Lieutenant Marcel Rémy CLECH

  (trained as Marcel LESUEUR)

Marcel Clech was born11 October 1905 in Plougasnou, Finistère (29) on the north coast of Brittany, the son of Jean-Marie Clech, a postal worker and his wife, both of French nationality. Details of Clech’s early years and education are not known, but as an adult he worked as a taxi driver and was described as a radical socialist. In addition to French, he spoke the Breton language perfectly.

With his wife Francine, Clech raised two children, Mireille (born 1928) and Denise (1929). He served as a Leading Seaman, in a clerical capacity, in the French Navy and was in Brest when France fell in June 1940. Determined to continue the fight, he left his family behind in Brittany and escaped across the Channel to England, registering as a foreign national in London in July 1940

Clech’s SOE personal file makes only passing reference to the fact that he had served with SOE’s predecessors and no details are given of his operational activities before what was termed his first mission in April 1942.  His file holds, however, an early report, dated 21 November 1940, which describes Clech as having map-reading and Morse knowledge and having limited ability with radio transmitter operation.  A note from Section D, then part of SIS, (frequently also known as MI6) but subsequently absorbed into SOE after the latter’s creation, advised SOE in December 1940 that he was an agent of theirs. This is the only reference to the fact that Clech, having been given the training name of Marcel Lesuer (in order to protect his family still in France), had been one of two dozen agents recruited in the summer of 1940 by Leslie Humphreys of Section D of SIS............ [Remainder of case study is complete - contact author for further details].

Copyright  © Paul McCue 2014