Country Inspector Charles Cheesman - Dep Director of Intelligence


1878 Nov Born Surrey

1881 Census at 25 Brashill, Lee

1891 Census at Bough Beech, Chiddingstone, Kent, England

1902 Dec 3 Joined RIC as a Cadet.

1903 May 6. Appointed DI3

1906 Nov 15. Appointed DI2

1908 Jan 9 Married Melian Eileen Jane Holloway in Oxfordshire

1911 census at Fairhill, Killarney, Kerry

1914 Oct 2. The German Spy, Carl Lody, travels to Ireland. At the start of October 1914, concern over the increasingly sensitive nature of his messages prompted MO5(g) to order Lody's arrest. He had left a trail of clues that enabled the police to track him to a hotel in Killarney, Ireland, in less than a day.

He leaves Dublin, and travels to the Great Southern Hotel in Killarney. At 9.45 pm, District Inspector Cheesman of the RIC arrived at the Great Southern Hotel in Killarney with a group of constables. He found Lody's name in the visitors' book and went to his room, but did not find him there. Returning to the foyer, Cheesman saw Lody entering the hotel. He said: "Mr. Inglis, I presume?" to which Lody replied, "Yes, what do you want?" Cheeseman asked him to come to his hotel room and noted that Lody looked upset and frightened. He arrested Lody under the provisions of the Defence of the Realm Act 1914 (DORA) as a suspected German agent, prompting Lody to exclaim, "What is this? Me, a German agent? Take care now; I am an American citizen." When he was searched, his American identity documents were found along with £14 in German gold, 705 Norwegian krone and a small notebook. The latter listed British ships that had been sunk in the North Sea, names and addresses in Hamburg and Berlin and a possible cypher key. It also included copies of the four letters that he had sent to Stockholm. His bag contained a jacket that contained a tailor's ticket reading "J. Steinberg, Berlin, C.H. Lody, 8.5.14". Throughout all this, Lody's demeanour was relatively calm after the initial shock. Cheesman observed that Lody only appeared uneasy when his notebook was being examined; the inspector later commented that Lody was not the usual class of man he was accustomed to dealing with, but admitted that he had never met a man under precisely similar circumstances. Cheesman had been educated in Germany, knew the language and felt able to recognise a German accent; he noticed that Lody's American accent slipped from time to time, presumably due to stress, and became convinced that the man was German.

The court martial was held over three days between Friday 30 October and Monday 2 November. Lody was charged with two offences of war treason concerning the two letters he had sent from Edinburgh on 27 September and Dublin on 30 September. In both letters, the charge sheet stated that Lody had sought "to convey to a belligerent enemy of Great Britain, namely Germany" information relating to the UK's defences and preparations for war. He pleaded not guilty to both charges.

Carl Lody was found guilty of both charges of spying, and was sentenced to death by shooting. When the Assistant Provost-Marshal fetched Lody from his cell, Lody said "I suppose that you will not care to shake hands with a German spy?" The Assistant Provost-Marshal replied "No. But I will shake hands with a brave man". Carl Lody was executed at the Tower of London on 6 November 1914, by a firing squad composed of members of the 3rd Battalion, Grenadier Guards. He was subsequently buried in East London Cemetery, Plaistow. The money found on Lody, at the time of his arrest, was used to pay for his legal costs incurred at his courts-martial.

1916 Apr 29 .Appointed DI1.

1917 Dec 3. He then moves to Dublin Castle and works in Crime Special Branch

1920 Aug 20 This seems to be the date that he transfers to Police Adviser's Office. His RIC rcord is a bit unclear as to his movements with PAO. Records show him as "Deputy Director of Intelligence" under Winter

1920 Oct 1. Appointed County Inspector

1922 Jan 7. Awarded Kings Police Medal

1922 Jun 18 . Retired on disbanding of RIC. Pensioned at £600 per year

1953 Jul 15. Died Taunton, Somerset


Police Advisors Office