Remember Nancy Wake
She was Nancy Wake, who became one of British Prime Minister Winston Churchill’s most highly decorated special agents. Her birth in Wellington a hundred years ago is being celebrated, with a lecture and a church service. Wake was born in Roseneath, on August 30, 1912, but two years later moved to Sydney with her family. She ran away from home as a 16 year old to work as a nurse.
Later she went to New York, then London and trained as a journalist working first in Paris and then as a European Correspondent.
Wake was living in France when Germany invaded during World War II and in 1940 she became a courier for the French Resistance. She is credited with helping save around 2,000 airmen by setting up escape routes and sabotaging German installations, and later led 7,000 Resistance fighters on D-Day preparations.
The Gestapo nicknamed her The White Mouse and in 1943 she was the Nazi’s most wanted person with a five million franc price on her head.
Wake died in London last year.
The Wellington remembrance service is at Old St Paul’s Church on Mulgrave Street and starts at 12.15pm.
At 6pm Alliance Française Wellington will remember Wake with guest speaker Dr Keren Chiaroni, author of The Last of the Human Freedoms and senior lecturer of French at Victoria University.