Defence

The Friendly Spy Who Died Alone

Over more than 100 years, the Commonwealth Public Service has probably employed a million men and women. A.N. Wootton was just one of them, outwardly a likeable and overloaded Commercial Secretary and Assistant Trade Commissioner, but also an incidental spy. Declassified departmental files tell his story, reflecting both the very best and the very worst of the service which Mr Rudd says needs to lift its game. As the Japanese closed in, Singapore was in chaos. Saturday, February 14, 1942, was ending amid the shattering sounds of the approaching final battle. Flames lit the skies around the city and the…

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