RIP Mrs Peel, French WW II heroine

The Boston Globe carried this obituary of a woman who saved many allies airmen. RIP Mrs Peel.

LONDON - Andrée Peel, a member of the World War II Resistance who is credited with saving the lives of more than 100 Allied airmen in Nazi-occupied France, has died at 105.

Mrs. Peel died Friday at a care home in Bristol, in southwest England, facility manager Sherry Kitchen said yesterday. The cause of death was not disclosed.

Born Andrée Virot in France in 1905, Mrs. Peel was running a beauty salon in the port city of Brest when the Nazis invaded in 1940. She joined the Resistance, initially distributing clandestine newspapers.

Under the code name Agent Rose, she helped dozens of British and American pilots escape from Nazi-occupied territory onto submarines and gunboats and guided Allied planes to secret landing strips.

Captured by the Nazis, she was imprisoned at the Ravensbruck and Buchenwald concentration camps. She later recalled how she was being lined up to be shot by a firing squad when US troops arrived to liberate Buchenwald in April 1945.

After the war, she met her future husband, British academic John Peel, and moved to England.

She celebrated her 105th birthday in February with a party at her care home attended by friends and dignitaries, with a cake in the three colors of the French flag.

“She was an absolutely incredible lady; we shall miss her amazingly,’’ Kitchen said.

Mrs. Peel was much honored for her wartime bravery. She was thanked personally by Winston Churchill and awarded the French Legion of Honor, the King’s Commendation for Brave Conduct, and the Croix de Guerre.

She recorded her story in an autobiography, “Miracles Do Happen.’’

Her husband predeceased her. The couple had no children. She leaves members of her extended family in France.

Funeral details were not immediately available.
There was an article on the BBC website with a video of Mrs Peel's funeral at All Saints Church in Long Ashton. BBC linky here

Nice see flag on the coffin and uniforms in the procession.

Not nice to see was the link on the right of the story to a story about a break in into Mrs Peels home shortly after her death. That's low, very low.

Rest in Peace Mrs Peel
I remember watching her take the salute at last year's Rememberance Parade in Long Ashton. Fantastic, and incredibly brave, woman.

Nice to see the local legion with the flag at half mast in her honour.
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