Bardiness

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Nancy Wake RIP

The White Mouse has died.

Nancy Wake, war hero extraordinaire, achieved something the Gestapo vigorously tried to deny her – to live a long life.

That life has finally ended.

Nancy died yesterday evening on the 7th August – just 23 days short of her 99th birthday.

Her life was the stuff of adventure and with her passing also sees the last of a small brave group of women recruited by Churchill’s Special Operations Executive. After the fall of France in 1940, Nancy became a resistance courier, saboteur and spy with a purpose to destabilise the German war machine.

Codenamed “the White Mouse” she was once top of the Gestapo’s most wanted list. In her later years Nancy lived quietly at the Royal Star and Garter Home in Richmond, Surrey.

A few days before she died, her health deteriorated significantly and she was transferred to Kingston Hospital where she passed away.

The obituaries are beginning to appear. In Australia and New Zealand they have began in earnest.

She was born in New Zealand, and was Australia’s most decorated servicewomen. In the UK the news has not been reported with prominence, but that’s because of the ongoing riots and disturbances in London, which are grabbing the headlines.

There is the irony. The death of a woman who played her part in the fight for freedom, has been overshadowed by the very people whose freedoms she fought for. The rioters, the looters and the yobs who shame her memory, the people who twitter and pose proudly with perverse joy at vandalism, confrontation, destruction and sickening misguided celebrity. Do they riot because of social injustice or just opportunism to cause mayhem?

Perhaps if the media like the BBC and Sky could just take their eyes away from these events and give a little time to Nancy – then perhaps some may pause and think. A forlorn hope? We’ll never know if they don’t try.

Farewell Nancy. You did your bit in the hope for a better world. Britain seems to have forgotten you briefly, but the rest of the world has surely not.

Nancy Wake: Legion D’Honneur, George Medal, US Medal of Freedom, Companion of the Order of Australia. 30th August 1912 – 7th August 2011. Aged 98.

sarah and nancy

My daughter Sarah with Nancy Wake in 2011

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August 8, 2011 - Posted by | Culture, Current Affairs, Education, Events, London, United Kingdom | , , , , , ,

2 Comments »

  1. We few, we happy few, we band of brothers? Agree with you whole heartedly. A sad, sad world we live in now? RIP, we all owe you so much.

    Like

    Comment by Spook | August 8, 2011 | Reply

  2. Thanks Kevin. A Henry V quote – very apt!

    Like

    Comment by Bar De Ness | August 8, 2011 | Reply


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