Ivor Thord-Gray as a German agent
Ivor Thord-Gray perhaps survived WW I thanks to MI 5. In April 1916 British Intelligence began suspecting that Ivor Thord-Gray was a German agent. They then with sucess prevented him to join the Allies in any capacity.
In medio 1916 an alarming report came from Singapore security. It had been found out that Ivor Thord-Gray was a Swede and that he had changed his name from Hallestrom to Gray.
When it was found that the family Hallström in Sweden was well-known and respected the case was clear. If there is nothing wrong with the family, Thord must have done someting wrong, otherwise he should not have to change his name.
MI 5 and Scotland Yard started a large-scale operation to trap the German agent Ivor Thord-Gray. This of course consumed considerable resources. Thus MI 5 made Thord helping the Germans without wanting it or even knowing it himself. Just walking around Thord tied up Allied resources needed elswere, but this was as seen not his fault.
It was Captain Hopkins USN in New York who solved the case. Thord had been misstaken for a Colonel Newham F. Gray, a German agent operating in New York in 1914-1915 when Thord was serving in GB and France.
Colonel Newham F. Gray was fat, short, wore eye-glasses and spoke with a German accent. Thord was slim, tall and had a moustash but no eye-glasses. He spoke British English without a foreign accent.
Through Captain Hopkins Thord got security clearance to join CEF in Siberia. He served there 1918-19 and in the Russian Army 1919-1920.
Returned to GB in 1920 as an agent for Canadian Pacific Railway, but was in Dover prevented from entering GB on the grounds that he was a German citizen suspected to be an agent. He was however allowed to travel on to Sweden.
The matter was finally solved in 1921 and Thord was gazetted Liutenant-Colonel with the British Army on the unemployed list dated back to 10th May 1916.
In 1922 Thord emmigrated to USA. He resigned his British commission in 1924 upon becoming US citizen. In 1925 he opened a bank in New York. He lived in Belle Haven, Greenwich, Connecticut. The family had four servants employed.
In 1929 he closed the bank quickly enough and managed to escape the world crisis.
On 5th Feb 1927 he set a double World´s Record in Archery.
Beeing a Russian MjGen since 29th Nov 1920 and also of Russian heriditiary nobility from 1st August 1920, he was 8th April 1935 brevetted MjGen in the Florida Militia. Reporedly he served as an advisor and organiser with US Army during WW 2.
Picture: MjGen Ivor Thord-Gray in his Russian uniform and with the colour of 1st Siberian Assault Division (left). Oil painting 1933, now in Army Museum, Stockholm.