Noel Pemberton Billing 1916 [Wikipedia]
Thursday 6th June 1918: During the recent libel trial of Noel Pemberton Billing M.P., it was suggested that the deaths in battle of Major Evelyn de Rothschild of Ascott (near Linslade) and the Honorable Neil Primrose last year (the son of Lord Rosebery of Mentmore Towers) were in fact murder. This crime was supposedly carried out because the two men knew of the so-called German “Black Book”, which is said to list the names of 47,000 men who are being blackmailed by the German High Command because of their homosexuality. Mr Pemberton Billing is the publisher of The Vigilante magazine (formerly The Imperialist), which is well known for its anti-Semitism and regularly claims that Britain is the victim of a Jewish and homosexual conspiracy.
Lieutenant-Colonel the Honorable F. H. Cripps, D.S.O., the commanding officer of Major de Rothschild and the Honorable Neil Primrose, writes:
“In the recent trial a statement was made that two officers in the regiment were murdered from the rear in the Palestine campaign. I desire to give an absolute and unqualified denial to this foul suggestion against the honour of the regiment and of two of my brother officers, who fell under Turkish fire while leading their men with great gallantry on two different occasions. Both Major Evelyn de Rothschild and Captain the Hon. Neil Primrose were near me when they fell, and in tribute to their memory I wish to make the most positive statement in contradiction of the abominable suggestion made at the recent trial. I hope that for the honour of the regiment you will make my statement as widely known as possible.”
Source: Leighton Buzzard Observer, 11th June 1918
 Pemberton Billing was sued by American actress Maud Allen, who played the lead role in a private performance of Oscar Wilde’s play Salome, after Pemberton Billing suggested she was a lesbian. Oscar Wilde’s former lover Lord Alfred Douglas was called as a witness to the danger posed by Wilde and his works. Pemberton Billing won the case.
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