Jennifer Scherr was born in Croydon on 1947. Her parents were David and Mollie Scherr. She is a retired Librarian and Archivist. During the war, her father was a member of the Intelligence Corps in Gibraltar, serving initially in 54 Field Security Section and then on attachment to The Defence Security Officer, the MI5 department in Gibraltar in charge of overall security of the Rock and for countering the threat from the activities of the German and Italian intelligence services. During this period Mollie Spencer, ATS, acted as David Scherr’s secretary and assistant prior to their marrying in August 1945. The official report on the war time role of the DSO has been placed in the National Archive – a copy of it has been included in this OH archive as supporting material. One of the reports was written by David Scherr
In the interview, she begins by outlining her background and family roots in Spain and Russia. She then describes her father’s upbringing and early years in the Army. Drawing heavily upon the DSO files, she reflects on his work of countering the threat of espionage and sabotage. She goes on to describe her own early memories of Gibraltar (circa 1950s) and concludes by talking about the Queen’s Coronation visit to Gibraltar and her father’s inclusion in the Honours List.
Given the importance of David Scherr’s role, there is a full transcript. The DSO files provide a fascinating insight into the war time defence of Gibraltar. Jennifer Scherr’s account adds extra flavour and details about her father and his contribution.