Hunchback spy jailed

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On this day in 1913 a man who embodied many contemporary hates and fears, William Clare, was jailed for five years at Hampshire Assizes.

Not only was this man German, but he was a hunchback and worked both as a pimp and a dentist.

But worst of all, William Clare, whose real name was Wilhelm Klauer, was a spy.

Working from a shabby dental surgery in Portsea, Portsmouth, Klauer attempted to extract information from his patients as well as their teeth. Many of them were Royal Navy sailors or Dockyard workers.

His wife provided a different service for the men of the port – from John Sadden’s The Portsmouth Book of Days.