Ex-Harrogate author's new book on bravery of Britain's WW2 female SOE agents
A new book on the Second World War by a former student of St Aidan’s CE High School in Harrogate, has gone on sale in all national bookstores and online book sites.
Written by Dr Kate Vigurs, Mission France: The True History of the Women of SOE for the first time tells the thrilling story of the heroic 39 female Special Operations Executive (SOE) agents who were parachuted into Occupied France in the early years of the Second World War.
Published by Yale University Press, Mission France includes new information on an agent with real local links - Noor Inayat Khan, a British spy in the Second World War who trained as a radio operator in a location close to Harrogate and was one of those brave women motivated by Churchill’s injunction to “set France ablaze” against the Nazis.
After school in Harrogate, Kate worked for a number of years at the Royal Armouries in Leeds, where she worked as an actress.
Through one such performance she became fascinated by the story of the SOE women and went on to do doctoral research on the subject.
Now an accomplished historian, presenter and author. her success has been toasted by Dennis Richards, former head of St Aidan’s and chair of Harrogate International Partnerships, who recalls Kate’s school career.
He said: “Kate made an impact throughout her school years as a gifted musician and Theatre Studies student. I am particularly delighted to see a former student going on to publish a work of this importance in a different discipline.”
Kate’s book won a great piece of publicity when she was interviewed recently on BBC Radio 4’s programme World at One.
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