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William Joyce

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Gender Male
Death75 years ago
Date of birth December 11,1957
Zodiac sign Sagittarius
Born Shreveport
United States
Date of died January 3,1946
DiedHMP Wandsworth
United Kingdom
BuriedNew Cemetery, Bohermore, Galway, Ireland
SpouseMargaret Cairns White
Elizabeth Baucum Joyce
Job Author
Film director
Film Producer
Production designer
Television producer
Education King's College School
University of London
Birkbeck, University of London
Awards Academy Award for Best Short Film (Animated)
Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Special Class Animated Program
Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Animation
Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Interactive Media - Original Daytime Program or Series
Golden Kite Award for Picture Book Text
Gemini Award for Best Animated Program or Series
Official site
ChildrenHeather Landolo
Mary Katherine Joyce
Jackson Edward Joyce
Height 196 (cm)

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Toothiana: Queen of the Tooth Fairy Armies
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Ollie's Odyssey
Bently & Egg
The Numberlys: With Audio Recording
Billy's Booger
Sleepy time Olie
Jack Frost: The End Becomes the Beginning
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The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore
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Polka Dot! Polka Dot!
Some of the Adventures of Rhode Island Red
Rolie Polie Olie Busy Book
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Heather Landolo
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The Fantastic Flying of Mr. Morris Lessmore
The Man in the Moon: With Audio Recording
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William Joyce Life story

William Edward Joyce is an American writer, illustrator, and filmmaker. His illustrations have appeared on numerous covers of The New Yorker and his paintings are displayed nationwide.

William Brooke Joyce (24 April 1906 – 3 January 1946), nicknamed Lord Haw-Haw, was an American-Irish fascist supporter and Nazi propaganda broadcaster during the Second World War. After moving from New York to Ireland and subsequently to England, Joyce became a member of Oswald Mosley's British Union of Fascists from 1932, before finally moving to Germany at the outset of the war where he took German citizenship in 1940.

At the end of the war, after capture, Joyce was convicted in Great Britain of high treason in 1945 and sentenced to death, with the Court of Appeal and the House of Lords both upholding his conviction. He was hanged in Wandsworth Prison by Albert Pierrepoint on 3 January 1946, making him the last person to be executed for treason in the United Kingdom.

Early life

William Brooke Joyce was born on Herkimer Street in Brooklyn, New York, United States. His father was Michael Francis Joyce (1866–1941), an Irish Catholic from a family of farmers in Ballinrobe, County Mayo, who had taken US citizenship in 1894. His mother was Gertrude Emily Brooke (1878–1944), who although born in Shaw and Crompton, Lancashire, was from a well-off Anglican Anglo-Irish family of medical practitioners associated with County Roscommon.

A few years after William's birth, the family returned to Salthill, Galway. Joyce attended Coláiste Iognáid, a Jesuit school in Galway, from 1915 to 1921. His parents were unionist and hostile to Irish nationalism, and his mother was strongly Anglocentric and devoutly Protestant. There were tensions between her and her family because she married a Catholic. Joyce's father bought houses, and rented some to the Royal Irish Constabulary.

Although Joyce was still only in his mid-teens, he was recruited during the Irish War for Independence by Captain Patrick William Keating as a courier for British Army intelligence in Galway, which was fighting against the Irish Republican Army (IRA). He was known to associate with Black and Tans at Lenaboy Castle, and was linked to the 1920 murder of Father Michael Griffin, a known Irish republican sympathizer. Keating arranged for Joyce to be mustered into the Worcester Regiment, taking him out of the dangerous situation in Ireland to Norton Barracks in England. He was discharged a few months later, when it was discovered that he was underage.Joyce remained in England and briefly attended King's College School, Wimbledon. His family followed him to England two years later. Joyce had relatives in Birkenhead, Cheshire, whom he visited on a few occasions. He then applied to Birkbeck College, London, where he entered the Officer Training Corps. At Birkbeck, he obtained a first-class honours degree in English. After graduating he applied for a job in the Foreign Office, but was rejected and took a job as a teacher. Joyce developed an interest in fascism and worked with, but never joined, the British Fascists of Rotha Lintorn-Orman.

On 22 October 1924, while stewarding a meeting in support of Conservative Party candidate Jack Lazarus ahead of the 1924 general election, Joyce was attacked by communists and received a deep razor slash across his right cheek. It left a permanent scar which ran from the earlobe to the corner of the mouth. While Joyce often said that his attackers were Jewish, historian Colin Holmes claims that Joyce's first wife told him in 1992 that "it wasn't a Jewish Communist who disfigured him .... He was knifed by an Irish woman".

British Union of Fascists

In 1932 Joyce joined the British Union of Fascists (BUF) under Sir Oswald Mosley and swiftly became a leading speaker, praised for the power of his oratory. The journalist and novelist Cecil Roberts described a speech given by Joyce:Thin, pale, intense, he had not been speaking many minutes before we were electrified by this man ... so terrifying in its dynamic force, so vituperative, so vitriolic.

In 1934 Joyce was promoted to be the BUF's Director of Propaganda, replacing Wilfred Risdon, and later appointed deputy leader. As well as being a gifted speaker, Joyce gained the reputation of a savage brawler. His violent rhetoric and willingness to physically confront anti-fascist elements head-on played no small part in further politically marginalising the BUF. After a bloody incident at a BUF rally in Olympia in 1934, Joyce spearheaded the group's policy shift from campaigning for economic revival through corporatism to a focus on antisemitism. He was instrumental in changing the name of the BUF to "British Union of Fascists and National Socialists" in 1936 and stood as a party candidate in the 1937 elections to the London County Council. In 1936, Joyce lived for a year in Whitstable, where he owned a radio and electrical shop.Between April 1934 and 1937, when Mosley sacked him, Joyce served as Area Administrative Officer for the BUF West Sussex division. He was supported in the role by Norah Elam as Sussex Women's Organiser, with her partner Dudley Elam, the son of an Irish nationalist, taking on the role of Sub-Branch Officer for Worthing. Under this regime, West Sussex became a hub of fascist activity, ranging from hosting BUF summer camps to organising meetings and rallies, lunches, etc. Elam shared many speaking platforms with Joyce and worked on propaganda speeches for him. One particular concern for Joyce was the Government of India Bill (passed in 1935) designed to give a measure of autonomy to India, allowing freedom and the development of limited self-government. Joyce harboured a desire to become Viceroy of India should Mosley ever head a BUF government, and is recorded as describing the backers of the bill as "feeble" and "one loathsome, foetid, purulent, tumid mass of hypocrisy, hiding behind Jewish Dictators".Joyce was sacked from his paid position when Mosley drastically reduced the BUF staff shortly after the 1937 elections, after which Joyce promptly formed a breakaway organisation, the National Socialist League. After Joyce's departure, the BUF turned its focus from antisemitism to activism, opposing a war with Nazi Germany. Although Joyce had been deputy leader of the party from 1933 and an effective fighter and orator, Mosley snubbed him in his autobiography and later denounced him as a traitor because of his wartime activities. Unlike Joyce, the Elams did not escape detention under Defence Regulation 18B; both were arrested on the same day as Mosley in May 1940. In later life, Elam reported that, although she disliked Joyce, she believed that his execution by the British in 1946 was wrong, stating that he should not have been regarded as a traitor to England because he was not English, but Irish.

In Germany

In late August 1939, shortly before the Second World War broke out, Joyce and his wife Margaret fled to Germany. Joyce had been tipped off that the British authorities intended to detain him under Defence Regulation 18B. He became a naturalised German citizen in 1940.

In Berlin, Joyce could not find employment until a chance meeting with fellow Mosleyite Dorothy Eckersley got him an audition at the Rundfunkhaus ("broadcasting house"). Eckersley was the former wife or second wife of the Chief Engineer of the BBC, Peter Eckersley. Despite having a heavy cold and having almost lost his voice, Joyce was recruited immediately for radio announcements and scriptwriting at German radio's English service. Joyce replaced Wolf Mittler.

The name "Lord Haw-Haw of Zeesen" was coined in 1939 by the pseudonymous Daily Express radio critic Jonah Barrington, but this referred initially to Mittler (or possibly Norman Baillie-Stewart). When Joyce became the best-known propaganda broadcaster, the nickname was transferred to him. Joyce's broadcasts initially came from studios in Berlin, later being transferred (because of heavy Allied bombing) to Luxembourg City and finally to Apen near Hamburg, and were relayed over a network of German-controlled radio stations in Zeesen, Hamburg, Bremen, Luxembourg, Hilversum, Calais, and Oslo.

Joyce also broadcast on and wrote scripts for the German Büro Concordia organisation, which ran several black propaganda stations, many of which pretended to broadcast illegally from within Britain. His role in writing the scripts increased over time, and German radio capitalized on his public persona. Initially an anonymous broadcaster, Joyce eventually revealed his real name to his listeners and he would occasionally be announced as, "William Joyce, otherwise known as Lord Haw-Haw". Urban legends soon circulated about Lord Haw-Haw, alleging that the broadcaster was well-informed about political and military events to the point of near-omniscience.Listening to Joyce's broadcasts was officially discouraged but was not illegal, and many Britons listened. There was a desire by civilian listeners to hear what the other side was saying, as information during wartime was strictly censored. At the height of his influence, in 1940, Joyce had an estimated six million regular and 18 million occasional listeners in the UK. The broadcasts always began with the announcer's words, "Germany calling, Germany calling, Germany calling". These broadcasts urged the British people to surrender and were well known for their jeering, sarcastic and menacing tone.

The Reich Security Main Office commissioned Joyce to give lectures at the University of Berlin for SS members in the winter of 1941–42 on the topic of "British fascism and acute questions concerning the British world empire".Joyce recorded his final broadcast on 30 April 1945, during the Battle of Berlin. Rambling and audibly drunk, he chided the UK for pursuing the war beyond mere containment of Germany and repeatedly warned of the "menace" of the Soviet Union. He signed off with a final defiant, "Heil Hitler and farewell". There are conflicting accounts as to whether this last programme was actually transmitted, although a recording was found in the Apen studios. The next day, Radio Hamburg was seized by British forces, and on 4 May Wynford Vaughan-Thomas used it to make a mock "Germany Calling" broadcast denouncing Joyce.Besides broadcasting, Joyce's duties included writing propaganda for distribution among British prisoners of war, whom he tried to recruit into the British Free Corps of the Waffen-SS. He wrote a book Twilight Over England promoted by the German Ministry of Propaganda, which unfavourably compared the evils of allegedly Jewish-dominated capitalist Britain with the alleged wonders of Nazi Germany. Adolf Hitler awarded Joyce the War Merit Cross (First and Second Class) for his broadcasts, although he never met Joyce.

Capture and trial

On 28 May 1945, Joyce was captured by British forces at Flensburg, near the German border with Denmark, which was the last capital of the Third Reich. Spotting a disheveled figure while they were resting from gathering firewood, intelligence soldiers – including a Jewish German, Geoffrey Perry (born Horst Pinschewer), who had left Germany before the war – engaged him in conversation in French and English, eventually recognizing his voice. After they asked whether he was Joyce, he reached into his pocket (actually reaching for a false passport); believing he was armed, Geoffrey Perry shot him through the buttocks, resulting in four wounds.Two intelligence officers then drove Joyce to a border post and handed him over to British military police. He was then taken to London and tried at the Old Bailey on three counts of high treason:

"Not guilty" were the first words from Joyce's mouth in his trial, as noted by Rebecca West in her book The Meaning of Treason. The only evidence offered that he had begun broadcasting from Germany while his British passport was valid was the testimony of a London police inspector who had questioned him before the war while he was an active member of the British Union of Fascists and claimed to have recognised his voice on a propaganda broadcast in the early weeks of the war – Joyce had previous convictions for assault and riotous assembly in the 1930s.

Inquiries in the US, adduced in evidence at his trial, found that Joyce had never been a British subject, and it seemed that he would have to be acquitted based upon a lack of jurisdiction; he could not be convicted of betraying a country that was not his own. The trial judge, Mr. Justice Tucker, directed the jury to acquit Joyce of the first and second charges. However, the Attorney General, Sir Hartley Shawcross, successfully argued that Joyce's possession of a British passport, even though he had misstated his nationality to get it, entitled him until it expired to British diplomatic protection in Germany and therefore he owed allegiance to the King at the time he began working for the Germans.

The historian A. J. P. Taylor remarked in his book English History 1914–1945 that "Technically, Joyce was hanged for making a false statement when applying for a passport, the usual penalty for which is a small fine."


Joyce's conviction was upheld by the Court of Appeal on 1 November 1945, and by Lords Jowitt L.C., Macmillan, Wright, Simonds, and Porter – although Porter dissented – of the House of Lords on 13 December 1945.In the appeal, Joyce argued that possession of a passport did not entitle him to the protection of the Crown, and therefore did not perpetuate his duty of allegiance once he left the country, but the House of Lords rejected this argument. Lord Porter's dissenting opinion assumed that the question as to whether Joyce's duty of allegiance had terminated was a question of fact for the jury to decide, rather than a purely legal question for the judge. Joyce also argued that jurisdiction had been wrongly assumed by the court in electing to try an alien for offences committed in a foreign country. This argument was also rejected, on the basis that a state may exercise such jurisdiction in the interests of its own security.

Joyce's biographer, Nigel Farndale, suggests on the basis of documents made public for the first time between 2000 and 2005 that Joyce made a deal with his prosecutors not to reveal links he had had to MI5. In return, his wife Margaret, known to radio listeners as "Lady Haw-Haw", was spared prosecution for high treason. Of the 32 British renegades and broadcasters caught in Germany at the end of the war, only Margaret Joyce, who died in London in 1972, was not charged with treason.


Joyce went to his death unrepentant. He allegedly said:In death as in life, I defy the Jews who caused this last war, and I defy the power of darkness which they represent. I warn the British people against the crushing imperialism of the Soviet Union. May Britain be great once again and in the hour of the greatest danger in the West may the standard be raised from the dust, crowned with the words – "You have conquered nevertheless". I am proud to die for my ideals and I am sorry for the sons of Britain who have died without knowing why.

"You have conquered nevertheless" was presumably a reference to "UND IHR HABT DOCH GESIEGT", a phrase inscribed on the reverse side of the Blood Order medal. Other sources refer to his having said, "May the swastika be raised from the dust".Joyce was executed on 3 January 1946 at Wandsworth Prison, aged 39. He was the penultimate person hanged for a crime other than murder in the UK. The last was Theodore Schurch, executed for treachery the following day at Pentonville Prison. In both cases, the hangman was Albert Pierrepoint. Joyce died "an Anglican, like his mother, despite a long and friendly correspondence with a Roman Catholic priest who fought hard for William's soul". The scar on Joyce's face split wide open because of the pressure applied to his head upon his drop from the gallows.As was customary for executed criminals, Joyce's remains were buried in an unmarked grave within the walls of Wandsworth Prison. In 1976, following a campaign by his daughter, Heather Landalo, his body was reinterred in Galway, where he had lived with his family from 1909 until 1922. Despite the ambiguity of his religious allegiances, he was given a Roman Catholic Tridentine Mass.


Joyce had two daughters by his first wife, Hazel, who later married Oswald Mosley's bodyguard, Eric Piercey. One daughter, Heather Landalo (formerly Piercey: stepfather's surname), has spoken publicly of her father.

See also




Wharam, Alan (1995). Treason: Famous English Treason Trials. Alan Sutton Publishing. ISBN 0-7509-0991-9.Further reading

The Trial of William Joyce ed. by C.E. Bechhofer Roberts [Old Bailey Trials series] (Jarrolds, London, 1946)

The Trial of William Joyce ed. by J.W. Hall [Notable British Trials series] (William Hodge and Company, London, 1946)

The Meaning of Treason by Dame Rebecca West (Macmillan, London, 1949)

Lord Haw-Haw and William Joyce by William Cole (Faber and Faber, London, 1964)

Hitler's Englishman by Francis Selwyn (Routledge and Kegan Paul Ltd, London, 1987)

Renegades: Hitler's Englishmen by Adrian Weale (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, London, 1994)

Germany Calling: A Personal Biography of William Joyce, Lord Haw-Haw by Mary Kenny (New Island Books, Dublin, 2003) ISBN 9781902602783

Haw-Haw: The Tragedy of William and Margaret Joyce by Nigel Farndale (Macmillan, London, 2005)

Searching for Lord Haw-Haw: The Political Lives of William Joyce by Colin Holmes (Routledge, Abingdon, 2016)

Security Service files on him are held by the National Archives under references KV 2/245 to KV 2/250

External links

Fascism and Jewry (first published 1933, this version published 1935), reproduction of a pamphlet by William Joyce for the BUF.

Twilight Over England by William Joyce. A summation of his worldview (Internet Archive).

"Twilight over England" 2008 reprint by AAARGH.

The final broadcast of William Joyce during the Battle of Berlin 1945. Possibly due to effects of alcohol, Joyce's speech is quite slurred.

William Joyce page at Earthstation One—includes audio clips

William Joyce, alias Lord Haw-Haw by Alex Softly.

Transcript of the House of Lords decision in the Appeal of William Joyce, published four weeks after his execution.

Joyce v. DPP (transcript of judgement) (HTML)

Germany Calling! Germany Calling! The Influence of Lord Haw-Haw (William Joyce) in Britain, 1939–1941 A thesis, in downloadable form, by Monash University student Helen Newman.

the voice of treason

Internet Archive collection of "Germany Calling" broadcasts

BBC Archive – Lord Haw-Haw Archived 5 October 2018 at the Wayback Machine

Final "Germany Calling" broadcast by the BBC after the station was taken over by the British

Time Magazine (20 November 1941). "Radio: Haw-Haw's Dodge". Archived from the original on 22 November 2010. Retrieved 13 August 2009.

News about William Joyce


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