Skip to main content
Loading Events
Fort Nelson

Mission France: The True History of the Women of the SOE

Fort Talk | In-person lecture
19th October - 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Book now

Speaker: Kate Vigurs – Researcher and historical interpreter 

This is the true story of 39 women, chosen to work in the secretive, clandestine and mainly male domain of the Special Operations Executive, French section (SOE F).

Ranging from housewives to grandmothers, shop assistants to countesses, they were taught silent killing, instinctive shooting and sabotage as well as survival tactics for life in Nazi Occupied France.  

Kate will describe their recruitment, training and operations including how they were infiltrated behind enemy lines to work as couriers and wireless operators, operating undercover and beyond the protection of the Geneva Convention. 

Life expectancy was short, sometimes a mere six weeks but these women worked and fought hard – often living in solitude with no friends or company; travelling hundreds of kilometres carrying vital yet incriminating information; receiving arms or supplies and risking everything to make contact with SOE HQ over the radio waves.

Fort Talks will take place in person at Fort Nelson, starting at 2pm. Tickets cost £5. Your ticket includes parking and entry to the museum.

Why not make a day of it – explore the national collection of artillery, visit our cafe for a delicious light lunch, and enjoy an interesting and engaging lecture.