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Closed Captions Ep 10 Churchill's Bodyguard Series 1 35595-10

Walter Henry Thompson, I am ex-detective inspector Winston Churchill's bodyguard and I was for a period of nearly 18 years. any piece of film you'll see Narrator: In almost

wartime leader, of Britain's great in the background-- this is the man

anonymous and secret. in saving the life of Churchill Until now, his critical role from a series of attacks from the wider public. has been hidden he would never be taken alive, He himself intended that instructions to me. and he issued direct his .45 Colt fully loaded. I was to have but one on the enemy. He intended to use every bullet he saved for himself. The last one Walter Thompson's censored book Narrator: after the war, told just part of the story. even by Churchill himself. His full memoirs were suppressed Only now can we recount assassination attempts the number of on Churchill's life, many foiled by Walter. to these incredible memoirs, This series, with unique access reveals for the first time with Winston. the story of Walter's life thousands of miles Together, they traveled Stalin and Roosevelt on precarious journeys to meet and other world leaders.

with Lawrence of Arabia; Together, they rode

dodged German assassins; by enemy aircraft, were nearly shot down and IRA hit men. lone gunmen, U-boats, upheavals of the 20th century, This is a story of the political brushes with death, Churchill's constant by an ex-post office messenger and the role played to his life. in preventing an early end he was a dead shot, And with this weapon,

within range of this weapon anyone that came would never survive. (Gunshot) had got back to Britain Narrator: Walter and Winston in early June, 1943, 6 months of travel so far. after their most frenetic

Not only had they crossed the Atlantic two times, but they had also gone the full length of the Mediterranean twice, including a side trip to Turkey. All the way, they had been the target of Axis agents and attempts to shoot down their aircraft.

Both Walter and Winston had been ill with pneumonia, and Walter had suffered a serious wound in the leg from a shooting accident, but was now fit for duty. Within months, once again in the volatile Middle East, Walter would be facing a team of German assassins which had been parachuted in to kill not just Winston, but the other two allied leaders, Roosevelt and Stalin, as well. During July, 1943, the allies moved decisively onto the attack. Pressure on Winston from both the Soviet and U.S. governments to commit himself wholeheartedly to an invasion of northwest Europe during 1944 was becoming intense. He decided that another high-level discussion with President Roosevelt was essential. This time, the "Queen Mary" was again chosen for the trip, rather than flying. Walter and Winston set off on August 4th. The British contingent landed at Halifax in Nova Scotia, and traveled by train to Quebec, where a formal conference was to be held.

But within a day, Walter and Winston were on the move again to spend a long weekend with President Roosevelt at his country estate, Hyde Park. Man as Thompson: On the way, we rested at Niagara Falls, and the mass of pressmen asked the prime minister: "Do the falls look the same as when you visited them in 1900?" Winston smilingly replied,

"Well, the principle remains the same-- the water still keeps falling." Narrator: It was Walter's first trip to Hyde Park, and not a total success. Of all the places that I visited during the war with Mr. Churchill, in my opinion, Hyde Park was the worst. I mean Hyde Park, New York, not the one up the road. The place was very vulnerable, which meant that it had to be covered by security officers for the whole 24 hours, and everybody that moved about either left or entered the premises was checked by these men. I hated the place. There was no peace there for anyone. The Roosevelts were always on the move. If they wanted something, they meant to have it. Day and night, I had to be on the alert. Walking about in the grounds, all over the damn place, with a creel on my hip, a hot dog in my hand, and often a basket of sandwiches on my head, and my trousers covered with mustard. And to add to all that, very often a half a dozen Roosevelt grandchildren trailing me wherever I went. I'd rather have checkers in the blitz than a weekend in Hyde Park any day. Narrator: It was obviously

a somewhat less than restful interlude, after which the two leaders traveled back to Quebec for what was now codenamed "the Quadrant Conference." The target date for a cross-channel invasion

of late spring, 1944, was now agreed, and a joint planning staff set up. During Quadrant, several of his staff remarked on how tired and peevish Winston seemed, and fortunately, his schedule did allow for a break. Man as Thompson: A short holiday had been arranged for Winston by colonel F. W. Clark at Snow Lake, which is well known for its fine fishing. We all relaxed there, and to my surprise, Winston went out onto the lake one morning at 6:00 A.M. A Royal Marine messenger had arrived with official boxes, and as I had no worry about security in this retreat, miles from anywhere, we both went out in a canoe, fishing. One of our hooks got caught in some weeds, and together we leaned over one side to get it free. The result was what might be expected, for neither of us realized how easily a canoe would turn over. We were both thrown into the water. And in swimming to the bank, found we had to make our way through two feet of thick mud. Our clothes were sticking to us, but at least we had held onto the canoe.

Eventually, very dejectedly, we returned to the Lake House, where Winston, on seeing me, very gleefully called out,

"What are you trying to do, Thompson? Commit suicide?"

Narrator: After this break, the British party went back to Washington, where they were again installed at the White Hhouse for an 11-day stay. Man as Thompson: Before leaving the Americas for England, Winston was invited to Harvard university, where, under the strictest security,

he had conferred on him the honorary degree of Doctor of Law. The speech he made following this was remarkable for its tone of Anglo-American unity, which may have had considerable significance, for the meetings with President Roosevelt had shown that the latter was not at one with Winston in his idea that the hope of the world was now in the hands of English-speaking peoples.

And I earnestly trust that when you find yourselves

alongside of our sailors and soldiers in the battlefields and the combats of 1943 and 1944,

you will feel that we are your worthy brothers-in-arms, and you will know that we shall never tire nor weaken, but march with you into any quarter of the world that may be necessary to establish the reign of justice and of law among men. (Applause) Man as Thompson: Doubts appeared in the president's mind from time to time,

and to me, as an onlooker, it appeared that he was obsessed with the idea that Winston wished to further our colonial rule and empire in the Balkans. Narrator: Walter also picked up on the first inklings of what was soon to become a serious cause of dissent between the two leaders. Man as Thompson: From the many remarks I heard, the president seemed to have absolute faith in Stalin, and in the future of the friendship of Russia and the United States. This feeling persisted until the end of the war. What a tragedy. There is no doubt that Winston's knowledge of Russia, both before and during the war, was such that although he welcomed them as allies, he never trusted them.

How right he was, and how wrong was the president. Roosevelt's view of Stalin was emphasized when he remarked to the U.S. Ambassador to Moscow, "Stalin doesn't want anything but security for his country. "I think that if I give him everything I possibly can, "and ask for nothing in return, noblesse oblige, "he won't try to annex anything, and will work for a world of democracy and peace." Narrator: This statement was amazing, since Roosevelt could have had no illusions that he was dealing with a man of murderous ruthlessness. Only a few months before, on April 17, 1943, the Germans had announced the discovery of mass graves in the Katyn Woods in the part of eastern Poland which had been occupied by the Soviets in 1939.

These contained the bodies of some 4,000 Polish officers who had surrendered to the Red Army, and subsequently disappeared. It was obvious that the Soviets had been responsible for the mass killings, but Stalin immediately blamed them on the Nazis, and both Roosevelt and Churchill

had to take his protestations at face value. But the writing was on the wall for a worsening of relations between Winston and his great ally. For Walter, it would mean a whole range of new threats. The big 3, together for the first time, would be a prime target for assassins. Hello from Fremantle. Hello from the Barossa Valley. And it's time to say hello to Telstra's Next G network. Don't be left behind. Visit your Telstra shop today and upgrade to Next G network coverage with this great Samsung A501 on a $30 Phone Plan. Hello from Alice Springs. Say hello to the Next G network today - faster, simpler, with coverage everywhere you need it.

Only from Telstra. Roosevelt's apparent refusal to believe anything but the best of Stalin was ominous, for discussions as to where the 3 leaders should meet together for the first time were now well underway. Walter, Winston, and the British party traveled back to Britain aboard the battle cruiser "Renown," reaching the Clyde on September 20th.

They had been away for 47 days, and Winston's brief holiday during that time had done little to relieve his exhaustion. His colleagues noted how tired he looked, but there was little time for any further relaxation, for in less than two months,

HMS "Renown" was taking him on again on the first stage of the trip to meet Stalin and Roosevelt, eastwards into the Mediterranean via Malta. Man as Thompson: Here it was hoped that the conference might be held, but the American security officers

were dissatisfied with the arrangements, and it was decided to hold it at Teheran. Moreover, Stalin refused to go as far as Malta, but agreed on Teheran. Narrator: Like its neighbor, Afghanistan, Iran had been a cockpit of rivalry between the British and Russian empires since the late 19th century. And its value had dramatically increased with the growing importance of oil in the early 20th. Its previous ruler, Reza Shah Pahlavi, had frequently sought German help to play off the two great rivals. In 1941, when they were finally forced onto the same side,

Britain and the Soviet union had ousted him, put his young son as a puppet in his place, and effectively occupied the country. In addition to its oil, Iran now became important as a route along which supplies could be sent to the Soviet Union.

Before the takeover, both the rival German intelligence services-- the Abwehr, under Admiral Wilhelm Canaris, and the Section 6 of the ss under Walter Schellenberg-- had maintained spy networks in the country. The key one of these for the SS was Franz Mayer, who had managed to evade Allied counterintelligence and was living in Teheran. The Abwehr had a Swiss national named Ernst Merser who it had recruited in 1938, and sent to Teheran under the cover of a businessman.

But what the Abwehr didn't realize was that Merser had already been recruited by the British Secret Intelligence Service, SIS, and was being run as a double agent by its resident in Teheran, Percy Downwood. During early 1943, as defeat at Stalingrad shattered German confidence on the eastern front, both the Abwehr and Section 6 began to look at ways of interrupting the flow of Allied supplies through Iraq.

In March, 1943, in what appears to have been a joint operation, 6 saboteurs were parachuted into the country. They were there to prepare for sabotage operations under the direction of Franz Mayer. Alongside his increasing interest in Iran from a sabotage point of view, Schellenberg had stepped up his planning for assassination attempts against the Allied Big 3. French intelligence had warned Winston that plans were in place for an attempt to kill him before the outbreak of war. It is probable that an attempt was considered to kill Churchill and Roosevelt at Casablanca, but news of their meeting there, and not in the United States, reached Schellenberg too late. Certainly, by mid-1943, Schellenberg had set up a joint SS-Abwehr team to carry out "operation long jump," an attempt to kill one or all of the top allied leaders when they got together, once their meeting place had been identified. The potential assassins were drawn from the two elite German special forces: the army's Brandenburg Division, and the SS's Friedenthal Jagdwibatte, or Friedenthal Hunting Group, a unit modeled on the British Commandos. This was commanded by the infamous Otto Skorzeny, and based at Oranienburg near Berlin.

Both units trained hard in all forms of unconventional warfare,

including assassination and sabotage, and both used a specialist training camp at Kwenskut on Lake Kwenst in Bavaria. Thus the Germans had the means to mount an assassination attempt, and Teheran was one of the places where they had both agents and a large number of sympathizers

who could give an assassination squad considerable support-- provided the squad could be activated in time. But the British had had an extraordinarily lucky break: In September, another of Schellenberg's agents, Dr. Winifred Oberg, was parachuted in, landing near Teheran. He had been caught up in a Soviet security operation, but before he could be unmasked, he was freed by the Swiss double agent, Ernst Merser, in an operation to rescue his Polish girlfriend, Wanda Pollack, who was being held in the same prison. Oberg had revealed his identity to Mercer, believing that he was working only for the Abwehr,

and Mercer gave him shelter. He was then able to find out the whereabouts of most of the other German agents already in Teheran, and put a watch on them. Mercifully for Walter and his fellow bodyguards, the decision to hold the conference at Teheran

was only taken at the last moment. But despite an enormous security effort, it was soon being rumored that the Big 3 would meet in Teheran.

All would now depend on whether the Germans would believe these rumors, and how quickly they would act on them. President Roosevelt arrived in Egypt the day after "Renown" docked, and Winston was able to return the compliment by meeting him at Heliopolis airport. While in Cairo, the two men conferred

with General Chiang Kai-Shek,

leader of the chinese resistance to the Japanese. Walter again showed his weakness for a pretty woman by being smitten by the beauteous but devious Madam Chiang Kai-Shek. Man as Thompson: It was quickly realized at the first meeting

that Madam Chiang Kai-Shek was not only the interpreter, but the prime mover in everything that transpired. She was beautifully dressed, and a most attractive woman. Narrator: It was during this conference that Walter got his first inkling of a strain

in the Churchill-Roosevelt relationship. Man as Thompson: During the conference in Cairo, i was instructed one day by Winston to take a letter to Chiang Kai-Shek at his villa, inviting him to dinner with Winston and the president,

and to await an answer. On my arrival at the villa, I saw the First Secretary, who informed me that Chiang Kai-Shek was with the president, and on his return would arrange for a reply to the letter

to be sent to Winston. I returned to our villa and explained to Winston why I was unable to bring him a reply. He was sitting in a chair, looking at some papers. But when I gave him the news, he jumped up and started to walk up and down the room, saying, "He cannot He cannot do this to me."

He seemed very distressed, and went on, "I should have been informed of this meeting so I could have been present." The atmosphere cleared a little before we left Cairo, but at times Winston appeared to be deep in thought. Narrator: The British party

left secretly for Teheran on November 27th.

Walter would also have been deep in thought

had he known that during the 5 days before then, some 60 more German agents had been parachuted into Iran. The Germans were not sure that the allied leaders would be meeting in Teheran, but they wanted to be ready if the rumors proved true. The pieces were now in place for a nerve-wracking intelligence game between a German assassination team and Walter and his fellow bodyguards. The flight to Teheran took 6 hours, and Walter abruptly encountered the problems he faced as they landed. Man as Thompson: On arrival at the Teheran airport, and from there to the British legation, I was very disturbed at the inadequate security arrangements

which had been made, both for our arrival and for the journey to Teheran itself. We were forced to drive at a reduced speed in the town, and far too many people were swarming around our car as we slowly proceeded. The arrangements for our security had been made by a military officer who met us at the airport, and informed the prime minister

that he was arranging for his security, and suggested that we travel at a very quick rate to the British legation, now embassy. With him was a number of military police to act as escort. They left just ahead of us in a jeep, which, to my surprise, had the hood up,

thus preventing them from seeing all around. They traveled so fast that they are soon far ahead of our car. As we pass through the main streets, I notice military police at the junction of every road, who came to attention and saluted as we passed. We soon arrived in the principal street of Teheran

to find large crowds all over the pavement and roadway, compelling our car to practically stop. Fortunately, no one seemed to recognize us, and we safely reached the embassy. Shortly after our arrival, I was in consultation with the military authorities there

in connection with the security, which, to me, was not satisfactory. I suggested that on any future journeys, the military police in the jeep should keep close to our car, and that the police on the road should face the crowd and not the prime minister, thus preventing anyone rushing forward. And at the same time, they would be able to watch those standing about. It was suggested that I brought the matter up to the Provost Marshall, who, on my suggesting the above alterations, became indignant that I should interfere with military matters. At that time, he was far from cooperative. And for the time being, the matter was left there. Shortly after, I was informed that Winston wished to see me urgently, and on going into his room,

he said, "What did you notice, Thompson, as regards security from the airport today?" I replied that I was far from satisfied. I then detailed my talk with the military officers, after which he said, "Their security arrangements

"were most unsatisfactory, and must be tightened up. "I put the matter in your hands, Thompson, "as we have definitive information "that German agents have been parachuted into the area, "and attempts are to be made on the lives of us all. "Arrangements are in hand for the president to stay with Marshall Stalin." Narrator: It may well be that it was this information about German agents being parachuted in which made the Provost marshall swiftly become more amenable. Fortunately for the allies, many of the agents were renegade Russians who took the first opportunity they could to contact the Soviet authorities. These immediately arrested a large number of men, among them many of the agents, but no one had any information as to exactly how many had been sent, and therefore how many might have slipped through the net. Walter, his opposite number,

Mike Reilly of the U.S. Secret Service, and the Soviets now knew that an unknown number of enemy agents were still at large. But they didn't know how much these agents knew about the security arrangements which had been made. These were now being urgently tightened, not least because the U.S. embassy, where Roosevelt had originally planned to stay, was more than a mile from the Soviet and British embassies, which were side-by-side across a narrow road, and relatively easy to guard. Man as Thompson: The following morning, the Provost Marshall came to see me with regard to the visit, which had been previously arranged for Winston to visit the president at the American embassy at 11:00 a.m. that morning. He suggested that I should go over the route to see if the security arrangements were satisfactory. Only a few people were then aware that the president was staying with Marshall Stalin. As I knew this, I reported to Winston the request of the Provost Marshall, and was instructed to send my colleague on a dummy run, and not cancel the 11:00 a.m. appointment. At 10:50 a.m., the prime minister said, "Thompson, I want you to go to the American embassy "as though I am traveling, and then report back to me as to the arrangements made." the Provost Marshal, my colleague, and myself left the embassy and turned into the main road, which was a dual purpose road. British troops were clearing people from the roadway and the pavements, but the locals were far from helpful

and made the soldiers' efforts very difficult.

A large crowd was massed at the junction of the roads and was most threatened as we passed.

I pointed out to the Provost Marshal that gatherings like that, especially in corners, where cars had to slow down, should be moved back out of sight to the approaching vehicles so as to spoil their range

if they attempt any form of assassination. He thought this unnecessary. We returned from this journey quite safely, and I reported back to Winston that the local inhabitants were being stirred up by German agents and that large crowds were assembling outside the British embassy. British troops were sent out to move them away. But failing the use of actual force, many dodged around the soldiers. More troops were sent out, and eventually the crowd,

who were very unruly and hostile,

were kept in order, and later in the day, dispersed.

Constant patrols were kept on the alert, and the gates of the embassy were heavily guarded and kept shut, and any vehicle entering being subjected to the utmost search as was any unknown person who wished to enter. Narrator: Roosevelt's decision to accept the hospitality

of a villa in the spacious grounds of the Soviet embassy was based on both convenience and security.

Mike Riley had concluded that making the journey every day presented an unacceptable risk and that accepting the Soviet offer made sense at least from a physical security point of view. Whether it did from any other point of view is debatable. The Soviets had ensured that the Americans were thoroughly bugged and as Walter picked up the fact that Roosevelt and Stalin could meet at any time without him being aware of it added greatly to Winston's feelings of insecurity. Man, as Thompson: I have often thought since about this arrangement. From the security point of view, it was the best possible plan in the circumstances. I've asked myself many times, was the present position of Europe created here? And if so, was influence brought to bear by Stalin on his guest? I wonder, for I heard and saw much. There is no doubt now, and it's been proved by subsequent events, that Stalin misled not only the president, but Hopkins, Eisenhower, and many other Americans who firmly believed they could trust Russia during and after the war. In this respect, Stalin moved in very quickly after the president arrived, and the same day and frequently afterwards, he met the president alone without Winston being present.

The cordiality between the two became more evident when on several occasions Roosevelt joked with Stalin at Winston's expense. Winston loved humor and could give out much of it himself, but at an important conference and one of such magnitude between the 3 most important heads of state, humor and jokes directed at him were not only amazing but caused him to feel very distressed at the lack of statesmanship which they indicated. Narrator: Nonetheless, as a professional security officer, Walter made the best of it. Man, as Thompson: The roadway between the British embassy and the Soviet embassy was closed at each end and barricades erected and machine guns put into position and manned night and day whilst the conference lasted, and it was held in the Soviet embassy. By this arrangement, Winston was able to leave by the garden gate and walk without molestation across the dividing road into the Soviet embassy. Soldiers with Tommy guns patrolled along the main roads outside the British embassy and the Soviet embassy, and no one was allowed to remain near. During the time the conference was in session, I had searches made of the premises overlooking the side of the British embassy, and watch was kept night and day inside the grounds and everyone unknown was treated as suspect. We were right on our toes and were determined that nothing should happen to our charges. It was evident that the German agents in the area were finding the principals of the conference were able to meet without interference,

and efforts were made by them to ferment as much trouble as possible among the local inhabitants. Some days, small groups would gather opposite the gates of the British embassy, and troops had to go out repeatedly to move them away. The whole period of the conference was one of tension and strain. Most of the time, I had my automatic in my hand inside my pocket, hoping I should not be called upon to use it, thereby making a nice hole in my coat.

Everyone I passed who was not known to me

little thought that I had them covered from the moment they appeared until they passed well away, being watched until they were out of range. I also searched the prime minister's bedroom every night before he retired, and a watch was kept right through the night outside his room either by my colleague or myself. I did not feel relaxed until we were again airborne and well away from Teheran. Narrator: The strain on Walter must have been even greater than he let on, for while the conference was in session, a deadly game was now in progress. The head of British intelligence in Teheran, Percy Downwood, knew the location of most German agents through the work of Ernst Mersen, but he had received information that at least one more team of 6 was on the loose and was desperately trying to track this down. Oblivious of this, the conference meetings went on. Man, as Thompson: At Teheran, Winston pressed for an operation to be carried out in the eastern Mediterranean, with the possible hope that Turkey might come into the war. This idea immediately created suspicion in the minds

of both Roosevelt and Stalin. And once more, they wondered whether Winston had ideas of gaining some territory in the Balkans. Winston had no such idea. Although the conference commenced in a pleasant atmosphere, as the days went on, I noticed time after time when I was walking from the Soviet embassy back to ours there was a strained silence. Usually in such circumstances, Winston would speak to me from time to time, but at that particular time, he was noticeably tense. Roosevelt being resident at the Soviet embassy was in a most favorable position for constant contact

alone with Stalin. And it was noticeable to those on the scene that both made great use of the easy method of meeting each other without Winston being present, which their close proximity afforded. Apart from the sessions in the conference itself,

Roosevelt appeared to be avoiding any meeting with Winston.

The latter, sensing that these meetings were going on in the Soviet embassy, invited the president to lunch with him.

Roosevelt, although in constant contact with Stalin

declined this invitation on the grounds that the Russians might feel that he and Winston were privately making their own arrangements.

I'm sure from what I saw that the president felt

that his personality was strong enough to overcome any doubts in Stalin's mind which might occur during the conference. It is well known that onlookers see most of the game. And as the days of the conference went by, I was sure that at times Winston was far from happy. I do know that on one occasion, he asked to speak with Stalin alone when matters were going so much against him. I watched his face from day to day, as for the many years that I had been with him I had learned to read his moods very well. The day came for the prime minister to present Marshal Stalin with the Stalingrad sword. The presentation was to be made after a luncheon at the Soviet embassy. I was very happy to carry the case

in which the sword had been transported into the embassy, placing it on the table in the center of the room. A number of Russian soldiers with Tommy guns across their chest stood in a line, whilst opposite, there was a similar number of the buffs with rifles and fixed bayonets. A British lieutenant with the sword between his feet stood waiting. And when Winston came forward and Stalin walked into the room, Winston took the sword, holding it outwards toward Stalin. He then said, "Marshal Stalin, I have command from "His Majesty King George VI to present you for transmission "to the city of Stalingrad this sword of honor, "the design of which His Majesty himself approved. "This blade bears the inscription "to the steel-hearted citizens of Stalingrad, "a gift from King George VI, in token of the homage of the British peoples." The national anthems of the two countries were then played. And the premier, taking the sword into his two hands, turned, and with a very grave look on his face, handed it to Marshal Stalin's outstretched hands. The marshal, smiling with pleasure, lifted the sword to his lips, and in absolute silence, kissed the scabbard. As he handed the sword over to Marshal Borashilov, Stalin let the blade fall from the scabbard, but he managed to retrieve it quickly. The president expressed the wish to see the sword. When Stalin showed it to him, he held it by the hilt and said aloud, "truly a heart of steel. "Yes, the word "steel-hearted" represents the people of Stalingrad." Stalin was very pleased with these words, but what impressed me and my colleagues so much was the look of intense admiration from the president as he looked up into Stalin's face. November 30 was Winston's birthday, and although he worked right through as usual, he took some time off to receive many presents and to attend his dinner party that night. The president's gift was a blue and white porcelain bowl and the card enclosed read "For Winston Spencer Churchill, "on his 69th birthday at Teheran, Iran, "November 30, 1943, "with my affection, and may we be together for many years." Narrator: While this was going on, Percy Downwood and Ernst Mercer had finally got a lead on the remaining German team through a representative of the American O.S.S. Peter Ferguson. Who had been approached by one of his own double agents Mizbar Ekterhach. Ekterhach had been helping the Germans, but was now ready to betray them. In return for a substantial reward, he would lead the allied agents to their hiding place the next evening. For Walter and his fellow bodyguards, it must have seemed that a dangerous situation

was just about under control. GIRL: We just got our new PC at home. Mum's mixed some old disco songs, or whatever, MAN: Buy an HP Pavilion Home Desktop PC I've just got a few things that need steam cleaning. Oh, let's see. They'll be ready this afternoon. Experience the power of steam cleaning at home. LG's revolutionary new combined steam washer and dryer. As the guests gathered at the British embassy for Churchill's birthday dinner, the allied security services in Teheran prepared to round up the last German agents. Man, as Thompson: The guests numbered 34. And as they arrived, I paid special attention to the security officers with Stalin. I wondered what they would do to protect their charge. Stalin arrived and walked up the staircase where Winston awaited him, followed by one of his security officers. He was then escorted by Winston to a side room to have cocktails. And at once, the security officers noticing the dining room entered and walked around the table looking at the place cards. When he reached the seat allocated to Stalin, he put his hands on the chair, stepped back 2 paces, and stood to attention. This of course could not be permitted. And after I'd made 3 attempts to persuade him to leave the dining room, I put my hands on his shoulders and walked him out of the front entrance, where I indicated he should remain. To my surprise, without demure, he remained there until the end of the evening. Feeling that there might be repercussions for my actions, I took the opportunity of informing Winston of what I'd done. He smiled and said, "Thompson, strength is the only thing "the Russians understand. "they will drive you to the limit,

"but when you stand your ground, more often than not, they will relent." when all the guests were seated at the long table, where the centerpiece was a large birthday cake with 69 candles, Winston announced that all toasts would be drunk Russian fashion. This meant that the proposer would leave his seat, touch glasses with the person whose health he proposed, and then return to his place. When the prime minister proposed a toast to Stalin, he said, "I sometimes call you Joe. "and you can call me Winston, if you like, but I like to think of you as my very good friend." He went on, and referring to the political masses, said the British people were turning politically pink. And finished, as he raised his glass, "Marshal Stalin, Stalin the Great." In his reply, Stalin said, "We want to be friends with great Britain and America.

"And if they wish to be friends with us, they can show it by their actions." Then he touched Winston's glass and said, "to my fighting friend." The prime minister then toasted the president. "We have been friends for many years. "but since the outbreak of war,

"our friendship and the mutual understanding between our two countries will continue through the ages." He then raised his glass.

"The president, and Roosevelt, the man." "Winston," replied the president, "has long been my personal friend. "He has been a great man for 69 years. Anyway, 60 of them." the guests were highly amused at this, as the president turned to Stalin and said, "Winston said the people of Eengland are becoming pink "in their political outlook. "I should compare the whole position to that of a rainbow here." At this junction, Mr. Eden rose to give a toast to Mr. Molotov. He raised an empty glass and began, "If I had something to drink, I would give a toast." Frank Sawyers, Winston's valet, who had been helping to keep the 34 glasses charged,

soon remedied the defect. And Stalin, sensing a little sideplay, insisted on 2 separate occasions in toasting Sawyers amid much applause. The most amusing incident of the evening was when Stalin was proposing a toast with Pavlov, his diminutive interpreter standing by his side. The frequent movements around the table for the various toasts had ruffled up the carpet. And on this occasion, as Pavlov began to give the English version of Stalin's toast, a waiter carrying a magnificent pudding tripped over the carpet, flinging the whole thing over Pavlov. Drenched from his head downwards, Pavlov solemnly finished his translations before being mopped down by the waiter. What would have happened a moment before if this had gone over Stalin, whose face showed disapproval of the hilarious amusement of the other guests? Later that night, I waited nearby for Winston to go to his bedroom, for my duty never ended until he went to sleep. As he passed me, he turned his head, and with a mischievous smile said, "That waiter was a bad shot, Thompson." It was quite evident what he meant. He appeared to have enjoyed his birthday. But even so, there lurked in his face much tenseness at times. Narrator: The next day, the first of December, saw the final meetings of the Teheran conference, and the final dinner between the 3 leaders began at the Soviet embassy at 8:30 in the evening. None of them was aware that simultaneously the final stages of the assassination attempt were also being played out. The attempt to arrest the 6 German agents still at large had failed, and they slipped away to shelter with a sympathetic Iranian police officer.

Amazingly, in the confusion, they failed to realize that it was Mizbar Ekterhach who had betrayed their hiding place. The agents now became aware that the Big 3 were likely to be leaving the next day and again contacted Ekterhach to help them to prepare ambushes. They planned to divide into 3 2-man teams, armed with pistols and gallon grenades-- plastic explosives carried on their bodies which could be exploded as a suicide bomb. Ekterhach agreed to meet them early the next morning at another address

with information about the Big 3's likely movements so that they could intercept the 3 targets. Instead, he went to the British and U.S. Agents and betrayed their plans. Early the next morning, the 6 German agents went to the address given them by Ekterhach.

He was waiting and insisted that each pair come with him separately next door to meet the guides who will take them to ambush their targets. As they went out, 5 of the 6 Germans were attacked and disabled by a team of allied agents led by Peter Ferguson. The final German came out too early, saw what was going on, and tried to set off his explosives. (Gunshot) Ferguson shot him dead. The explosives went off, but it was the only killing in Teheran that day. Walter, who had almost certainly been told of the success of the operation by the British secret service was still taking no chances. As he coordinated the plans for getting Churchill, Stalin, and Roosevelt away safely with his fellow bodyguards. Man, as Thompson: It was decided that the president will leave for the airport first. But any information as to when Stalin would leave was refused. Eventually when we were ready to leave, army vehicles were drawn up at the various entrances of the Soviet embassy until we had passed. Having been very concerned at the lack of security on our arrival, I was determined to take a definite line of my own. The whole route to the airport was covered by troops, many of whom were on roofs of strategic buildings. Narrator: As an additional precaution, Walter insisted that some of Churchill's staff travel in his limousine, which was given a close escort. Winston himself would have a less comfortable transport. Man, as Thompson: We left the embassy accompanied by a Russian-speaking officer in an old army car with a number of battered trunks covered with dust on top. Some distance ahead was a jeep with military police in case of trouble. But we passed through Teheran to the airport without anyone paying the slightest attention to us.

Narrator: The threat was over. The full details of the German plot and the extraordinary luck that prevented a serious attempt on the lives of Winston and his fellow leaders only became public after the war. For Walter, it was a successful conclusion

to one of the most nerve- wracking episodes of his career,

but there were to be moments when even his care and skill would not be enough to keep Winston from serious harm. Captioned by the national captioning institute --www.Ncicap.Org-- That's a nice one of you, Noel! (Noel chuckles) It was good, working as entertainers, because you'd work of a night and during the days, you could do this sort of thing. We worked together between the ages of 10 and 28. We've been friends now for, probably 55, 56 years. My name is Noel Elliot. I'm Barry Martin. We were known as the Trapinos. And we shot these movies between '57 and '64. That's Barry. Doing some flicks. There's Noel. We were probably in an era where television was starting, vaudeville was finishing. We mixed comedy with acrobatics. This was Channel 10. 'Jimmy Hannon Show'. Is that me? Yeah. Holy dooley! Did I do that? This was taken off a television screen. In those days, it was live television, spontaneous television. We learnt our art by having to do it and changing it so often. Oh, Tokyo 1961. These are the names of the clubs we worked at... Hanabasha... Hanabasha... Copa Cabana... Copa Cabana... Queen Bee nightclub. The audiences were mainly business people. The only women there were hostesses and all they were interested in was selling drinks. These clubs would seat 2000 or 3000 people. It was autumn, wasn't it? Autumn, yes. There's Barry. Going off for a day's shooting. Photography was a nice way to fill in the days that we had. An opportunity to get out and explore. I think we were in Japan for six or seven months, weren't we? Yes. Ah! This is '63, leaving on the 'Castel Felice' to... To go to London. ... go to London. We came back from Japan. We both married in that short period before we left to go overseas. We'd done all we could in Australia and it was our next step. That's Heather, my wife.

When we left, we had a boat ticket to England and 48 pounds. So we either succeeded when we got there, or else we were stranded. Ah, Palma. We spent about a month, didn't we? Yeah. Palma, Majorca. We worked in a... Tico Vista Verde, was that the name? Yeah. It was an open-air nightclub. We were backstage weren't we, getting ready? After midnight, they used to do international floorshows. This is us. This is us. This was pretty place, wasn't it? Yes. Tivoli Gardens. Copenhagen. The Tivoli only opened for a short period of the year. Very popular. Very good audiences, too, weren't they? Yeah, Tivoli were good.

We tried to make comedy out of everything. We'd prefer to get a laugh than an applause. I think it's the character of two people.

If you get two characters that can work together but opposite, it clicks. Here we go! This is London. I think we arrived Christmas Eve... Yes. It would have been. Sometimes that could be a bit tough, particularly in strange cities. Yeah. I haven't seen this bit, Noel. Sunday night at the Palladium. That's right. The show used to go out live every Sunday night. When we were young our ambitions never got much past the Tivoli circuit in Australia. That period of our life... Working and travelling together. ..was very exciting and a lot more than what we really expected. Captions (c) SBS Australia 2003 This program is captioned live. Just bear in mind you're dealing here with a grubby dictator. The Prime Minister turns up the heat on the Zimbabwe tour. The new president promises to unite all sides of politics in East Timor. World leaders bid farewell to Britain's Tony Blair - We'll miss him, he's a remarkable person. And send in the bulldozers - How "Old" Beijing is making room for the Olympic Games. Good evening. Anton Enus with SBS World News Australia. Zimbabwe's ambassador to Australia has told the Federal Government to stop trying to ban a cricket tour in the troubled nation.

Stephen Chiketa says politics has no place in sport and cancelling the visit will only hurt the Zimbabwean children. But the Howard Government is looking for legal ways to stop the tour, concerned it will be used as a propaganda tool for the country's dictator, Robert Mugabe. John Howard is a self-confessed cricket tragic. Now he's playing the umpire and has ruled Zimbabwe out. Mr Howard has vowed to do whatever is needed to stop the Australian cricket team's tour of Zimbabwe in September. I am jammed between my distaste for the Government getting involved in something like this and my even greater distaste for giving a propaganda victory to Robert Mugabe. Foreign Minister Alexander Downer is working behind the scenes to find a legal loophole. If not, the Government will use taxpayers' money to cover a fine of more than $2 million to cancel the tour. We all have to cop what comes to us in life, I suppose, but my view about that is if that can be avoided, that would be good. But it's President Robert Mugabe who stands to benefit. He's head patron of the Zimbabwean Cricket Union and may pocket the money. You're dealing here with a grubby dictator, somebody who's had no pressure put on him until very, very recently, and it's still very tepid. Take your politics somewhere else. Leave the sporting people with their sports, they want to enjoy it. The Prime Minister's stance leaves Australia's cricketers on a sticky wicket. Play, and defy their government. Not play, and risk the ire of world cricket. Ashleigh Nghiem, World News Australia.

Jose Ramos Horta has vowed to unite East Timor following his landslide presidential election victory. Xanana Gusmao will hand over to Mr Ramos Horta, who's promised to reform the security forces. East Timor's army bids farewell to its commander-in-chief, and watching in the wings the man who will succeed him. When he takes up the presidency in nine days time,

it'll be Jose Ramos Horta's job to unite this country. Well, without even waiting for taking over, Monday I am meeting already with the entire army chief of staff to address the issue of the so-called petitioner soldiers who left the barracks over a year ago and caused all this turmoil. It was divisions within the army that sparked last year's violence in which 37 people were killed. Major Alfredo Reinado was one of the soldiers who took part in last year's army revolt. He is still on the run. But how seriously the Australian-led international security force is looking for him is a point of much conjecture here. In what was seen as an attempt to win the support of Reinado's followers, Jose Ramos Horta used the second round of the presidential campaign to call for the hunt to be called off. It was one of many issues

which sparked a bitter war of words with Fretilin. They were taking a risk with the stability of this country instead of promoting the national unity and national reconciliation that the people so much need. This election has been a wake-up call for Fretilin. If the result is repeated at the parliamentary elections next month, it'll lose more than 40 of its 55 seats -

a result which for some would be too much to bear. In East Timor, Brian Thomson, World News Australia. Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown, has tonight formally launched his bid to succeed Tony Blair

as Britain's Labour party leader and prime minister. Mr Blair has endorsed his deputy for the top job just 24 hours after he announced he would be stepping down on June 27. The United States and Australia have taken the lead in paying tribute to Tony Blair, who now has less than seven weeks remaining in office. Tony Blair's resignation speech has been widely interpreted as a plea for understanding after leading his country to war in Iraq. I give my thanks to you, the British people, for the times that I've succeeded, and my apologies to you for the times I've fallen short. But good luck. APPLAUSE Opinion remains divided over whether his decision to follow the US into the war will be his lasting political legacy. Tony's greatest single error was the nature of his association with George Bush. He went along with George Bush and he committed British troops. It doesn't really matter that his intentions were good,

the results have been very messy and clearly a disaster, and he's got to come to terms with that. But it's not the whole story. Not surprisingly, close allies only had praise for the departing Prime Minister. When Tony Blair tells you something, as we say in Texas, you can take it to the bank. We've got a relationship such that we can have really good discussions, and so I'll miss him. I... He's a remarkable person and I consider him a good friend. A very courageous person, somebody I liked immensely. He took on his own party over a very difficult issue, and that was Iraq. He believed in the importance of Western countries standing together on these things and I agreed with him. The British Chancellor, Gordon Brown, the man most widely tipped to replace Tony Blair, is clearly pleased his long wait in the wings is almost over. CHEERING AND APPLAUSE Thank you. Today I announce

that I am a candidate to be leader of the Labour Party and to lead a new government. He may not yet be Prime Minister, but with Tony Blair well and truly on his way out, analysts are already examining the prospects for the British-US alliance. He's certainly not going to announce all British troops are coming home tomorrow.

But I think he will be less enthusiastic

about belligerent noises over Iran, less enthusiastic, less publicly associated with the rather more gung-ho aspects