Wed, 26 Jul|
Great War Huts
Hutted Histories: The True Story of the Women of SOE with Dr Kate Vigurs
Dr Kate Vigurs interweaves the stories of all thirty-nine female Special Operations Executives.
Time & Location
26 Jul, 19:30
Great War Huts, Brook Farm Camp, Bell's Ln, Bury St Edmunds, Bury Saint Edmunds IP29 5NW, UK
About the event
Formed in 1940, Special Operations Executive was to coordinate Resistance work overseas. The organization’s F section sent more than four hundred agents into France, thirty-nine of whom were women. But while some are widely known—Violette Szabo, Odette Sansom, Noor Inayat Khan—others have had their stories largely overlooked. Kate Vigurs interweaves for the first time the stories of all thirty-nine female agents. Tracing their journeys from early recruitment to work undertaken in the field, to evasion from, or capture by, the Gestapo, Vigurs shows just how greatly missions varied. Some agents were more adept at parachuting. Some agents’ missions lasted for years, others’ less than a few hours. Some survived, others were murdered. By placing the women in the context of their work with the SOE and the wider war, this history reveals the true extent of the differences in their abilities and attitudes while underlining how they nonetheless shared a common mission and, ultimately, deserve recognition.
“The freshness and honesty of Mission France make it an ideal book for taking a new look at the secret war, at a time when knowledge of these brave women’s exploits is fading from living memory.”—Vin Arthey, The Scotsman
Dr Kate Vigurs is a professional freelance historian. Her debut book ‘Mission France’ has received critical acclaim, described as ‘a tale of triumph and tragedy, of romance but also ruin – a fitting epitaph to their courage and humanity’ and as ‘an important addition to the story of the female agents of SOE’s F Section’. The book was shortlisted for the Polly Corrigan Prize and the SAHR First book prize in 2022.
26 Jul, 18:00