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Thread: F/L Olaf Francis Poulsen (RAFVR) Special Branch, Criminal Investigation Department

  1. #1
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    Default F/L Olaf Francis Poulsen (RAFVR) Special Branch, Criminal Investigation Department

    F/L Olaf Francis Poulsen is listed as one of the Danes who served the Royal Air Force (VR) during the Second World War. He hold the rank of F/L at the end of the war.

    On 6 August 1946 he is awarded the Member of the British Empire on 6 August 1946 "in recognition of meritorious service to the allied cause during the war, in his capacity of Foreign Intelligence Officer, attached to the Special Branch, Criminal Investigation Department."
    http://www.danishww2pilots.dk/profiles.php?alpha=p&id=74

    As always I would be interested in any ideas as to sources of more information on this man, but furthermore I am a bit confused by the "Special Branch, Criminal Investigation Department." Searching the NA catalogue most hits seem to be Metropolitan Police. Was this a RAF unit or a police unit?

    Regards

    Mikkel Plannthin
    danishww2pilots.dk - a resource on Danish aircrew during the Second World War

  2. #2
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    The RAF had the Special Investigation Branch, amongst whose post-war duties was the investigation of war crimes against RAF POWs, including tracking down some of those involved in the murders of the Great Escape 50. The SIB was the RAF's Criminal Investigation Department. Looks like the LG has used the common description.

    A
    cfww2.com
    Commonwealth Forces of WW2

  3. #3
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    Amrit
    Thank you for enlightening me.

    Mikkel
    danishww2pilots.dk - a resource on Danish aircrew during the Second World War

  4. #4
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    I don't think that the original terms are wrong. The Special Investigation Branch (SIB) of the RAFP or RMP is the military version of the civilian police's Criminal Investigation Department (CID). I don't believe that it would have been mistaken for Special Branch, which was/is a totally seperate arm of civilian British law enforcement and had a remit to tackle foreign counter Int issues. It is not beyond the realms of possibility that a military copper was attached to a civilian law enforcement agency and was awarded the MBE for his efforts.

    Perhaps Forum member and RAFP specialist Stephen R. Davies may wish to comment?
    In fond memory of Corporal James Oakland AGC (RMP), killed in action in Afghanistan on 22 October 2009. Exemplo Ducemus.

  5. #5
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    Default Sib

    Jonny you are right we still have an SIB and they work in a totally different way from the SB. They attached all sorts of people at the end of the war to do investigations. Was he a policeman before the war? Cant find him in London Gazette or Flight Global!
    Dee

  6. #6
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    Over the past 24 hours I have found new information.

    He is I presume the son of Hans Poulsen and Valentine Poulsen (née De Baerdemaecker). His maternal grandfather founds De Baerdemaecker (shipping) in Gent in 1903. His father takes over the management of the company in 1924. A son - Olaf I presume - takes over the management at the time of his father's death, but dies in 1950 at which point the mother takes charge. She is acting Danish consul from 1948, appointed in 1952.

    Olaf marries a British socialite Elizabeth Narcissa Paynter (daughter of Colonel C H Paynter of St. Buryan, Cornwall) in 1937. The marriage is mentioned in The Straits Times, 8 August 1937, cf.
    http://newspapers.nl.sg/Digitised/Article.aspx?articleid=straitstimes19370808.2.76&s essionid=1c7cea809fbf4871b7fa21608ff02e23&keyword= olaf+poulsen&lang=da

    The most likely reason he is not mentioned in LG or Flight is that he is Danish, as nearly no Danes where listed here, supposedly to protect the families in occupied Denmark.

    As to his trade I do not know. But having been raised in Gent by a French born mother, I guess that one of his skills might have been French and Danish (mother tongue) and English.

    Regards

    Mikkel
    Last edited by Mikkel Plannthin; 7th September 2010 at 22:24.
    danishww2pilots.dk - a resource on Danish aircrew during the Second World War

  7. #7
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    Default Rootsweb

    Mikkel
    There is a thread which mentions him and his marriage ref the Paynters on Rootsweb (part of ancestry) but it doesnt give much more info than you already know!
    Dee

  8. #8
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    Well, no I am confused.

    Patrick Marnham's biography on Mary Wesley "Wild Mary" included a handful of references to Olaf Poulsen de Baerdemaecker as he is called in the book as well as in the above mentioned Straits Times article.

    He is mentioned because his wife were a friend of Mary's. The book suggests that he died in 1942 in Belgium for unexplained circumstances. And mentions that there were a rumour that he had been "trying to run with the hare and hunt with the hounds of the German occupation."

    That he died is supported by the word "died" written in pencil on one of the lists I have on Danes in RAF. This list can be dated to 1946/47.

    On the other hand, I have a 22 Dec 1942 note from his hand excusing that he did not participate in the Danish Minister, count Reventlow's christmas reception on this day. It is send from the Devonshire Club, St James Street, London.

    And I have the MBE citation that at least my sources dates to 6 August 1946. I guess the MBE was not awarded posthumously?

    Regards

    Mikkel Plannthin
    danishww2pilots.dk - a resource on Danish aircrew during the Second World War

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