Tomàs Harris – my great uncle! (my dads dads brother), still a man of great interest to many… for many reasons…

Clipped from: https://www.majorcadailybulletin.com/news/local/2020/10/17/73503/exhibition-for-the-british-spy-majorca.html

Tomas Harris exhibition in Palma

The presentation of the exhibition that has opened in Palma.

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In Mallorca, Tomàs (‘Tommy’) Harris is best known for having been the MI6 spy who, with double agent Joan Pujol Garcia, pulled off what became known as the Garbo deception ahead of the Normandy landings in 1944.

In 1964, Harris, who lived in Camp de Mar, was killed in a road accident in Llucmajor.
It has long been claimed that this was no accident and that he was murdered, quite possibly by Soviet agents. Harris knew Kim Philby, another British intelligence officer and double agent for the Soviet Union, and he may himself have been a double agent.
There was another side to Harris.

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His father had a successful art-dealing business. He continued this business and he acquired an important collection of works by Francisco Goya. Harris was an artist in his own right, and an exhibition –Tomàs Harris, Engraver in Mallorca’ – has opened at Can Balaguer in Palma. It will run until March and, as was explained at a presentation yesterday, the exhibition consists of a self-portrait, landscapes of Mallorca, and Harris’s ‘crucifixions’ with a marked expressionist tone. The exhibition also reflects his expert knowledge of Goya. Harris was the author of Goya: Engravings and Lithographs, a comprehensive two-volume publication that is considered to be an essential reference work about the Spanish artist.

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After the war, Harris – it is thought – ceased his spying activities, but this is certainly debatable. But he did dedicate himself to researching art history and to his own production. The Camp de Mar house used to belong to the British illustrator Cecil Aldin. Harris bought it in 1949. The exhibition at Can Balaguer (C. Unió 3) just along from C&A, is open from 10.00 to 14.00 Tuesday to Friday and 10.30 to 13.30 on Saturday and Sunday. It lasts until March 21.

Dads Big Day

Back in 2006 my father had, quite by chance, read Enriqueta Harris’s obituary in the Sunday Times, and recognised her unusual name from one in his own grandfathers will, which clearly stated that my grandfather, William Harris, had three sisters (one called Enriqueta Harris), three brothers (one called Tomas Harris) and was also the son of Lionel Harris, founder of the Spanish Art Galleries in Madrid and London. This was all new to me, and so my own research into  the Harris Family began.

I started by creating a family tree (with my fathers email address as the contact name) on a public website and because of the unusual names on it, it was quickly discovered by a researcher working for Nigel Glendinning, and contact with my father was made, and we met – This was back in November 2009..

I recently received the following document written by Nigel Glendinning –  about Enriqueta and Tomas Harris

I was first in touch with Enriqueta in the late 1950s and early 1960s when I was a Lecturer in the Department of Spanish at Oxford. My research on an eighteenth-century Spanish writer for my doctorate had led to my finding by pure chance Spanish MS materials that were related to one of  Goya,’s Caprichos and I consulted Enriqueta when I  wrote my first Goya article about it. Later I told her I had found  other Goya-related MS in the Ashmolean and the Bodleian and was writing articles about them too. We also worked together as committee members for the GoyaandHisTimesexhibition at the Royal Academy in 1962-63. Enriqueta gave me Tomás’s address in Majorca so that I could tell him what I had found in Oxford: more particularly a copy of Goya’s Tauromaquia with MS title page and list of subjects put together with a set of the Tauromaquia etchings, some still in proof state when Goya was preparing his bull-fighting series for publication.

Tomás came down to Oxford with his wife to look at this and subsequently included references to it in his Goya. EngravingsandLithographs. I continued to write to him and he to me, exchanging gobbets of information now and again. His premature Death in a car crash put an end to our contacts, but of course Enriqueta and I were already good friends and remained so for nearly half a century. When she was house-bound I used to visit her once a fortnight, and I learnt a lot about her family from her as well as from the research I carried out in the Family Records Centre and the Probate office when preparing the piece I wrote for the act of Homage paid her in 2002 by the Fundación Amigos del Museo del Prado. She did not go to Madrid for this occasion, because of her severe mobility problem at that stage.

Tomás and Enriqueta were the youngest children of Lionel Harris’s family and no doubt adored and slightly spoiled by their parents. They were both handsome people as well as exceptionally talented and I was not at all surprised when Enriqueta hinted at some of her early romantic attachments to British and Spanish male art historians, and explained the perils of visiting the collection of Lázaro Galdiano in Madrid when what is now a museum was still that ageing Lothario’s house , inclined to pinch the bottoms of  young female art historians.

Tomás was also an attractive person and multi-talented. Enriqueta told me he often played the piano, and he’d been admitted to the Slade School as an unusually young art student with a scholarship too, I think,  -the details are given in the entry on him in the Dictionary of National Biography written by Anthony Blunt. His prints and paintings show his delight in the naked female body and carry a considerable erotic charge. No doubt his fondness for fast cars –he arrived at the Ashmolean driving an open tourer (definitely not red in my recollection, black or maybe grey more likely), tallish and arty looking I’d say- also attracted the opposite sex too.. No doubt his charm and his sharp eye for quality works of art made him a highly successful art dealer when he took over the family Art Gallery from his father.

There is a strongly imaginative streak in his Art work and his self-portraits show that he enjoyed working in a variety of styles, which he seems to have used as a kind of disguise, so maybe he developed a taste for things through art which would have been useful during his time at MI5. Enriqueta wasn’t involved in undercover work at all. She worked for the Ministry of Information in the Spanish Section from 1942 to 1946, keeping a sharp eye on the Spanish Press I imagine and vetting broadcasts by Spanish exiles working for the World Service of the BBC.

With regard to the politics of the family, Enriqueta had been involved with Jewish scholars in exile from Nazi Germany and Austria at the Warburg Institute when it was first transferred to London. I think Lionel Harris helped to support  the German art historian, August Mayer, employing him to give expertise on paintings. The family also helped Spanish exiles during and after the Spanish Civil War. Enriqueta also got involved with the Basque children when they came to Britain to escape the perils of the war and were billeted with supportive British families. Enriqueta drove round to make sure they were happily settled and to sort out any potential problems.

Enriqueta’s obituary – Times Online

Last month, Martin and his wife Gill met my parents and sister for the first time and got to know each other a little over a memorable lunch at my parents house. Now I really cant wait to meet my new Half Uncle and Gill, and my new Cousins and their families in the New Year.

Martin emailed me some lovely photographs, so that I don’t feel too left out and so that I  know what they all look like.  These can also be viewed in the  HARRIS Family Photo Gallery .

I have also added Martins family to the HARRIS FAMILY TREE.

Ron (left) and Martin - New Half Brothers Martin and Gill  Sharon, Julie  and Mark - My New CousinsJulie and JohnJane, Oliver and SharonMark and KareneGrandson Jack - Mark and Karenes Son

Interestingly,  Martin Goodall was named “William Maurice Evans” on his original birth certificate.

William was Martins fathers name (my grandfather).

Maurice was Williams Brothers name.

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Read more ….


William Harris had four sons – only two are alive today, Ronald Harris (my father, left) and Martin Goodall. Martin did not know that he had a Half Brother until October 30th this year, my Father did not know he might have a Half Brother until last year. They met for the first time just one week after Martin was traced, on November the 7th 2010.

This is how it all came about….

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In February 2010, I received an email from Morlin with an attachment containing a copy of my Grandfather’s will. It provided invaluable information in the search for more information about him.

From the date of death given, my Grandfather died 10th December 1982. With this date, I was able to contact Gwynedd Council Office and obtain a copy of his death certificate (I had contacted them in November but without a date of death the search was impossible). From the death certificate my Father was able to find the date of William’s birth, 31st March 1901, which I was then able to post on the family website and family tree.

This date of birth also enabled my Father to apply to the Merchant Navy to search their records for any information on William as we believed he had been torpedoed by two German submarines and rescued from the sea while serving in the Navy during the War.

The death certificate from the Gwynedd Registry Office also stated that William had died at the Great Orme Nursing home in Llandudno.   I have just recently been in contact with the Great Orme Nursing Home and they are kindly searching their records for any information on my Grandfather.

In my grandfathers will, May was referred to as “Hannah Mary Evans” and with her full name, it was now possible to search for more records.

Sophia was the person who had the information to link everyone together. She told us that May and Bill had had a baby son who had been put up for adoption. My Father registered with the official adoption agency to try and find his missing Half Brother but we were not sure of any details: all we knew was that he might have been called “David” and that he had been born in Shrewsbury. The agency could find no trace of him.

Eventually Morlin found “David”, by chance. She found a post left by David on the internet in 2002, which can now be found using just the names “Hannah Mary Evans” (Mays’ full name found on Williams will) and “William Harris”. As soon as she made contact, she knew she had found the right person. “David” turned out to be Martin who had been born in Evesham in 1944 and adopted in 1946. In the 1970s, when the law changed, he had obtained a copy of his birth certificate which stated that his birth name was “William Maurice Evans” and that his birth parents had been “Hannah Mary Evans” and “William Harris”. William’s occupation had been given as “General Dealer”. It also stated that Martin’s parents had been living in the College Precincts of Worcester Cathedral at that time. Martin and his wife Gill had visited the Cathedral to try and find out more about his birth parents but were told that no records were kept during the war years and  then published the post on the internet.

Things happened really quickly from that first contact at the end of October 2010. Morlin and her mother, Madge, Martin and Gill were  all invited to come to lunch with my parents and my sister Natasha, on 7th November . Unfortunately, I wasn’t available, I was out of the country.

As well as the two brothers and their families meeting for the first time, the brothers also met Madge for the first time too. Madge and her husband, Tim, had been good friends with William for over 20 years. The Sunday lunch was a great success and a very memorable occasion.

Martin and Gill have three children: Mark, Julie and Sharon, who are Half-Cousins to Natasha and me. Our ages range from 37-50. Martin and Gill also have one grandson. A little over two years ago my family consisted of only my parents, my sister, my mother’s brother and family in Austria and me. Now it has been increased, again ….  I have already updated the Harris Family Tree (click link) to include them. The Harris Family Tree now contains 312 names!

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Martin, last month, knew nothing about his bloodline, nothing about his birth parents, nothing about the existence of a Half Brother and nothing about the History of the “Harris Family”. Now Martin has huge family, a huge family tree and a huge amount of information right here at his finger tips…

My father had until a couple of years ago, believed that his father William, may have died during the war. He now knows that William met May met in 1944 (or earlier),  and they had lived inWorcester, Festiniog, Caernarfon and then finally in Llandudno AND best of all my father now has a new Half Brother called Martin.

Welcome to the Harris family Martin !!!!

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