Difference between revisions of "Nancy Wake"

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Nancy Wake aka ‘The White Mouse’ was​ a North Sydney private school girl turned WWII spy, who in 1942 became the Gestapo’s most wanted with a bounty of five million francs on her pin-curled head. She killed Nazi’s with her bare hands, fought with the French resistance and saved countless lives, and like a true Sheila she wasn’t shy of a drink, and had a mouth so filthy it brings a patriotic tear to your eye.
 
Nancy Wake aka ‘The White Mouse’ was​ a North Sydney private school girl turned WWII spy, who in 1942 became the Gestapo’s most wanted with a bounty of five million francs on her pin-curled head. She killed Nazi’s with her bare hands, fought with the French resistance and saved countless lives, and like a true Sheila she wasn’t shy of a drink, and had a mouth so filthy it brings a patriotic tear to your eye.
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==Early life and education==
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Born in Roseneath, Wellington, New Zealand, on 30 August 1912, Wake was the youngest of six children. In 1914, her family moved to Australia and settled at North Sydney, New South Wales.<ref name=Dennis>{{harvnb|Dennis|Grey|Morris|Prior|1995|p=626}}</ref> Shortly thereafter, her father, Charles Augustus Wake, returned to New Zealand and her mother, Ella Wake (née Rosieur; 1874–1968) raised the children.
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In Sydney, Wake attended the North Sydney Household Arts (Home Science) School.<ref>{{cite book|last=FitzSimons|first=Peter|title=Nancy Wake A Biography of Our Greatest War Heroine|year=2002|isbn=978-0-7322-7456-6}}</ref> At the age of 16, she ran away from home and worked as a nurse. With £200 that she had inherited from an aunt, she journeyed to New York City, then London where she trained herself as a journalist.
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In the 1930s, she worked in Paris and later for Hearst Corporation newspapers as a European correspondent. She witnessed the rise of Adolf Hitler and the Nazism and "saw roving Nazi gangs randomly beating Jewish men and women in the streets" of Vienna.<ref>{{cite news|journal=New York Times|title= Obituary for Nancy Wake|date= 14 August 2011|page= A18}}</ref>
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==Wartime service and Special Operations Executive==
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In 1937, Wake met wealthy French industrialist Henri Edmond Fiocca (1898–1943), whom she married on 30 November 1939. She was living in Marseille, France when Germany invaded.  During the war in France, Wake served as an ambulance driver.<ref>https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/obituaries/nancy-wake-white-mouse-of-world-war-ii-dies-at-98/2011/08/08/gIQABvPT5I_story.html?utm_term=.567a28b31687</ref> After the fall of France in 1940, she became a courier for the French Resistance and later joined the escape network of Captain Ian Garrow. In reference to Wake's ability to elude capture, the Gestapo called her the "White Mouse". The Resistance exercised caution with her missions; her life was in constant danger, with the Gestapo tapping her telephone and intercepting her mail.<ref name="Wake Bio"/>
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In November 1942, Wehrmacht troops occupied the southern part of France after the Allies' Operation Torch had started. This gave the Gestapo unrestricted access to all papers of the Vichy France and made life more dangerous for Wake.{{citation needed|date=January 2013}} By this time Wake was the Gestapo's most wanted person in the Marseilles area, with a price of 5 million francs on her head. When the network was betrayed that same year she decided to flee France. Her husband, Henri Fiocca, stayed behind. He later was captured, tortured, and executed by the Gestapo because he would not betray her.<ref name=diggerinfo>{{cite web|url=http://www.diggerhistory.info/pages-heroes/white_mouse.htm|title=The White Mouse| archiveurl=https://web.archive.org/web/20100811085020/http://www.diggerhistory.info/pages-heroes/white_mouse.htm| archivedate=11 August 2010}}</ref> Wake described her tactics: "A little powder and a little drink on the way, and I'd pass their (German) posts and wink and say, 'Do you want to search me?' God, what a flirtatious little bastard I was."<ref name="The Australian">{{cite web | url=http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/features/fearless-matriarch-of-resistance/story-e6frg6z6-1226111207166 | title=Fearless matriarch of resistance | publisher=News Limited | work=[[The Australian]] | date=9 August 2011 | accessdate=24 June 2015 | author=Leech, Graeme | quote=It was perilous work despite her cover as the wife of a respectable businessman. She lived on her sharp wits. "I'd see a German officer on the train or somewhere, sometimes dressed in civvies, but you could pick 'em. So, instead of raising suspicions I'd flirt with them, ask for a light and say my lighter was out of fuel," she recalled. She told how she would get beautifully dressed and hang around making dates with Germans to get information. "A little powder and a little drink on the way, and I'd pass their posts and wink and say, 'Do you want to search me?' God, what a flirtatious little bastard I was."}}</ref>
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In the process of getting out of France, Wake was picked up with a whole trainload of people and was arrested in Toulouse,{{when|date=December 2012}} but was released four days later. A resistance contact, Albert Guérisse, managed to have her let out by claiming she was his mistress and was trying to conceal her infidelity to her husband (all of which was untrue).<ref>{{cite AV media | url=http://www.rte.ie/radio1/doconone/2011/0907/646867-curious-ear-doconone-nancy-wake/ | title=Nancy Wake and Harry Potter | publisher=[[Raidió Teilifís Éireann]] | date=9 August 2011 | medium=Radio | location=Ireland | quote=The story of an extraordinary woman: Nancy Wake, WWII spy, French Resistance leader and saboteur who was determined to 'bugger up' the NAZIs.}}</ref> On her seventh <ref>"Nancy Wake: SOEs Greatest Héroïne" Braddon, Russell, 1956, chapter VII. During her sixth attempt she had to crawl out the train window to escape the Gestapo and ended up back in Marseilles until she could try again.</ref> attempt, she succeeded in crossing the Pyrenees to Spain. Until the war ended, she was unaware of her husband's death, and she subsequently blamed herself for it.<ref name=guardian_obituary />
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After reaching Great Britain, Wake joined the Special Operations Executive and was trained by them in several different training programs. Vera Atkins, who was the senior female in the SOE overseeing the agents going into France, recalls her as "a real Australian bombshell. Tremendous vitality, flashing eyes. Everything she did, she did well." Training reports record that she was "a very good and fast shot" and possessed excellent fieldcraft. She was noted to "put the men to shame by her cheerful spirit and strength of character."<ref name=guardian_obituary />
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On Mar 1 1944, Wake was parachuted into the Auvergne, becoming a liaison between London and the local Maquis group headed by Captain Henri Tardivat in the Forest of Tronçais. Upon discovering her tangled in a tree, Captain Tardivat greeted her remarking, "I hope that all the trees in France bear such beautiful fruit this year", to which she replied, "Don't give me that French shit."<ref name=diggerinfo/><ref name=telegraph_obituary>{{cite news|title=Nancy Wake|url=https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/military-obituaries/special-forces-obituaries/8689765/Nancy-Wake.html|work=[[The Daily Telegraph]]| accessdate=9 August 2011|location=London|date=8 August 2011}}</ref> Her duties included allocating arms and equipment that were parachuted in and minding the group's finances. Wake became instrumental in recruiting more members and making the maquis groups into a formidable force, roughly 7,500 strong. She was also involved in attacks on bridges, railway lines, and German convoys. She participated in a raid that destroyed the Gestapo headquarters in Montluçon, during which 38 Germans were killed.<ref name=telegraph_obituary /> At one point Wake discovered that her men were protecting a girl who was a German spy. They did not have the heart to kill her in cold blood, but when Wake insisted that she would perform the execution, they capitulated.<ref name="nazi_spy">{{cite news | url=https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1301&dat=19871102&id=wCtWAAAAIBAJ&sjid=uuQDAAAAIBAJ&pg=5867,1447818&hl=en | title=Of Mouse and Men | work=The Sydney Morning Herald | date=2 November 1987 | accessdate=24 June 2015 | location=Sydney | pages=8 | quote=There was also a moment that we don't see, but one that brought a telling moment in the documentary ''The White Mouse'', shown late at night couple of weeks ago by the ABC. In the closing stages of the Resistance war, the Maquis captured a German agent, a girl. They were reluctant to execute her, simply because she was a woman. "If you won't shoot her, I will," Nancy Wake told them. "The men changed their mind. They weren't going to let me carry out my threat." "But they did organise a proper firing squad. I was having my breakfast. The girl had admitted to me that she was a spy and she was very proud of the fact. I had given her some clothes and showed her where to wash. As she passed me on the way to the firing squad, I said 'I'm very sorry we can't keep you, If we had anywhere to put you we would. But, I'm sorry, you are going to be shot.' "As she passed me, she took all her clothes and spat at me, and then she walked naked to the firing squad showing 'Zieg Heil!'. She was a dedicated Nazi. Oh, I'd have shot her. God yes, with the greatest of pleasure."}}</ref><ref name=guardian_obituary />
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From March 1944 until the liberation of France, her 7,000+ ''maquisards'' fought the Germans by any means they could. Her French companions, especially Henri Tardivat, praised her fighting spirit, amply demonstrated when she killed an SS sentry with her bare hands to prevent him from raising the alarm during a raid. During a 1990s television interview, when asked what had happened to the sentry who spotted her, Wake simply drew her finger across her throat. "They'd taught this judo-chop stuff with the flat of the hand at SOE, and I practised away at it. But this was the only time I used it – whack – and it killed him all right. I was really surprised."<ref name="The Australian"/>
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On another occasion, to replace codes her wireless operator had been forced to destroy in a German raid, Wake rode a bicycle for more than {{convert|300|km|mi}} through several German checkpoints to get to another group's wireless operator and send a message to London apprising them of the situation.<ref name="Wake Bio">{{cite book| author=Peter FitzSimons| title=Nancy Wake, Australia's Greatest War Heroine| publisher= Harper Collins Australia| year= 2001| ISBN =0 7322 6919 9}}</ref> Unfortunately she could not convince the operator that she was with the SOE so she finally searched out the local maquis who did send her message. Wake then had to ride the bike back to where she started, and she did all this in 72 hours.<ref name="ReferenceA"/> During a German attack on another maquis group, Wake, along with two American officers, took command of a section whose leader had been killed. She directed the use of suppressive fire, which facilitated the withdrawal of the group without further losses.<ref name=guardian_obituary>{{cite news| title=Nancy Wake obituary| url=https://www.theguardian.com/world/2011/aug/08/nancy-wake-obituary| work=[[The Guardian]]| accessdate=9 August 2011| location=London| first=David| last=Stafford| date=8 August 2011}}</ref>
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==Post-war==
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Immediately after the war, Wake was awarded the [[George Medal]],<ref name="GM"/> the United States Medal of Freedom, the Médaille de la Résistance, and thrice, the Croix de Guerre. She learned that the Gestapo had tortured her husband to death in 1943 for refusing to disclose her whereabouts. After the war, she worked for the intelligence department at the British Air Ministry, attached to embassies in Paris and Prague.
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Wake stood as a Liberal Party candidate<ref>{{cite news|url=http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article18109078?searchTerm=&searchLimits=l-publictag=Nancy+Wake|newspaper=[[The Sydney Morning Herald]]|title=Maquis Heroine tries Politics|date=30 March 1949|page=2|publisher=[[Fairfax Media]]|accessdate=11 June 2011}}</ref> in the 1949 Australian federal election for the Sydney seat of Barton, running against Dr. Herbert Evatt, then deputy prime minister, Attorney-General, and Minister for External Affairs in the Chifley Laborgovernment. While Chifley lost government to Robert Menzies, Wake recorded a 13 percent swing against Evatt,<ref>{{cite web|url=http://psephos.adam-carr.net/countries/a/australia/1949/1949repsnsw.txt|title=Barton, NSW|work=Voting by constituency: Legislative election 1949|date=10 December 1949|accessdate=11 June 2011}}</ref> with Evatt retaining the seat with 53.2 per cent of the vote on a two-party preferred basis. Wake ran against Evatt again at the 1951 federal election. By this time, Evatt was deputy leader of the opposition. The result was extremely close; however, Evatt retained the seat with a margin of fewer than 250 votes.<ref>{{cite web|url=http://psephos.adam-carr.net/countries/a/australia/1951/1951repsnsw.txt|title=Barton, NSW|work=Voting by constituency: Legislative election 1951|date=28 April 1951|accessdate=11 June 2011}}</ref> Evatt slightly increased his margin at subsequent elections before relocating to the safer seat of Hunter by 1958.
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Wake left Australia just after the 1951 election and moved back to England. She worked as an intelligence officer in the department of the assistant chief of air staff at the Air Ministry in Whitehall. She resigned in 1957 after marrying an RAF officer, John Forward, in December of that year. They relocated to Australia in the early 1960s.<ref name=telegraph_obituary /> Maintaining her interest in politics, Wake was endorsed as a Liberal candidate at the 1966 federal election for the Sydney seat of Kingsford Smith. Despite recording a swing of 6.9 per cent against the sitting Labor member Daniel Curtin, Wake was again unsuccessful.<ref>{{cite web|url=http://psephos.adam-carr.net/countries/a/australia/1966/1966repsnsw.txt|title=Kingsford-Smith, NSW|work=Voting by constituency: Legislative election 1966|date=26 November 1966|accessdate=11 June 2011}}</ref> Around 1985, Wake and John Forward left Sydney to retire to Port Macquarie.
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In 1985, Wake published her autobiography, ''The White Mouse''. The book became a bestseller and has been reprinted many times.<ref>{{cite book|author=Wake, Nancy|title=The White Mouse|publisher=Sun Books|year=1985|isbn=0-330-35605-4}}</ref> Later, after 40 years of marriage, her husband John Forward died at Port Macquarie on 19 August 1997. The couple had no children. She sold her medals to fund herself saying "There was no point in keeping them, I'll probably go to hell and they'd melt anyway."<ref name=guardian_obituary /> In 2001, Wake left Australia for the last time and emigrated to London.<ref name=Grauniad /> She became a resident at the Stafford Hotel in St. James' Place, near Piccadilly, formerly a British and American forces club during the war. She had been introduced to her first "bloody good drink" there by the general manager at the time, Louis Burdet. He also had worked for the Resistance in Marseilles. In the mornings she would usually be found in the hotel bar, sipping her first gin and tonic of the day. She was welcomed at the hotel, celebrating her ninetieth birthday there, where the hotel owners absorbed most of the costs of her stay. In 2003, Wake chose to move to the Royal Star and Garter Home, Richmond|Royal Star and Garter Home for Disabled Ex-Service Men and Women, in Richmond, London, where she remained until her death.<ref name=telegraph_obituary />
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Wake died on Sunday evening 7 August 2011, aged 98, at Kingston Hospital after being admitted with a chest infection.<ref>{{cite web|url=http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/war-heroine-nancy-wake-dies/story-e6freuy9-1226110701605|title=War heroine Nancy Wake dies|publisher=[[The Daily Telegraph (Sydney)]]|year=2011|accessdate=8 August 2011}}</ref> She had requested that her ashes be scattered at [[Montluçon]] in central France.<ref>{{cite news|url=http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/nation/the-wartime-heroics-of-nancy-wake-saved-thousands-of-lives/story-e6frg6nf-1226110719801|title=The heroics of Nancy Wake saved thousands of lives and played a crucial role in the outcome of the war|work=The Australian|agency=Australian Associated Press|date=8 August 2011|accessdate=9 August 2011|quote=One operation included an attack on the local Gestapo headquarters in Montluçon, central France, where she requested her ashes be scattered.}}</ref> Her ashes were scattered near the village of Verneix, which is near Montluçon, on 11 March 2013.<ref>{{cite news|title=War hero Nancy Wake's ashes scattered in France|url=http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-03-11/nancy-wakes-ashes-scattered-in-france/4564500|accessdate=11 March 2013|newspaper=ABC News|date=11 March 2013}}</ref> Her obituary was included in (and inspired the title for) ''The Socialite Who Killed A Nazi With Her Bare Hands: And 144 Other Fascinating People Who Died This Year'', a collection of New York Times obituaries published in 2012.<ref>{{cite web|url=http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/10/the-socialite-who-killed-obits_n_2272034.html|title='The Socialite Who Killed A Nazi With Her Bare Hands': The Book We're Talking About|publisher=The Huffington Post|date=2012-10-12|accessdate=2017-04-29}}</ref>
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==Honours==
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Wake was appointed a Chevalier (knight) of the Legion of Honour in 1970 and was promoted to Officer of the Legion of Honour in 1988.<ref>{{cite web|url=http://naa12.naa.gov.au/scripts/PhotoSearchItemDetail.asp?M=0&B=11635960&SE=|title=Nancy Wake promoted to Officer of the Legion of Honour}}</ref> Shortly after the war, she was recommended for decorations in Australia but was turned down. Decades later, Australia offered to award her medals but she refused, saying: "The last time there was a suggestion of that I told the government they could stick their medals where the monkey stuck his nuts. The thing is if they gave me a medal now, it wouldn't be love so I don't want anything from them."<ref name="fighttimes.com">{{cite web|url=http://www.fighttimes.com/magazine/magazine.asp?article=79 |title=Nancy Wake |publisher=Fighttimes.com |accessdate=17 June 2013}}</ref><ref>{{cite web|url=http://www.nzedge.com/legends/warriors/nancy-wake/ |title=Nancy Wake: The White Mouse | accessdate=25 September 2017}}</ref> It was not until February 2004 that Wake was made a [[Companion of the Order of Australia]].<ref name="AC"/> In April 2006, she was awarded the [[Royal New Zealand Returned and Services' Association]]'s highest honour,<ref>{{cite web|url=http://www.rsa.org.nz/remem/rsa_hist_badge.html|title=RSA History: The Badge|work=Remembrance|publisher=[[Royal New Zealand Returned and Services' Association]]|year=2011|accessdate=11 June 2011|deadurl=yes|archiveurl=https://web.archive.org/web/20110606184129/http://www.rsa.org.nz/remem/rsa_hist_badge.html|archivedate=6 June 2011|df=dmy-all}}</ref> the RSA Badge in Gold.<ref name="RSA">{{cite web|url=http://www.rsa.org.nz/review/art2006december/article_3.htm|title=Nancy Wake presented with Badge in Gold|work=RSA Review|publisher=Royal New Zealand Returned and Services' Association|date=December 2006|accessdate=11 June 2011|deadurl=yes|archiveurl=https://web.archive.org/web/20110717070123/http://www.rsa.org.nz/review/art2006december/article_3.htm|archivedate=17 July 2011|df=dmy-all}}</ref> Wake's medals are on display in the Second World War gallery at the [[Australian War Memorial]] Museum in Canberra.<ref name=Dennis/> On 3 June 2010, a "heritage pylon" paying tribute to Wake was unveiled on [[Oriental Parade]] in Wellington, New Zealand, near the place of her birth.<ref>{{cite web|url=http://www.capitaltimes.co.nz/article/3093/HeronlyregretnotkillingmoreNazis.html |title=Her only regret: not killing more Nazis |publisher=Capitaltimes.co.nz |date=27 March 2013 |accessdate=26 January 2017 |deadurl=yes |archiveurl=https://web.archive.org/web/20100602065942/http://www.capitaltimes.co.nz/article/3093/HeronlyregretnotkillingmoreNazis.html |archivedate=2 June 2010}}</ref><ref name="Stuff.co.nz_3774823">{{cite news |url=http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/3774823/White-Mouse-war-legend-back-where-she-started |title=White Mouse war legend back where she started |date=4 June 2010 |work=[[The Dominion Post (Wellington)|The Dominion Post]] |accessdate=27 October 2011}}</ref>
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===List of honours===
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{| class="wikitable"
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|-
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! Ribbon !! Issuing authority !! Description !! Date awarded !! Notes/citation
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|-
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|[[File:OrderAustraliaRibbon.png|80px|Ribbon of the AC]] || [[Commonwealth of Australia]] || [[Companion of the Order of Australia]]|| 22 February 2004 || The award recognises the significant contribution and commitment of Nancy Wake, stemming from her outstanding actions in wartime, in encouraging community appreciation and understanding of the past sacrifices made by Australian men and women in times of conflict, and to a lasting legacy of peace.<ref name="AC">{{cite web|url=http://www.itsanhonour.gov.au/honours/honour_roll/search.cfm?aus_award_id=1056736&search_type=quick&showInd=true|title=WAKE, Nancy: Companion of the Order of Australia|work=Search Australian Honours|publisher=[[Commonwealth of Australia]]|date=22 February 2004|accessdate=11 June 2011}}</ref>
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|-
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|[[File:GeorgeMedalRibbon.jpg|80px|Ribbon of the GM]] || [[United Kingdom]] || [[George Medal]] || 17 July 1945 || FANY: Special operations in France<ref name="GM">{{cite web|url=http://www.itsanhonour.gov.au/honours/honour_roll/search.cfm?aus_award_id=1073847&search_type=quick&showInd=true|title=WAKE, Nancy: George Medal|work=Search Australian Honours|publisher=[[Commonwealth of Australia]]|date=17 July 1945|accessdate=11 June 2011}}</ref><ref>''Supplement to the London Gazette'', 17 July 1945, p. 3676</ref><ref name="AWM REL22576.001">{{cite web|title=George Medal : Ensign N G A Wake, First Aid Nursing Yeomanry (Special Operations Executive)|url=http://www.awm.gov.au/collection/REL22576.001/|website=AWM Collection|publisher=Australian War Memorial|accessdate=16 February 2015}}</ref>
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|-
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|[[File:1939-45 Star.jpg|80px|Ribbon of the 1939–1945 Star]] ||United Kingdom|| [[1939–1945 Star]] || || <ref name="AWM REL22576.002">{{cite web|title=1939–45 Star : Ensign N G A Wake, First Aid Nursing Yeomanry (Special Operations Executive)|url=http://www.awm.gov.au/collection/REL22576.002/|website=AWM Collection|publisher=Australian War Memorial|accessdate=16 February 2015}}</ref>
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|-
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|[[File:France and Germany Star BAR.svg|80px|Ribbon of the France & Germany Star]] ||United Kingdom
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| [[France and Germany Star]] || || <ref name="AWM REL22576.003">{{cite web|title=France and Germany Star : Ensign N G A Wake, First Aid Nursing Yeomanry (Special Operations Executive)|url=http://www.awm.gov.au/collection/REL22576.003/|website=AWM Collection|publisher=Australian War Memorial|accessdate=16 February 2015}}</ref>
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|-
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|[[File:Defence Medal BAR.svg|80px|Ribbon of the Defence Medal]] || [[United Kingdom]] || [[Defence Medal (United Kingdom)|Defence Medal]] || || <ref name="AWM REL22576.003"/>
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|-
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|[[File:War Medal 1939–1945 (UK) ribbon.png|80px|Ribbon of the War Medal]] || United Kingdom || [[War Medal 1939–1945]] || || <ref name="AWM REL22576.003"/>
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|-
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|[[File:Legion Honneur Chevalier ribbon.svg|80px|Ribbon of the Legion of Honor – Chevalier]] || [[France|French Republic]] || Chevalier de la [[Légion d'Honneur]] || 1970 || <ref name="AWM REL22576.006">{{cite web|title=French Officer of the Legion of Honour : Ensign N G A Wake, First Aid Nursing Yeomanry (Special Operations Executive)|url=http://www.awm.gov.au/collection/REL22576.001/|website=AWM Collection|publisher=Australian War Memorial|accessdate=16 February 2015}}</ref>
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|-
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|[[File:Legion Honneur Officier ribbon.svg|80px|Ribbon of the Legion of Honor – Officier]] || [[France|French Republic]] || Officier de la [[Légion d'Honneur]] || 1988 ||<ref name="AWM REL22576.006"/>
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|-
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|[[File:Ruban de la croix de guerre 1939-1945.PNG|80px|Ribbon de la croix de guerre]] || French Republic || [[Croix de Guerre]] || || with two Palms and a Star<ref name="AWM REL22576.006"/><ref name="AWM REL22576.007">{{cite web|title=French Croix de Guerre : Ensign N G A Wake, First Aid Nursing Yeomanry (Special Operations Executive)|url=http://www.awm.gov.au/collection/REL22576.007/|website=AWM Collection|publisher=Australian War Memorial|accessdate=16 February 2015}}</ref>
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|-
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|[[File:Medal of Freedom stripe bronsepalme.svg|80px|Ribbon of the PMOF]] || [[United States|United States of America]] || [[Medal of Freedom]] || || with Bronze Palm. ''(Only 987 issued with Bronze Palm during WWII)''<ref name="AWM REL22576.008">{{cite web|title=United States Medal of Freedom : Ensign N G A Wake, First Aid Nursing Yeomanry (Special Operations Executive)|url=http://www.awm.gov.au/collection/REL22576.008/|website=AWM Collection|publisher=Australian War Memorial|accessdate=16 February 2015}}</ref><ref>[http://www.omsa.org/photopost/showphoto.php?photo=5528 OMSA Info on Medal of Freedom] {{webarchive|url=https://web.archive.org/web/20110727143616/http://www.omsa.org/photopost/showphoto.php?photo=5528 |date=27 July 2011 }}</ref>
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|-
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|[[File:Ruban de la Médaille de la Résistance.PNG|80px|Ribbon de la Médaille de la Résistance]] || French Republic || [[Médaille de la Résistance]] || || <ref name="AWM REL22576.009">{{cite web|title=French Medaille de la Resistance : Ensign N G A Wake, First Aid Nursing Yeomanry (Special Operations Executive)|url=http://www.awm.gov.au/collection/REL22576.009/|website=AWM Collection|publisher=Australian War Memorial|accessdate=16 February 2015}}</ref>
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|-
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| || [[New Zealand]] || Badge in Gold || 15 November 2006 ||[[Royal New Zealand Returned and Services' Association]]<ref name="RSA"/>
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|}
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==Biographies==
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In 1956, Australian author [[Russell Braddon]] wrote ''Nancy Wake: The Story of a Very Brave Woman'' ({{ISBN|978 0 7524 5485 6}}).<ref>{{cite book|author=Braddon, Russell|title=Nancy Wake: The Story of a Very Brave Woman|isbn=978 0 7524 5485 6}}</ref> Nancy Wake wrote her own account (first published 1985) with the original title, "The White Mouse" (The autobiography of the woman the Gestapo called the White Mouse) ({{ISBN|0725107553}}). In 2001, Australian author [[Peter FitzSimons]] wrote ''Nancy Wake, A Biography of Our Greatest War Heroine'' ({{ISBN|0 7322 6919 9}}), a bestselling comprehensive biography of Wake.<ref name=Grauniad>{{cite news|url=https://www.theguardian.com/world/2004/feb/23/books.australia|title=A belated salute for war heroine|publisher=The Guardian|first=David|last=Fickling|date=23 February 2004|accessdate=8 August 2011|location=London}}</ref> In 2011, German author {{Interlanguage link multi|Michael Jürgs|de}} wrote ''Codename Hélène: Churchills Geheimagentin Nancy Wake und ihr Kampf gegen die Gestapo in Frankreich.'' (translated: ''Codename Hélène: Churchill's secret agent Nancy Wake and her fight against the [[Gestapo]] in France'').<ref>{{cite book |title=Codename Hélène: Churchills Geheimagentin Nancy Wake und ihr Kampf gegen die Gestapo in Frankreich |author=Bertelsmann, München |year=2012|ISBN= 9783570101421 |url=https://www.amazon.de/dp/3570101428 |publisher=Blick ins Buch |accessdate=26 January 2017}}</ref> The book was published in October 2012.
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Claims that [[Sebastian Faulks]]' 1999 novel ''[[Charlotte Gray (novel)|Charlotte Gray]]'' is based on Wake's war-time exploits,<ref>{{cite web|title=Australia WWII heroine Nancy 'White Mouse' Wake dies|url=https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-14441032|website=BBC News Asia-Pacific|publisher=British Broadcasting Corporation|accessdate=16 February 2015|date=8 August 2011}}</ref> as well as those of [[Pearl Cornioley]], a British secret-service agent have been refuted by the author. Sebastian Faulks said in an interview that "The truth about Charlotte Gray is that she was entirely invented. That's the way good novelists work, … I had not heard of Pearl Cornioley when I wrote Charlotte Gray in 1995 …'.<ref>{{cite news |url=https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2008/apr/01/nationalarchives.secondworldwar |title=Sharpshooter, paratrooper, hero: the woman who set France ablaze |publisher=The Guardian |date= 1 April 2008 |author=[[David Pallister]] |accessdate=27 May 2017 |location=London}}</ref> Wake was also featured in a 2012 article in ''[[Military Officer]]''.
 +
<ref>{{cite news
 +
|title = The white mouse
 +
|first = Mark
 +
|last = Cantrell
 +
|magazine = Military Officer
 +
|issue = 3
 +
|volume = 10
 +
|location = Arlington, Virginia
 +
|publisher = Military Officers Association of America
 +
|url = http://www.qg.com/smartools/ebook/hosted.rails?issue=921b599846bb4dbdb348e8f7b860ef123c397f47fa3740cc8cb3e8f7b860ef12
 +
|pages = 92–96
 +
}}</ref>
 +
 +
==Portrayals==
 +
An Australian television mini-series was released in 1987 entitled, ''[[Nancy Wake (miniseries)|Nancy Wake]]'', based on the 1956 biography by Russell Braddon. It was released as ''True Colors'' in the U.S.. Wake was played by Australian actress [[Noni Hazlehurst]] and made a cameo appearance in the role of Madame Fouret. Wake also was made a consultant for the film, but only after the script had been written. She criticised the script upon reading it, and again, at the launch of the mini-series. Wake was disappointed that the film was changed from an 8-hour resistance story to a 4-hour love story. The producers said that they did not have the budget for the longer version and that it was difficult to cover all Wake's exploits in the reduced time frame. Wake also candidly criticized aspects that she felt were not a true depiction of events, and continued for the rest of her life to criticize the script.<ref>{{Cite news |url=https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/resistance-heroine-who-led-7000-men-against-the-nazis-2334156.html |work=Independent |date=9 August 2011 |title=Resistance heroine who led 7,000 men against the Nazis |first=John |last=Lichfield}}</ref> Similarly, Seasons 1 and 2 of the late 1980s British television series ''[[Wish Me Luck]]'' were based on her exploits and much of the dialogue was copied from her autobiography. [[Rachael Blampied]] portrayed Nancy Wake in the 2014 [[TVNZ]] docu-drama, ''Nancy Wake: The White Mouse''.<ref name="TVNZ">{{cite web | url=http://tvnz.co.nz/nancy-wake-the-white-mouse/6011188 | title=Nancy Wake: The White Mouse | publisher=Television New Zealand | accessdate=27 April 2016}}</ref>
 +
 +
In 2002, [[Melissa Beowulf]]'s portrait of Wake was a finalist in the [[Doug Moran National Portrait Prize]]. It was later acquired by the [[National Portrait Gallery (Australia)|National Portrait Gallery]].<ref>{{Cite web|url=http://www.moranprizes.com.au/default2728.html|title=Moran Prizes - 2002|website=pandora.nla.gov.au|access-date=2017-08-29|deadurl=bot: unknown|archiveurl=http://pandora.nla.gov.au/pan/94781/20090501-0828/www.moranprizes.com.au/default2728.html|archivedate=1 May 2009|df=dmy-all}}</ref> Beowulf chose Wake as a subject to help ensure she received greater recognition within Australia.<ref>{{Cite news|url=http://www.smh.com.au/national/artist-shares-a-portrait-of-laughter-and-dressups-20110808-1wtkd.html|title=Artist shares a portrait of laughter and dress-ups|date=2011-08-08|work=The Sydney Morning Herald|access-date=2017-08-29|language=en-US}}</ref>
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 +
==Notes==
 +
{{Reflist|30em}}
 +
 +
==References==
 +
* Braddon, Russell. ''Nancy Wake: The Story of a Very Brave Woman'', Quality Book Club, Cassell & Co. Ltd: [[London]], 1956.
 +
* Braddon, Russell. ''Nancy Wake'', Pan Books, London; Sydney, 1958.
 +
* Braddon, Russell. ''Woman in Arms: The Story of Nancy Wake'', Collins, London, 1963.
 +
* {{citation|last=Dennis|first=Peter|last2=Grey |first2=Jeffrey |authorlink2=Jeffrey Grey |last3=Morris |first3=Ewan |last4=Prior |first4=Robin|title=The Oxford Companion to Australian Military History|year=1995|publisher=Oxford University Press|location=Oxford|isbn=0-19-553227-9}}
 +
* FitzSimons, Peter. ''Nancy Wake: A Biography of Our Greatest War Heroine'', [[HarperCollins]], [[Pymble, New South Wales]], 2002,{{ISBN|0-00-714401-6}}.
 +
* Wake, Nancy. ''Autobiography of the Woman the Gestapo Called the White Mouse'', [[Macmillan Publishers|Macmillan]]: [[South Melbourne, Victoria|South Melbourne]], 1985, {{ISBN|0-7251-0755-3}}.
 +
* [http://www.rte.ie/radio1/doconone/curious-ear-doconone-nancy-wake.html RTE 1 radio documentary, "Nancy Wake and Harry Potter", first broadcast 9-Aug-2011]
 +
* "Son and heir in Labor stronghold", ''[[Sydney Morning Herald]]'', 12 October 2006 [http://www.smh.com.au/news/obituaries/son-and-heir-in-labor-stronghold/2006/10/11/1160246193075.html]
 +
* "Finally, Nancy gets her gong", ''Sydney Morning Herald'', 3 March 2004 [http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2004/03/03/1078191357342.html?from=storyrhs]
 +
* "Her only regret:not killing more Nazis", ''Capital Times'', Wellington, 2 June 2010, accessible at Internet Archive [https://web.archive.org/web/*/http://www.capitaltimes.co.nz/article/3093/HeronlyregretnotkillingmoreNazis.html]
 +
* "White Mouse war legend back where she started", ''The Dominion Post'', Wellington, 4 June 2010 [http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/3774823/White-Mouse-war-legend-back-where-she-started]
 +
 +
==External links==
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{{wikinews|Allied WWII spy Nancy Wake dies aged 98}}
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* [http://www.womenaustralia.info/biogs/AWE0363b.htm Biography]
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* [http://www.mickjoffe.com/Nancy_Wake 1997 Interview with Nancy Wake]
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* [http://www.nzedge.com/heroes/wake.html NZ Edge]
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* [http://www.awm.gov.au/people/332.asp Australian War Memorial Biography]
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* [http://naa12.naa.gov.au/scripts/PhotoSearchSearchResults.asp?I=undefined&browseagain=undefined&refnum=&seriesno=&pagesize=10&Pheading=undefined&Sheading=undefined&S=2&F=1&O=0&T=I&C=29&M=1&K=nancy%20wake Australian National Archives Photos of Nancy Wake]
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{{Authority control}}
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{{DEFAULTSORT:Wake, Nancy}}
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[[Category:1912 births]]
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[[Category:2011 deaths]]
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[[Category:Infectious disease deaths in England]]
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[[Category:Female resistance members of World War II]]
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[[Category:Female wartime spies]]
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[[Category:French Resistance members]]
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[[Category:New Zealand military personnel of World War II]]
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[[Category:Special Operations Executive personnel]]
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[[Category:Women in World War II]]
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[[Category:Companions of the Order of Australia]]
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[[Category:Recipients of the George Medal]]
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[[Category:Officiers of the Légion d'honneur]]
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[[Category:New Zealand recipients of the Légion d'honneur]]
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[[Category:Recipients of the Medal of Freedom]]
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[[Category:Recipients of the Croix de Guerre 1939–1945 (France)]]
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[[Category:Recipients of the Resistance Medal]]
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[[Category:People from London]]
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[[Category:People from Wellington City]]

Revision as of 07:08, 7 August 2018

Nancy Wake aka ‘The White Mouse’ was​ a North Sydney private school girl turned WWII spy, who in 1942 became the Gestapo’s most wanted with a bounty of five million francs on her pin-curled head. She killed Nazi’s with her bare hands, fought with the French resistance and saved countless lives, and like a true Sheila she wasn’t shy of a drink, and had a mouth so filthy it brings a patriotic tear to your eye.

Early life and education

Born in Roseneath, Wellington, New Zealand, on 30 August 1912, Wake was the youngest of six children. In 1914, her family moved to Australia and settled at North Sydney, New South Wales.<ref name=Dennis>Template:Harvnb</ref> Shortly thereafter, her father, Charles Augustus Wake, returned to New Zealand and her mother, Ella Wake (née Rosieur; 1874–1968) raised the children.

In Sydney, Wake attended the North Sydney Household Arts (Home Science) School.<ref>Template:Cite book</ref> At the age of 16, she ran away from home and worked as a nurse. With £200 that she had inherited from an aunt, she journeyed to New York City, then London where she trained herself as a journalist.

In the 1930s, she worked in Paris and later for Hearst Corporation newspapers as a European correspondent. She witnessed the rise of Adolf Hitler and the Nazism and "saw roving Nazi gangs randomly beating Jewish men and women in the streets" of Vienna.<ref>Template:Cite news</ref>

Wartime service and Special Operations Executive

In 1937, Wake met wealthy French industrialist Henri Edmond Fiocca (1898–1943), whom she married on 30 November 1939. She was living in Marseille, France when Germany invaded. During the war in France, Wake served as an ambulance driver.<ref>https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/obituaries/nancy-wake-white-mouse-of-world-war-ii-dies-at-98/2011/08/08/gIQABvPT5I_story.html?utm_term=.567a28b31687</ref> After the fall of France in 1940, she became a courier for the French Resistance and later joined the escape network of Captain Ian Garrow. In reference to Wake's ability to elude capture, the Gestapo called her the "White Mouse". The Resistance exercised caution with her missions; her life was in constant danger, with the Gestapo tapping her telephone and intercepting her mail.<ref name="Wake Bio"/>

In November 1942, Wehrmacht troops occupied the southern part of France after the Allies' Operation Torch had started. This gave the Gestapo unrestricted access to all papers of the Vichy France and made life more dangerous for Wake.Template:Citation needed By this time Wake was the Gestapo's most wanted person in the Marseilles area, with a price of 5 million francs on her head. When the network was betrayed that same year she decided to flee France. Her husband, Henri Fiocca, stayed behind. He later was captured, tortured, and executed by the Gestapo because he would not betray her.<ref name=diggerinfo>Template:Cite web</ref> Wake described her tactics: "A little powder and a little drink on the way, and I'd pass their (German) posts and wink and say, 'Do you want to search me?' God, what a flirtatious little bastard I was."<ref name="The Australian">Template:Cite web</ref>

In the process of getting out of France, Wake was picked up with a whole trainload of people and was arrested in Toulouse,Template:When but was released four days later. A resistance contact, Albert Guérisse, managed to have her let out by claiming she was his mistress and was trying to conceal her infidelity to her husband (all of which was untrue).<ref>Template:Cite AV media</ref> On her seventh <ref>"Nancy Wake: SOEs Greatest Héroïne" Braddon, Russell, 1956, chapter VII. During her sixth attempt she had to crawl out the train window to escape the Gestapo and ended up back in Marseilles until she could try again.</ref> attempt, she succeeded in crossing the Pyrenees to Spain. Until the war ended, she was unaware of her husband's death, and she subsequently blamed herself for it.<ref name=guardian_obituary />

After reaching Great Britain, Wake joined the Special Operations Executive and was trained by them in several different training programs. Vera Atkins, who was the senior female in the SOE overseeing the agents going into France, recalls her as "a real Australian bombshell. Tremendous vitality, flashing eyes. Everything she did, she did well." Training reports record that she was "a very good and fast shot" and possessed excellent fieldcraft. She was noted to "put the men to shame by her cheerful spirit and strength of character."<ref name=guardian_obituary />

On Mar 1 1944, Wake was parachuted into the Auvergne, becoming a liaison between London and the local Maquis group headed by Captain Henri Tardivat in the Forest of Tronçais. Upon discovering her tangled in a tree, Captain Tardivat greeted her remarking, "I hope that all the trees in France bear such beautiful fruit this year", to which she replied, "Don't give me that French shit."<ref name=diggerinfo/><ref name=telegraph_obituary>Template:Cite news</ref> Her duties included allocating arms and equipment that were parachuted in and minding the group's finances. Wake became instrumental in recruiting more members and making the maquis groups into a formidable force, roughly 7,500 strong. She was also involved in attacks on bridges, railway lines, and German convoys. She participated in a raid that destroyed the Gestapo headquarters in Montluçon, during which 38 Germans were killed.<ref name=telegraph_obituary /> At one point Wake discovered that her men were protecting a girl who was a German spy. They did not have the heart to kill her in cold blood, but when Wake insisted that she would perform the execution, they capitulated.<ref name="nazi_spy">Template:Cite news</ref><ref name=guardian_obituary />

From March 1944 until the liberation of France, her 7,000+ maquisards fought the Germans by any means they could. Her French companions, especially Henri Tardivat, praised her fighting spirit, amply demonstrated when she killed an SS sentry with her bare hands to prevent him from raising the alarm during a raid. During a 1990s television interview, when asked what had happened to the sentry who spotted her, Wake simply drew her finger across her throat. "They'd taught this judo-chop stuff with the flat of the hand at SOE, and I practised away at it. But this was the only time I used it – whack – and it killed him all right. I was really surprised."<ref name="The Australian"/>

On another occasion, to replace codes her wireless operator had been forced to destroy in a German raid, Wake rode a bicycle for more than Template:Convert through several German checkpoints to get to another group's wireless operator and send a message to London apprising them of the situation.<ref name="Wake Bio">Template:Cite book</ref> Unfortunately she could not convince the operator that she was with the SOE so she finally searched out the local maquis who did send her message. Wake then had to ride the bike back to where she started, and she did all this in 72 hours.<ref name="ReferenceA"/> During a German attack on another maquis group, Wake, along with two American officers, took command of a section whose leader had been killed. She directed the use of suppressive fire, which facilitated the withdrawal of the group without further losses.<ref name=guardian_obituary>Template:Cite news</ref>

Post-war

Immediately after the war, Wake was awarded the George Medal,<ref name="GM"/> the United States Medal of Freedom, the Médaille de la Résistance, and thrice, the Croix de Guerre. She learned that the Gestapo had tortured her husband to death in 1943 for refusing to disclose her whereabouts. After the war, she worked for the intelligence department at the British Air Ministry, attached to embassies in Paris and Prague.

Wake stood as a Liberal Party candidate<ref>Template:Cite news</ref> in the 1949 Australian federal election for the Sydney seat of Barton, running against Dr. Herbert Evatt, then deputy prime minister, Attorney-General, and Minister for External Affairs in the Chifley Laborgovernment. While Chifley lost government to Robert Menzies, Wake recorded a 13 percent swing against Evatt,<ref>Template:Cite web</ref> with Evatt retaining the seat with 53.2 per cent of the vote on a two-party preferred basis. Wake ran against Evatt again at the 1951 federal election. By this time, Evatt was deputy leader of the opposition. The result was extremely close; however, Evatt retained the seat with a margin of fewer than 250 votes.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref> Evatt slightly increased his margin at subsequent elections before relocating to the safer seat of Hunter by 1958.

Wake left Australia just after the 1951 election and moved back to England. She worked as an intelligence officer in the department of the assistant chief of air staff at the Air Ministry in Whitehall. She resigned in 1957 after marrying an RAF officer, John Forward, in December of that year. They relocated to Australia in the early 1960s.<ref name=telegraph_obituary /> Maintaining her interest in politics, Wake was endorsed as a Liberal candidate at the 1966 federal election for the Sydney seat of Kingsford Smith. Despite recording a swing of 6.9 per cent against the sitting Labor member Daniel Curtin, Wake was again unsuccessful.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref> Around 1985, Wake and John Forward left Sydney to retire to Port Macquarie.

In 1985, Wake published her autobiography, The White Mouse. The book became a bestseller and has been reprinted many times.<ref>Template:Cite book</ref> Later, after 40 years of marriage, her husband John Forward died at Port Macquarie on 19 August 1997. The couple had no children. She sold her medals to fund herself saying "There was no point in keeping them, I'll probably go to hell and they'd melt anyway."<ref name=guardian_obituary /> In 2001, Wake left Australia for the last time and emigrated to London.<ref name=Grauniad /> She became a resident at the Stafford Hotel in St. James' Place, near Piccadilly, formerly a British and American forces club during the war. She had been introduced to her first "bloody good drink" there by the general manager at the time, Louis Burdet. He also had worked for the Resistance in Marseilles. In the mornings she would usually be found in the hotel bar, sipping her first gin and tonic of the day. She was welcomed at the hotel, celebrating her ninetieth birthday there, where the hotel owners absorbed most of the costs of her stay. In 2003, Wake chose to move to the Royal Star and Garter Home, Richmond|Royal Star and Garter Home for Disabled Ex-Service Men and Women, in Richmond, London, where she remained until her death.<ref name=telegraph_obituary />

Wake died on Sunday evening 7 August 2011, aged 98, at Kingston Hospital after being admitted with a chest infection.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref> She had requested that her ashes be scattered at Montluçon in central France.<ref>Template:Cite news</ref> Her ashes were scattered near the village of Verneix, which is near Montluçon, on 11 March 2013.<ref>Template:Cite news</ref> Her obituary was included in (and inspired the title for) The Socialite Who Killed A Nazi With Her Bare Hands: And 144 Other Fascinating People Who Died This Year, a collection of New York Times obituaries published in 2012.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref>

Honours

Wake was appointed a Chevalier (knight) of the Legion of Honour in 1970 and was promoted to Officer of the Legion of Honour in 1988.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref> Shortly after the war, she was recommended for decorations in Australia but was turned down. Decades later, Australia offered to award her medals but she refused, saying: "The last time there was a suggestion of that I told the government they could stick their medals where the monkey stuck his nuts. The thing is if they gave me a medal now, it wouldn't be love so I don't want anything from them."<ref name="fighttimes.com">Template:Cite web</ref><ref>Template:Cite web</ref> It was not until February 2004 that Wake was made a Companion of the Order of Australia.<ref name="AC"/> In April 2006, she was awarded the Royal New Zealand Returned and Services' Association's highest honour,<ref>Template:Cite web</ref> the RSA Badge in Gold.<ref name="RSA">Template:Cite web</ref> Wake's medals are on display in the Second World War gallery at the Australian War Memorial Museum in Canberra.<ref name=Dennis/> On 3 June 2010, a "heritage pylon" paying tribute to Wake was unveiled on Oriental Parade in Wellington, New Zealand, near the place of her birth.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref><ref name="Stuff.co.nz_3774823">Template:Cite news</ref>

List of honours

Ribbon Issuing authority Description Date awarded Notes/citation
Ribbon of the AC Commonwealth of Australia Companion of the Order of Australia 22 February 2004 The award recognises the significant contribution and commitment of Nancy Wake, stemming from her outstanding actions in wartime, in encouraging community appreciation and understanding of the past sacrifices made by Australian men and women in times of conflict, and to a lasting legacy of peace.<ref name="AC">Template:Cite web</ref>
Ribbon of the GM United Kingdom George Medal 17 July 1945 FANY: Special operations in France<ref name="GM">Template:Cite web</ref><ref>Supplement to the London Gazette, 17 July 1945, p. 3676</ref><ref name="AWM REL22576.001">Template:Cite web</ref>
Ribbon of the 1939–1945 Star United Kingdom 1939–1945 Star <ref name="AWM REL22576.002">Template:Cite web</ref>
Ribbon of the France & Germany Star United Kingdom France and Germany Star <ref name="AWM REL22576.003">Template:Cite web</ref>
Ribbon of the Defence Medal United Kingdom Defence Medal <ref name="AWM REL22576.003"/>
Ribbon of the War Medal United Kingdom War Medal 1939–1945 <ref name="AWM REL22576.003"/>
Ribbon of the Legion of Honor – Chevalier French Republic Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur 1970 <ref name="AWM REL22576.006">Template:Cite web</ref>
Ribbon of the Legion of Honor – Officier French Republic Officier de la Légion d'Honneur 1988 <ref name="AWM REL22576.006"/>
Ribbon de la croix de guerre French Republic Croix de Guerre with two Palms and a Star<ref name="AWM REL22576.006"/><ref name="AWM REL22576.007">Template:Cite web</ref>
Ribbon of the PMOF United States of America Medal of Freedom with Bronze Palm. (Only 987 issued with Bronze Palm during WWII)<ref name="AWM REL22576.008">Template:Cite web</ref><ref>OMSA Info on Medal of Freedom Template:Webarchive</ref>
Ribbon de la Médaille de la Résistance French Republic Médaille de la Résistance <ref name="AWM REL22576.009">Template:Cite web</ref>
New Zealand Badge in Gold 15 November 2006 Royal New Zealand Returned and Services' Association<ref name="RSA"/>

Biographies

In 1956, Australian author Russell Braddon wrote Nancy Wake: The Story of a Very Brave Woman (Template:ISBN).<ref>Template:Cite book</ref> Nancy Wake wrote her own account (first published 1985) with the original title, "The White Mouse" (The autobiography of the woman the Gestapo called the White Mouse) (Template:ISBN). In 2001, Australian author Peter FitzSimons wrote Nancy Wake, A Biography of Our Greatest War Heroine (Template:ISBN), a bestselling comprehensive biography of Wake.<ref name=Grauniad>Template:Cite news</ref> In 2011, German author Template:Interlanguage link multi wrote Codename Hélène: Churchills Geheimagentin Nancy Wake und ihr Kampf gegen die Gestapo in Frankreich. (translated: Codename Hélène: Churchill's secret agent Nancy Wake and her fight against the Gestapo in France).<ref>Template:Cite book</ref> The book was published in October 2012. Claims that Sebastian Faulks' 1999 novel Charlotte Gray is based on Wake's war-time exploits,<ref>Template:Cite web</ref> as well as those of Pearl Cornioley, a British secret-service agent have been refuted by the author. Sebastian Faulks said in an interview that "The truth about Charlotte Gray is that she was entirely invented. That's the way good novelists work, … I had not heard of Pearl Cornioley when I wrote Charlotte Gray in 1995 …'.<ref>Template:Cite news</ref> Wake was also featured in a 2012 article in Military Officer. <ref>Template:Cite news</ref>

Portrayals

An Australian television mini-series was released in 1987 entitled, Nancy Wake, based on the 1956 biography by Russell Braddon. It was released as True Colors in the U.S.. Wake was played by Australian actress Noni Hazlehurst and made a cameo appearance in the role of Madame Fouret. Wake also was made a consultant for the film, but only after the script had been written. She criticised the script upon reading it, and again, at the launch of the mini-series. Wake was disappointed that the film was changed from an 8-hour resistance story to a 4-hour love story. The producers said that they did not have the budget for the longer version and that it was difficult to cover all Wake's exploits in the reduced time frame. Wake also candidly criticized aspects that she felt were not a true depiction of events, and continued for the rest of her life to criticize the script.<ref>Template:Cite news</ref> Similarly, Seasons 1 and 2 of the late 1980s British television series Wish Me Luck were based on her exploits and much of the dialogue was copied from her autobiography. Rachael Blampied portrayed Nancy Wake in the 2014 TVNZ docu-drama, Nancy Wake: The White Mouse.<ref name="TVNZ">Template:Cite web</ref>

In 2002, Melissa Beowulf's portrait of Wake was a finalist in the Doug Moran National Portrait Prize. It was later acquired by the National Portrait Gallery.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref> Beowulf chose Wake as a subject to help ensure she received greater recognition within Australia.<ref>Template:Cite news</ref>

Notes

Template:Reflist

References

External links

Template:Wikinews

Template:Authority control