Colonel J Hanau

Colonel J Hanau

South African by birth, Julius Hanau, invariably known as ‘Caesar’, served in the Great War, earning a Mention in Despatches. In 1918 he was appointed Deputy to the Chief of the British mission to Yugoslavia. After the war he settled as a businessman in Belgrade.

In 1938 he was recruited by the War Office (Section D) and tasked, in the event of war, to block the River Danube at the Iron Gates, the deepest gorge in Europe, to interrupt the flow of Germany's imports from Romania. After several unsuccessful attempts the Germans detected his activities and he was forced to stop. He was expelled by the Yugoslavia Government at German insistence in June 1940.

During 1941 he ran the Special Operations Executive (SOE) West African desk in Cairo. In 1942 he was awarded the OBE for assisting the British assault on Madagascar.

Colonel Julius Hanau OBE died in Cairo on 12th May 1943 from natural causes, aged 53. He is buried in the Heliopolis War Cemetery, Plot 3, Row F, Grave no.32

Medals and chest jewels are, left to right: Order of the British Empire, 1939-45 Star, Africa Star, War Medal, Serbian White Eagle with Swords (1918) and Knight Commander of St Sava of Yugoslavia 2nd Class.