When my mother died in 2007, I tried to find relatives to let them know. Mum had been lied to by her mother and had had no contact with any member of her family for over forty years. As a result she didn't know the name of her father throughout her life, and incredibly I found out just ten days after her death. It was very painful for me to not be able to share this astounding news with the one person to whom it would have meant so much. I so badly wanted to tell her I had found him, but it was too late. I discovered Walter Dicketts after responding to a post on a genealogical forum asking for information about my mother and spoke to a man called Mike Adair who claimed to have the same grandfather as me. At first I didn't believe him, but Mike was able to provide me with proof that my grandmother Dora had indeed been Walter Dicketts' mistress at the same time as he was married to Mike's grandmother Phyllis. When Mike told me Walter Dicketts was also a British double agent with the codename Celery, it was all too much to take in at first.
He was legally married to four woman, but during two of those marriages he maintained two mistresses who called themselves Mrs Dicketts despite never having married him. My grandmother Dora was his first mistress, and Kay was his second. Kay was well known to MI5 who provided her with a fake passport in the name of Dicketts so that she could accompany him on an undercover mission to South America in WW2.
To be honest, I don't know what was more shocking. The fact he was a spy, or that I had discovered the name of my mother's father, and the existence of her five brothers! Its such a shame she died before I could tell her as it would have meant so much to her.
I'm not avoiding the question, but you'll have to read the book! MI5 spent countless hours interrogating both Snow and Celery to find out the answer to this question. It isn't a simple, yes or no answer. Let me know what you think when you've read it!
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