Thursday, November 18, 2010
Identified by the KGB defector Vasili Mitrokhin in 1992 as a lifelong Communist and spy, Norwood had been code-named HOLA and had been in contact with KGB’s illegal rezident in London until January 1961. Born in London in 1912 of an immigrant Latvian bookbinder named Sirnis, Norwood had been a member of the Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB) and had been linked to Percy Glading in 1938 when the former CPGB national organizer was imprisoned for espionage. Her name and her family’s address in Hampstead were found in a notebook owned by Glading at the time of his arrest, when he was charged with stealing secrets from the Woolwich Arsenal, but MI5 had not pursued the clue. Later she had joined the headquarters of the British Non-Ferrous Metals Association in Euston as a typist for one of its directors, G. J. Bailey, and this had given her access to nuclear secrets, as the organization was a component of the Anglo-American Manhattan Project to develop an atomic bomb, against which the NKVD had initiated Operation ENORMOZ. In 1964 Norwood had been tentatively identified as the spy code-named TINA who had been mentioned in a single VENONA message from Moscow dated 16 September 1945 instructing her not to confide in her husband, a Communist school teacher, about her espionage. She died in June 2005, while her biography was being written by an English academic, David Bourke.