England

Memorial for Resistance heroes who helped escaping troops

  • 18 May 2012
  • From the section England

A monument to civilians who ran escape networks for Allied service personnel during World War II is to be unveiled at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire.

Saturday's event will be attended by Andree Dumon, who was part of a network in Belgium until she was caught.

The granite for the memorial comes from the Pyrenees, which escapees had to cross to get to neutral Spain.

Money for the monument has been raised by the Escape Lines Memorial Society.

Concentration camp

The society, which has members in 26 countries, offers financial help to the surviving members of the Resistance movement who ran escape networks across Europe.

The granite was donated by a French quarry owner who acted as a guide to escaping soldiers and airmen.

Lucie Wilkinson married a British soldier after World War II and moved to Nuneaton in Warwickshire

As a teenager Ms Dumon, who used the codename Nadine, was a courier who took escapees from Belgium to Paris.

She was caught in 1942 and spent three years in a concentration camp.

Another member of the Belgian resistance, who has lived in Nuneaton in Warwickshire for the past 60 years, has also spoken about her experiences.

Lucie Wilkinson was 15 when she joined the resistance in Brussels, and had to smuggle both secret papers and airmen.

Ms Wilkinson said: "If there's a war on, you would do the same in a bid to save your country.

"I had one [a person she was helping to escape] one day and he couldn't stop shaking all the while I had him - I thought he was going to give me away."

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