STAFF REPORTER

PALMA
WARTIME secret agent Alan Hillgarth, a former vice-consul of Majorca, was at the helm of a top secret mission to smuggle scores of Jews and refugees from Spain, it has been revealed.

Hillgarth, who was also naval attache in Madrid in the run up to and during World War II, headed a network of sympathisers in the Spanish capital that spirited refugees to safety through Gibraltar and Galicia.

Captain Hillgarth was based in Majorca from 1933-36. It is alleged that he was controller of SIS (MI6) Special Operations Executive (SOE) activities in Spain and Portugal.

He smuggled the refugees from under the noses of the Gestapo using the cover of a chic Madrid cocktail bar, owned by Irishwoman Margarita Taylor.
Hillgarth was helped by local doctor Eduardo Martinez de Vicente, who was physician to the British Embassy in Madrid, according to the medic's daughter Patricia.

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