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Vera Leigh

Discussion in 'Women at War' started by Jim, Apr 19, 2007.

  1. Jim

    Jim New Member

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    Vera Leigh was born in Leeds on 17th March, 1903. Abandoned as a baby she was adopted by Eugene Leigh, an American married to an English woman. Leigh became a racehorse trainer in France with stables at Maisons Laffitte near Paris.

    After leaving college Vera went to work as a dress designer at the fashion house of Caroline Reboux and in 1927 went into partnership with two friends to establish Rose Valois.

    In May 1940 France was invaded by the German Army. Vera now joined the French Resistance and became involved in the underground escape lines guiding fugitive Allied servicemen out of the country. In 1942 she took the same route out of France and when she arrived in England she volunteered to join the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry (FANY), an organization that worked very closely with the Special Operations Executive (SOE). After being interviewed at the War Office she agreed to become a British special agent.

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    Given the codename "Simone" she was flown to Tours on 13th May 1943. She travelled to Paris where she joined the Inventor Network as a courier. She rented an apartment in Paris but while meeting another agent at a café at the Place des Ternes on on 30th October, 1943, she was arrested by the Gestapo and imprisoned at Fresnes

    On 13th May 1944 the Germans transported Vera and seven other SOE agents, Yolande Beekman, Eliane Plewman, Madeleine Damerment, Odette Sansom, Diana Rowden, Andrée Borrel and Sonya Olschanezky, to Nazi Germany.

    On 6th July 1944, Vera along with Diana Rowden, Andrée Borrel and Sonya Olschanezky, were taken to the Concentration Camp at Natzweiler. Later that day they were injected with phenol and put in the crematorium furnace.
     
  2. Shadow War44

    Shadow War44 New Member

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    Was she ever honored for her sacrifice? I think I remember hearing of her, but I have not heard if she was ever given an award posthumously.
     
  3. Buford

    Buford New Member

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    Has there been a film made about her exploits?
     

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