THE WAR MAGICIAN
Jasper Maskelyne (1902-1973) was a famous British stage magician.
A third generation conjurer, he followed in the footsteps of his grandfather, John Nevil Maskelyne and his father, Nevil Maskelyne.
Jasper was managing director of 'England's Home of Magic' at St. George's Hall in London in the late 1920s. After, he toured the provincial variety theatres as a headline act for over a decade.
During World War Two, Jasper served as an officer in the British Army. Sent out to North Africa, he led a camouflage experimental section designing deception devices to trick the enemy.
Later, he was recruited by military intelligence and worked throughout the Middle East, southern Europe and India.
Jasper wrote about his wartime adventures in 'Magic-Top Secret' (1949).
Post-war, Jasper returned to the stage for a few years, before emigrating to Kenya. A quiet life was shattered by the Mau Mau uprising. Answering the call to arms, he served in the Kenya Police Special Branch, helping defeat the rebellion.
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Project Maskelyne is a research project to discover Jasper's real contribution to World War Two. We also want to chart his performing career and find out more about his life away from the stage.
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