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

Welcome to

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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“The 624 Squadron RAF aircrew were on a mission to deliver important supplies to resistance fighters in the South of France. “Facing treacherous conditions, the Halifax crashed in thick fog, resulting in the death of 6 British and 1 Canadian airmen”
CWGC commemorates RAF crewmen in remote Pyrenees site | CWGC CWGC commemorates RAF crewmen in remote Pyrenees site | CWGC
https://www.facebook.com/share/p/QNRu89yduzGJc2SW/
“The Upper Weald station appears to have functioned as a control centre transmitting and receiving communications from SOE and MI6/SIS agents overseas, mainly in France, Belgium, Holland and Denmark. “The radio station was established in 1940 and further expanded in 1944. The station was eventually dismantled at some point between April and October 1946.”
Standing Building Recording, Second World War Radio Station Standing Building Recording, Second World War Radio Station
Last Tuesday, June 18th, Secret WW2’s co-founder Martyn Cox participated in a programme of events in Cahors, commemorating General de Gaulle’s ‘appel’ for resistance, broadcast by the BBC on that day in 1940. At the Grand Palais multiplex cinema, Emmanuel Carrère - Chef de projet du musée de la Résistance - was joined at 8.30 by Martyn and the French documentary maker Cécile Coolen, for the first of two significant screenings that day. This was, in effect, the 21st century ‘premiere’ of the 1948 film Maintenant On Peut Le Dire, with an audience of local students and their teachers. Most SOE historians and enthusiasts know that a slightly shortened version of the 1946 feature-length film Now It Can Be Told was released for ‘theatrical’ distribution in 1947 as School For Danger; but few are aware that a version in French had also been produced. Re-titled "Maintenant On Peut Le Dire" this specially dubbed version was first shown in Paris in 1948. One of the film’s ‘stars’ - the former SOE agent Harry Ree - attended that premiere, and its release was accompanied by the publication of an informative magazine. Cut-down versions of the French version would much later appear on a DVD and online, but the fate of the full-length version has been sketchy, apart from the IWM in London having a very poor quality copy. At least, that was the situation until last year, when Martyn Cox had asked the French military film archive - l’Etablissement de Communication et de Production Audiovisuelle de la Défense - if it would be possible to double-check its holdings. A physical search resulted in the discovery of eighteen reels of 35mm film clearly marked as Maintenant On Peut Le Dire which amounted to two well preserved copies of the entire 1947 film. So it had been safely stored for all that time, but seemingly ‘lost’ due to not actually being listed in ECPAD’s database. Following last Tuesday’s first screening, Cécile Coolen and Martyn Cox were Emmanuel Carrère’s guests for the annual commemoration of de Gaulle’s ‘appel’. This formal ceremony took place at 11am at the nearby Monument aux Morts, after which Cécile and Martyn were introduced to several dignitaries and guests including Mme. Claire Raulin, la préfète du Lot, and Cahor’s mayor, M. Jean-Luc Marx. The building housing Le Grand Palais cinema complex will also become the home of Cahors’ new resistance museum and, during the afternoon of June 18th, Emmanuel invited Cécile to view some of the museum’s artefacts at its storage facility. One of these was a wooden crate which had once held armour piercing shells for one of Das Reich’s Panzer tanks. (This just happens to have been donated to the museum by Martyn Cox - he’d found it in an unused barn next to his house.) The Cahors events concluded with a second screening of Maintenant On Peut Le Dire at Le Grand Palais - in the evening for an adult audience, and followed by Cécile Coolen’s SOE documentary « La Résistance au service de sa majesté ». In order for the audiences of both screenings to fully appreciate the backstory to the production of Now It Can Be Told and Maintenant On Peut Le Dire, Martyn had made a short introductory film in French - and both were accompanied by talks and Q&A. Photos & images courtesy of: Martyn Cox / Cécile Coolen / IWM / l'Association du Musée de la Résistance / la Préfecture et des Services de l'État dans le Lot
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.
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Title image – B24 ‘Carpetbagger’ conducting parachute drop. Courtesy of Clive Bassett, Harrington Aviation Museum –  https://harringtonmuseum.org.uk/