1.5.16

A Dutch Spy in German Service

On 12 May, a Dutch seaman named Haicke Petrus Marinus Janssen left Rotterdam for Hull. He arrived there the next day and stayed for a week before travelling south to London and further on to Southampton on the pretext of being a travelling cigar salesman. In Southampton, he stayed in the Crown Hotel from 24 to 28 May and sent five telegrams to Dierks & Co. in The Hague. Not long after, Janssen was arrested by Scotland Yard detectives on suspicion of espionage.
 
Janssen was born in 1885 in the town of Kampen and had been a bookkeeper in Amsterdam before he became a sailor. In 1913, he was working on the Red Star Line’s ss Kroonland as a lookout man when she came to the rescue of Tinsley’s Uranium Steamship Company’s ss Volturno after that ship caught fire in the Atlantic Ocean. America and Great Britain had awarded him and other seamen involved a medal for rescuing the Volturno’s passengers and crew. Janssen had visited Liverpool in February to collect his medal but now the sombre-looking, dark, bearded man had come to spy for the Kaiser.