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Page last updated at 15:28 GMT, Friday, 29 October 2010 16:28 UK

Spy Eileen Nearne tells her story in BBC TV interview

By Laura Joint
BBC Devon

As fresh details emerge about the extraordinary bravery of wartime spy Eileen Nearne, the BBC has unearthed an interview conducted with her for a television documentary in 1997.

Miss Nearne died of a heart attack in Torquay in September 2010, at the age of 89.

Following her death, previously classified files about her work were released by the National Archives.

Miss Nearne worked undercover in the Paris region in 1944.

But she was caught by the Gestapo, tortured, and sent to concentration camps in Germany. She escaped just before the end of the war, in May 1945.

In this interview for the documentary about the work of Britain's secret army, Miss Nearne talks about her experiences in occupied France.

She said that when she was flown in to France at the start of her assignment in March 1944, she encountered two male agents who were flying back to England in the plane's return trip.

"They said 'oh, a young girl - go back, go back, it is extremely dangerous'. But I had no intention of going back."

Even in 1997, she was still keeping her real identity secret - she conducted the interview in disguise, wearing a wig, and under one of her code names, Rose.

Read BBC Devon's feature about Eileen Nearne using the link below.

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