Lieutenant Pierre Albert Hubert GEELEN

(commissioned and trained Lieutenant Pierre GARDE)

Photos - Isabelle Hureaux

Pierre Geelen was born on 4 June 1916 at Rotem, Belgium, the son of Henri Hubert Geelen, a Dutch national,) and E. Geelen (née Smeets), a Belgian national.  Geelen was only four years old when his mother died, he was then brought up in the town of Bocholt in Belgium, where he lived with his father and step-mother in a family with  three brothers , two step-brothers and three-step sisters [or was it three brothers, and his half brothers and sisters from his father's new wife. Following school he qualified and worked as a teacher, was fluent in Flemish and French and understood a little German.

After two years of the German occupation, in July 1942 Geelen determined to leave Belgium and make his way through France and Spain in an effort to reach England and join the Belgian Army. By August, he had reached Marseilles and in the Bar du Tabac, a favourite meeting place for Belgians in the city, he got to know another Belgian, André Heyermans.  He gradually became aware that Hyermans and two other Belgians, Walthère Marly and Louis Dujardin, were involved in clandestine operations and when they asked him to help with a reception of parachuted arms and supplies, he did so on condition that he be allowed to join their organization.  Accepted, Geelen found himself part of the CARTE resistance grouping of André Girard, an independent organisation that SOE’s F Section were then assessing and supporting through the efforts of Captain Peter Churchill (SPINDLE/).......[Remainder of case study is complete - contact author for further details].

Copyright  © Paul McCue 2014