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R.I.P Eileen Nearne

edited September 2010 in Not Sports Related
This lady died alone -- no money and no one to bury her. The Local Authority will do the HONOURS and they should be HONOURS. Turns out that during the war this lady was a member of the S.O.E ( Secret Operations Executive) she was parachuted into France to work with the resistance, captured, tourtured,held in a POW camp. She was later made an MBE.

She had lain dead in her flate for some time.

R.I.P Eileen you deserved better.
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    This may seem controversial but I believe you are making a massive judgement on Eileen's life. She may have chosen exactly the life she led (with the obvious exception of choosing torture). She may have been incredibly and rightfully proud of what she accomplished in her life and chosen to spend all her money while she was alive knowing that she had (possibly chosen) to have no-one to leave it to.

    If you have no children and have worked hard all you life, why shouldn't you let the state sort you out when you're gone?

    I may have read pity in your post which you did not intend, and it is obviously truly sad that she was not found sooner, but don't cast aspersions on the fact that she had no money or a special someone to bury her, it may well have been exactly the way she planned it.
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    fair enough
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    edited September 2010
    RIP to her
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    Ever wondered how our generation(s) would have dealt with the situation faced by the UK from 1939-45?? Would we have been able to step up to the plate like Eileen Nearne. The story's of that era need to be told and not forgotten.

    Just so we know a little more about this truely remarkable lady, from wiki:

    ".....Eileen Nearne, MBE (c. 1921 — 2010) was a member of the UK's Special Operations Executive (SOE) during World War II.[1] She served in occupied France as a radio operator under the codename 'Rose'.

    Born in London to an English father and Spanish mother, she was the youngest of four children. Her older sister, Jacqueline Nearne, and her brother, Francis Nearne, would also become SOE operatives. In 1923, the family moved to France. When France fell, she made her way to England with her sister, via Portugal and Gibraltar. On her arrival in England she was offered service in the WAAF working on barrage balloons, but turned this down and was recruited by the SOE.

    She was flown by Lysander to a field near Les Lagnys in the late hours of 2 March and the early hours of 3 March 1944 to work as a wireless operator for the Wizard network with Jean Savy as part of Operation Mitchel. Her cover story was that she was Madamoiselle du Tort (also using the aliases Jacqueline Duterte and Alice Wood). In July 1944 her transmitter was detected and she was arrested. She reportedly managed to convince her captors that she had been sending messages for a businessman, unaware that he was British. On 15 August she was sent to Ravensbrück concentration camp, and then transferred to a forced labor camp in Silesia. On 13 April 1945 she escaped with two French girls from a work gang by hiding in the forest, later traveling through Markkleeberg, where they were arrested by the S.S. but released after fooling their captors and reportedly hidden by a priest in Leipzig until the arrival of United States troops.[citation needed]

    [edit] Later years/death
    After the war she lived in London with her sister. Later she moved to Torquay and lived there quietly until her death. She died alone from a heart attack in her seaside flat where her body is thought to have remained undiscovered for some time until found on 2 September. Her age was given as 89 in some obituaries..."


    R.I.P
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    "Ever wondered how our generation(s) would have dealt with the situation faced by the UK from 1939-45?? Would we have been able to step up to the plate like Eileen Nearne. The story's of that era need to be told and not forgotten."

    Thousands of member of the British Forces are surely dealing with a similar situation and have indeed "stepped up to the plate."
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    [cite]Posted By: Harveys Trainer[/cite]"Ever wondered how our generation(s) would have dealt with the situation faced by the UK from 1939-45?? Would we have been able to step up to the plate like Eileen Nearne. The story's of that era need to be told and not forgotten."

    Thousands of member of the British Forces are surely dealing with a similar situation and have indeed "stepped up to the plate."

    HT, whilst I'm not questioning the bravery of todays armed forces, we are hardly comparing apples with apples. WW2: Conscription, The blitz, Battle Britain, blackouts, enemy camped out 23 miles from Dover, football league suspended for 6 years (!!), our very existance under threat. It would have meant a whole change of lifestyle and had a huge impact on each & every civilian in the UK. Today's action, is for various reasons, met with indifference by many (not on our doorstep/disagree with the war/inability to relate as they don't know people who are fighting it etc). This is why I raised the question in the first place. How would we react to a 1939 type scenario? Are there any Eileen Nearn's among us?
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    Agreed.

    However,
    There were a great many who objected to the war, they were shot. How many who contest today's war would do so if that were the consequence? And it is true that we are not comparing like for like, today's warfare doesn't require the numbers of bodies that old wars did.

    No-one can really be judged a crisis can completely change people's actions. Most people say they would never murder, but most would say they would do everything in their power to protect their families, this is what people were doing, just on a massive scale.

    It would take something akin to an alien invasion to produce the same circumstances here. If another country tried to claim power in the same way then nuclear weapons would still change it completely and not give the 'ordinary man' a chance to stand and fight.
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    edited September 2010
    People who objected to the was wre not shot. They were called "conciencess objectors" (sic)i believe many were in camps on the Isle of Man.



    How many today would have marched down the road and stopped us goingto war ? what would have happened ifthey had stopped us ? After the fall of France there was a large movement to surrender. It is argued that the reason Winston got the Royal Navy to attack and sink the French fleet at Orion was to prove that we would carry on fighting .
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    [cite]Posted By: Harveys Trainer[/cite]Agreed.

    However,
    There were a great many who objected to the war, they were shot.

    In this country?
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    [cite]Posted By: Goonerhater[/cite]People who objected to the was wre not shot. They were called "conciencess objectors" (sic)i believe many were in camps on the Isle of Man".



    How many today would have marched down the road and stopped us goingto war ? what would have happened ifthey had stopped us ? After the fall of France there was a large movement to surrender. It is argued that the reason Winston got the Royal Navy to attack and sink the French fleet at Orion was to prove that we would carry on fighting .

    Partly yes but to prove that to the French, Germans and Americans rather than the British.

    The other and main reason was that many of the French wanted to hand the ships over to Vichy France rather than sail the ships to French ports in the Caribbean. The British fought French soldiers in Africa and the Middle east from 41 to 44.

    While I don't agree with them many conscientious objectors were genuine in their beliefs and showed bravery in standing up for what they believed and carrying out dangerous duties such as bomb disposal and medical care on the front line.

    My dad (who was a volunteer) told me that he once spent time talking to "Concies" who were clearing bomb damage when he was with Bomb Disposal. His colleagues had a go at him for talking to them. He pointed out that he was the only volunteer in the unit as all the others had been conscripted.
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    Saw this programme by Ian Hislop about soldiers who were shot. Was one soldier whose name wasnt put on a memorial at Shoreham. Very sad programme to watch.

    http://www.walltowall.co.uk/catalogue_detail.aspx?w2wprogram=80
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    Hansard a good enough source for you:
    55. Mr. MORRELL asked the Prime Minister whether Private Howard Marten and three other conscientious objectors now serving in France have been sentenced by court-martial to be shot; and, if so, whether these sentences have been commuted?
    My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister has asked me to answer Questions Nos. 57, 68 and 69,
    It is the case that courts-martial held in France have, in the exercise of their judicial functions, sentenced certain men professing conscientious objections to death for offences punishable by death under the Army Act.

    http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/commons/1916/jun/26/conscientious-objectors
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    [cite]Posted By: Harveys Trainer[/cite]Hansard a good enough source for you:

    [puts on scottish accent] Shocking statistics
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    edited September 2010
    [cite]Posted By: Harveys Trainer[/cite]Hansard a good enough source for you:
    55. Mr. MORRELL asked the Prime Minister whether Private Howard Marten and three other conscientious objectors now serving in France have been sentenced by court-martial to be shot; and, if so, whether these sentences have been commuted?
    My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister has asked me to answer Questions Nos. 57, 68 and 69,
    It is the case that courts-martial held in France have, in the exercise of their judicial functions, sentenced certain men professing conscientious objections to death for offences punishable by death under the Army Act.

    http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/commons/1916/jun/26/conscientious-objectors

    That was in world war 1. I thought we were discussing WWII

    haven't read it all but it says they were sentenced to death but the sentence was commuted to imprisonment.
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    It does suggest that many would still face death as that it was the law called for, showing that this had happened in Britain. The law was changed by WWII but there are countless stories of objectors who 'disappeared' or died in suspicious circumstances in WWII. Many went to the channel Islands (Isle of Man was mainly Germans / Italians etc living in Britain at the time war broke out - splitting many families who had lived here for many years) and then got captured by the Germans when Churchill abandoned the islands to their fate. I was simply using the issue to back up my argument that it is impossible to compare today's conflicts and sacrifices to those of previous wars, be they I, II, Boer etc.

    Anyway, following the discussion the other day about Bomber Harris I came across this whilst getting information objectors:
    www.ppu.org.uk/pacifism/pacww2.html
    Interesting take, made me question some of my reasoning, although I do agree with comments made the other daythat he should not have been strung out to dry by the others in power.
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    Sorry Harvey's Trainer but that is a rather swift change of tact there after so boldly citing Hansard.

    Re: "countless stories that objectors disappeared or died in suspicious circumstances"

    I've read books by objectors including Oliver Postgate and never seen a mention of this. What are your sources?

    Nor did Churchill "abandon the (Channel) islands to their fate." They were invaded and occupied after France surrendered. It would have been impossible to defend them being only a few miles off the French coast.

    Any way back to the issue of would people be willing to fight or would they protest?

    Both I think. If people saw the threat to the country that existed in 1940 then plenty would be prepared to fight. The wars in Iraq or even the Falklands are different. The bombing of London would IMHO be more likely of increase people's desire to fight back not lessen it. The IRAs campaign in the 70s and 80s in mainland UK generated little general feeling that "giving in" would be the right thing to do.

    But we are a more questioning nation now and perhaps would be even less likely to believe "The old Lie; Dulce et Decorum est Pro patria mori"

    And yes I know which war that comes from ; - )
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    Firstly no British conscientious objectors were shot during WW2. Some were interned but only those deemed to be a security risk. The vast majority as Henry points out served in non-combatant roles, such as the RAMC or in civilian roles such as the Fire Service, Ambulance Service etc., where they could save lives rather than take them. Indeed many AFS (Auxiliary Fire Service) volunteers stated this as exactly the reason they joined up. These people weren't cowards by any means (I know this isn't being suggested) but they had moral qualms about killing, even for a just cause such as fighting the Nazis.

    Secondly, the Channel Islands weren't abandoned to their fate by Churchill or anyone else. They were simply undefendable given the circumstances of 1940. A mass evacuation programme was carried out before the Germans arrived and basically everyone that wished to leave voluntarily had done so by June 23rd and those that remained behind did so voluntarily for their own various reasons.

    Thirdly, re the French fleet at Oran - again Henry's grasp of history is correct. They were sunk basically because the French Admiral Darlan refused to de-militarise them or place them under British control. Sinking them was therefore the only realistic option available as allowing them to fall into German hands would have potentially altered the naval balance of power in the Atlantic. Admiral Somerville, who was in command of the British fleet at Oran said it was the most distasteful duty he had ever had to perform but still went through with it because a) he was a professional naval officer and b) recognised it as being the only realistic option once the French refused to co-operate. The French fleet at Alexandria did allow themselves to be de-militarised and therefore a potential repeat situation of Oran there was avoided.

    Finally, I didn't know much about Eileen Nearne but she sounded like a remarkable lady and I hope that she is suitably recognised for her wartime exploits. R.I.P.
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    "Nor did Churchill "abandon the (Channel) islands to their fate." They were invaded and occupied after France surrendered. It would have been impossible to defend them being only a few miles off the French coast."

    In my opinion there was a failure to try. I don't agree it would have been impossible to defend, and you certainty can not know this for a fact, sorry but alternative actions and their possible outcomes can only ever be opinions.

    On the other point after more research you are correct, turns out it wasn't as nailed on a fact as I had believed (I have no problem accepting when I have facts wrong). I have been to rallies for justice for conscientious objectors but now I remember it was to give a proper burial / recognition for COs who had been killed, not shot, in the wars.

    Back to my actual point though on which we both agree. I believe people would fight when and only when, they have to, to defend them and their families / friends.
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    edited September 2010
    Tom,

    You might like this

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Englands-Last-War-Against-France/dp/0297852183

    Lots of good stuff about Vichy politics and Oran.

    Got a bit to bogged down into details of actions in Palestine, Syria and Iraq v the Vichy French forces but worth a read.
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    edited September 2010
    [cite]Posted By: Harveys Trainer[/cite]

    Back to my actual point though on which we both agree. I believe people would fight when and only when, they have to, to defend them and their families / friends.

    Sorry, I'm not picking an argument here but that's not what I believe.

    I think some people will fight for more than just their own friends and family. People will, IMHO fight for concepts (good and bad) such as liberty, country, religion or to protect a way of life/culture as well as their family/friends

    as for the Channel Islands how could they have been defended. What alternative actions were possible?

    Malta and Crete showed how hard it is to defend and supply a garrison on an island when the enemy has air superiority. There was no way we could have supplied or reinforced the Channel islands while the Germans were in Normandy
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    [cite]Posted By: Henry Irving[/cite]Tom,

    You might like this

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Englands-Last-War-Against-France/dp/0297852183

    Lots of good stuff about Vichy politics and Oran.

    Got a bit to bogged down into details of actions in Palestine, Syria and Iraq v the Vichy French forces but worth a read.

    Thanks Henry - I think I'll order this. I've got plenty of naval histories which devote chapters to the Oran/Mers El Kebir/Operation Catapult incident but haven't read a complete book on the subject.

    As for the Channel Islands, like you I'm not trying to pick an argument with H.T. here but I simply can't agree that other alternatives were possible. The British Army had just been evacuated from Dunkirk and the Channel ports and apart from one fully equipped division were basically reduced to the equipment they had returned from France with - i.e. their uniforms and rifles (if they were lucky). The RAF were at full stretch defending the mainland - they had already seen their strength depleted in France and it was only at Dowding's (Head of Fighter Command) insistence that further squadrons hadn't "been drained away in desperate attempts to remedy the situation in France" - in other words, in his opinion, we had the bare minimum number of squadrons available to defend the British mainland. The Royal Navy had lost 6 destroyers at Dunkirk as well as suffering serious damage to 19 others and without air cover would have been unable to defend the Islands against an invasion so close to the French mainland. To have attempted to defend the Channel Islands would have denuded the mainland of vital defences against a German invasion which was a serious possibility planned for the late summer/early autumn of 1940.

    I think therefore it is safe to assume as a fact that the Channel Islands could not have been defended against invasion in 1940. This is accepted military fact which is agreed upon by every military historian and strategist that I have ever read and/or spoken to.
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    Going back to Eileen, just heard on BBC News that 'several benefactors' have come forward who will pay for this gallant lady to have a proper funeral service. Also a relative has emerged who will ensure that Eileen's ashes are scattered at sea as per her wishes.
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    edited September 2010
    The Channel Islands were abandoned by the British as early as June 1940, they had no military strategic importance whatsoever, this did not stop the Germans from heavily fortifying them with masses of coastal defence guns and bunkers which were built by thousands of prisoners of war and jews...

    After Normandy invasion the Germans were preparing for a determined defence of the islands but the Allies copied the American Pacific strategy of 'island hopping' and simply bypassed them, the garrison was close to starvation before the international Red Cross were allowed to deliver food and provisions...
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    [cite]Posted By: Tom Hovi[/cite]Going back to Eileen, just heard on BBC News that 'several benefactors' have come forward who will pay for this gallant lady to have a proper funeral service. Also a relative has emerged who will ensure that Eileen's ashes are scattered at sea as per her wishes.

    Glad to hear that.

    Also heard that some TV show about finding lost heirs had tracked down her next of kin.
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    [cite]Posted By: Bermuda_red[/cite]
    [cite]Posted By: Harveys Trainer[/cite]"Ever wondered how our generation(s) would have dealt with the situation faced by the UK from 1939-45?? Would we have been able to step up to the plate like Eileen Nearne. The story's of that era need to be told and not forgotten."

    Thousands of member of the British Forces are surely dealing with a similar situation and have indeed "stepped up to the plate."

    HT, whilst I'm not questioning the bravery of todays armed forces, we are hardly comparing apples with apples. WW2: Conscription, The blitz, Battle Britain, blackouts, enemy camped out 23 miles from Dover, football league suspended for 6 years (!!), our very existance under threat. It would have meant a whole change of lifestyle and had a huge impact on each & every civilian in the UK. Today's action, is for various reasons, met with indifference by many (not on our doorstep/disagree with the war/inability to relate as they don't know people who are fighting it etc). This is why I raised the question in the first place. How would we react to a 1939 type scenario? Are there any Eileen Nearn's among us?
    Take a look at the civilian population of Baghdad, the horrendous barrage of bombs and missiles they had to endure each day and night, yet every day they were back out on the streets tidying up and carrying on as close to normal as possible, they learn to adapt because that's what human beings do...

    The British public would adapt and cope, they'd have litle choice to anything else, just like the Iraqis...
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    [cite]Posted By: Harveys Trainer[/citeI don't agree it would have been impossible to defend, and you certainty can not know this for a fact, sorry but alternative actions and their possible outcomes can only ever be opinions.

    What rank do you hold HT and what qualifications do you have other than hindsight?

    As RedZed says, the whole population could have been starved out.

    RIP Eileen, you were a far braver person than I am.
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    BDLBDL
    edited September 2010
    [cite]Posted By: Tom Hovi[/cite]Going back to Eileen, just heard on BBC News that 'several benefactors' have come forward who will pay for this gallant lady to have a proper funeral service. Also a relative has emerged who will ensure that Eileen's ashes are scattered at sea as per her wishes.

    She would still have got a "proper" funeral service if the Local Authority had done it.
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    [cite]Posted By: BDL[/cite]
    [cite]Posted By: Tom Hovi[/cite]Going back to Eileen, just heard on BBC News that 'several benefactors' have come forward who will pay for this gallant lady to have a proper funeral service. Also a relative has emerged who will ensure that Eileen's ashes are scattered at sea as per her wishes.

    She would still have got a "proper" funeral service if the Local Authority had done it.

    Apologies - I didn't really phrase that very well. I'm sure the local authority would have done a decent job but hopefully by some benefactor(s) paying for it, they will be able to afford something a little less austere than had the local authority had to pay for it. Either way, I'm sure that this lady will be recognised for her great services to this country.
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    Trust me Tom, there is no difference between the service she would have got and thousands of others when a Local Authority makes the arrangements. Each and every one of them gets a decent, dignified send off in accordance with their wishes.
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