An Irish woman allegedly held as a slave by a Maoist sect in south London is the daughter of one of the Bletchley Park code breakers who helped ensure the Allied victory in the Second World War, the Daily Telegraph can reveal.
Josephine Herivel, 59, is the daughter of mathematician, John Herivel, who was a key figure in the team who cracked the German Enigma ciphers in 1940.
Brought up with her two sisters, Mary and Susan in Belfast, Northern Ireland, she joined Aruvindan Balakrishnan’s extremist collective in the 1970s after moving to London to study, turning her back on her family.
When her father died in 2011 obituaries only made mention of his two other daughters, who now live in London and last night refused to comment on the development.
In August 1865, newly emancipated slave Jourdan Anderson – working as a free man in Ohio and earning $25 a week to support his family – received a letter from his former master requesting that he come back to work on his farm.
Jourdan responded in spectacular style, dictating a response of which the following are just excerpts :
August 7, 1865
To My Old Master, Colonel P.H. Anderson, Big Spring, Tennessee
Sir: I got your letter, and was glad to find that you had not forgotten Jourdon, and that you wanted me to come back and live with you again, promising to do better for me than anybody else can. I have often felt uneasy about you. I thought the Yankees would have hung you long before this, for harboring Rebs they found at your house.
Mandy says she would be afraid to go back without some proof that you were disposed to treat us justly and kindly; and we have concluded to test your sincerity by asking you to send us our wages for the time we served you. This will make us forget and forgive old scores, and rely on your justice and friendship in the future. I served you faithfully for thirty-two years, and Mandy twenty years. At twenty-five dollars a month for me, and two dollars a week for Mandy, our earnings would amount to eleven thousand six hundred and eighty dollars.
Add to this the interest for the time our wages have been kept back, and deduct what you paid for our clothing, and three doctor’s visits to me, and pulling a tooth for Mandy, and the balance will show what we are in justice entitled to. Please send the money by Adams’s Express, in care of V. Winters, Esq., Dayton, Ohio. If you fail to pay us for faithful labors in the past, we can have little faith in your promises in the future.
Jourdan ended the letter with this masterclass in sarcasm:
Say howdy to George Carter, and thank him for taking the pistol from you when you were shooting at me.