Lieutenant Colonel
East Yorkshire Regiment

Medals for sale Dix Noonan March 1996 1939,45 Star; Africa Star; Burma Star; Defence and War Medals; General Service 1918,62, 1 clasp, Malaya, E.II.R. (Major, E. Yorks.) clasp for Palestine 1945,48 , Lieutenant,Colonel Jimmy Barker was commissioned into the East Yorkshire Regiment and saw wartime service in the East African Campaign with the Kings African Rifles, followed by duty in Ceylon, India and Burma. At Gibraltar in 1942, however, he was given the unusual job of eliminating a Nazi officer masquerading as the German Consul at Cadiz in neutral Spain. British intelligence believed that this man, Walther, was the final link in a chain of leaked information giving details of the allied shipping which subsequently fell prey to U-boats in ever increasing and alarming numbers. If it was hinted in the right circles that his disappearance was a consequence of his espionage activities, it was reckoned that the activities of his successor would be severely limited. Selecting an accomplice in the form of an extremely strong Scotsman named Ian Stuart, Barker decided on a plan of abduction rather than liquidation as the presence of a corpse, if caught, would be extremely difficult to explain away.
Accordingly Barker and Stuart, disguised as merchants interested in buying oranges, crossed the frontier at La Linea, in a distinctive looking car, and basing themselves in the town of Algerciras toured the surrounding country meeting orange growers and generally establishing their ‘cover’ with the locals and more importantly with the customs officials whose inspections of their car became more perfunctory with each crossing at the border. After three weeks Barker decided to act. Having spent the night in a nearby hotel, he and Stuart drove up to Walther’s house. As they had hoped, Walther was at breakfast and the door was opened by his wife. Barker handed her an envelope addressed to her husband and followed inside. On approaching the breakfast table, Walther, a short fat middle-aged man, stood up. Barker pulled a gun on him, intending to bind their wrists and give them both an injection which would put them out for several hours and allow sufficient time for rapid search of the house. Stuart, however, instead of tying Walther’s hands ordered him to follow him out to the car. Somewhat alarmed at this diversion from the plan, Barker had no alternative but to follow.
Having reached the car, Walther tried to run, but Stuart caught him by the collar and started to beat him around the head with a rubber truncheon. Surprisingly this had no effect and Walther’s yells were joined by the screams of Frau Walther. Worried that the ensuing affray would attract the attention of the neighbours, Barker threw Frau Walther into the back of the car where she conveniently collapsed on the floor, and went to help Stuart who was now wrestling with the ‘Consul’ in the middle of the road. Barker shouted in Walther’s ear that he would shoot him unless he stopped struggling. Fortunately this had the desired effect and Barker, ordering Stuart to hold the German still, hit him as hard as he could behind the ear. Thus quietened, Walther was bundled into the motor on top of his wife.
Looking up the road a crowd of locals, reinforced by a number of policemen, could be seen approaching. Barker and Stuart hurried to secure the Walthers in an upright position by means of specially fitted ropes, and at a sedate 20 mph headed out of town. By the time they reached the open country, the Walthers had both come round, and so Barker pulled over to administer the injections, while Stuart climbed a telegraph pole and cut the wires. At length, the border post was reached without undue incident. Stuart went in to the Customs House, while Barker, with a hefty bribe in one hand and his gun in the other, remained behind the wheel. After several anxious minutes the Chief Customs Officer appeared and the situation looked unpromising. But he merely commented that he felt unwell and walked away leaving his deputy to take over. With a knowing look the deputy raised the barrier and called out, “Goodbye – I see you have finished your business!” Back on the Rock, Barker and Stuart handed over the Walthers at the guardhouse and reported in to Fortress Headquarters.
After this unusual assignment, Barker, a graduate of the RMCS Shrivenham and the Staff College at Quetta, returned to more conventional soldiering. He afterwards served as a technical intelligence officer at the War Office, in Malaya on regimental duty, and held staff posts in the Middle and Far East. On retirement from the Army in 1958, Barker joined the U.K. Atomic Energy Authority where he remained for ten years, leaving to take up a NATO Research Fellowship. Two years at the Ilinois Institute of Technology followed, working on the US space programme, before he settled down to full time writing, completing some 26 books and numerous articles before his death in Cape Town on 10 June, 1981.