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He was variously Mason, Rooke, Corser, de Loebelle, Anderson, Deram, Godfrey, preceded by Paul or Joseph or Richard, Captain, Sergeant, whatever took his fancy, whatever he thought might give him an advantage or get him out of a tight corner. His story is told in a new book by author Josh Ireland examining the lives and motivations of British traitors in World War II.
But whereas others — notably the radio propagandist William 'Lord Haw-Haw' Joyce and John Amery, who tried to recruit British prisoners-of-war to an SS 'Legion of St George' — betrayed their country on ideological grounds, what makes Cole stand out is that he did so out of nothing but greed and self-interest.
The police crept up the stairs, but their heavy tread gave them away and the tall, flame-haired fugitive was waiting at the open door, pistol in hand.
He fired, they shot back and their hail of bullets slammed him back across the shabby room and onto the bed, where he bled to death.
And he did well for himself.'Monsieur Paul', as he now liked to be known, spent more and more time there, splashing the cash in nightclubs and restaurants, playing the big man.Enactment of Georges Blind's execution, French Resistance fighter and member of the Ferrand network.German soldiers aimed at him to make him speak, in the 4th ditch of Belfort castle ctober 14-24, 1944. Many of those he brought out wouldn't hear a word against him.He'd been jailed twice and was still wanted back home for 13 larceny offences.Cole was always a chancer, a spiv with all the charm and nerve of an Arthur Daley and with a complete absence of scruples. Joining the Army, he was with the British Expeditionary Force in France in 1940, but his role was hardly heroic.