Primary Documents - Carl Lody's Final Letters, 5 November 1914

Carl Lody On the day before his execution at the Tower of London on 6 November 1914 as a German spy following his earlier conviction - the first German to be executed by Britain during the war - Carl Lody wrote three, possibly four letters, two of which are reproduced here.

The first was to the commanding officer at the Tower of London, in which Lody gave thanks for his fair treatment.  The second was to relations back home in Stuttgart, in which he said his farewells and reiterated that his trial had been handled fairly.

London, Nov, 5th 1914
Tower of London

To the Commanding Officer of the 3rd Battalion Gren. Guards.
Wellington Barracks


I feel it my duty as a German officer to express my sincere thanks and appreciation towards the staff officers and men who were in charge of my person during my confinement.

Their kind and considered treatment has called my highest esteem and admiration as regards good fellowship even towards the enemy and if I may be permitted, I would thank you for making this known to them.

I am, Sir, with profound respect:

Carl Hans Lody.

Senior Lieutenant, Imperial German Naval Res. II.

London, Nov, 5th 1914
Tower of London

(To relations in Stuttgart)

My dear ones,

I have trusted in God and He has decided.  My hour has come, and I must start on the journey through the Dark Valley like so many of my comrades in this terrible War of Nations.  May my life be offered as a humble offering on the alter of the Fatherland.

A hero's death on the battlefield is certainly finer, but such is not to be my lot, and I die here in the Enemy's country silent and unknown, but the consciousness that I die in the service of the Fatherland makes death easy.

The Supreme Court-Martial of London has sentenced me to death for Military Conspiracy.  Tomorrow I shall be shot here in the Tower.  I have had just Judges and I shall die as an Officer, not as a spy.

Farewell.  God bless you,


"Bellied" was a term used to describe when a tank's underside was caught upon an obstacle such that its tracks were unable to grip the earth.

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Primary Docs