Page last updated at 17:04 GMT, Wednesday, 31 March 2010 18:04 UK

Secret agent's life celebrated with blue plaque

Forest Frederic Edward Yeo-Thomas
Yeo-Thomas was captured and tortured by the Gestapo

The life of one of the first secret agents of World War II to receive the George Cross has been commemorated with an English Heritage blue plaque.

Forest Frederic Edward Yeo-Thomas, code name the White Rabbit, lived in Guildford Street, Camden, London, where the plaque was unveiled.

Yeo-Thomas joined the Special Operations Executive (SOE) but was captured and tortured by the Gestapo.

He escaped from a concentration camp and died in 1964 at the age of 62.

Yeo-Thomas, who was brought up in France, joined the RAF in 1939 - the year he met his second wife Barbara.

The couple lived at Queen Court, the site of the English Heritage blue plaque.

Gestapo torture

After completing more than two years in the RAF, including work as an intelligence officer in Fighter Command, Yeo-Thomas joined the SOE.

Yeo-Thomas blue plaque
The plaque was unveiled in Guildford Street in Camden, London

In 1942 he acted as a liaison officer with representatives of General de Gaulle's Bureau Central de Renseignements et d'Action.

On a mission in France a year later he helped organise and plan strategy with the French Resistance.

On one occasion he is said to have evaded capture by hiding in a hearse.

In 1944 on his third mission to France he was betrayed and captured.

After torture by the Gestapo he was moved to Buchenwald concentration camp.

He finally escaped captivity and managed to reach US Army forces as the war ended.

For his bravery he was awarded the George Cross, the Military Cross and bar, the Croix de Guerre, the Polish Cross of Merit and was made a commander of the Legion d'Honneur.

After the war he worked in a Paris fashion house, eventually becoming the Federation of British Industries' representative in France, a position he held until his death in 1964.



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