“One of Britain’s most-decorated female spies was initially dismissed as “scatterbrained” and “not very intelligent” by her superiors, documents released for the first time today reveal.
When Eileen Nearne was buried last month, details of the 89-year-old’s heroism came to light. One of a select number of Special Operations Executive (SOE) agents, she was parachuted into France in 1944 as a radio operator codenamed Rose, transmitting vital intelligence until she was captured. She endured torture at the hands of Nazi interrogators, refusing to reveal any details and eventually managing to escape. She was later awarded the French Croix de Guerre and the MBE for her “cool efficiency, perseverance and willingness to undergo any risk”.
Known as Churchill’s Secret Army, the SOE was set up in 1940 to encourage and facilitate espionage and sabotage behind enemy lines. Two years later Winston Churchill gave his approval for women to be sent into Europe after it was argued that they would be less conspicuous than men.” SOURCE
Eileen Nearne on WikiPedia