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Basil Thomson (1861-1939)Download nowEnlargeShow similar images

Title: Basil Thomson (1861-1939)

Description: Basil Thomson (Sir Basil Home Thomson; April 21, 1861-March 26, 1939), British intelligence officer and head of Scotland Yard's Special Branch. Educated at Eton and Oxford, Thomson served in the Colonial Office, serving in Fiji and Tonga as a magistrate in 1884-1893. He became a lawyer and then governor of several prisons. In 1913, he became head of the Criminal Investigation Department of Scotland Yard, and later chief of its Special Branch. In that latter capacity, he worked closely with MI5, British Counter-Intelligence, to track down and arrest German spies during WWI. He retired in 1921, and, four years later, in December 1925, Thomson was the center of a scandal when he was arrested in London's Hyde Park, charged with "committing an act in violation of public decency" with Thelma de Lava, a young prostitute. Thomson claimed he was researching vice in London for a book he was writing and that he had been "framed" by jealous police officials. He was found guilty and fined £5. That conviction ended Thomson's public life.

Category: Law Enforcement

Keywords: Basil Thomson, British Colonial Office, Criminal Investigation Department, Scotland Yard, Special Branch, spies, spying, espionage, MI5, British Counter-Intelligence, prisons, scandals, Thelma de Lava, prostitutes, prostitution, indecency

Orientation: Portrait

Dimensions: 1200 x 1625 (1.95 MPixels) (1.35)

Print Size: 10.2 x 13.8 cm; 4.0 x 5.4 inches

File Size: 5.61 MB (5,883,206 Bytes)

Resolution: 300 x 300 dpi

Color Depth: 16.7 million (24 BitsPerPixel)

Compression: None

Image Number: 0000004442

Source: Jay Robert Nash Collection

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