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Violette Szabo

Violette Reine Elizabeth Bushell Szabo, George Cross, Member of the Order of the British Empire, Croix de Guerre (France) (1921 - 1945), World War II secret agent.

Violette Szabo was the daughter of a French mother and an English father, born Violette Bushell on June 26, 1921 in Paris. She was a secret agent in Occupied France[?], who was immortalised in the film Carve Her Name with Pride[?], based on the book of the same name by R.J. Minney[?]. Her spymaster during her time in the SOE was Leo Marks, who gave her what is now thought of as the definitive WWII code-poem Yours.

In 1940, Violette married Etienne Szabo, a French officer. Shortly after the birth of their only child, he was killed at the Battle of El Alamein. This was the event that caused Violette to offer her services to the SOE. Her first mission was successful.

After parachuting into France on her second mission, she was betrayed and arrested by the Gestapo, despite putting up fierce resistance with her Sten gun. She was interrogated under torture, then sent to Ravensbrück concentration camp where she was executed at the end of January in 1945

She was the first woman to be awarded the George Cross; this was awarded posthumously on December 7, 1946. The Croix de Guerre[?] was awarded by the French government in 1947.

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