John May

John MayJohn May was the man servant to the English Ambassador, D'Arcy Osborne.

While D'Arcy Osborne declared that he could not assist The Monsignor directly in an official capacity due to the level of scrutiny his role attracted, he did acknowledge the assistance that was being provided to his countrymen and he provided funds from his own personal resources.

John May was the link man here and his assistance proved invaluable.

O'Flaherty described May as "indispensable, a genius, the most magnificent scrounger I have ever come across"  

May had a particular talent in using the black market, which was to prove invaluable in securing necessary food and supplies. It is claimed he also used bribery from time to time to great effect in his work with O'Flaherty. His network of contacts kept him well informed and this was to the advantage of the organisation on many occasions.

May was a key player and formed the original Council of Three with O'Flaherty and Count Salazar of the Swiss Legation.

During the course of his work he 'acquired' army uniforms, boots, false identifications as well as providing a signature on pieces of ordinary paper that was passed as money when required through his English bank to anyone that needed funds. May seemed to be able to get his hands on anything that was required, however he managed it. 

Through May's contacts he regularly received tip offs as to possible raids. On one occasion he foiled a plan to capture The Monsignor using a tip off from a contact called Giuseppe.

May suggested that O'Flaherty should lie low and stay away from The Vatican steps to which The Monsignor replied:

 "what, me boy and let them think that I am afraid? So long as they don't have guns I can tackle any two or three of them with ease"

On one occasion when May had a tip off that O'Flaherty was to be apprehended on the direction of Kappler, he turned the tables on the two Gestapo and with the help of four Swiss Guards led the two from Mass where O'Flaherty attended and dispatched them in a manner they would not forget in a hurry.

Access to The Monsignor was controlled and vetted by May through the occupation and until Liberation.