EVENTS

Launch of 'Behind Enemy Lines', Port-Louis, Mauritius. December 2007.


The launch of the biography of Amédée Maingard was generously hosted by Rogers and Co. at their headquarters, Rogers House, in Port-Louis and Prime Minister Nevin Ramgoolam (below left) gave the launch speech. The Prime Minister's father was a close friend of Amédée Maingard. My thanks are due to Alain Antelme for being a driving force behind the launch.

Cartoon in the Mauritian national press.


Unbeknown to me before the event, the launch of 'Behind Enemy Lines' was the first occasion that the Mauritian Prime Minister had visited the headquarters of Rogers and Co., the country's leading business conglomerate. It came at a time of tension between the government and elements of the business community in Mauritius and thus attracted media coverage beyond that expected for a simple book launch. The event was shown on the main evening news on Mauritian television and this cartoon of the author and the PM appeared the following day (above right) in the national press. 



Involvement in SOE memorialisation

Unveiling of SOE Memorial, November 2011 at Winterfold House, Surrey, formerly STS 7, Students' Assessment Board. With Tania Szabó, representatives from the US, Dutch and French embassies and from the Canadian High Commission.



Unveiling by HRH Princess Anne of plaque commemorating Andrée Borrel, Denise Bloch and Madeleine Damerment,

February 2015, Nightingale House, London SW12.


Andrée Borrel

Denise Bloch

Madeleine Damerment

Above - with the Damerment/Brooke family at Nightingale House

Photos - courtesy of Leon Smith and Nightingale Hammerson.

First British participation at the memorial service at Romorantin-Lanthenay, France, May 2015. The Monument aux Morts there includes commemoration of five SOE French Section agents listed on the Valençay memorial - Asst. Section Officer Muriel Byck;  Captain Jack Macalister; Captain Stanisław Makowski;  Captain Frank Pickersgill and Ensign Yvonne Rudellat. Poppy crosses were placed showing, for the first time in the town, photographs of the five agents.


French Section SOE - Roll of Honour. In 2016 I completed a tableau with photographs of 101 of the agents listed on the Valençay memorial - just three of the total of 104 (frustratingly) lack depiction. Copies of the work were presented to the local authority in the town (below left), to the Libre Résistance organisation (below right) to be displayed in Paris and to the Special Forces Club, London.

Talks:


SW11 LitFest 2010

Wandsworth Heritage Festival 2010, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017

SOE Bloomsbury Group 2013

Battersea LitFest 2014

The Secret War Learning Network - Valençay 2014

Libre Résistance Colloque - Ecole Militaire, Paris 2014

56 Division (City of London Signals ) OCA, London 2015

SOE French Section at the Brookwood Military Cemetery and Memorial to the Missing and Wanborough Manor, Surrey 2016

University of Sussex/East Sussex Record Office, Falmer 2016

Presentation and 'Grand Reveal' of four blue plaques, Brighton 2016

Leadership talk to 71st (City of London) Yeomanry Signal Regiment, Bodney Camp 2017

Presentation to the FANY (Princess Royal's Volunteer Corps),  Valençay, France 2017 

Presentation on 'The 23 Who Went Down With The Ship' - SOE/Palmach OPERATION BOATSWAIN, Pirbright, Surrey 2017


With the late Bob Maloubier (left) and Marcel Jaurant-Singer, surviving SOE F Section agents, Paris, October 2014, prior to the colloque at the Ecole Militaire.

Below: Libre Résistance Colloque Ecole Militaire, Paris 2014. Speaking on Mauricians in SOE, alongside Alain Antelme and Thierry Montouroy.

Below: 'The Grand Reveal' - the ceremony organised by the Secret WW2 Learning Network on 12th November 2016 in the The Dome Corn Exchange, Brighton for the unveiling of blue plaques to commemorate four Brighton-born officers of the Special Operations Executive: Lieutenant Jacqueline Nearne MBE Croix de Guerre; Captain Ron Taylor; Captain Michael Trotobas and Captain Edward Zeff MBE Croix de Guerre.

Below: Leadership talk to 71st (City of London) Yeomanry Signal Regiment, March 2017

Above: with the unit's personnel

Above: with commanding officer Lt-Colonel Hervey Scott MBE

Below: 5th May 2017. Presentation to the Mayors of Nouan-sur-Loire et Crouy-sur-Cosson, at the site of the the first parachute drop of women SOE agents - Lieutenant Andree Borrel and Captain Lise de Baissac (French Section/FANY) on 24/25 September 1942.


Above: with Colonel (ret'd) Nick Fox of  Libre Resistance and the Mayors of the two communities covering the DZ. Right - FANY standard bearer party on the DZ. The standard bearer, Zoe Brooke, is a descendant of Madeleine Damerment, F Section/FANY, who also parachuted into France in 1944. 

Below: 5th May 2017 - ceremony to commemorate five agents of French Section who did not return.

Below: 6th May 2017 - Valencay annual commemorative event

Below: 28th May 2017 - SOE/Palmach OPERATION BOATSWAIN commemoration service and presentation, Brookwood Military Cemetery, Surrey and accompanying talk/presentation in Pirbright

Photo credits: Peter Foster, Richard Neale, David Rose, Louisa Russell