IT IS like the plot of a movie – a mild-mannered dentist from Glasgow becomes a World War Two super-spy, risking life and limb to send coded messages back to British intelligence.

However, the little-known story of Julius M Green, Partick dentist-turned-hero, is all true.

Julius was born in 1912 and spent his early childhood in Killarney in Ireland, where his father had a dental practice.

He studied at the Dental School of the Royal College of Surgeons in Edinburgh and was practising in Glasgow and living on Malcolm Street in Partick when he joined the Territorial Army in 1939.

He was posted to the 152 (Highland) Field Ambulance of the 51 Highland Division but was captured with his brigade at St Valery in France in June 1940. After being shuttled between a succession of Prisoner of War camps, Julius ended up in Colditz.

In his book Caledonian Jews: A Study of Seven Small Communities in Scotland, Nathan Abrams explains: “As a dental officer with the rank of captain, he moved around a great deal [treating patients] which gave him the idea of sending coded messages about troop movements and the like via letters home to his family.

Glasgow Times:

“The information was then forwarded to MI9 British Intelligence which responded with letters in kind. It included material supplied to Green by recaptured escapers about local German railway, troop and shipping movements, and anything else gleaned while on the ‘outside’.

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“Green also advised on what materials useful for escape could be smuggled into Colditz via parcels from home as well as offering advice on what officers should carry with them in battle, in case they were captured and sent to Colditz – hidden compasses, for example, that would be useful for escapes.”

Julius married Anne Miller in 1945 and after the war, wrote a book about his experiences - Colditz in Code.

In 2014, a collection of letters and documents belonging to Julius, including photos of him treating fellow prisoners, was auctioned by Bonhams.

Glasgow Times:

In communicating with Green, MI9 usually used the conduit of his parents in Scotland. In one, on December 16, 1942, MI9 wrote to his mother: “Dear Madam. Enclosed is one letter from your son ... You will see that in lines 20, 21 and 22 your son refers to certain matters which will have no meaning for you. These remarks are intended for us, so please do not worry about them, nor refer to them in any way when replying to your son.”

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It adds: “For your private information, we are very glad to tell you that your son is continuing to do most valuable work. Please do not show this letter to anyone outside the immediate family circle, and remember to burn our letter when read.”

Glasgow Times:

Other letters are written by non-existent people concocted by the operatives of MI9 and refer to Julius’s fictional girlfriend Philippa. One says: “Philippa is still busy with her Red Cross activities, they all work very hard ... However Philippa always finds time to dance and drink (in moderation naturally!) with her many friends.”

The full letter, when decoded, read: “Urgent: warn all - don’t cooperate Black Front or any Anti Nazi parties - all riddled with Nazi agents…”

As a Jewish prisoner-of-war in Nazi hands, Glasgow’s spy dentist was taking huge risks - his bravery was extraordinary.