Blue plaque at Devon home of WWII spy Eileen Nearne
- 15 March 2011
- From the section Devon
A blue plaque has been unveiled at the last home in Devon of WWII heroine Eileen Mary Nearne.
Ms Nearne died last September of a heart attack, at the age of 89.
After her death her role and heroism as an agent in occupied France was revealed, including her capture and torture at the hands of the Gestapo.
The blue plaque, a scheme operated by English Heritage since 1986, was unveiled at her former home, 2 Lisburne Crescent, Torquay.
Ms Nearne served with the Special Operations Executive (SOE) and was captured three times by the Germans.
The ceremony on Tuesday took place under the chairmanship of Ian Handford, from the Torbay Civic Society, who described it as "very emotive".
Guest of honour was Ms Nearne's surviving relative, her niece Odile Nearne, who now lives in Verona, Italy.
Mr Handford revealed Ms Nearne had been put to work as a slave labourer in three German factories and had survived a period in a German concentration camp.
"If you were ill you died, whatever was wrong you had to put up with it.
"They literally fought mentally and physically to stay alive," he said.
Ms Nearne's older sister and a younger brother were also SOE operatives.
Under the codename Rose she parachuted into France working as a radio operator but was captured in 1944.
After the war she was appointed MBE and awarded the Croix de Guerre by the French government.