The Assassination 1935

Banned from Russia Gareth turned his attention to the far east and in late 1934 he set off on a ‘Round the World Fact Finding Tour’. Via the USA, Hawaii, Japan, Shanghai and Singapore, he eventually reached Beijing.

On the 11th July 1935, he set off from Kalgan on a cross-country journey to Inner Mongolia accompanied by Baron von Plessen from the German Legation and Dr. Herbert Mueller. As he last letter home records, they stayed in yurt camps presided over by Mongolian princes and lamas who were all frightened of the Japanese. Then on the 25th July, they came to Dolonor near the border of Manchukuo, where they saw 40,000 Japanese troops gathering.

Detained by the Japanese, they were advised to take the only safe route back to Kalgan. They took the route but were captured by bandits. Baron von Plessen had already left the party and within two days Mueller was released, ostensibly to obtain the ransom demanded for release. Gareth was then handed over to a second group of Chinese bandits, said to be organised by the Japanese, and on the 12th August was shot and killed.

There were strong suspicions that his murder was organised either by the Japanese or by the Soviet NKVD. Both would have known of Gareth’s reputation as an investigative – as would Dr Mueller.

And Mueller was later discovered to be a double agent working for the Russians and Germans.

The purpose of Gareth’s tour had been to investigate Japan’s designs on territorial expansion and he came to know too much about Japanese military preparations and troop movements on the Western fringe of Outer Mongolia.