Her only regret: not killing more Nazis
Nancy Wake was a British agent who became the most decorated service woman of WWII, and she was born in Oriental Bay’s Grass Street.
The Oriental Bay Residents Association is paying tribute to Wake by placing a sign on a heritage pillar near her birth place.
“Australians claim her as their own, but she is a Wellington citizen,” says Hatfield.
Wake was a leading figure of the French resistance and led 7,000 guerrilla fighters against the Nazis. She once killed an SS sentry with her bare hands to prevent him raising the alarm during a raid, and by 1943 was the Gestapo’s most-wanted person with a five million-franc price on her head.
There has been little recognition of Wake in New Zealand besides an RSA Badge in Gold, which she was the first woman to receive. She received medals from Australia, Britain, France and the United States.
The sign will have a picture of the dashing dame, a list of her medals, and a story of her achievements. It is part of a four-sided information display box; other panels cover Lauris Edmond, early whaling in the Harbour, and Oriental Bay.
The French Embassy in Wellington helped fund the sign.
Nancy Wake Heritage sign unveiling, 1pm, Oriental Parade, opposite Grass Street, June 3