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THE EARL MOUNTBATTEN OF BURMA 1900-79

 

The 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma (1900-79) was born H.S.H. Prince Louis Francis Albert Victor Nicholas of Battenberg, but despite his original German titles and ancestry, he was British and a great-grandson of Queen Victoria. Amongst other things, he was Supreme Allied Commander, South East Asia Command 1943–46, the last Viceroy of India in 1947, the first governor-general of independent India 1947–48,  First Sea Lord 1954-59 and Chief of the Defence Staff 1959-1965. He was also the much-loved uncle of Queen Elizabeth II’s husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, and the great-uncle, godfather and “grandfather I never had” of their son Prince Charles, and an important and influential figure in both their boyhoods.

On 27 August 1979, he was murdered, together with one of his twin 14-year-old grandsons and a local Irish boy of 15 they had befriended, by the Irish Republican Army through the detonation of a bomb on his boat.

He was married for thirty-eight years, but admitted “Edwina and I spent all our married lives getting into other people's beds,”[1] and had several long-standing and openly-conducted love affairs with beautiful young women.  The present article is concerned with claims that “Lord Mountbottom”, as he was known by some, was also sexually active with boys, with a preference for those aged 13-14.

Prince Louis of Battenberg, soon to be Mountbatten, in 1916

All but one of these claims were made after the moral panic about child sexuality took hold in the mid-1980s, which would normally put them beyond the remit of this website because of the special problems they pose. These include the practical impossibility of objective discussion in mainstream discourse where anything but an extremely negative portrayal of sexual relations between men and boys is taboo[2], the catastrophically damaging effects that such allegations have on a man’s reputation in an age when Greek love is so unreservedly reviled, the money and acclaim to be won through publishing such claims, especially when they pander to the public’s salacious appetite for new stories that appear to justify its prejudices, and the money offered by governments to individuals, often from poor and deprived backgrounds, able to win recognition as sexual victims. To this poisonous brew can be added further incentives to invent in the case of Mountbatten, such as the hope of damaging the British royal family or “establishment”, or of excusing the atrocity that ended his life.[3]

This article is therefore exceptional for this website and would not have been written but for the one claim made in 1944, which lends a credence to the others they would not otherwise have. Given the website’s policy of trying to be exhaustive in its inclusion of all original information on the topics it covers, some wild stories from disreputable sources have to be included here, and it should be emphasised that no suggestion is being made that they should be equally, or, in many cases, at all, believed.

Almost all the males with whom Mountbatten is said to have been sexually involved were boys or young men. Most of the latter were servicemen whose ages were not given, but though they were likely in their late teens, one claim has also been made that he had an affair with a man as old as his thirties. A line has had to be drawn for the purposes of this article, which is accordingly limited to Mountbatten’s sexual interest in males described as boys or stated to have been under seventeen.

The editor of this webpage feels it would be wrong to neglect to mention at all an article which he chanced to read soon after it was published in about 1997, but cannot presently trace, which struck him at the time as the single most compelling indication that Mountbatten was fond of boys in the Greek sense. It was published in a magazine focussed on British high society, possibly Tatler, and was an interview of an elderly homosexual London man of Irish ancestry recalling his days as a boy actor aged 14 in the West End in about the thirties, when he said he had been sexually active with a number of men admirers. He made a point of refusing to be specific about anyone whom he had slept with, but mentioned tête-à-tête dinners with a charming Mountbatten. The editor would be most grateful to anyone who can identify this article.

Further important information from closed archives may be forthcoming in the years to come on Mountbatten’s sexual activity with boys (or indeed lack of interest in them, though that is less likely as there would be much less reason for the archive-holders to withhold such documents).[4] 

 

The claims of Lady Decies to the F. B. I.

Lady Decies in the robes she wore at George VI's coronation, 1937

Claims made in 1944 apparently with respect to then recent years.

Elizabeth "Bessie" Wharton de la Poer Beresford, Lady Decies, (1868-1944), was, despite her Irish title acquired as recently as 1936 through a third marriage, an American socialite and author, née Drexler. Her claims made to the American Federal Bureau of Investigation in 1944,[5] of which a photocopy is given below, are much the most important because they were the only ones made in Mountbatten’s lifetime and the only ones not made with the expectation of creating a public sensation.

Though her memoir, Turn of the World (1937) includes a photo of herself on her presentation at court in 1931 and a chapter about her attendance at the coronation of George VI in 1937, her marriage to Lord Decies took place in Paris, where she remained until 1941, when she moved to New York for the rest of her life, so the claim in the document which follows that she was “an intimate” of both the Queens of the day looks exaggerated at best. However, any information to the contrary would be gratefully received as of great importance since the credibility of all the claims of Mountbatten’s sexual interest in boys hangs to a significant degree on how truly well-informed Lady Decies likely was. Also very interesting would be insights into why she told the F.B.I. what she did. Despite what the latter commented, some motive is surely inevitable, whether that motive was a well-meaning one (such as trying to pre-empt a man being given international responsibilities she believed him unfit for) or corrupt (such as to satisfy a concealed grudge)?

 

 

The claims of Norman Nield

Claims made in 1987 with respect to 1942-43.

Norman Nield was Mountbatten’s driver in 1942-3, who decided forty-four years later to tell what he had witnessed of his commander’s sexual behaviour. His account appeared in an article written “by Ian Dougall in Melbourne” in the tabloid magazine Truth, published on 8 September 1987 in New Zealand, where Nield was then living.

The following includes in their own words everything that Nield told Dougall, and everything Dougall wrote, except that some repetitions have been deleted and the revelations have been reordered in order to present Nield’s story as a chronologically coherent narrative. A few of the journalist’s one- or two-word tabloid-style headings designed for attention-grabbing rather than organisation of information have been removed. The odd word interpolated for the sake of grammar (but never into direct speech) has been put in square brackets. The article in its original format can be read on https://forums.richieallen.co.uk/archive/index.php?thread-1206.html

Mountbatten: The war hero who preyed on boys

The Queen's uncle, Lord Louis Mountbatten, was a "boy lover" who dressed his young victims in baby clothing before sexually molesting them. This is the sensational claim made by a former naval rating who was the admiral's personal driver during World War II. He claims the much-respected war hero and member of the Royal Family was a "sexual deviate" who preyed on young boys to fulfil his bizarre sexual fantasies.

Mountbatten and his nephew, Prince Philip, at Darmstadt, 1937, as depicted in The Crown (2016)


Prince Charles' favourite "Uncle Dickie" - murdered at age 79 by the IRA in 1979 - used his power and position to abuse his victims - boys aged between 8 and 12 -according to Hanmer Springs[6] motel owner Norman Nield who worked for Mountbatten in 1942-43. Then a naval rating, Nield said he was ordered to take young boys who had been procured for the admiral to his official residence in Lord Mountbatten's Humber car.

Nield, 65, claims the admiral, who his close staff referred to as L.L., paid him five pounds a week to reward his silence and discretion. A princely sum for a humble rating then on pay of 3s 6d - 36 cents a day.

Lord Mountbatten used brandy and lemonade to help seduce his young victims, Nield claims. "On several occasions I had to take it to him in his room at the house when he was with a boy," he said.

At the time Nield was on Lord Mountbatten's personal staff, the admiral was living in a large house at Fareham, Hampshire, near Portsmouth.[7] Nield was at first an assistant to homosexual Chief Petty Officer Birch, known as “Twig”. Twig did not drive, so if there were errands to be run the young stoker drove the chief in the admiral’s car.

Several times the two went to Southampton to meet Barbara Harris, either in a pub called The Cricketers or another - The Horse and Groom. Ten years previously Harris achieved notoriety in a sex scandal involving a clergyman who was unfrocked for associating with prostitutes and later eaten by a lion.

The Horse and Grroom in Southampton, a known venue for whores and homosexuals

Twig, claims Nield, was required by L.L.[8] to negotiate with Barbara Harris about the procurement of boys. A few days later Nield would drive with the chief to Bursledon, in East Sussex. There they would meet Harris, driven there in the taxi she owned by a homosexual known to them as "Seed". Harris would have a boy with her - usually a different one each time - aged from about 8 to 12.

She and the child would then ride in the Humber Super Snipe to the admiral's house, leaving “Seed” to wait in Bursledon. On their arrival they would be met by L.L., alone in the house. Harris would hand over the boy to L.L., who would take him into a room. She and the two ratings would wait in separate rooms. Within an hour they would return to Bursledon from where the boy would be taken home.

“I later became aware of the fact that Twig and Seed were lovers,” Nield said.

In 1943 Twig, who had served in World War I, died of cancer and Nield took over his role. There were more meetings with Harris in Southampton, followed by the same routine with a boy. 

“Barbara Harris always brought some clothing like that for a baby girl but outsize - large enough, in fact, for one of these boys to wear,” Nield said. “Obviously it had been specially made and she would hand it to L.L. with the boy.

“In the beginning I didn't see what went on in the room but didn't have to be a genius to guess what was going on.

"On one occasion I walked in on him and he had a semi-naked boy sitting on his knees. It didn't really shock me at this stage but L.L. was taken by surprise. He ordered me from the room and there was a fuss but next day things were back to normal.

Mountbatten inspecting sailors, February 1942

“The boys, always very quiet and withdrawn, never appeared distressed afterwards. I was embarrassed and kept out of it as much as I possibly could. We had no unnecessary discussions about it even among ourselves. I was paid my five pounds each week by Twig until he died when Lord Mountbatten would pay me 20 pounds a month himself. That was the only part of the business I liked, but I was a very junior rating - so what could I do?"

Nield claims the link between Lord Mountbatten and Harris was London's fashionable wartime Pink Petal Club. “L.L. was a close friend of Noel Coward, who was also a patron of the club. Barbara Harris, through her notoriety in the early sex scandal, became friendly with L.L. and was a well-known face at the club,” he said.

It all ceased when the admiral was taken ill. [9]  On his recovery late in 1943, he went to southeast Asia as a supreme commander of Allied forces.


[Attitudes to Mountbatten’s behaviour at the time]


Nield said his attitude towards Lord Mountbatten changed when he learned more and more about his sexual deviations. “I soon learned he was a sex monster of the worst kind. As I found out more and more about his sexual behaviour I privately became disgusted with him,” he said.

“Twig warned me to be most careful about what I heard and saw. He said I was picked for the job because they believed I would be discreet. He later told me that L.L. was under a lot of pressure and released his tensions with his fondness for young boys dressed as small girls. He also told me that L.L. engaged in sex with men or even girls if they were youthful enough. He told me that L.L. was confused sexually and that I was being paid very well to keep my mouth shut.

“L.L. often paid me additional lump sums of money. Sometimes it was 40 pounds and on one occasion I received 100 pounds as hush money. L.L. was a very generous man. At the time I suppose I respected him. All I could think of was the extra money.

“But as time moved on I began to realise what sort of man he was. He might have been a war hero and loved by the British people but he was a very sick individual. However, I was powerless to change anything so I kept my mouth shut and was forced to go along with it.

Mountbatten standing by Sir Hastings Ismay & behind Chur-chill & Roosevelt at the Casablanca Conference, January 1943

“In addition to the many perks from L.L. he once gave Twig two rings, one a gold sovereign ring and the other a signet ring. L.L. told Twig that one of the rings was for me for my loyal service. L.L. later told me the sovereign ring was a gift to him from the then Duke of Kent but it was too big for him to wear. He said the Duke of Kent won the ring in a wager.” Nield still wears the ring today.

“Most of the time L.L. was a charming bloke. He was a snob at heart but loved being recognised and people bowing and saluting,” Nield says.

He claims Lord Mountbatten was in poor health during much of the time he worked for him. “He had lost a lot of weight and was taking medication. He often took something from a bottle. It wasn't alcohol but what ever it was it changed him and kept him going. It certainly wasn't Disprin. After taking it he became more talkative. L.L. would swig it from a bottle when we were on the road.

“Barbara Harris often spoke of her knowledge of the kinky antics of L.L. with the boys dressed as girls. She was loyal to him but hated the brandy and lemonade used by L.L. on the boys during sex sessions. She also couldn't understand why L.L. didn't have sex with adult males if that was his kink. She was pretty broad-minded and had many homosexual friends.


Teenage girls for 'sandwich treatment'

Lord Louis Mountbatten's bizarre sex life included four-in-a-bed romps with teenage girls and a notorious prostitute. The sex antics took place at his home and on one occasion ended when he was robbed by one of his guests.

His former driver, Norman Nield, claims Lord Mountbatten asked him to arrange with Barbara Harris to bring two teenage girls with her to his home.

“He told me Barbara could come to the house by taxi and bring two girls,” he said. “I met her at the Horse and Groom hotel and found her busy buying pints of beer and cigarettes for her heroes (British servicemen). “I delivered L.L.'s order and was quite amused by her reaction. ‘Oh, he wants the sandwich treatment does he?’”

Admiral Lord Louis Mountbatten at his desk, 1943

Nield said he bought drinks and drove back to Lord Mountbatten’s home to wait for Barbara Harris, another conspirator, Seed, and the two young girls. “The taxi arrived with the group and Seed was, as usual, drunk. Seed immediately began drinking with Barbara,” Nield said.

“L.L.'s condition had heightened from when I had left him earlier in the evening. He disappeared to his bedroom followed by the two girls. They were 17 and 18,” Nield said. “They soon discovered he wasn't interested in sex. Later Barbara went to the bedroom and got into bed with them but also failed to arouse him and with her vast and professional knowledge declared him unfit for ‘the sandwich treatment.’ Hilarious.

“By this time Seed had gone to sleep. Everything was like Twig’s description of the boss’ party. (Twig was Nield’s superior officer and linked to the conspiracy). Within half an hour all three women reappeared and Barbara announced she could not wake L.L. up.

“Because of the talking and giggling from the girls Seed woke up and wanted to know what the giggling was about and when told he decided to investigate.

“He was soon followed by Barbara and as she entered the room a row started between Barbara and Seed. She caught him emptying L.L.'s wallet. The noise had aroused L.L. and he immediately sized up the situation and told me to clear the lot from the house. Barbara stayed behind to apologise. She was very upset and L.L. ended up consoling her.

“When I managed to clear the house and see the taxi leave the grounds I returned to L.L.’s bedroom. He announced that Seed had taken all the cash and luckily, I had 40 pounds and L.L.’s cheque book had not been taken.

“Police were not called in because of the delicate situation. L.L’s briefcase had been hidden but it did occur to me that the type of work and importance of papers he carried made our situations very dangerous if someone other than Seed had been in the party. That person might have other priorities.”


[Police Investigation]

But in 1945, as the war was ending, the police began making inquiries.

Barbara Harris’ taxi driver, Seed, had told police of Lord Mountbatten’s sexual practices when he was arrested for drunken driving and found to be in possession of drugs and counterfeit money. “In an attempt to get off the charges he told them of how young boys were procured by Harris and taken to L.L.’s home for sex sessions,” Nield said.

Seed was also charged with passing counterfeit bank notes.

“I was implicated in the police investigations because I had been seen drinking with him earlier that night,” Nield said. During interrogation, police learned of his role in ferrying young boys to Bursledon and the admiral's waiting Humber [and] tried to probe Lord Mountbatten’s alleged involvement with young boys.

Mountbatten descended from a Humber motor-car

He said: “Things got messy and the following day the police arrived at HMS Westcliff asking for me. “They told the commanding officer they wanted to see the naval rating seen drinking with Seed. I confirmed to the C.O. that I had been drinking with Seed and that he was a crook I had met at Southampton.

“I took great care not to mention Lord Louis. I was then questioned again by the C.O. who then refused to allow me to be questioned by the police until he read my personal file.

“By the following day Seed had been charged with additional charges including changing counterfeit notes. A Royal Navy officer had attended court to hear the charges and Seed had apparently refused to talk about anything at all except what he knew about Lord Louis.

“This caused great panic at HMS Westcliff. It was obvious they wanted to ask the right questions but feared the answers. Eventually I was called into the C.O.’s office and he dismissed the other officers present. He told me he realised I was hiding the truth and he realised I had a good reason. I also believed he was in a difficult spot.

“He said that he had spoken to the admiralty in London and they had told him that they did not want to be involved and to keep the matter local

“It was here that I told him of my involvement with Seed and Barbara Harris and how I had been brought into the whole affair by Royal Navy direction. I told him about Twig and Lord Louis and I told him I preferred not to go into the seamier side of what I knew of L.L.'s private life.

“He realised my position and immediately apologised for the difficulties I had been pushed into. Before leaving the C.O.’s office he had asked me not to go outside HMS Westcliff until he spoke to me again. He said it would be wiser not to be picked up by the police. He later told me he had spoken to the police and told them that he wished the case be dropped for ‘sensitive’ reasons.

“I was given 10 days’ leave and told to report to HMS Tullchewan at the side of Loch Lomond and not to return to Southend-on-Sea and it was recommended I be given an early release from the Navy. That was the end of the whole sorry saga but it still haunts me today.”


[Aftermath]

Nield emigrated to New Zealand after World War II and served in the Royal New Zealand Air Force before becoming a successful businessman. His decision to reveal a secret kept for more than 40 years was prompted, he said, by former MI5 man Peter Wright’s book, Spycatcher, which the British Government had tried to suppress. “When I saw what all the fuss was about I realised I had a better story to tell,” Nield said.

Nield said another reason he decided to go public was because of the sudden death of his wife four weeks ago. “She was against me going public because she feared I would be torn into the scandal and branded a homosexual,” he said. “But now that she is gone I decided to set the record straight and tell the real story of the so-called war hero.”

“I enjoyed the experience of being connected to such a famous person. I enjoyed the extra cash every week when everyone else was always broke. But in retrospect I assess L.L. in a very different way today. Now I only have disgust for him.

“This is another reason I want to tell the story and set the record straight. I've felt guilty about it for more than 40 years. It has troubled me for a long time. I realise it will shatter the legend surrounding a national war hero, but I don’t think he deserves any sympathy.

“He took enormous risks and was really a monster when it came to the young boys. When I look back on my time with L.L. I often think of what his behaviour did to his victims.”

Nield lives in Hanmer Springs with his only son, John, 40.

 

The claims in NOW

Claims made in 1989-90 with respect to 1977-79.

NOW was a monthly Dublin-based magazine. Presented here are one entire article in it and extracts from a second, both by its editor, Frank Doherty.

I

The following was published in the October 1989 issue of NOW (Volume 1, No.4, page 37).

Nicholas Knatchbull (1964-79), murdered with his grandfather, Mountbatten

‘Royal’ uncle ‘Lord’ Louis Mountbatten was killed because of his homosexuality, according to Irish Republican sources; ‘Lord’ Mountbatten died in August 1979 when his boat was blown up at Mullaghamore, County Sligo, by the Provisional IRA. A book to be published in Britain next month by a former British Intelligence Officer will give details of ‘Lord’ Mountbatten’s gay life and claim that he was a risk to British State security; but, ironically, ‘Lord’ Mountbatten proved to be a bigger threat to his own security. It was his liaisons with three young Irish boys which led to his assassination – it was information obtained indirectly from one of the boys which drew the attention of the IRA to ‘Lord’ Mountbatten’s presence in Ireland. The same source provided details about his movements.

‘Lord’ Mountbatten regularly slipped away from his Irish Special Branch guards for homosexual encounters. The IRA had expected his cabin cruiser to be used for such a meeting with a teenage boy on the day he died. They planted a radio-controlled bomb in the engine compartment on the boat, killing Mountbatten and three others, including a 15-year-old Enniskillen boy; the bombing brought widespread condemnation and an immediate crack-down on the IRA on both sides of the Border. It came on the same day as 18 British Paratroopers were killed at Narrow Water, near Warrenpoint, County Down, in an IRA double ambush. The new book, ‘The Greatest Treason’ by Richard Deacon, claims that Mountbatten passed secret information to the Russians; Deacon, whose real name is Donal McCormick, is an ex-intelligence Officer who was a close friend of the former head of the British Secret Service, ‘Sir’ Maurice Oldfield. Author ‘Richard Deacon'(/Donal McCormick) quotes an unnamed former CIA Officer as saying – “What we could never understand was how Mountbatten, a known homosexual and therefore a security risk, managed to achieve the kind of promotion and jobs he got….” ‘Deacon’ says – “It was known inside the (British) Navy long before World War Two that he was a homosexual, sometimes even risking such conduct in his cabin when at sea….” The author describes ‘Lord’ Mountbatten as “… devious and egotistical.”

Mountbatten (left) with his family at Classiebawn on the boat on which four of them were murdered (together with a local boy)

The IRA bomb was detonated from a car parked on the shore as ‘Lord’ Mountbatten sailed past a couple of hundred feet away: a pulse-coded transmitter of a type not used before was brought in from South Armagh because the IRA believed that British security officers may have fitted ECM (Electronic Counter-Measure) equipment in Classiebawn Castle which would have prematurely detonated any radio-bomb they attempted to plant. The IRA spent nearly two months setting-up the assassination, relying on information from ‘Lord’ Mountbatten’s homosexual contacts to track his movements. Mountbatten was an uncle of both (British) ‘Queen’ Elizabeth and her husband, ‘Prince’ Phillip, and was interested in what homosexuals call ‘the rough trade’ and liked to have ‘contacts’ with ‘working-class’ youths.[10] He was particularly attracted to boys in their early teens and it was this characteristic which made him especially vulnerable to the IRA, because he needed to slip away from his personal bodyguards to keep dates with such boys, some of whom came in contact with IRA men. His vice habit was similar to that of the former British Secret Service Chief, ‘Sir’ Maurice Oldfield, who was appointed ‘Ulster (sic) Security Co-Ordinator’ by Margaret Thatcher in the wake of the Mountbatten assassination. ‘Sir’ Maurice also slipped away from his ‘personal protection detail’ – a team of handpicked, plain-clothes British ‘Royal’ Military Policemen – on various occasions while he was living in Stormont House, beside Stormont Castle in Belfast. But a plan by the IRA to kill him during one such expedition into County Down failed when he was unexpectedly moved back to London.

 

II

Doherty’s second article on the subject was published in the April 1990 issue of NOW.

His source for the first of the two extracts presented from it here was Robert “Robin” Harbinson Bryans (1928-2005), a Northern Irish writer, who was warned by the police he would be prosecuted for criminal libel for his allegations about Kincora boys’ home. He had already had damages for libel awarded against him for other allegations of homosexuality he made and been imprisoned for contempt of court during the proceedings.[11]

MOUNTBATTEN WAS PART OF A GAY RING WHICH WAS LINKED WITH KINCORA

Kincora Boys' Home, Belfast

[Robin Bryans] claimed that leading British establishment figures were in a vice ring which abused boys from the notorious Kincora Home in East Belfast […] that the late Lord Louis Mountbatten, Captain Peter Montgomery, a former intelligence officer from Northern Ireland, Sir Anthony Blunt, the infamous homosexual MI5 traitor, and Peter England, a senior member of the British Secret Service (M16), who served undercover at Stormont in the 1970s, were members of an old boy network which held gay orgies in country houses and castles on both sides of the Irish Border. [pp. 13-14 …]

Mountbatten was a great one for boys in the first year of public school, like at Portora Royal, which was thirteen and fourteen. [p. 16] 

 

Further Claim by Robin Bryans

Claim in 1989 with respect to 1977.

See the foregoing introduction to Robin Bryans, also known as Robert Harbinson, who repeated NOW’s first accusation of Mountbatten in a private letter of 3 November 1989 to A. K. Seedhar,[12] claiming:

Kincora and Portora Boys’ Schools were used as homosexual brothels by many prominent figures, including Lord Mountbatten, James Molyneux …

 

Claims of ‘Sean’ and ‘Amal’

Claims made in 2019 with respect to 1977.

The source here is interviews of these two old Kincora Boys’ Home residents with Andrew Lownie, author of The Mountbattens (2019):

The Now Magazine articles and Robin Bryans’ claims were dismissed, but now a new person has come forward, who is using a pseudonym. ‘Sean’ was 16 years old when he says he was driven from the Kincora Boys Home in Belfast to Classiebawn in the summer of 1977. As the men who had brought them waited outside, ‘Sean’ remembers being taken into a darkened room where he was joined by:

 a man who undressed me and then gave me oral sex. I was there about an hour. He spoke quietly and tried to make me feel comfortable. He was one of those men who wanted attention, wanted you to chase him . . . I think he felt some shame. He said very sadly, ‘I hate these feelings.’ He seemed a sad and lonely person. I think the darkened room was all about denial . . . He grabbed my hand and put it on his chest . . . I only recognised who he was when I saw on the news that Lord Mountbatten had been killed.[13]

Another 16-year-old boy from Kincora, who is using a pseudonym, remembers being brought to Mullaghmore during the summer of 1977. ‘Amal’ says he met Mountbatten four times that summer on a day trip from Belfast. Each time the encounter, lasting an hour, took place in a suite at a hotel by the harbour about 15 minutes from Classiebawn.[14] ‘Amal’ remembered:

He was very polite, very nice. I knew he was someone important. He asked if I wanted a drink or candy. He told me he liked dark-skinned people especially Sri Lankan people as they were very friendly and very good-looking. I remember he admired my smooth skin. We gave each other oral sex in a 69 position. He was very tender and I felt comfortable about it. It seemed very natural. I know that several other boys from Kincora were brought to him on other occasions.[15]

 

Claims by Village

Claims made in 2019 with respect to 1977.

Village describes itself as “Ireland’s political and cultural magazine”, and is a left-wing current affairs magazine published in Dublin. Presented here are extracts from an article by Joseph de Burca published in it on 18 August 2019, building on previous reports about Mountbatten’s purported involvement with the boys of Kincora Boys’ Home.  Most of the article was copied from the passages in Andrew Lownie’s The Mountbattens, quoted above, and what follows here should be read as a mere supplement to that, repetition of Lownie having been excised.

Lownie was denied access to certain Irish state files on Mountbatten

During his research for his book, Lownie tried to gain access to certain State files including Garda files about Mountbatten.  One senior Garda who is now dead told Village  a number of years ago that he had heard disturbing rumours about Mountbatten sexual activities before he was killed.

Another Garda intelligence source says that he had heard stories that while he had been living in India, Mountbatten had access to a 14 year old boy.

[…]

The Provisional IRA was aware Mountbatten was a paedophile

The Provisional IRA knew that Mountbatten was a paedophile. This information played no part in their decision to target him. A plot was hatched to kill him in 1975 but it did not proceed. […]

Joseph Mains, the man who trafficked boys to Classiebawn

Joseph Mains

The man responsible for trafficking the boys to Classiebawn was Joseph Mains, the Warden of Kincora. Two of the boys referred to in Lownie’s book did not wish for their names to appear in print in connection with Mountbatten and Lownie has respected this. A third boy died in November 1977 and is also not named. Village is fully aware of all of their names and will respect the desire of the two living boys to remain anonymous. Village is also aware of some additional information which does not appear in the book. The most significant additional piece of information is about the boy who committed suicide. His name was Stephen Waring.

Steven Waring, the boy who committed suicide

Mountbatten abused these boys during his summer vacations at Classiebawn in August of 1977. Mountbatten always visited his castle there in August. Steven Waring was in Kincora at the time. He committed suicide within a few months of the visit to Co. Sligo.  He had escaped from Kincora and made it as far as Liverpool where he was captured and put back on the Belfast-Liverpool Monarch Ferry from which he plunged into the sea in November of 1977. Waring had been put in a part of the ship which should have prevented him from gaining access to the part of it from where he plunged to his death. A witness – a British solider – was reputed to have said that he was very drunk at the time of his fall. His body was never recovered. No autopsy has ever taken place. The RUC later concluded that his death was unconnected with the acknowledged wrongdoing at Kincora.

The abuse of ‘Sean’

The abuse suffered by Steven Waring and his friend – called ‘Sean’ by Lownie – took place in a building adjacent to Classiebawn Castle.

Waring and  ‘Sean’  knew they were being taken to the Republic of Ireland because Mains, who was sitting in the front of the vehicle, turned around and told them that they had crossed the Border.

While the mainstream British media is happy to report on the FBI files and the Ron Perk’s revelations, and much more besides, they have completely ignored the revelations on Kincora in the book.[16] Equally, they have ignored the story of yet another boy who was ensnared in the wider Anglo-Irish Vice Ring of which Kincora was a part. (See the section on the third boy, ‘Amal’ in the section below.)

[…]

Classiebawn Castle

Village has also spoken to ‘Sean’ who told us that he recalled noticing a ‘weird castle’ in the distance as they neared their final destination. This is in fact a very good description of what the building looks like as it is approached.[17] He also recalls that Mountbatten had a butler with a toupee who attended upon them before Mountbatten took Waring away first. He also recalled that there was an oar hung on the wall of the room in which he was kept.

The abuse of ‘Amal’

[…] While ‘Amal’ was taken to Belfast and may indeed have visited Kincora, and certainly mixed with at least one Kincora boy, he was not a resident – certainly not a long term one – at the home.

 

The claim of Joseph Chetcuti

Mountbatten with his great-nephew, Prince Charles, in Malta, 1954

Claim made, apparently in 2019, with respect to 1948-54.

Joseph Carmel Chetcuti, was the author of Queer Mediterranean Memories (2009), a book of reminiscences about homosexual life in Malta.  Mountbatten was stationed in Malta at various times during his career, but Chetcuti’s reminiscence presumably relates to the period Mountbatten was stationed in Malta between 1948 and 1954.

“All I know is that [Mountbatten] used to go horse-riding and give young teenage boys a ride on the horse in Marsa… he used to hold them very close to him.”[18]

 

The claims of Anthony Daly

Claims made in 2019 with respect to 1945 and later.

Tom Driberg, M.P., in 1941

Anthony Daly was a male prostitute to the rich and famous during the 1970s and wrote a memoir about his experiences, The Abuse of Power. He was close to the Labour M.P. Tom Driberg, who visited Mountbatten at Kandy in Ceylon in 1945, besides picking up other gossip about Mountbatten from his social circle. He reported as follows on 22-24 February 2019 to the historian Andrew Lownie:[19]

“Tom said Mountbatten had something of a fetish for uniforms — handsome young men in military uniforms (with high boots) and beautiful boys in school uniform.”

Daly heard as gossip that:

“Mountbatten had a sexual preference for well-bred and well-educated young men of good standing (that would have ruled me out), from good families; or public school boys.”

 

[1] Philip Ziegler, Mountbatten: The Official Biography, London, 1985, p. 53.

[2] As an example in Mountbatten’s case, see how every claim made about his liaisons with boys groundlessly assumes they were all “abuse”. Those writing are either too ignorant, too unimaginative, too cowardly or too dishonest to raise for consideration the possibility that the boys they say had sex with him might have done so enthusiastically and without suffering harm, despite how easily this possibility would resolve the apparent contradiction between the ideas that he was a hero or a monster.

[3] The I.R.A.’s murder of two old people and two early-teen boys holidaying together caused widespread revulsion, only increased by their chilling description of it as an “execution”. Ironically, Mountbatten was fairly sympathetic to Irish republicanism.

[4] Besides half the F.B.I. file mentioned as closed below, Andrew Lownie, author of The Mountbattens (London, 2019) notes that the Mountbatten “couple’s private diaries and letters to each other, […] available to the authorised biographers, remains closed to researchers. It appears there are still Mountbatten secrets to be revealed.” (p. 375).

[5] “E. A. Conroy to Director, FBI, 23 February 1944, FBI file 75045. Half the file, declassified for the author in 2016, remains closed. (Andrew Lownie, The Mountbattens, London, 2019, p. 474.

[6] Hanmer Springs is a small town in New Zealand, hence the interest of a New Zealand tabloid.

[7] This cannot be accurate. “In 1942-43 Mountbatten was head of Combined Operations and based in London. However, Southwick House at Fareham was, from 1943, the location of the advance command post of the Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force, which Mountbatten would have had cause to visit and he may have used a house nearby.” (Andrew Lownie, The Mountbattens, London, 2019, p. 356)

[8] “L. L.” stands for “Lord Louis”, short for “Lord Louis Mountbatten”, his official nomenclature between 1917 and 1946.

[9] “Mountbatten was off duties in May 1943 from exhaustion”, notes Andrew Lownie in a footnote to this passage in his The Mountbattens, London, 2019, p. 473.

[10] Note that this is the exact opposite of what Anthony Daly reported below.

[11] According to a letter from Bryans to James Hanning of the Evening Standard dated 23 July 1990 and published on https://theneedleblog.wordpress.com/2013/04/08/robin-bryans-letter/, Doherty also got material for his article “Mr Ken Livingstone MP and yourself.” According to Andrew Lownie, The Mountbattens (London, 2019) p. 473, “Bryans’ file with the Metropolitan Police was destroyed at an unknown date.”

[12] Andrew Lownie, The Mountbattens (London, 2019) pp. 359-360 quotes the letter, adding (p. 473) that it was “kindly supplied by Joseph de Burca”.

[13] Interview ‘Sean’, 19 November 2018. [Andrew Lownie’s footnote 865 in his The Mountbattens (London, 2019) p. 473]

[14] The two hotels in Mullaghmore by the harbour are the Pier Head hotel and Beach hotel. [Andrew Lownie’s footnote 866 in his The Mountbattens (London, 2019) p. 474]

[15] Interview ‘Amal’, 25 May 2019. [Andrew Lownie’s footnote 867 in his The Mountbattens (London, 2019) p. 474]

[16] Disingenuous nonsense. Village, having been in contact with both Lownie and his two Kincora witnesses, published their allegations four days before Lownie’s book came out, but no British newspaper reported on his findings to the exclusion of the Kincora ones. The Mirror produced an article about them the same day as Village, and in the days following the publication of the book many articles mentioning them came out in other major British newspapers. See, for example, The Sun 22 August 2019, The Times 25 August 2019, The Express 16 September 2019, The Telegraph 5 October 2019 and, The Daily Mail 12 December 2019.

[17] This statement is most revealing of the dishonesty of the article. If there were no doubt about ‘Sean’’s account, there would be no point in mentioning that that “weird castle” was “a very good description” of Classiebawn since it would be obvious he could give a roughly correct description. The insinuation is clear that a correct description verifies his account, but it does nothing of the sort since anyone wishing to invent an allegation in 2019 could find a photo of Classiebawn online in less than a minute.

[18] Quoted by David Hudson in Malta Today, 28 August 2019. https://www.maltatoday.com.mt/news/national/97079/mountbatten_mystery_rabat_red_house_brothel_malta#.Xq-qE5kxVnI

[19] Andrew Lownie, The Mountbattens (2019) pp. 357 and 473.

 

Comments
Comments of general interest will be collected at Letters To The Editor (some editing may be involved)

 ANON 76,   16 December 2021

 "Barbara Harris often spoke of her knowledge of the kinky antics of L.L. with the boys dressed as girls. She was loyal to him but hated the brandy and lemonade used by L.L. on the boys during sex sessions. She also couldn't understand why L.L. didn't have sex with adult males if that was his kink." This passage explains well why the new model of "homosexuality" cannot be applied to pederastic relationships.

P. Hill,   17 December 2021

Knew a chap who had a kink for late Victorian Samuri Satsuma vases. Dunno why he didn’t just get a bucket.

* * *

Sam Hall,   17 December 2021

Village reports a source saying that “he had heard disturbing rumours about Mountbatten sexual activities before he was killed.”

So can we infer that Lord Louie straightened up his act after death? I think we can infer any old thing we like from all this. Most of it has the suspiciously bland, safe, sugar-hit consistency of modern processed junk news. These sorts of heartily dispensed buckets of tabloid burley – sure, they stir up a fine feeding frenzy, but only to leave the banqueters feeling rather queasy and unsatisfied and looking round with hollow-eyed hunger for the next nothing burger.

After his meticulously murky account, Norman Nield tells us, “But in retrospect I assess L.L. in a very different way today. Now I only have disgust for him.”

Which must surely prompt in us a newfound respect for this fading outposter’s relevance and virtue. Bit hard to square with his apparent unconcern at the time, not to mention the following forty-odd years, but, like murder, virtue will out.

Finding the truth here is a bit like trying to locate land in a JM Turner painting.

 

Edmund Marlowe, 17 December 2021
 
I should imagine a generous cheque from the magazine Truth helped Mr. Nield's virtue to assert itself.

 * * *
 
Edmund Marlowe, 18 December 2021
 
I would be fascinated to read anyone else’s thoughts on which, if any, of these claims are likely to be true.

Having thought about it, my guess (and one can only guess) is that the vague claims of Decies, Chetcuti and Daly that Mountbatten liked boys are probably true, while the various claims made by Irish republicans concerning Kincora Boys’ Home are pure fabrication. They sound propagandist and mendacious and Mountbatten was anyway a very old man by then.

I would guess the claims by Norman Nield are in between – an intentional tabloid distortion of something more ordinary. We know that in most or all big cities everywhere more than forty years ago there were boys on the game, mostly teenage boys looking for excitement and pocket money, but including a few slightly younger boys, and we know that a huge proportion of men in Mountbatten’s day sometimes availed themselves of prostitution of one kind or another for fun and relief. So, if Mountbatten liked boys, it would be unsurprising that at times when he could not find more romantic alternatives, he resorted to boys who were offering themselves for rent. The Horse and Groom in Southampton was particularly known as a rendez-vous for homosexuals (a fact carefully omitted by the ironically named Truth magazine), so presumably such boys hung out around there. As a distinguished admiral, Mountbatten could hardly go there himself – he might be recognised by one of his sailors - so he got Barbara Harris to make his assignations for him. Most early teen boys appreciate being offered alcohol, so Mountbatten as their host offered it. As for dressing up as girls, if it sometimes happened, it was just erotic fun, enabling the boys to flaunt their sexiness in a culturally familiar manner.

 

Sam Hall   20 December 2021

Personally, I never trust a woman who consorts with men who get eaten by lions.

We have claims ranging from Mountbatten’s preference for 8yo boys dressed as baby girls through to his renowned preference for handsome young men in military uniform. Which might suggest he was simply prepared to meet an individual boy on his own terms and preferences. It’s hard to get an unobstructed view with that tureen of brandy and lemonade always hoving into view.

It’s also interesting how, to create an appropriately depraved atmosphere, there’s a reliance on Mountbatten’s purported populous romping with female prostitutes. With the boys all we get is one glimpse of a half-naked lad sitting on his lap. It's hell, Jim, but not as we know it.

The tabloid approach used here is exactly the same one used on gay men in the fifties. Or, for that matter, used on boys who masturbated over the preceding century or two. Paint a picture of a diseased shadowy underworld where sad sickos pursue their deviant compulsions. As the emergence into humdrum boringness of today’s gay community shows, it’s a luridly exaggerated description of a necessarily secretive milieu wholly created by salivating bigots.

Given the chance to bring on his favourites at court, in the more usual civilized fashion, with all the attendant advantages that accrue to such boys, who knows what positive Greek love heights Lord Louie might have achieved. One relevant and rock solid fact: Princes Philip and Charles had the opportunity to enjoy a close boyhood relationship with Mountbatten, and couldn’t speak highly enough of his character.

* * *

Anonymous 91,  7 March 2022

Even if the last nth of detail were now, subsequently known about Mountbatten, the pederast, and aided comprehending this penchant, but in our milieu, it would be received in such obfuscation and revulsion, as to invert its purpose.

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