For most of his 4 decades in Newfoundland, Major General Hugh Tudor shunned photographs and interviews, scrupulously avoiding publicity and living a carefully quiet life in the shadows - far from his country, his wife and children, and very far indeed from the limelight.
But he lived in fear. And he harboured a dark secret.
One that would eventually cause an assassin to cross the Atlantic with a mission: to hunt him down.
If you'd like to find out more about General Tudor, you can check out the links below There's not much information available about his time in Newfoundland – not officially, anyway. He kept a low profile here; there seems to be only one photograph, and he avoided interviews altogether.
In fact the interview you hear in the documentary may be the only one he engaged in – at the age of 92 he may have thought he had nothing to lose at that point by speaking publicly. The interviewer you hear with him was Iris Power. Iris wrote feature articles for local newspapers and periodicals and had a weekly radio program during the 1960's. The interview may have been recorded for that.
A small personal footnote: it was through Iris Power that I once met Hugh Tudor myself. I was a young teenager, dating Iris' daughter. She decided it would be good for daughter and boyfriend to meet this elderly British general, and so I remember her taking us both up the stairs to his apartment in Churchill Park, St. John's. I suppose I shook his hand, but I don't really remember that. In fact I don't recall anything at all about him. I was 17, at that age with about as much interest in elderly generals as I had in my parents' record collection.
I wish now that I had been interested, and that I'd known about his activities in Ireland, because there are questions I could have asked him. I wish that Iris had asked him some of those questions in the interview, but she didn't. She asked only about his friendship with Churchill. Even when he spontaneously veered into a condemnation of Brigadier General Frank Crozier, she didn't pursue it. Perhaps it was a precondition of the interview that no questions would be asked about Tudor's time in Ireland, for none were.
And a year or two after I met him, he went to his grave, remembered in Ireland as an incarnation of evil – and remembered in Churchill Park as a quiet old man strolling with a cane over to Monty's Delicatessen.
- Chris Brookes
For more information about this story try these resources:
For more than 40 years...
This retired British Army general made St. John's his home. During the First World War he was a decorated artillery commander, credited with inventing the smoke screen and the artillery box barrage.
In Newfoundland, it is said that Tudor avoided photographs, in order to escape detection. This is one of only two known to exist , the frontispiece of his WW1 autobiography THE FOG OF WAR(unpublished - copy in Memorial University archives online HERE. It does not mention his time in Ireland)
Dramatised scenes (except for the final scene) are excerpted from DEATH OF A LESSER MAN by Thomas Rendell Curran, published by Boulder Publications 2011 "...an extraordinary and richly detailed mystery, true to Newfoundland's history... a captivating and thrilling read..." (read review)
Aiden Flynn as Stride
Brian Hennessey as Butcher and Greene
Berni Stapleton as Rita and Catherine
Chris Brookes as Narrator
Production: Written, recorded and produced by Chris Brookes