Capt. Cecil John Charles Street, MC, OBE, (1884 - January 1965)

c j c street younger-street
C J C Street
Dublin Castle bureaucracy with Basil Clarke 1920 (not there ?)
Another photo of Street

Novelist & Writer. He lived in Seaford, Sussex and produced four detective novels a year for thirty-seven years. He also wrote non-fiction, focussing on history and criminology. He died in Eastbourne.

Also known as CJC Street and John Street, began his military career as an artillery officer in the British army. During the course of World War I, he became a propagandist for MI7, in which role he held the rank of temp Major. After the armistice, he alternated between Dublin and London during the Irish War of Independence as an Information Officer for Dublin Castle. He later earned his living as a prolific writer of detective novels.

The wife of John Street, esq., Royal Artillery, gave birth to a son in Gibraltar in 1828. John Street, esq., Capt., Royal Artillery, died in 1829 at Clifton in Gloucestershire. It is not known if there is any connection here.  His father John Alfred Street, died before 1891, when Street was a small child. His mother, Caroline (Bill) Street, daughter of Charles Horsfall Bill, originally of Storthes Hall in Yorkshire. Charles Horsfall Bill was in the Hussars, which fits a statement that both his grandfathers were in the military.

1884 Born Gibralter

1891 census

1891: Cecil John C. Street, born about 1885 in Gibraltar was living in Park Rd, Woking with his grandparents and his widowed mother

1901: 16 year old Cecil John Chas Street, born Gibraltar, was living at Wellington School in Crowthorne, Berkshire, the school for sons of English army officers opened in 1859. An Alfred Benjamin Street, 14, born in India, was also attending at this time.

1903 Aug 5. Gentleman cadet at RMA appointed 2nd Lt in RGA

1906 Jan/Mar Married Hyacinth Maud Kirwan in Fareham

1911 census

1911 Census living with his wife at Summerhill Lyme Regis. They have one child at this time, but it is not in the house on census day. He is living off "private means"

1914 Sep 26. To be LT in RGA C J C Street, late 2nd Lt

1915 Aug 8 Lands in France

1916 Feb 16. Royal Garrison Artillery. Lieutenant C. J. C. Street, Special Reserve, to be temporary Captain.

1917 May 3. To be acting Major. Capt. C. J. C. Street, Spec. Res.

1917 Jul 29 . The undermentioned Capts. relinquish the actg. rank of Maj. on ceasing to comd. Siege Batts.: — C. J. C. Street, Spec. Res.

1917 Oct to !918 Nov. He was a writer attached to M.I.7b at Adastral House. The unit was apparently disbanded in Nov 1918 "work accomplished". The records indicate that he joined M.I.7b at Adelphi Court between autumn 1916 and Oct 1917. H R C Pollard is also in M.I.7b at the same time. M.I.7 b. Duties: Policy connected with publicity & propaganda. Channel of communication between War Office & other department in connection with these subjects.
Address Adastral House, Tel City 800,. A full write up of MI7b work

1918 Jan 1 Gazette Capt (A /Maj ) Cecil John Charles Street, R G A , Spec Res MC gazetted

1918 Sep 3. R.G.A.—Capt. C. J. C. Street, O.B.E., M.C., late R.G.A., Spec. Res., to be Capt.

1918 Apr 21. Captain Dawson left M.I. 7 (b) (1) 1918, to organize the Propaganda Department of the Royal Air Force. His place was taken by Major C.J.C. Street, who continued in charge until the subdivision was demobi1ized on 23rd November, 1918.

1920 Apr 1. RGA. The undermentioned relinquish their commn. Capt. C. J. C. Street, O.B.E., M.C., and retains the rank of Capt.

Research by historian, Dr Brian Murphy, reveals that fictitious "official" accounts were run from a British propaganda office. Murphy quotes one of the more restrained propagandists, Capt John Street, who had conducted propaganda in the 1914-18 war as saying “the IRA rank and file” were “poor dupes of the designing criminals who pose as their officers”. The office was established in August 1920, just three months before Kilmichael, and headed by British army Major CJC Street in London, and former journalist Basil Clarke in Dublin, to counter propaganda from the underground Irish parliament Dail Eireann publication Irish Bulletin. "Basil Clarke said we must engage in propaganda by news rather than propaganda by views and he said we must do this in accordance with truth and verisimilitude, that is the air of being true but not strictly true," says Dr Murphy. "Major Street said that for propaganda to work it must be dissolved in some fluid which the patient will readily assimilate and official news is the best way of doing that."


Street went on to become a prolific author, with 3 pseudonyms, John Rhode, Miles Burton and Cecil Waye. He published a total of 140 novels, seventy-seven as Rhode and sixty-three as Burton.

obituary street

British Intelligence at Dublin Castle