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Secret war spy heroine laid to rest


A reclusive World War Two spy will be laid to rest in Devon

A reclusive World War Two spy will be laid to rest in Devon

A reclusive World War Two spy will be laid to rest in Devon

Mourners will gather to pay their final respects to a British spy tortured by the Nazis in the Second World War.

Eileen Nearne MBE operated as an undercover agent called Rose and was caught and tortured by the Nazis three times.

Reclusive Miss Nearne, 89, died in her Devon home on September 2 after suffering a heart attack.

It was at first thought she had no immediate family, but a niece has since been traced in Italy.

Initial plans for her to be given a low-key council funeral changed with the publicity about her bravery in the war, and civic dignitaries and other VIPs are expected to attend the requiem at Our Lady Help of Christians and St Denis Roman Catholic Church in Torquay.

Her niece, who wants to remain anonymous, said: "I would like to thank everyone for their kind wishes and support at this very sad time.

"My aunt Eileen was a very private and modest person and without doubt she would be astounded by all the public and media attention.

"I hope that in death, she will be remembered along with other SOE Agents with pride and gratitude for the work they did both here and behind enemy lines during the Second World War.

"I have been overwhelmed by all the attention and I would be most grateful if I might be left in peace to mourn the death of my dear aunt."

Documents found in Miss Nearne's home after her death revealed she was sent to occupied France as a member of the Special Operations Executive (SOE) during the Second World War. A fluent French speaker, she was captured three times by the Germans and endured spells in concentration camps, managing to escape each time.

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