The Women of SOE
Churchill launched the SOE, the secretive Special Operations Executive, in June 1940. The mission? To “set Europe ablaze”. The first agent was dropped into France the next year, and over 400 would follow - 39 were women. From 1943 there was increasing demand for female agents to act as couriers and wireless transmitters in France, where their movement was less conspicuous. Join us as we uncover three of the most effective female agents in occupied France - whose work was critically important to the war effort. Sufi Princess Noor Inayat Khan, provided Britain’s only wireless communications with Paris in 1944. Discover where she was arrested, and visit Avenue Foch, Gestapo HQ, where she was interrogated before she was sent to her death. Eileen Nearn also operated from Paris, her solitary death in 2010 made national headlines but her story is still not well known - we hope to right that on tour. Pearl Witherington initially served as a courier in Valencay, our last destination. When her circuit leader was captured, she stepped up to command over 2,000 men. The operations of resistance circuits in Europe are credited with shortening the War by at least six months. When, as a woman, Pearl Witherington was offered civil rather than military honours, she commented there had been nothing remotely ‘civil’ about her work...
- Expert Guide Lecturer
- Historical Trips Tour Manager
- Meals - All meals included with water (wine with dinners)
- Hotels - 4 nights in 4* hotels in London, Paris and Valencay
- Local Travel - Private a/c coach
- Entries & Tips - Entry to all sites in program; tips included
Revolution in the air, war afoot…
The 20th century saw the world dominated by war. It was a time of unknowing atrocity and dubious morality; an age of resistance, risk and revolution.
Take an alternative look at 1940, examining what could have been, had Operation Sea Lion gone ahead. Uncover the Nazis’ Face of Evil, following their beginnings in Munich’s beer halls to the Nuremberg trials.
In this modern era, victims of war are more distant and responsibility more dubious. Travel with us as we examine whose hands are stained with innocent blood; and question who is to blame for the horrors inflicted upon mankind...