My mother thought I was working for the Ministry of Ag and Fish So begins Noreen Riols compelling memoir of her time as a member of Churchill s secret army , the Special Operations Executive It was 1943, just before her eighteenth birthday, Noreen received her call up papers, and was faced with either working in a munitions factory or joining the Wrens A typically My mother thought I was working for the Ministry of Ag and Fish So begins Noreen Riols compelling memoir of her time as a member of Churchill s secret army , the Special Operations Executive It was 1943, just before her eighteenth birthday, Noreen received her call up papers, and was faced with either working in a munitions factory or joining the Wrens A typically fashion conscious young woman, even in wartime, Noreen opted for the Wrens they had better hats But when one of her interviewers realized she spoke fluent French, she was directed to a government building on Baker Street It was SOE headquarters, where she was immediately recruited into F Section, led by Colonel Maurice Buckmaster From then until the end of the war, Noreen worked with Buckmaster and her fellow operatives to support the French Resistance fighting for the Allied cause Sworn to secrecy, Noreen told no one that she spent her days meeting agents returning from behind enemy lines, acting as a decoy, passing on messages in tea rooms and picking up codes in crossword puzzles Vivid, witty, insightful and often moving, this is the story of one young woman s secret war, offering readers an authentic and compelling insight into what really went on in Churchill s secret army from one of its last surviving members.
The Secret Ministry of Ag and Fish My mother thought I was working for the Ministry of Ag and Fish So begins Noreen Riols compelling memoir of her time as a member of Churchill s secret army the Special Operations Executive It was
Not quite as interesting as its opening implies, this anecdotal autobiography spends a lot of time describing the lives and times of other agents in the SOE, and not half as much time as it should have on Riols own experiences.Riols undoubtedly had a fascinating war job bilingual in English and French, she was headhunted for Churchill s SOE French group when she went to sign up for her war service The opening chapter shows off her cheeky, self deprecating sense of humour brilliantly, and the rea [...]
Told by one of the last surviving members of Churchill s Secret Army , the Special Operations Executive, this captivating memoir gives a fascinating insight into the far too often cut short lives and courageous deeds of F Section s agents whose clandestine and immensely dangerous missions played an important yet frequently unrecognised role in WWII While it would have been interesting to hear a little about the author s own life and experiences and her phrasing occasionally got a little repetit [...]
This book should ve been marvelous, but its subtitle My Life in Churchill s School for Spies isn t true The book s hardly at all about that It s mostly a flatly written assemblage of stories about other people in the SOE, the Special Operations Executive during WWII that carried out resistance efforts in occupied territories These stories are heroic, often upsetting, and ought to be exciting, but here somehow the awfulness is the only strong feeling to come through The rest is a blur of faded me [...]
Le r cit de Noreen Riols est de ceux qui marquent durablement et qui vous font r fl chir m me lorsque la derni re page a t tourn e depuis longtemps Je tiens donc remercier Babelio et les ditions Calman Levy pour m avoir fait parvenir un tel ouvrage Jeune fille insouciante et romantique, Noreen Riols va se retrouver travailler, par le plus grand des hasards, pour le SOE Special Operations Executive autrement dit pour une branche des services secrets anglais cr e par Churchill au d but de la Secon [...]
Loved this book, but had only one wish that such a perceptive and courageous young woman had actually been in the field to give us details of the actual operations But even as it is, this book is rich in the kind of observation that took my breath away at the courage of her generation and what we owe them I even read the appendix of the names of agents who sacrificed their young lives in enemy territory in the loneliest and tensest situations imaginable to help defeat the Nazis in Occupied Fran [...]
This is one of the most fascinating books I have ever read When the files opened in 2000 and Churchill s Secret Army was then able to share what had happened during the Second World War, it was already too late for many to share as they had already died Noreen is one of the last surviving members of that group and shares incredible stories of heroism and bravery amidst a cruel background of Nazi domination I not only heartily recommend this book to everyone, but it held special meaning for me as [...]
I did expect to learn about Noreen s life and experiences in the SOE, but this book is of a dedication to all the courageous people she knew and worked with during that time, most of whom were only recognized for their bravery fairly recently A fascinating insight into Churchill s SOE though, and so interesting to read how this secret organization was so disliked by MI6 and De Gaulle too Having seen an extract on YouTube of one of Mme Riols presentations to the public, I can t help but think t [...]
I m really torn about this book the author s story working in SOE during World War II is very interesting, but the book really seems to need a good editor The raw material of the author s story is fascinating and she has a great voice, but it reads like a tape recorder was put in front of her and she told a bunch of interesting stories I think the book could be vastly improved if it was set in chronological order, or at least had a stronger main narrative As it is it s like spending an afternoon [...]
I bought this book after seeing its author on French television and recognizing her as someone I d met and heard speak many years ago But I had no idea that she had been part of Churchill s secret school for spies, one for which he recruited attractive young women,or even that such a school had existed Her account of spy training, dangerous missions into occupied territory, and the strained relationships with MI6 and de Gaulle, make for a very interesting read.
Thus concludes my reading of the nonfiction Special Operations Executive SOE by Noreen Riols What a rollercoaster and mess of emotions the story left my heart in From the agents being flown into occupied France where they faced horrors terrifying than ghosts and apparitions to the pain and torture of the agents at the hands of the enemy, Hitler Co and the sadness at the loss of so many brave individuals I m nursing my emotions now.
While the subject matter is very good, I did not fully like how it was presented There is such a wealth of information here, but by trying to cram in so many stories, I feel like the agents were not given the attention that they deserve.The second half of the book that deals exclusively with Riols, was much better presented.That being said, it was still a good read
Nice blend of humor and heroism, told in a frank, friendly and personable style It was like sitting down with the author for lunch The SOE agents had all kinds of stories tragic, funny, inspiring, chilling Though I feel like I got to know the author and her colleagues, I didn t often feel like I was her This was a read to know book, not a read to experience one.
This book tells the amazing stories of the work of resistance fighters in the Second World War I had no idea of the organisation behind this work These people were amazingly brave and, in general, haven t been recognised for their extreme efforts.
3.5 5 A mostly enjoyable read, it seemed very disjointed really, less about the author and about the people she knew and worked with Still I knew very little about the SOE before reading this and the stories were fascinating and very emotional.
I really enjoyed this book from start to finish I thoroughly recommend it.
What an extraordinary book about extraordinary lives.
Excellent book about one woman s secret war experiences in the SOE and her life after the war up to present day Fascinating story of the very brave people working to support the French Resistance.
Quite simply brilliant An often over dramatised subject told simply, but all the dramatically for it.
An inspiring read into the lives and bravery of members of the SOE, I really enjoyed it.
I enjoyed reading this it s always fascinating to see how people s lives were impacted by the war, and the things they had to do in it
3.5 reallyLots of interesting anecdotes, and worth reading but it would have been improved by editorial guidance to provide a clearer structure and tidy up the writing.