For those family history researchers interested in tales of the underground world of secret espionage, The National Archives has announced the release of over 150 top secret MI5 files. The records are to be made available online for public viewing for the first time. The MI5 files date from around the time of The First World War and are part of the programme from the TNA to commemorate the centenary of the start of The Great War.
The files contain a wealth of material about organisations and individuals involved in espionage or under surveillance during the period of the First World War. It details the secret history and the agents operating in a time of war.
Some of the agents listed in the records include the famous British nurse, Edith Cavell who helped Allied soldiers to escape from behind enemy lines and Mata Hari, the Dutch exotic dancer who was convicted of spying for Germany and was subsequently executed by the French authorities in 1917.
There’s more information available from The National Archives website.