Joyce) lived between 1915 and 1936.

Margaret White, usually known by those who knew her in Carlisle as Margot, attended the Carlisle County High School for Girls. Her father worked at the nearby Morton Sundour Fabrics textile mill. Margot also worked at the same textile mill for some time. A recent book by Nigel Farndale tells the story of Margaret and her husband William Joyce.

As a young woman, Margot White joined the British Union of Fascists (BUF). She became a regular speaker for the BUF to the crowds of shoppers outside Carlisle Market Hall and in nearby towns and villages. In 1935, Margot was part of a BUF delegation that went to one of the party's rallies at Dumfries and met one of the speakers for the first time. This was the American-born Irishman called William Joyce. This meeting would lead to Margot becoming the second Mrs William Joyce.

In 1939, just before war broke out, William and Margot Joyce travelled to Germany and began making English language propoganda broadcasts for German radio. They became known as 'Lord and Lady Haw Haw' earning a certain notoriety for alleged traitorous statements. Margot's voice was recognised by many people who had known her in and around Carlisle. William Joyce was executed at the end of the war. Margot remarried and passed away in 1972 at the age of 60. Unsurprisingly, there is nothing on Nelson Street at Carlisle - or outside Carlisle Old Town Hall- to commemorate the fact that Margot Joyce (née White) once lived in the city. Many people now living in Carlisle have probably never heard of her, or her husband William Joyce.

Futher reading: Nigel Farndale (2005), 'Haw Haw: The Tragedy of William and Margaret Joyce', Macmillan, London (ISBN 0333 98992 9)

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Blogger ritsonvaljos said...

I sometimes go along Nelson Street when I am in Carlisle and took this photograph a few weeks ago. When I asked some of my friends if they had heard of Magaret White none of them knew of her, although they had heard of Lord Haw Haw (William Joyce).

Carlisle is rather prouder of its connections with the WW1 American President Woodrow Wilson, whose mother was born in the city. President Wilson stayed in Carlisle in 1919 immediately before going to the Versailles Conference where he made a proposal based on 14 Points for a 'League of Nations'.

Wednesday, 28 March, 2007  
Blogger Tomcann said...

Didn't do much good for the peace in the world when they studiously ignored Haille Selassie of Abyssinia in his pleas for help in the Italian Invasion of his country, in which the Desert Army under Wavell had to send the 4th Indian Div down there after Beda Fomm to sort out the Duke of Aosta's army - at the same time as we had to send the New Zealanders into Greece for that debacle. Rommel had a ball and wiped out 2nd Armoured Div in three days ! The League of Nations were as effective as their successors - the UN !
A more effective President was George Washingtom who was atually born not far from Frank's Stockton- little place called Washington on the road from Newcastle to Middlebrough....

Thursday, 12 April, 2007  

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