UNIVERSITY OF KENT

RICHARD J. CRAMPTON, UNIVERSITY OF KENT

AT CANTERBURY, GREAT BRITAIN

The overall outlines of the story of Joseph Swire’s sojourn in and departure from Bulgaria are simply said and customarily well-known. He arrived in Sofia in October 1932asthe accredited correspondent for the Reuters press company andfor The New York Occasions. He additionally labored as an occasional reporter for different British newspapers, together with the Observer, the Each day Specific and The Each day Herald, in addition to for The Close to East and India, a weekly specialist journal which in 1935 was included with one other publication to kind the Nice Britain and India. In 1934 Swire turned nicely acquainted with Damian Velchev for whom he quickly fashioned a deep admiration and a powerful private friendship. When Velchev fell from energy in 1935 and was then arrested Swire turned his defender, and so energetic was this defence that on the finish of the 12 months the Bulgarian authorities refused to resume Swire’s residence allow. In 1936 the expelled journalist carried out a passionate marketing campaign to forestall the finishing up of the dying sentence handed on Velchev that spring. Three years later Swire printed his Bulgarian Conspiracy, a vitriolic assault on these whom he thought of accountable for the persecution of Velchev and for Bulgaria’s sufferings. Swire’s final public point out with regard to Bulgaria was, to my data, when his identify was quoted within the trial of Traicho Rostov in 1949.

Swire’s affiliation with Bulgaria was one which clearly created tensions and left bitterness, however it will be incorrect to imagine from outward appearances that Swire’s attitudes to all points of Bulgarian life and in the direction of the Bulgarian individuals generally had been at all times unfavorable. After his dying in 1979 his widow kindly allowed me to have custody of his personal diaries, letters and newspaper cuttings, and a research of those papers, that are nonetheless inmy possession, reveal a extra complicated and a extra fascinating image than that given by a easy examination of the story.

Within the first place it have to be stated that Swire’s robust character and infrequently unorthodox strategies angered many individuals. The British neighborhood in Sofia discovered him obscure for he didn’t settle for their mores both within the social sense or within the political world. Within the Reuters’workplace in London there stays a file regarding Swire which the current administrators of that agency had been form sufficient to permit me to examine and in that file there’s a memorandum dated 6 December 1934 from Mr Bernard Riekartson-Hatt, the editor-in-chief to ‘MD’, virtually definitely an abbreviation for Managing Director. Written when Swire was in Athens in December 1935 to report on the return of the Greek King — and it was while he was on this journey that he discovered that he was to be expelled from Bulgaria — the memorandum reveals the sunshine during which Swire was regarded by the British expatriates in Bulgaria;That is to verify our dialog of final evening about J. S. Swire, our string correspondent in Sofia.

You informed me that Mrs Sydney Waterlow, spouse of our Minister in Athens, [Waterlow had previously been in Sofia — RJC] spoke in somewhat disparaging phrases of Swire in a dialog she had with you at dinner lately.

Mrs Waterlow didn’t make any direct accusation towards Swire however she implied that he was somewhat an oddity and was not taken significantly by accountable individuals in Sofia.

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