The smart special forces lady

Odette Sansom Hallowes (1912–1995) was a French woman who married an Englishman in 1931 and moved to England. When World War 2 broke out, she followed a public request by the Admirality to take pictures of the French coast. Her pictures must have impressed someone as she was quickly hired by the British army.

She joined the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry’s female special forces branch and received training in espionage. Later she was sent to France in a spy team led by a man named Peter Churchill. She got caught in 1943 and was then tortured by a red hot iron poker, but never cracked. Although already sentenced to death, the Germans kept her alive until the end of the war. She kept claiming that she was married to Peter Churchill and that she was somehow related to Winston Churchill. None of it was true. However, her ability to stick to her story had saved her life. The Germans thought until the last day of the war, that she might be a useful bargaining chip.

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By Unknown author [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons