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Dear Reader #49

Dear Reader,

Wow, this week a historian specialising in the Special Operations Executive congratulated me on my Heroines of SOE blog posts. Obviously, I’m delighted about that 🙂

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Amazing to relate, but over the past month the Bulgarian version of The Hermit of Hisarya was my most popular book on iBooks. Yesterday broke all records for the book with a 400% increase on the previous best.

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Well, that’s my evening sorted…
The Daily Mirror, 14 October 1943
Mrs Josephine Skrodenis, 25 of Chicago, was granted a divorce yesterday because she claimed her husband used her as a “corpse” in solving murder mysteries.
When she was looking forward to spending a quite night at home with her husband, he would glare at her from pages of the latest detective novels and order her to “lay on the ground and act dead.”

Then, while she played “the reluctant body” he would try to discover who had “killed” her she told the court.

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From the Daily Mirror, 8 May 1944, VE Day

Women in Work

Agriculture 1939, 67,000…1944, 184,000
Mining 5,000…13,000
Civil Service 123,000…495,000
Utilities 17,000…32,000
Transport 51,000…212,000
Building and engineering 16,000…23,000

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I’m in talks with a narrator about recording audiobook versions of The Olive Tree and my Eve’s War series.
Meanwhile, I was listening to an audiobook chapter of Digging in the Dirt today when my youngest son asked, “Did you write that?”
Wondering what was coming next, I offered a tentative reply, “Yes.”
He smiled. “It’s good isn’t it. It sounds like a real book!”
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I’m super excited! Last night, I wrote a song! About tortillas. Although, on reflection, maybe it’s a (w)rap…

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The most popular page on my website this week. Harry Rée was a schoolteacher who starred in a documentary-drama film. He also fought the war in an extraordinary way. An inspiration for my Eve’s War series his philosophies continue to enlighten our thoughts today. https://hannah-howe.com/eves-war/harry-ree/

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Good news, I’ve got a new job washing dishes and the pay is excellent. Bad news, it’s at a radar station…

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Our local castle at Kenfig

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My song of the week. “But mama, that’s where the fun is…”

My Women of Courage Heroines of SOE articles will continue in the near future, with male agents included as well.

Meanwhile, here is the first episode in Pearl’s Witherington’s story, as told by her official SOE file.

Pearl Witherington was a remarkable woman. Her life story serves as an inspiration for my Eve’s War Heroines of SOE Series.

In 1943, Pearl underwent training to become a SOE agent. Her file reveals a page of signatures where she practiced her new identity as Genevieve Touzalin, a secretary in a match company.

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This note is from the intelligence service M15 who looked into Pearl’s background when she volunteered for SOE training.

Initially. Pearl worked as a secretary for the British Embassy in Paris before making her escape, with her mother and sisters, from France. Her escape entailed many risks and adventures, which are not evident in this rather dry note.

Pearl showed great ingenuity in helping her family to escape and M15 concluded that she was a suitable candidate for training.

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From Pearl’s SOE file, her training notes on codes and cyphers.

Pearl’s keywords ‘fou tez moi la paix’ sound very much like her personal selection and offer a direct plea to her instructors to accept her as an agent…’give me a break’.

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As ever, thank you for your interest and support.

Hannah xxx

 

3 replies on “Dear Reader #49”

Congrats on the notoriety of your blog – it is always full of fascinating reading, so well deserved, especially from an historian in the field – well done!

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