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Fort Nelson

Women of the SOE

Kate Vigurs
18th November - 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

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During the Second World War women from the British government’s Special Operations Executive (SOE) worked as secret agents behind enemy lines in Nazi-occupied France.  They risked their lives working as couriers and wireless operators, helping the local resistance prepare for the Allied invasion and paving the way for victory. Towards the end of the war, eight of them were caught.

The women were Violette Szabo, Odette Sansom, Lilian Rolfe, Denise Bloch, Cecily Lefort, Yvonne Baseden, Yvonne Rudellat and Eileen Nearne.

The Nazis arrested them in France, interrogated them and eventually transferred them to Ravensbrück concentration camp, intending that they would disappear without trace.  Unprotected by the Geneva Convention and beyond Allied help, the lives of these women hung in the balance.

Kate Vigurs tells the story of their recruitment, training, work and eventual fate.

Tickets cost £5 and include light refreshments.

Forthcoming Fort Talks

16 Dec – The German Ardennes offensive 1944  / Mike Forrest
20 Jan – Portsmouth Blitz  /  James Daly
24 Feb – The Second World War: artillery finds new roles / Nicholas Hall
17 Mar – Gunpowder technology  / Geoff Smith


From 18 March 2020 our museums in Leeds and at Fort Nelson will be closed to visitors until further notice.