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May 11, 2021 57 min

In this episode you’ll hear Celine’s story. She was a young French woman who first joined the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force in the UK, and then later became a British Special Operations Executive (SOE) agent. She parachuted into France to courier, sabotage and coordinate among Maquis groups.

You’ll hear how she challenged biased cultural beliefs about women and her references that underscore the personality of many of the women I interviewed ~ independent, strategic, compassionate, courageous and instinctual.

Celine made crucial contributions in one of the most turbulent times of WW 2; during the D-Day invasion and the weeks that followed.

Post war, the British government honoured some SOE agents with medals ~ the men received far more than the women. And for those women like Celine who did survive and receive commendation, their medals were civilian, rather than military.

Episodes include war-related content that some listeners may find disturbing and/or traumatizing. This content includes graphic references to sexual assault and suicide.

Episode Details

Podcast Episode #07
Created by: Diane Greig
Produced by: Robert Ouimet
Runs: 57:48


Host and Writer: Diane Greig
Celine: Emily Bett Rickards
Casting Director: Eileen Barrett
Producer: Robert Ouimet
Sound engineer: Scott Whittaker

Show Notes

  • About the British SOE (Special OperationsExecutive) and attitudes about women
  • Bipolar stereotype of women
  • Projections, repression and fear of ‘other’
  • Celine’s story, leaving France to finish school in England
  • Joining the WAAF, Women’s Auxiliary Air Force
  • Training at SOE ‘finishing school’ in Scotland
  • Explosives, guns and safe cracking
  • Getting married before deployment to France
  • Dropping into France and a rough landing
  • Recruiting and supplies for the underground teams
  • D-day and close calls
  • Staying to help the allied forces
  • A final tragic encounter
  • Links and Resources

    A list of SOE agents
    Secret Scottish training camps
    SOE Training, Transport and Equipment
    The Female Spies of the SOE
    The Witch hunts
    A Brief Guide to Embodied Cognition
    Lhasa Pilgrim Circuits and Kora
    Yangon’s Shwedagon Pagoda
    The maquis
    Women’s Auxiliary Air Force
    Special Operations SOE Tempsford Secret Airfield WWII Spy Base (YouTube Video)
    The Free French
    Falais Pocket
    Shaving women’s heads after liberation

    All Episodes in this Series

    Episode 8: Heroine’s Journey

    Episode 7: Embodiment

    Episode 6: Madonnas

    Episode 5: Sisterhood

    Episode 4: Shadow Projections

    Episode 3: Propaganda

    Episode 2: Spy Craft

    Episode 1: Service Zero


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