I was saddened to hear today about the passing of Nancy Wake, Australia’s most decorated World War II servicewoman. While not surprising (she was less than 1 month away her 99th birthday) it is still sad that such a remarkable woman has died.
Not heard of Nancy Wake … not surprising many of our countries amazing women are not celebrated enough IMHO. She was a remarkable women who was instrumental in the French Resistance Movement during WWII. Nancy was living in France with her husband, Henri Edmond Fiocca, at the start of WWII. After France was occupied by the Nazis in 1940, she became a courier for the French Resistance. Ms Wake was responsible for saving thousands of Allied lives by setting up escape routes and sabotaging German installations. Trained as a spy by the British, she led 7000 resistance fighters in D-Day preparations. She was called the White Mouse by the Gestapo because of her ability to evade capture. In 1943 she was named their most-wanted person, with a 5 million-franc price on her head.
When I think of her it makes me think of one of my all-time favourite quotes “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world. Indeed it’s the only thing that ever has”. (Margaret Mead) Against all odds and under significant threat to the safety not only to herself but her family, she worked tireless in the liberation of France and the Allied War Effort … to change the world they lived in. It is amazing what they achieved and against what odds. She was a remarkable woman and one that needs greater recognition.