S.O.E. agents and Special operations agents as prisoners of war.

Discussion in 'SOE & OSS' started by Ron Morgan, Dec 5, 2017.

  1. Ron Morgan

    Ron Morgan Member

    I am currently researching for a new historical fiction novel, based around the Special Operations Executive during the second world war.

    I have a particular interest, in any that may have had links to the Shropshire and the Welsh border counties or Wales itself.

    I am interested in speaking to anyone who may have been part of the Special Operations Executive. Or anyone who was involved in their training or in any small way to facilitating their operations.

    I would like to learn about personal experiences, be they from the individual or family members or indeed friends with whom the Special Agent operative shared their stories with.

    Any information would be most appreciated, in order for me to construct my novel around factually correct information.

    I have read many books on the exploits and predicaments agents found themselves in. But, I need to be able to gauge the true feelings, emotions and motivations of these brave people in what was an extraordinary time in order to deliver an authentic portrayal. Anecdotes about ordinary life as well as events while serving and training would be invaluable. With your help I hope to achieve this.

    Thank you in anticipation of your kind assistance.

    Kind regards
    Ron Morgan
  2. Jedburgh22

    Jedburgh22 Very Senior Member

    The fate of SOE personnel as POWs was very varied depending on whose hands they were in. The Wehrmacht, GFP or Abwehr often meant a POW camp. SD, Gestapo, Milice etc was a ticket to a concentration camp.
  3. Ron Morgan

    Ron Morgan Member

    Thank you so much for that insight into the likely fate of S.O.E. personnel. Taking that thought pattern further. I am now researching one female S.O.E. agent who ended up in a German concentration camp that was liberated by a British Armoured unit in 1945, as far as I can see so far, this could be Bergen-Belsen or Sandbostel, as many others seem to have been liberated by the Russians or Americans dependent on their location. Any other information or advice as to a likely would be invaluable.
  4. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic

    I'm not an expert but, If she survived, then I understand she could/would have completed a Liberation Questionnaire. Others on the Forum will need to provide further guidance.

    Who are you researching?....if that's not too detailed a question.
    Ron Morgan likes this.
  5. Ron Morgan

    Ron Morgan Member

    Thanks SDP! Here is the rub....This may sound strange but I have no name and the agent had died in the camp. So it was her body that was repatriated, which from what I understand was unusual. All this makes my task nigh impossible but where there is a will there is a way! With the help of many good people like yourself I may get enough pieces of the jigsaw to narrow things down to a name, but either way I am trying to track her story and circumstances.
  6. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic

    I agree. Intriguing. The words needle and haystack come to mind! The 'fact' - you need to be absolutely sure of that - that her body was repatriated can mean one of several things all of which themselves depend on the body being identifiable. The options appear to be:
    1. She was in a marked grave and died before the camp was liberated: unlikely because that's not how Concentration Camps worked sadly
    2. She died very soon after liberation and was buried and/or the body repatriated: a bit more likely
    3. She died while being repatriated: in my mind the most likely.

    I suggest you contact someone to do with SOE history and trawl books relating to SOE history. You could also search the CWGC database.
    Ron Morgan likes this.
  7. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    Cannot recollect an SOE female operator being held in Sandbostel.

    However Yvonne Rudellat (Jacqueline of the Prosper Circuit and operated in the Sologne centred on Romorantin) died in Belsen Bergen under the assumed name of Madame Jacqueline Gautier after arriving there from Ravensbruck on 2 March 1945.....6 weeks before the camp was liberated by British troops on 15 April 1945

    She lies in a mass grave,unknown and died on 23 April 1945 from typhoid or other infectious diseases,a reflection on the gross neglect of the German authorities at Belsen.

    Incidentally there was no practice of repatriating the dead,Jacqueline Rudellat was buried in a mass grave without any registration.....as a sick inmate, her whereabouts as a SOE operator was unknown at the time to the British authorities.

    Although living in England for many years prior to the Second World War,Yvonne Rudellat was a French national.

    Like many of the SOE who met their deaths in captivity, she is remembered on the Brookwood 1939-1945 War Memorial.
  8. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

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  9. Ron Morgan

    Ron Morgan Member

    Thank you so much for your reply and information Harry. That is very interesting. Is it possible for me to send you a personal message with some more information?
  10. Ron Morgan

    Ron Morgan Member

    Sincere thank you to all of you for your very insightful and knowledgeable replies to help my research. Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year!

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