RIP, ‘White Mouse’…
Wellington-born WWII heroine Nancy Wake has died in London, aged 98.
Ms Wake, who was born in Roseneath but left New Zealand as a toddler, was living in France when Nazi Germany invaded during World War II. She joined the French Resistance and was smuggled to England for specialist training.
She was the Allies’ most decorated servicewoman, collecting bravery awards from France, England, Australia and the United States.
In 1944 she was parachuted back into France, where she co-ordinated the efforts of thousands of fighters and fought alongside them.
Ms Wake – codenamed the “The White Mouse” because of her ability to elude capture – at one point was No 1 on the Gestapo’s most wanted list, with an offer of five million francs for anyone who reported her or killed her.
The Daily Telegraph reported that Ms Wake died yesterday in a hospital in London, where she had lived since 2001.
A close friend confirmed Ms Wake’s death early this morning.
She was recognised locally last year with a new “heritage pylon”, unveiled by former Wellington Mayor Kerry Prendergast in Oriental Pde.
Rest in Peace, White Mouse.
More on Ms Wake.