Pearl Witherington SOE Reports 3

8.9.1943. Pearl received details of her first mission, to make contact in France with a French colonel and his Maquis group of 1,000 men.

Pearl is all set for France, as an Organiser. This is a significant role. SOE teams consisted of Organisers, Couriers and Wireless Operators. Organisers were usually male, Couriers female – because it was easier for women than men to travel around Occupied France – and Wireless Operators either male or female. Initially, all Wireless Operators were nicknamed George. SOE slang for talented Wireless Operators was pianists. Already, the SOE have placed Pearl in a position of great responsibility, a prelude to her leadership role.

Pearl’s passwords contained a touch of humour.

‘Aimez vous les nouveaux films Allamands  – Do you like new German movies?’

’Dieu merci je n’en vois jamais – Thank god I never see one.’

A fly in the ointment…a telegram from MI5 about a mutual friend working at German GHQ…could Pearl be a spy?

The SOE concluded that an investigation was required.

The SOE clear Pearl and don’t foresee any risk of her meeting the ‘mutual friend’. She is on her way to France.