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Last Updated: Thursday, 3 February, 2005, 14:01 GMT
Century for former French fighter
'Rose' et son frere
'Rose' passed information back to the Allies
A former member of the French Resistance, given France's highest award for her bravery, has turned 100.

During World War II, Andree Peel, now of Long Ashton, Bristol, helped Allied pilots escape occupied Europe, while serving under the code name of Rose.

Last summer, she was presented with the Legion D'Honneur by her brother, General Maurice Virot.

She said: "I was born with courage. I did not allow cruel people to find in me a person they could torture."

102 pilots

Following her arrest in Paris in 1944 she was deported to the Ravensbrook concentration camp in Germany, and later transferred to Buchenwald before her eventual release.

"I lived in Brest during the war years - it was occupied by the German Navy," she told the BBC.

"I saved 102 pilots before being arrested, interrogated and tortured. I suffer still from that. I still have the pain."

Ms Peel married an Englishman and moved to the UK, eventually settling down near Bristol.

The secret to a happy life, she said, was a good companion - and eating the main meal of the day at lunchtime.

Mrs Peel has already received awards for her wartime heroism, including the King's Commendation for Brave Conduct and the American Medal of Freedom.

France's highest award for 'Rose'
19 Jun 04 |  Bristol/Somerset
Record price for Victoria Cross
30 Apr 04 |  London

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