The Linlithgow man who guarded Rudolph Hess

George Fleming who guarded Rudolf Hess at Spandau Prison
George Fleming who guarded Rudolf Hess at Spandau Prison

George Fleming was taken back to his National Service days when he and his wife Helen took a bus tour to Bletchley Park.

The couple were enthralled by their visit to the war-time codebreaking hub in Milton Keynes.

And seeing all the war-time memorabilia reminded George of his part in guarding the notorious war criminal Rudolf Hess.

George (77) did his two years of National Service with the 1st Battalion Royal Scots beginning in 1959.

Following his initial training at Glencorse Barracks, he was stationed for a time in Berlin.

While there, part of his duties entailed guarding war criminal and Deputy Fuhrer, Rudolf Hess.

Hess was held captive in Spandau Prison along with two other prominent captives, Baldur Von Schirach and Albert Speer, following their conviction at the famous post-war trials at Nuremberg.

The British forces formed part of a multi-national guard who ensured the war criminals remained in captivity.

George and other soldiers from his battalion took up their positions in the towers and at the main gate in Spandau Prison to keep watch over the high profile prisoners.

The trio were allowed out into the fresh air for an hour each day.

George recalled: “Hess used to come out and sit beneath a tree.

“They were all dressed in white shirts and black trousers.

‘‘One of the others walked round the garden and the third picked up a hoe to do some digging.”

Although not a Black Bitch in the truest sense, George has lived all his life in Linlithgow and now stays in Edinburgh Road with Helen.

As a youngster he lived in Low Port before moving to Preston Crescent.

Of their tour to Bletchley Park, he said: “I very much enjoyed seeing it.

“It was not just about Churchill; the things they knew are just amazing to me.”

After his National Service George worked at the BP in Grangemouth as a rigger until he retired.

* Bletchley was home to the Government Code and Cypher School (GC&CS), which devised methods to enable the Allied forces to decipher codes and ciphers used by the Germans and Japanese during World War Two.