Friday, February 18, 2005

Aging veterans let down

Colin Randall reports in the Telegraph on a aging Veteran of the intelligence war against Nazi Germany being left down, and revealing a legacy of vanity:

An author who served in Winston Churchill's "secret army",
the SOE, preparing agents to be dropped into Nazi-occupied France, is making a final attempt to convince the French she should be treated as a war veteran.

In her largely unnoticed struggle with the French authorities over the past 14 years, Noreen Riols has been repeatedly rebuffed with arguments that include the claim that Britain was "not a war zone".

One letter from a French official stated that the Special Operations Executive was not an operational unit, despite losing 104 agents on French soil or in German captivity.

She felt particular injustice on learning that women who worked for Gen Charles de Gaulle's parallel London-based organisation were recognised by France even if their duties were purely clerical.

Gen de Gaulle opposed the work of SOE's F Section, seeing it as part of an Anglo-Saxon plot to steal the Resistance's glory.

-remerci, Herr Wei

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