The Secret WW2 Learning Network is an educational charity registered in the UK - a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) No. 1156796

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Secret WW2

This is the website for The Secret WW2 Learning Network – the UK registered educational charity with the mission to

EDUCATE, COMMEMORATE and INSPIRE

 

Latest Secret WW2 News

To keep up to date with our news, activities and projects, subscribe to our free quarterly newsletter and notifications of our quarterly online presentations via the Subscribe button at the foot of this page.

9th June 2024 – a prestigious appointment for Professor Juliette Pattinson, one of our SECRET WW2 Trustees.
9th June 2024 – a prestigious appointment for Professor Juliette Pattinson, one of our SECRET WW2 Trustees.

We are pleased and proud to announce this new and prestigious appointment of our Trustee, Professor Juliette Pattinson,

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A very special invitation and occasion – 5th June 2024
A very special invitation and occasion – 5th June 2024

– see below. In addition to the remarkable breadth of service and experience already described, André found...

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Events

Unveiling of information board commemorating SOE’s Special Training School (STS 3) in Liss, Hampshire
Unveiling of information board commemorating SOE’s Special Training School (STS 3) in Liss, Hampshire
  • June 22, 2024
  • 10:30
  • Riverside Walk, Liss, Hampshire - by the railway station.
Tuesday, 18th June 2024, 10.30 am – L’appel 
Tuesday, 18th June 2024, 10.30 am – L’appel 
  • June 18, 2024
  • 10:30
  • De Gaulle statue, Carlton Gardens, London SW1Y 5AA.
COMMEMORATIONS IN FRANCE FOR F (FRENCH) SECTION SOE – PT 2 VALENÇAY
COMMEMORATIONS IN FRANCE FOR F (FRENCH) SECTION SOE – PT 2 VALENÇAY
  • May 6, 2024
  • 11:00
  • F Section Memorial, Carr Bénévent,
COMMEMORATIONS IN FRANCE FOR F (FRENCH) SECTION SOE – PT 1 ROMORANTIN-LANTHENAY
COMMEMORATIONS IN FRANCE FOR F (FRENCH) SECTION SOE – PT 1 ROMORANTIN-LANTHENAY
  • May 5, 2024
  • 16:00
  • Quai de l'Île Marin, Romorantin-Lanthenay

Help us to keep the memories alive while engaging younger and wider audiences.

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OUR NEXT SECRET WW2 ONLINE ZOOM PRESENTATION Tomorrow, Tuesday, 11th June 2024, 8-9 pm (UK) – our quarterly Zoom presentation is ‘Writing an SOE Novel’ by Louise Morrish. Louise is a librarian and fictional history author whose debut novel won the 2019 Penguin Random House First Novel Competition. She finds inspiration for her stories in the real-life adventures of women in the past, whom history has forgotten. Louise will talk to us about her inspiration and research for Operation Moonlight, one strand of which follows a woman F Section agent in occupied France. If you wish to watch the presentation, but aren't a reader of our newsletter, please email [email protected] for joining details.
OUR NEXT SECRET WW2 ONLINE ZOOM PRESENTATION

Tomorrow, Tuesday, 11th June 2024, 8-9 pm (UK) – our quarterly Zoom presentation is ‘Writing an SOE Novel’ by Louise Morrish. 

Louise is a librarian and fictional history author whose debut novel won the 2019 Penguin Random House First Novel Competition. She finds inspiration for her stories in the real-life adventures of women in the past, whom history has forgotten. Louise will talk to us about her inspiration and research for Operation Moonlight, one strand of which follows a woman F Section agent in occupied France.

If you wish to watch the presentation, but aren't a reader of our newsletter, please email info.sww2@gmail.com for joining details.
A moving account and several photos from subscribed Friend of SECRET WW2 Nikki Bennett, daughter of Lt-Colonel André Hue, late of the French Resistance, F Section SOE, the Parachute Regiment and SIS/MI6. André Hue was the subject of one of our SECRET WW2 blue plaques in Chichester in 2023 – see attached. In addition to the remarkable breadth of service and experience already described, André found himself serving alongside 4 (French) SAS in Brittany in June 1944 and it was because of that connection that Nikki received an impressive invitation. Nikki writes: ‘My family and I had the huge honour of being invited to attend a ceremony to honour the French SAS and Maquisards who lost their lives during WWII. The ceremony was held in Brittany in the small town of Plumelec on 5th June 2024. About 1000 people were invited, many of whom were school children and college students, as well as veterans and their families. We were thrilled to sit with the members of AFPSAS (the French association of SAS paratroopers) made up of SAS family members. The French President, Emmanuel Macron attended the ceremony and delivered a heart-felt speech remembering the first casualty of Operation Overlord, Emile Bouétard. He was shot after landing on the very field we were standing on, having parachuted in during the night of 5th/6th June. My father, André Hue also parachuted in at the same time. He was a member of SOE, and was due to join the Resistance members operating out of a farmhouse about 20 kilometres from Plumelec. They had been dropped in the wrong place by accident – the field formed part of an enemy position controlled by Russians serving in the German Army. My father escaped along with an SAS officer by claiming they were French milice [collaborating militia] and on patrol in the area. My father acted as liaison agent for the Resistance and after the SAS soldier, Capitaine Pierre Marienne was shot [captured, wounded, and then executed, 12 July 1944], took over the organisation of the Resistance group for a few weeks, under the command of Colonel Bourgoin. British Ambassador, Dame Menna Rawlings, together with the Earl of Minto, laid a wreath on behalf of the Royal British Legion. As God Save the King was played, I made no apologies for my tears. Colonel Achille Mueller, aged 99, accompanied the President to lay a wreath. He also spoke beautifully saying that “those we remember are all heroes, unfortunately dead, I’d rather have known them alive”. Colonel Mueller was trained in the UK before returning to France to fight. In true French fashion, when I went to introduce myself, I found I was not only shaking hands with him, but was rapidly drawn into the French tradition of a kiss on both cheeks! I was delighted and honoured! As a choir of school children sang “Le Chant des Partisans”, a song adopted by the Resistance, I found myself in tears again. For me to stand on the same field where my father had parachuted in, exactly 80 years earlier, was incredibly moving. It was also a time to give thanks to all those who fought – not just those who lost their lives but those (like my father) who returned and lived with the images of things they’d seen. I cannot begin to imagine how tough that must have been, but I am so grateful to have had him as my Dad, a wonderful, warm, funny, genuine, huggable and courageous man. I had never worn his medals before but did so with huge pride. I felt like I was walking in the footsteps of giants.’ Nikki Bennett June 2024
Well done to Georges Bégué's daughter Brigitte for finding this on YouTube. It's ten years since we arranged this news feature with BBC Look North and I'd suggested to Jo Makel she could interview Matthew Cobb ...
Reportage BBC Reportage BBC
https://www.facebook.com/groups/SOEBehindTheLines/permalink/3272657849535784/
This content isn't available at the moment This content isn't available at the moment
We are pleased and proud to announce this new and prestigious appointment of our Trustee, Professor Juliette Pattinson.
Juliette Pattinson appointed as Professor of War Studies Juliette Pattinson appointed as Professor of War Studies
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Title image – B24 ‘Carpetbagger’ conducting parachute drop. Courtesy of Clive Bassett, Harrington Aviation Museum –  https://harringtonmuseum.org.uk/