An Unlikely Spy

The remarkable account of the Life and death of major Cecil aylmer cameron

Part 1  The Pearl Necklace Mystery

It is said that fact can sometimes be stranger than fiction. Such is the case with Cecil Aylmer Cameron. Born into a distinguished military family in 1883, Cameron graduated from Woolwich Royal Military Academy in 1901, with the prospect of a secure future in the Royal Artillery.

Following his marriage in 1909 to Ruby Shawe, Cameron was posted to one of the outposts of the British Empire, the troublesome North West Frontier. After Ruby fell ill in India, the couple returned home in 1910, where Lieutenant Cameron took up duties at Piershill Barracks in Edinburgh. 

Then, in February 1911, Ruby fell victim to a street robbery in which an immensely valuable pearl necklace was snatched from her neck in the street. Having completed their investigations, the police swooped, but it was not the robbers who were arrested; Ruby and Cecil Cameron were charged with conspiracy to defraud insurers. They denied the charge, but after a week-long trial both were convicted and sentenced to three years imprisonment.

With his dishonourable discharge from the army, Cecil Cameron's life was in tatters. 

Above: Photo of the Camerons leaving court during their trial in 1911

The first part of Cecil Cameron's story describes the dramatic change from privileged child of a military hero, to his own beginnings as a soldier, his marriage to a beautiful woman, but then to the drama of courtroom where he and his wife go on trial for fraud. 

Please click on the green button below to open a PDF with the first excerpt of this compelling story. More will follow, so be sure to check regularly.



The next piece will take us through the trial in Edinburgh in 1911, at the end of which Lieutenant and Mrs Cameron were eachsentenced to three years in prison.