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Celebrity

Eileen Nearne

Eileen Nearne died this month at the age of 89 in a flat in Torquay, England. Once her body was discovered several days later, she was slated for a council burial (a "pauper's grave") by officials. According to the few people in the neighborhood who were acquainted with her, she kept to herself, and she loved cats. ...

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Also, as the discovery of numerous medals of honor in her home led people to discover, she was a British national hero: A wartime spy - codename Agent Rose - who had been among the 39 women parachuted into France as part of Churchill's Secret Army to act in collaboration with the French Resistance.

During her time as a British secret agent, she was arrested and tortured by the Gestapo, but never revealed information about her collaborators, and she eventually escaped and found her way back to Britain. She was awarded a Croix de Guerre medal by the French Government after the war, and was given a proper military burial yesterday as well as renewed notoriety in the British press this week.

Her story is really inspiring and sad. Tons more details in this New York Times piece.

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