These women come from very different walks of life, and some even found themselves on the wrong side of the law, but their incredible feats remain worthy of awe
March is Women’s History Month, a time that we set aside to celebrate women’s contributions and achievements in all spheres of society. There are so many amazing women we would love to acknowledge that the list is simply too long to count, so we decided to recognise a few special ones through the lens of our themed rooms. Accordingly, we wish to honour some extraordinary women who have left their mark throughout history and offer you a different type of list that you may not find anywhere else. These women come from very different walks of life, and some even found themselves on the wrong side of the law, but their incredible feats remain worthy of awe to this very day.
Our Bunker room has inspired us to honour Nancy Wake, otherwise known as the White Mouse for her ability to run rings around the Gestapo in occupied France during WW2. Born in New Zealand and spending her childhood in Australia she ended up becoming one of Winston Churchill's most decorated special agents and topped the Gestapo's most wanted list. At the age of 16 she moved to London and after studying Journalism moved to Paris where she settled and married a French Industrialist just one year before the outbreak of war. During the first few years of war she remained in France and became part of the escape network helping allies evade German capture. In 1943 she evaded capture herself and moved back to Britain to join the Special Operations Executive. As part of a 3 person team she was then parachuted back into occupied France where she coordinated a 7,000 strong resistance group attacking German forces. It was during this time that she bicycled 500 km on her own through German occupied towns and checkpoints, over a 71 hr period, to deliver vital codes needed to support the war effort.
Wake was awarded the George Medal from the UK, the medal of Freedom from the US, the Legion of Honour from France, Companion of the Order of Australia and New Zealand's highest honour the RSA badge in Gold. She died in London in 2011 and her ashes were scattered in Montluçon in central France. Can you work out the codes in our Bunker to save the world?