A very high attendance at one of our traditionally quiet ceremonies with over 70 people attending.
Our ceremony was dedicated to members of the French Special Operations Executive, many of whom were executed in concentration camps in WWII.
We were privileged to have family members of some of the people from our Individual Remembrance section.
Major France Antelme, General List, OBE (Military), Légion d’honneur, Vroix de Guerre, executed at the Gross-Rosen concentration camp, 1944.
Ensign Denise Bloch, FANY, King’s Commendation for Brave Conduct, Légion d’honneur, Croix de Guerre, Médaille de la Résistance, executed at the Ravensbrück concentration camp, 1945.
Ensign Eliane Plewman, FANY, King’s Commendation for Brave Conduct, Croix de Guerre, executed at the Dachau concentration camp 1944.
Section Officer Lillian Rolfe, WAAF, FANY, executed at the Ravensbrück concentration camp, 1945.
Captain Arthur Steele, General List, Mention in Despatches, Croix de Guerre, executed at the Buchenwald concentration camp, 1944.
Ensign Violette Szabó, FANY, George Cross, Croix de Guerre. Médaille de la Résistance, executed at the Ravensbrück concentration camp, 1945.
Finally we remembered Section Officer Yvonne Cormeau, WAAF, FANY, MBE (Military), Légion d’honneur, Croix de Guerre, Médaille de la Résistance who died in Fleet, Hampshire, 1997.
Paul McCue of The Secret WW2 Learning Network read out a poem from the collection ‘Leaves of Buchenwald’ written by Lieutenant Maurice Pertschuk, agent of the French Section, SOE. Pertschuk was captured while serving clandestinely in occupied France and was executed at Buchenwald concentration camp in 1945. He is commemorated, with no known grave, on panel 22, column 1, of Brookwood’s Memorial to the Missing 1939-45′
We had four Standards on parade and the Last Post was sounded by Mrs Ruth Moore.
Afterwards we retired to the estaminet at The Trench Experience for refreshments.
Thank you to Tony McCallum for the photographs and to Alan Meeks for the video shot that can be viewed here.