|Born||Paul Henry Dukes
10 February 1889
Bridgwater, Somerset, England, UK
|Died||27 August 1967 (aged 78)
Cape Town, South Africa
|Other names||The Man with a Hundred Faces|
|Alma mater||Caterham School|
|Margaret Stuyvesant Rutherfurd
(m. 1922; div. 1929)
(m. 1959; his death 1967)
|Parent(s)||Rev. Edwin J. Dukes
Edith M. Dukes (née Pope)
Paul Henry Dukes was born the third of five children on 10 February 1889 in Bridgwater, Somerset, England. He was the son of the Congregationalist clergyman, Rev. Edwin Joshua Dukes (1847-1930), of Kingsland, London, and his wife, the former Edith Mary Pope (1863-1898), of Sandford, Devon. Edith was an academically gifted woman, the daughter of a schoolteacher, who obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree by correspondence course at the age of 20. In 1884, she married Edwin, who had returned from missionary work in China. She died from a disease of the thyroid gland, and in 1907, Edwin remarried to a forty-year-old widow named Harriet Rouse.
Paul's siblings included the playwright Ashley Dukes (1885-1959) and the renowned physician Cuthbert Dukes (1890-1977). He had an elder sister, Irene Catherine Dukes (1887-1950), who led a life plagued by illness, and yet another, younger brother, Marcus Braden Dukes (1893-1936), who died in Kuala Lumpur while working as a government official. Dukes was the great-uncle of poet Aidan Andrew Dun.
As a young man he took a position as a language teacher in Riga, Latvia. He later moved to St. Petersburg, having been recruited personally by Mansfield Smith-Cumming, the first "C" of MI6 (SIS), to act as a secret agent in Imperial Russia, relying on his fluency in the Russian language. At the time, he was employed at the Petrograd Conservatoire as a concert pianist and deputy conductor to Albert Coates. In his new capacity as sole British agent in Russia, he set up elaborate plans to help prominent White Russians escape from Soviet prisons and smuggled hundreds of them into Finland.
Known as the "Man of a Hundred Faces," Dukes continued his use of disguises, which aided him in assuming a number of identities and gained him access to numerous Bolshevik organizations. He successfully infiltrated the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, the Comintern, and the political police, or CHEKA. Dukes also learned of the inner workings of the Politburo, and passed the information to British intelligence.
He returned to Britain a distinguished hero, and in 1920 was knighted by King George V, who called Dukes the "greatest of all soldiers." To this day, Dukes is the only person knighted based entirely on his exploits in espionage. He briefly returned to service in 1939, helping to locate a prominent Czech businessman who disappeared after the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia. He was also a leading figure in introducing yoga to the Western World.
His first book "The Story of "ST 25" (published 1938 by Wyman & Sons Ltd, London, Reading & Fakenham) - Adventure and Romance in the Secret Intelligence Service in Red Russia 1917-1920 Red Dusk and the Morrow chronicles the rise and fall of Bolshevism and he toured the world extensively giving lectures pertaining to this subject. Sir Paul Dukes' other books are listed below.
In 1922, Dukes was first married to Margaret Stuyvesant Rutherfurd (1891-1976), former wife of Ogden Livingston Mills, the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury. Margaret was the daughter of Anne Harriman, the second wife of William Kissam Vanderbilt, and her second husband, Lewis Morris Rutherfurd, Jr., son of the astronomer Lewis Morris Rutherfurd. They divorced in 1929, and Dukes later married Diana Fitzgerald in 1959.
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