George Chatterton Hill

Born in Madras, educated in Geneva.

1915 Mar 16. Chatterton Hill writes to Casement from Ruhleben Camp, where interned civilians were imprisoned. "as a Catholic and an Irishman I swear solumnly before God and on my word of honour that I am true to the national cause of Ireland". He refers to speaking to Casement the previous day and Casement then urges Von Wedel to get Chatterton Hill released.

1915 Apr 4. Chatterton Hill writes to Wedel and has by now been released.

1916 Apr. Shortly before the rebellion of Easter, 1916, there was founded in the United States, The Friends of Irish Freedom. A bureau was established in Stockholm which Gaffney ran, and at Berlin maintained, along with George Chatterton-Hill, and they maintained close relations between the German Government and the various Irish-American and Sinn Fein organisations.

1917 May 5, He gives this receipt to Kavanagh for membership if German-Irish Society

chatterton hill

Times Dec 1917

He was said to have worked for German Deputy Erzberger as his private secretary according to Charles Curry's book.

1945 Aug 8 until 3 March 1946, he was allowed to live in a British camp at Ruhleben.

1945 Sep 6 , although he had applied for repatriation, suddenly his passport and that of his wife were demanded and taken from them, and they were turned out on to the streets. It appears that this resulted, according to his wife's account, from a Home Office report that he had indulged in treasonable activities during the 1914–18 war, that he had worked for Germany in 1939 to 1945, that he had lived in Germany for so long that his repatriation was not now desirable, and that, probably, if he did return to England, he would be prosecuted. At the same time, at this period in 1946, the Consul gave instructions to the P.W.X. Department in Berlin to confiscate his passport and to afford to him no facilities which would normally be afforded to a British subject.

1948 Apr 9. In an adjournment debate in the House of Commons the Ipswich MP Mr Stokes said: "This afternoon I wish to raise with the Government a matter which I raised with the Foreign Secretary on 23 October 1946, relating to the death of a British subject, Dr. Chatterton-Hill. On 23 October 1946, in reply to a Question from me, the Foreign Secretary said: "I am informed by the competent authorities that Mr. Chatterton-Hill's case has been reviewed and that it has been decided not to institute proceedings against him. He has been notified of this decision, and he and his wife will be afforded the usual facilities should they wish to return to this country."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 23 October 1946; vol. 427, C. 362.]" It is necessary for me to give a little of the background to show who this gentleman was—for he is now dead. He was of British nationality, supplied with a British passport which, in fact, was renewed twice during the war through the Swiss Embassy, and due to expire only on 7 November 1945. He was an author and philosopher, married to a German lady, and lived in Germany for some time prior to the outbreak of war. When war broke out he was actually in hospital, suffering very acutely. He was allowed out of hospital by the Germans in January or February, 1940, but was immediately put into a concentration camp, where he was labelled as an undesirable alien. He was kept there until January, 1941, when, on account of the very extreme state into which his health had got, I suppose it was thought that he would be better outside than in. He had no means of earning his livelihood, and engaged himself in translating the British news into German for the Germans in Berlin. This, presumably, went on, so far as I know, until the end of the war when we arrived in Berlin.

It was suggested that the whole affair must have arisen because of his Sinn Féin activities from 1914 to 1918, which had been dealt with in October, 1928, when the whole thing was wiped off the slate and he and his wife were granted passports unconditionally."

Irish Brigade