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Odette Hallowes Commemorated

Discussion in 'WWII Today' started by GRW, Mar 7, 2020.

  1. GRW

    GRW Pillboxologist WW2|ORG Editor

    Oct 26, 2003
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    Stirling, Scotland
    "World War 2 heroine, Odette Hallowes, who lived at Whiteball outside Wellington at the beginning of the war, is to be commemorated in March when a Great Western Railway train will be named in her honour. The ceremony to name the train will take place on Friday 6 March at Paddington Station, London, attended by members of her family.
    Odette Hallowes was born in France, moving to the UK after her marriage and to Somerset with her three daughters at the start of WW2. She was recruited to serve undercover in France in the Special Operations Executive, the British sabotage and espionage organisation, working with the French Resistance.
    In 1943 she was exposed by a Nazi officer and arrested. During brutal interrogation by the Gestapo on fourteen separate occasions she refused to betray her fellow agents and was condemned to death. She said later that bringing to mind her home at Whiteball helped her to overcome the pain of imprisonment and torture.
    She was sent to Ravensbruck Concentration Camp after she pretended to be related to Winston Churchill. Despite being kept in a punishment block on starvation rations she survived until the camp was liberated in 1944.
    After the war she said she was “not brave, not courageous, but just made up my mind about certain things.” She recalled in a post-war interview that while everyone has a breaking point, her feeling was that if she could “survive the next minute without breaking up, that is another minute of life. And if I can think that way instead of thinking what is going to happen in a half-hour’s time.” She was awarded the George Cross and the French Legion d’Honneur."
    James Stewart likes this.
  2. James Stewart

    James Stewart Active Member

    Jan 21, 2020
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    Excellent news.

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